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In support of
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Suzin by Peter Max

Suzin III

Peter Max

21 1/4 x 29 1/4
31 1/4 x 27 1/4

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Drs. Mary and Peter Esseff or their family members have attended the colleges and universities listed below. They have the greatest respect for them and can recommend them highly.

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The Catholic University of America (CUA)


Peter, Mary, and their two daughters, Jeanne and Sr. Rosemary, studied at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

CUA_McMahon Hall

Peter J. Esseff, Ph.D.

Peter received his Ph.D. in Educational Technology from CUA's School of Education in 1969.

At this time, CUA was the only university in the country that offered a doctorate in this newly developing field of study. The program, using a "Systems Approach" to solving education and training problems, was developed under the direction of Dr. Gabriel Ofiesh, a pioneer in the field of Instructional Technology. Peter was in the first class that graduated with this Ph.D. degree.

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Mary Sullivan Esseff, Ph.D.

Mary received her Ph.D. in Educational Technology in 1972. For two years, Mary had an Assistantship working at the School of Education's Curriculum Development Center. She was also the Student Representative to the Faculty Advisory Committee.

A Little Side Note:
Mary was pregnant with Sr. Rosemary during her doctoral program and gave birth to her just as Mary was about to take her comps.

Mary and Jeanne, 1988

Jeanne Esseff Reif

Jeanne attended CUA for Summer Studies in Italian in 1989 to complete her language requirements while she was enrolled at Marywood University during the school year as a full-time student.

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Sr. Rosemary Esseff, O.P.

CUA's Ward Hall: Benjamin T. Rome School of Music

Sr. Rosemary attended CUA as an undergraduate and received a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater in 1993. After graduating, she entered the Nashville Dominicans.

Several years later, Sr. Rosemary attended the School of Music and graduated with a Masters of Music in Sacred Music, Choral Conducting in 2000.

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In 1999, the US Cardinals who are on CUA's Board of Trustees, invited the CUA Choir to sing at their annual Retreat in Rome. Since the Choir Director and just taken a leave of absence, Sr. Rosemary and another graduate student were asked to conduct the choir. Sr. Rosemary conducted at the four major Basilicas in Rome: St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Peter's Basilica, and St. Paul Outside the Walls. Student musicians performed for a series of concerts, including performances for Pope John Paul II at Castel Gondolfo. Several "groupies" accompanied the Choir including Sr. Rosemary's parents, Peter and Mary.

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Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA

CHC Fournier Hall

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Mary Sullivan Esseff's Alma Mater

Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, PA is Mary's undergraduate Alma Mater. Mary graduated in 1965 with an AB in English Literature.

Opened in 1924 as a Catholic, four-year, liberal arts college for women, CHC has offered a liberal arts education that provides students with a broad background in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. CHC's goal has been to prepare students for life's challenges by helping them to grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and socially.

CHC Goes Coed & Expands Programs and Campus

CHC's Barbara D'Iorio Martino HallIn fall 2003, CHC admitted men to the traditional-age, full-time undergraduate program marking the end of the 78-year-old College for Women. In addition to the traditional four-year college, CHC also has a Continuing Education department, graduate programs offering master's degrees in six fields and a doctorate in clinical psychology.

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To meet the needs of a growing college community, CHC's campus has expanded dramatically over the past several decades including the additions of the Logue Library, Fontbonne Hall (freshmen residence hall), the Science Building, and the Barbara D'Iorio Martino Hall. In the fall of 2006, Mary Jackson Fitzsimmons '35 Hall opened as a residence hall to help alleviate a housing shortage on the campus.

In 2006, SugarLoaf Hill, a 30-acre property situated diagonally across Germantown Avenue from the College's existing campus, offered the College a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to nearly double the size of its campus and allow for expansion to accommodate a growing student body.

Free Spirit Arrives at CHC

During their 40th Reunion at CHC, Mary's classmates gathered around Free Spirit, a 6'2" bronze statue by artist Caryl Picker. Peter and Mary donated the beautiful dancer to Chestnut Hill College in 1999 when they moved from Maryland to Florida.

