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School of Health visionary, healthcare advocate and alumna Anne Joachim Moore, CSJ dies at age 94

Anne Joachim Moore, CSJ, foremother of the Minneapolis campus healthcare programs, former trustee and a multi-degreed graduate of St. Catherine University, died Dec. 20, 2010, after a brief illness. She was 94 years old.

“The entire St. Catherine community has lost a leader, a trusted servant and a friend, a woman of vision, integrity and uncommon spirit,” said President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, in a message to St. Catherine students, faculty and staff.

A 1937 graduate of St. Mary’s School of Nursing and a 1947 graduate of the St. Catherine nursing program, Sister Anne Joachim may best be remembered as the founder and the first and only president of St. Mary’s Junior College, which merged with the then–College of St. Catherine in September 1986 to form the Minneapolis campus. Her work in the 1960s and ’70s to transform St. Mary’s School of Nursing into a thriving two-year college earned Sister Anne Joachim a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, in 1989 and a place of honor in St. Catherine’s Centennial 100 in 2005.

The roots of that junior college remain strong today in the University’s Henrietta Schmoll School of Health. “When Sister Anne Joachim would walk down the hall of St. Mary’s Junior College, she would move at the speed of light,” says Tone Blechert ’67, MA’93, the School’s dean. “She was a woman of intense energy, fierce determination and good humor. I admired her passion for the poor and others on the fringes of our society.

“The college she created had a wide-open door,” Blechert says. “She rejected standardized thinking about who had access to education.”

An attorney and a registered nurse, Sister Anne Joachim believed fervently in the power of education. She held a total of six degrees herself — including four graduate or professional degrees:

  • A law degree from the St. Paul College of Law (1949);
  • A master of arts in education from the University of Minnesota (1958), from which she later received an alumni outstanding achievement award in 2001;
  • A doctorate of education from Nova University (1977); and
  • A master of arts in theology from St. Catherine, which she earned in 2001 when she was 84.


Sister Anne Joachim also will be remembered as a spirited and authentic role model for employing one’s gifts and living the Catholic teachings through service to others. Among her numerous awards were recognition from the American Medical Association in 1980 for her contributions to allied health education and accreditation. The University of Minnesota invited her to be part of its Alumni Wall of Honor in 2005 — an honor reserved for only 1,000 alumni.

Also in 2005, St. Catherine benefactors John and Susan Schmid Morrison ’60 created the Anne Joachim Moore, CSJ Nursing Fellowship, a non-endowed fund that offsets a portion of the salary and expenses for a senior nursing professor, enabling that person to conduct research or perform outreach work that advances the field of nursing.

A lasting legacy
Sister Anne Joachim’s former colleagues recall her as an inspiration and a role model. “She embraced life’s surprises as opportunities,” says Mary Broderick, who served as dean and vice president of the Minneapolis campus and was an interim president of St. Catherine during the search for current president Sister Andrea. “She was a force of determined action rooted in the CSJ commitment to social justice.

“Those of us who knew her will never forget her influence on us. Multitudes who didn’t know her personally have already experienced the benefits of her leadership, and in the future many more will thrive because of her work.She was unquestionably a fully realized 20th century woman.”

Professor of Theology Russell Connors will present the Sister Anne Joachim Moore Lecture, a coveted honor among faculty, at the annual Teaching and Learning Network (TLN) intercampus workshop on Jan. 25, 2011.

Whether they had worked beside her or knew her only by reputation, faculty and students alike at the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health walk proudly in Sister Anne Joachim’s shadow, Dean Blechert says. “She lifted people up, uncovered their potential, and enabled them to become successful learners,” says Blechert. “Her step can still be heard in the hallways.”

Funeral arrangements
Both the wake and funeral liturgy will take place Monday, Dec. 27, at the Provincial Chapel on the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet property adjacent to the St. Paul campus of St. Catherine University. The viewing is from 9 to 10 a.m., and the funeral will be at 10 a.m. with Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn presiding. Burial will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. Lunch will follow the burial at the Carondelet Center dining room.

Dec. 21, 2010 by Amy Gage

See also: Alumnae/i, Healthcare, Leadership