Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2022

Noel Jaeger Burgoyne ’57, at left, and Barbara Ann Spinelli ’60, Patricia Klein ’57, and Mary Stark ’60 call the Erie Morning News to seek publicity for their upcoming Sophonade dance and winter carnival.

On their way to an of f- campus event are Barbara Chambers ’60, bottom left, and fellow students.

and delivering them to local newspaper reporters as thanks for publishing the school’s news. She w a s p r e s i d e n t o f t h e I n t e r n a t i o n aRle l a t i o n s C l u b and on the yearbook staf f . She also received the university’s top leadership award at graduation. “I loved Mercyhurst,” she said. “The more you get involved, the more people you meet, and the more experiences you have.” After college, she volunteered for board positions

and fundraising posts for local nonprof i ts. Her contributions did not go unnoticed. She earned Volunteer of the Year awards from the Nai gara

student government in 1970 and later parlayed her English degree into a 29-year career in Chicago Public Schools. In 1999, Mercyhurst honored her with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Chambers said she is currently working to establish the Rochelle George Wooding ’71 Leadership Scholarship at Mercyhurst, honorni g her student and friend, who she said died last summer of complications from COVID-19. “I think the key to my success in teaching was that I respected the dignity of each individual, and I got that from Mercyhurst,” Chambers said. After earning her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Mercyhurst, she went on to secure a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from John Carroll University and a Doctor of Education degree in secondary science education from the University of Maryland. Her career took her to industry (Eastman Kodakand to teaching (Villa Maria College, Cleveland City Schools, and Cleveland State University. In Cleveland schools, she also held administrative positions, working in the areas of educational research, desegregation implementation, and gifted education, and later, in retirement, she developed and managed a program employing exemplary retired teachers to mentor new teachers. Through it all, she remembers her days at Mercyhurst with deep admiration. “The Sisters were well educated and had high expectations for their students,” she recalled. “I had three Sisters who had Ph.D.s teaching me chemistry, including Sister Mary Charles, who I believe was the f i rst woman to get a doctorate in physical chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.” To say the Sister s set the academic bar high woul d be an understatement, but they also taught their students the softer skills of “sharing their time, talents, and resources,” Chambers said. “That’s what I’ve tried to do.”

League, Hagen History Center, and twice from the Erie Philharmonic. She also was named an Ageless Remarkable Erieite by Saint Mary’s Home of Erie. Like Brairton, it wasn’t in Burgoyne’s nature to lead without doing the grunt work, so as a board member of the philharmonic, for example, she also ushered and sold Erie Phil mementos before concerts. In what she calls her “proudest moment,” she conducted the orchestra in a performance of Mozart’s “The Overture to the Marriage of Figaro,” netting $30,000 for the orchestra – the largest amount ever raised from the annualb aton fundraiser. Meanwhile, she shows no signs of slowing down and has already volunteered to help with Mercyhurst’s Centennial Celebration. In addition to volunteering, she enjoys reading British murder mysteries and traveling. In all, she’s been to six continents and 60 countries. Now that she and her sister, Maryce Jaeger Cunningham 6’ 5, are both widows, they are taking annual cruises together. Barbara Chambers ’60 My way: ‘One person at a time’ As a chemistry teacher in the Cleveland City School District in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Dr. Barbara Chambers engaged her students beyond the framework of atoms and electrolytes; she mentored them through their day-to-day challenges, which is the way she has chosen to give back her entire life – one person at a time. At Joh n F. Kennedy High School, where she taught from 1965 to 1975, the student body was composed largely of African Americans, many of whom she mentored outside the classroom. In fact, she brought one of her promisingy oungs tudents, RochelleG eorge, t o Mercyhurst for a college visit in the late ‘60s. Not only did Rochelle enroll the following year, but she also was elected the f i rst African American president of


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