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Someone You Should Know: Sister Rose Ann
CINCINNATI (Cammy Dierking) -- Xavier University's student athletes are among the brightest in the country.
'X' has a 97 percent graduation rate among all sports teams, which is 12th in the nation and first in the Big East. How do they do it? The muskies have a secret weapon, and she is most definitely, "Someone You Should Know."
A big reason Xavier University's student athletes are successful is a small woman named Sister Rose Ann Fleming. The 81-year-old nun is responsible for the school's amazing 30 year academic record, which includes a 100% graduation rate for senior basketball players. Top in the country! For Sister Rose Ann, it's not a job, it's a calling.
She said, "When I consider the love that God has shown us in him, I just feel called to show it to others."
Sister resides on campus with the kids and lives and breathes getting them an education. Sister Rose Ann set up a mandatory study program for freshmen in all sports. She works with the faculty, sets up tutors, rousts the kids out of bed for early classes, counsels, nags; whatever it takes.
Junior Kevin Coker said, "Actually it doesn't matter if you're a walk on or scholarship athlete or All-American, she's open to help. She's a great influence to Xavier and the community."
Sister Rose Ann learned a lot about motivating the athletes by talking to Xavier coaches and watching practices.
"What they were doing in basketball was using their talents and enjoying that very much. I tried to help them realize that if they got engaged in learning they'd enjoy that too," said Sister Rose Ann. "It would make sense. They would begin to see connections."
And the coaches allow her to take kids out of their sports when they aren't making the grade.
One Xavier staff member said, "She does have benching power, and I've seen her pull guys out of practice. But don't get it wrong, Sister likes to win games, too!"
Sister Rose Ann starts her day at 4a.m. with an hour of prayer and meditation. After that she exercises; first on the elliptical trainer and then lifting weights. She says her good health is a gift.
After breakfast and Mass, she heads to the office which is filled with memorabilia. The rest of her day is spent teaching, counseling, and preparing young people for success in college and beyond.
She said, "What did you do to make other people's lives better is a good way of defining success in life. Never give up, always have faith in God and you'll find things turn out better than you anticipate."
Great lessons for all of us from someone you should know. And now you do!
There is a new book coming out this fall about Sister Rose Ann. It was written by former Cincinnati Enquirer columnist, Laura Pulfer, and it's entitled, "Out of Habit."
Find out more about the book by CLICKING HERE.
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