Free Spirit at Chestnut Hill College

Pictured from left to right:

Edwina Jaworski Kirkowski (Kneeling), Isabelle Walsh Gundaker, Denise Belcher Crenshaw, Phyllis Roche, Regina Maxwell Schwille, Mary, Bonnie Bennis Marshall (Kneeling), Helen Chaykowsky & Joan Goldschmidt Browne (peering from behind the Dancer), Nancy Diamond Roche, Betty Newmiller King, Donna Harrington Strok (Kneeling), Fran Schuhsler Hadden, Elaine Bennett Davey.

Libris Society


In celebration of Chestnut Hill College's 80th anniversary, the Libris Society was formed to recognize graduates of Chestnut Hill College who have distinguished themselves in their personal and professional lives while exemplifying the College motto of Fides-Caritas-Scientia (Faith-Charity-Knowledge). The Society's name derives from the open book, a medieval heraldic symbol of learning, that displays the College motto on the official seal of Chestnut Hill College.

in April 2006, eighty outstanding alums were named charter members of the Libris Society including Mary Sullivan Esseff and three of her friends from the class of 1965: Elaine Bennett Davey, Regina Maxwell Schwille, and H. Patricia Hynes. Charter members were presented with the Libris Society medallion. In future years, additional members will be inducted into the Society.

Christmas at the Hill

One of the favorite times at CHC has always been Christmas time when the campus is decorated with holiday cheer. One of the most beautiful places on campus has always been the five-story Rotunda in St. Joseph's Hall which is a perfect setting to hear the choir and orchestra play those beloved carols filling hearts with joy and nostalgia.

CHC Rotunda at Christmas
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Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. and Salzburg, Austria

Peter & Mary Esseff: The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music


In 1964, during the summer between her junior and senior years at Chestnut Hill College, Mary traveled to Salzburg, Austria to study Intermediate German at Georgetown's six-week Summer School Program Abroad...and to take a junket around Europe. The first evening in the Studentenheim, the dorm that housed all the students and teachers in the summer program, Mary walked into the social room to meet her classmates for the first time.

Drawn into the room by the melodious harmonies of the young priest singing folk songs with the "Prep Boys" gathered together on the couch at the far end of the room, she sat alone at a nearby table mesmerized by the singer's beautiful tenor voice. She joined in the applause as the song ended and the group broke up and headed to the bar to get Cokes and Sprite to quench their throats. To listen to the song they were singing, click this link: Woodstock Jesuit Singers: Sloop John B.

As the young priest passed her, he stopped and offered to get her a drink. Mary watched the man, older than she had at first thought, walk to the bar. He was dressed in a long black cassock with a Roman collar around his neck. Within moments, he was sitting beside her, smiling, saying: "Hi. I'm Mr. Esseff. I'm in charge of these twenty Georgetown Prep grads for the summer."

"If you're a priest, how come everyone is calling you "Mr." instead of "Father?", Mary asked.

"I'm still a Scholastic. That's what the Jesuits call their Seminarians. I've been in the Order for eleven years and have two more to go before I'm ordained. Fr. Joseph Simmons and I came to teach German, study, and watch the lads."

"You have a great voice," Mary said.

"I'm part of a Jesuit singing group: The Woodstock Jesuit Singers. We're going to make some recordings in the fall, so I have to keep practicing all summer. The guys are great in singing along."

Woodstock Jesuit Singers: 1964
Woodstock Jesuit Singers: 1964

They talked for hours finally being asked to head up to their rooms so the staff could lock up for the night. They were amazed they were the only ones left in the room.
[The story continues...]

Excerpt from The Butterfly and the Snail, Mary Sullivan Esseff, ©1987, All Rights Reserved.

von Trapp Family portrayed in The Sound of Music

While there that summer, The Sound of Music was being filmed in Salzburg and all the Georgetown students were able to see the actors recreating the lives of the von Trapp family at many locations through the city.

Peter and Mary toured Europe both before and after the Summer Session. They fell in love in Salzburg and got married in 1966.

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Von Trapp Family escapes from Austria
Georgetown University: Ryan Hall

Sr. Rosemary:
Studying Arabic at Age Fifteen

In the summer of 1986 while still in high school, Sr. Rosemary studied Arabic at Georgetown University's School of Languages.

