Remembering Rosemary Holland Gidionsen, ’50

A Maryville icon, Rosemary Holland Gidionsen, passed away on March 15, 2021.

Gidionsen graduated in 1950 with a major in English and minor in kindergarten education. All five of Rosemary’s children (Maria, Abbie, Rosemary, Beth and D.J.) attended Maryville at some point with Rosemary and D.J. graduating in 1982 and 1985, respectively.

Gidionsen followed in the footsteps of her aunt, Dorothy “Dot” Garesche Holland, ’26, who was Maryville’s first official Alumni Director. Gidionsen served as Maryville’s second Alumni Director from September 1, 1969 until 1977.

It was during that period that the Religious of the Sacred Heart made the historic decision to turn ownership of Maryville over to a lay board of trustees. As an alumna and staff member, Gidionsen had a unique perspective of the decision and was an invaluable resource during the transition. Her colleagues respected and valued her knowledge, experience and faith.

In 1977, Claudius Pritchard, PhD, became Maryville’s first lay President, and he asked Gidionsen to serve as his Executive Assistant. She was asked to stay in that role by Keith Lovin, PhD, when he became President in 1992. She served in the role until May 2004. Her distinguished Maryville career had spanned across four presidents.

Upon her retirement, the Sacred Heart Chapel housed within the Charles M. Hutting Memorial Chapel was dedicated to Gidionsen in honor of her outstanding service and dedication to Maryville. Her children also created the Rosemary Holland Gidionsen Endowed Scholarship to honor their mother.

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