Marywood University’s Community Leadership Celebration

Marywood University’s Tenth Annual Community Leadership Celebration will honor Professor Emerita of Art Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM, M.F.A. on Thursday, May 4, 2023, 5:30 p.m., at the Center for Athletics and Wellness on the University’s campus. During the celebration, Sister Cor will receive the University’s Lead On Award, in recognition of her lifelong commitment to education, to service, and to the common good. An art auction will be featured during the event that includes a piece of artwork by Sister Cor.

The Community Leadership Celebration, Marywood’s signature fundraiser, provides special support to Marywood students and honors individuals in the community who exemplify Marywood’s core values in leadership and service to others. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the President’s Innovation Fund, which supports Marywood students through initiatives that enhance the academic experience in the IHM tradition.

A professed member of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM), Sister Cor spent the better part of five decades teaching, primarily teaching art at the high school and college levels. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Art at Marywood, she went on to complete multiple advanced degrees, including a Master of Arts in Sculpture from the University of Notre Dame, a Master of Science degree in Counseling from Marywood University, and a Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Much of her prolific career as an art educator was spent at Marywood, where she taught for 30 years and served as Art Department Chair for 14 years, until her retirement in 2008. She now holds the distinction of Professor Emerita of Art.

As an artist, Sister Cor has been commissioned to create numerous sculptures, some of which can be seen throughout the country, including college, estate, wellness, and spiritual settings. Many of her sculptures and other works adorn the interior and exterior spaces at Marywood University and the IHM Congregation facilities. She has designed and published two books, including Spirit of Light (2004), and, her most recent, Spirit Within: The Art of Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM. Earlier this year, she presented a retrospective exhibit for Spirit Within, featuring paintings, calligraphy, prints, and sculptures at the Mahady Gallery at Marywood University. As a spiritual director, Sister Cor has presented extensive workshops and retreats, on five continents, for the Missionaries of Charity. She also has worked with the Institute for Priestly Formation, along with a multitude of parishes and congregations, offering retreats and spiritual direction for priests, consecrated religious, and members of the laity.

In addition to her long career as a Marywood faculty member, Sister Cor is a former Marywood trustee. She also has held membership and leadership positions with the Lackawanna Regional Cultural Council; Everhart Museum; Commission on Architecture and Urban Design; Scranton Diocesan Liturgical Commission; and Meals on Wheels. Sister Cor has been honored by numerous entities for her achievements as an artist, art educator, arts advocate, and a dedicated woman of faith and service.

To join Marywood University in honoring Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM at the Community Leadership Celebration on May 4, or for details about event sponsorships and items for auction, please visit, or call (570) 348-6238.

Jim and Cathy Gavin To Be Honored by Marywood University

Marywood University’s Eighth Annual Community Leadership Celebration, Inspiring Social Justice, will honor Jim and Cathy Gavin of Scranton. The Celebration will take place on the University’s campus in the Motherhouse and Seminary Morgan Memorial Garden on Thursday, June 10, 2021, where they will be awarded the 2021 Lead On Award.

Inspiring social justice is a theme that unites Jim and Cathy, the Gavin and Walsh families, and the IHM Congregation in common purpose. In furtherance of that common purpose, Marywood University sets the standard for educating and preparing our youth for a successful and meaningful role in society.

Mr. and Mrs. Gavin  have a lifelong relationship with the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation beginning in grade school at Chapel and Holy Rosary schools in the 1950s. This relationship has flourished over seven decades.

Mr. Gavin graduated from the University of Scranton in 1971, following three years of active military service. He earned graduate degrees in Social Work and Management from Marywood in 1973 and 1985. A professional social worker, Mr. Gavin worked in the behavioral health field for 47 years in clinical as well as management positions. He recently retired after 21 years as President/CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, a UPMC insurance company, and is currently a Senior Advisor to executive leadership. Elected to the Marywood University Board of Trustees in 2014, Mr. Gavin is a member of various committees serving as Treasurer and Chair of Finance since 2016.

Mrs. Gavin began a lifelong career in the restaurant business at Stirna’s Restaurant in 1967. After a short stay at The Scranton/Lackawanna Human Development Agency she returned to her true passion, Stirna’s Restaurant. In 1980, with the support and assistance of a friend and attorney, she purchased the business and remains its sole proprietor today. During the next 40 years, Mrs. Gavin began and managed what is today a thriving catering business. She also negotiated and managed the food service contract for Lackawanna College. In 2008, on the 100th anniversary of Stirna’s Restaurant, with the help of her son Michael, she totally renovated the West Market Street facility. Today, the restaurant and catering businesses continue to thrive under their management and supervision.

During Jim and Cathy’s fifty years of marriage, their focus has been on family, church, and community. They have two children, Kate and Michael, and two grandchildren, Gavin and Grace. They are proud members of the Gavin/Walsh families, who are collectively committed to the missions and work of the IHM Congregation.

Mr. and Mrs. Gavin are active on numerous boards dedicated to the health and welfare of the citizens in Lackawanna and Allegheny counties. For additional information on the Eighth Annual Community Leadership Celebration at Marywood University, to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, or to buy tickets to the event, please visit, or call 570-348-6238.