None of the professors or other students knew she was only fifteen. The students always wondered why she never went along for the bar-hopping sessions after class each evening.

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Arabic: God be with you!

Sr. Rosemary's Uncle Joe Esseff (Peter's brother who was thirty years older than Peter), who grew up in a Lebanese-Arabic speaking immigrant household, was always amazed at how beautifully Sr. Rosemary could write the Arabic script.

An excellent student, Sr. Rosemary can still speak and write Arabic.

Georgetown University: Healy Hall

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Marywood University, Scranton, PA

Jeanne Esseff Reif


In 1991, Jeanne graduated cum laude from Marywood University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts: Interior Design. Jeanne was inducted into the honorary sorority of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID - Student Chapter). The purpose of this organization is to educate members about current Interior Architecture/Design elements in the Marywood University design program.

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The Interior Architecture-Design program addresses the visual, technical and aesthetic aspects of inhabited spaces. The study of Interior Architecture/Design, residential or commercial, involves the integration of art and design concepts, space analysis and planning and knowledge of materials, furnishings and construction to produce finished interior environments.

Marywood Memorial Arch

For more than 90 years, Marywood has provided an education in the IHM tradition of academic excellence that continues to grow and thrive. While the University educates students according to their specific professional and personal goals, they enjoy the benefits of being in a setting that fosters and encourages diverse, compassionate leadership, demonstrates the importance of global thinking, and provides the tools for living responsibly in an interdependent world. Marywood graduates are well prepared as leaders in service to others, whether they specialize in education, business, science, human services, allied health fields, the arts, or any of the over 50 academic programs Marywood offers on undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

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Joseph R. Reif

After graduating from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD, Joe Reif, Jeanne's husband-to-be, joined Jeanne at Marywood for a couple of semesters to delve into the field of radio and television through Marywood's Communication Arts curriculum. The department prepares students to become communication professionals in television and radio stations, advertising and public relation firms, newspapers, theatres and other public and private organizations. Jobs range from acting to desktop publishing specialists to media reporters to administrators and educators.

Marywood Communication Arts Department
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Aquinas College, Nashville, TN

Sr. Rosemary Esseff, O.P.

In 1997, Sr. Rosemary, O.P. graduated from from Aquinas College with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (Teacher Education).

Aquinas College Campus This was the second undergraduate degree she received. The first was from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Musical Theatre Department, Catholic University.

Aquinas College is situated on the Nashville Dominican's Campus, which also includes St. Cecilia Academy, their Preparatory School for Young Women, and Overbrook Elementary and Middle Schools.

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The Teacher Education Program at Aquinas College is committed to empowering teachers to make a difference for each student they teach. The curriculum is based on an interdisciplinary major in the liberal arts, thus providing the broad scope necessary for professional competence. Additionally, exposure to extensive classroom experience and volunteer activities enhances the level of confidence necessary to begin the practice of teaching. Most importantly however, Aquinas' entire curriculum recognizes that every student, as a creature of God, is blessed with inherent dignity and eternal worth. Thus, Aquinas' faculty members view and profess teaching as a Gift and a Mission, not merely a profession or career. Statue of Aquinas College Patron, St. Thomas Aquinas

Sr. Rosemary lives out this mission as a middle or high school religion teacher in Nashville or at one of the numerous Dominican Missions throughout the country.

Gold Arrow UpSt. Thomas Aquinas,
Aquinas College's
Patron Saint

Sr. Rosemary Checks Overbrook Students Assignments

Sr. Rosemary's first teaching assignment was at Overbrook Academy (on the Aquinas Campus) where she taught for four years.

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Overbrook students' assignments

Mary Helps John Carroll Student Create Whip Used to Scourge Jesus

Sr. Rosemary taught for two years on the high school level at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham, AL. For Catholic Schools Week at John Carroll, Sr. Rosemary guided the students in events surrounding the Shroud of Turin. Mary and Peter were there for part of the preparation and got involved in the project.

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John Carroll students create
a whip similar to the
one used to scourge Jesus.

