April 7, 2016
Sr. Diana Stano, former president of Ursuline College was inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent College’s (OFIC) 2016 Hall of Excellence honor because of her many years of service to the College, her commitment to private higher education and her leadership of the College. She was inducted in a formal ceremony in Columbus on April 6.
A 1968 alum of Ursuline, Sister Diana Stano has demonstrated a commitment to private higher education through 37 years of leadership at the College, first as a faculty member and department chair, then as the first Dean of Graduate Studies, and ultimately as President.
Sister Diana's eighteen-year term as president of Ursuline College, her extensive professional service, and her willingness to commit time and influence, including her service on the OFIC Executive Board as Secretary for fifteen years, have made her a leader in the field of higher education. She models, persuasively and personally, the role of colleges in advancing the leadership potential of women. Across two decades that saw the number of women's colleges in the U.S. shrink to less than fifty, she has maintained that the unique experience of a women-focused campus offers a critically important option for students, whether traditional or non-traditional-aged.
In support of this conviction, she has given countless presentations on education and women's leadership. She has spoken as panelist for regional and national programs; she has been invited to present internationally in Canada, China, Taiwan, and Ghana. Within the academic community, she serves as site visitor peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. Closer to home, she has been recognized as "Keeper of the Dream" by Cleveland Public Schools. Her goal is always to prepare the next generation of leaders for the local and global community, leaders who have themselves been transformed by private higher education.
In promoting transformation on Ursuline’s campus, she has been a leader since her time as faculty and department chair, when she initiated the College's first graduate program, in Educational Administration; later, as president, she saw the School of Graduate and Professional Studies grow to eleven undergraduate and eleven graduate programs. During her presidency, Ursuline College experienced unprecedented growth.
Her leadership, then, stretches not only across campus but across Northeast Ohio, the state, and beyond. Her creativity and vision distinguish her as an alumna who had had a profound impact on her alma mater. As an OFIC alumna/president she has been in a unique position to ensure that the value of a liberal arts institution has been "writ large" in the opportunities this kind of higher education provides, realized first in her own life and then in the lives and careers of countless graduates of the Ursuline College she led for 18 years.