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La Verne remembers former librarian archivist

Sister Mary Dennis Peters was a reference librarian in Wilson Library for 20 years. This photo was taken in 2004. / file photo by Caroline Franke

Sister Mary Dennis Peters was a reference librarian in Wilson Library for 20 years. This photo was taken in 2004. / file photo by Caroline Franke

Sister Mary Dennis Peters, resource librarian for the Wilson Library, died Sept. 28 after slipping into unconsciousness following a heart attack. She was 85.

“She was a very kind, gentle and generous person, I will remember her as an affirming person who was generous with her time and never got upset,” associate vice president of academic affairs Al Clark said.

Sister Mary Dennis was a practicing nun under the order of Saint Benedict.

“She once gave me a list of the 12 Points (from the Rule of Saint Benedict) and the last one was what stood out to me,” Clark said. “It said to be serene.”

Clark said he agreed with Sister Mary Dennis’ belief in being happy with who you are and what you do in life.

She began working at the Wilson Library in 1985 as the public services librarian.

She was responsible for organizing the library’s periodical collections and oversaw the processing and binding of doctoral dissertations.

She was promoted to full professor in 1997 and retired in June 2004 and continued to serve as a part-time archivist until August 2005.

Sister Mary Dennis also served on several committees with the University including the Faculty Support Committee, Athletic Committee and the Task Force on Women’s Issues, which she chaired.

She is remembered by many as kind-hearted and sweet.

“Her loss has affected me deeply but I am honored to have known her,” executive assistant Aleta Kerker said. “She was a lovely person I will miss deeply.”

Kerker said Sister Mary Dennis was one of her closest friends and that she will remember her as humble, generous and always available to help students.

“My experience here has been very intellectual as well as a great personal experience, one I will never forget,” Sister Mary said in an interview with Campus Times in 2004.

Christina Collins Burton and Brian Velez

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