Sr. Rosemary Views the Tools and Shroud Exhibits Created by the John Carroll Students

Several students created a display of the types of plants that were growing during Christ's lifetime. Other students created a map showing the travels the Shroud of Turin took from the Holy Land to where it was discovered in Turin.

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Shroud in the exhibition created
by John Carroll students.

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Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

Jeanne Esseff Reif

Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

Jeanne attended Loyola College, Baltimore, MD for three years. The first day on campus, she ran into a couple of upperclassmen who were DJs at Loyola College's radio station, formerly called WLCR, now WLOY. One of these friendly guys was Joe Reif who invited the two Freshmen girls to join the radio station staff. They eagerly agreed. The rest is history. Although Jeanne spent three years at Loyola, she transferred after her Junior year to Marywood University, Scranton, PA.

Joseph R. Reif, Alma Mater

Loyola College SignMary and Peter's son-in-law, Joe Reif graduated from Loyola College, Baltimore, MD in 1987 with an AB in English.
Loyola College Admissions

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University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Joseph Reif

In 1997, Joe Reif, Jeanne's husband, received his Master of Arts in Instructional Systems Development: Distance Learning from The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) located in Catonsville, MD.

The Instructional Systems Development (ISD) program at UMBC is one of UMBC's oldest graduate programs. The Training Systems program has been educating professionals in the field of training and instructional design for over 35 years.

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Mundelein University Liturgical Institute, Mundelein, IL

Sr. Rosemary Esseff, O.P.

Sr. Rosemary Carrying Cross in Mass Entrance Procession

Sr. Rosemary, O.P. has attended Summer sessions at Mundelein University's Liturgical Institute in pursuit of getting her Masters Degree in Liturgy in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008.

Students study in the mornings and have afternoon and evenings free giving them time to study and visit many sites throughout Chicago. Sr. Rosemary has enjoyed all her classes but delighted her family with facts gained during the Liturgical Art and Architecture.


In addition to their studies, the Liturgical Institute students gather for daily Mass, Morning and Evening Prayer. Sr. Rosemary has conducted the small Schola that sings at Mass. She was also involved in conducting musicians at the Liturgical Institute's 2006 Sacred Music Retreat.

To hear the Scola (conducted by Sr. Rosemary during the 2006 Sacred Music Retreat) sing, please click on one of the following songs:

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King's College, Wilkes-Barre, PA

George Esseff and Other Esseff Relatives

King's College, Esseff Residence Hall

King's College founded by the Holy Cross Fathers in 1946, is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Wilkes-Barre, PA where the Esseff family settled after they immigrated from Lebanon. King's is situated in the heart of the city on a small urban campus.

Peter's nephew, George Esseff, a graduate of King's College, and his wife Rosemary donated funds to renovate a residence hall formerly known as East Hall.
When it was rededicated in 1994, it was renamed Esseff Hall in honor of George's grandfather George Esseff (Peter's father) and Denise Esseff Ortiz, George and Rosemary's daughter. Now a women's residence hall, the six-story building built in 1970 overlooks the library and campus center. Many Esseff family members have graduated from, or are currently attending, King's College.

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Fordham University, Bronx, NY

Peter J. Esseff, Alma Mater

Peter as a Jesuit Scholastic

Peter received his undergraduate degree in Classics: Latin & Greek in 1956 from Fordham. In 1958, Peter received a Master's degree in Education from this Jesuit University which is now more than 85 years old. In the Jesuits at the time, Peter studied at the Philosophate at Shrub Oak, NY and took classes both there at the Westchester campus and at the campus in the Bronx. As is true of all Jesuit Universities, Fordham instilled its Jesuit values in Peter and prepared him as an educator, leader in scholarship, and service provider to the individual. In keeping with the University's Jesuit values, Peter shares a commitment to the professional development of the whole person.

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He has used his knowledge of Latin to teach and tutor Home Schoolers on the elementary and secondary levels. He is still able to speak Latin fluently. As a fun project, Peter, together with a small group of Latin scholars, translated the Confessions of St. Augustine from Latin into English.

View from Fordham's campus in the Bronx Fordham University
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