WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Pace University’s School of Education honored the director and founder of its Center for Literacy Enrichment, Sister St. John Delany, in a ceremony on Friday at which the center was officially renamed, in her honor, The Delany Center for Educational Enrichment.
White Plains Mayor Tom Roach attended the ceremony, as did the Westchester Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett. Roach had declared Oct. 24, 2013 to be “Sister St. John Delany Day” at a ceremony at the Center for Literacy Enrichment in 2013.
“Sister St. John has been an inspiration to generations of students in White Plains,” said Roach. “Her tireless dedication and seemingly boundless energy has helped steer so many students toward success. She has truly made a lasting impact on this city and its residents."
Sister St. John taught first grade in White Plains from 1941 to 1972 before founding the Center for Literacy Enrichment and becoming an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Pace University. Sister’s former students include U.S. Poet Laureate (2004-2006) Billy Collins, NFL great Robert “Bob” Hyland and Pat Casey, editor of the White Plains Examiner.
The center celebrated its 43rd anniversary with a dinner on Friday at the Westchester Hills Golf Club. It was the inaugural Delany Literacy Award Dinner and recognized Neil Waldman, an author and illustrator of children's books and a White Plains resident as well as Iris Pagan, PhD, a Pace graduate and the Director of the Westchester County Youth Bureau.
“We encourage students in their efforts with their studies,” said Sister at the ceremony. “We tell the students, ‘You can do it. You can do better’ … and they do.”