Sister Trinita Flood, OP

Sister Trinita Flood, OP (1974-1981)

Sister Trinita Flood, OP, presided over Barry during a period of immense change, including the restructuring of undergraduate and graduate divisions to schools by discipline: the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Education, the School of Social Work and the Division of Nursing. The Continuing Education Department, which became the School of Professional And Career Education in 1982, was also established during her tenure. She also oversaw the transition of college to a fully co-educational institution of higher education.

Sister Trinita grew up in Chicago where she worked as a legal assistant and a secretary. She had a lifelong interest in drama and also participated in many theatrical performances in the Chicago area during this period. In 1941, despite the protests of her mother, she joined the Adrian Dominican Order and eventually graduated from Siena Heights College. Post-graduation, she studied speech and drama at Catholic University and Northwestern before teaching at secondary schools in Chicago and St. Charles, Illinois.

She first came to Barry to teach speech and drama and held various administrative positions before leaving to become secretary general of her community and serve as acting president of St. Dominic College in St. Charles. Upon her return to Barry in 1970, she served as dean of the graduate division and vice president before becoming president.

One of her greatest accomplishments was her role as founding president of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center at Florida International University’s North Campus. The center, which houses one of the largest collections of oral histories from Holocaust survivors, was an endeavor to which Sister Dorothy remained passionately committed throughout her life. “I’m not sure even to this day why it took hold of me the way it did but it really did take hold of me,” she said at a 1992 dinner held to honor her for her dedication to the Center.

After retiring as president in 1981, she became the academic dean at St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami, the first woman to hold that position and the second woman in the country to direct curriculum for the training of future priests. When Pope John Paul II visited Miami in 1987, she was a member of the invitation committee, and in 1992 she was one of 25 South Floridians to receive a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from the pope for exceptional service to the church and papacy. She died on May 15, 1996.

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