Sister Marian William Hoben, I.H.M., died of natural causes on Tuesday, October 20, in Camilla Hall at age of 97 and in the 78th year of her religious life.
Born in Coaldale, Pa., a small mining town on Schuylkill County, to William and Mary (Burkhardt) Hoben, she attended St. Mary’s High School. After graduating, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on September 8, 1942. Concentrating in the field of English, Sister received her undergraduate degree from Immaculata College (now university), her M.A. from Villanova University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Arriving at Immaculata in 1960 to serve on the faculty, Sister Marian William became chair of the English Department from 1971-1974, before serving as dean of College Development for five years. From 1978-1982, Sister was the academic dean. In 1982, she assumed the presidency of Immaculata University, serving two, five-year terms. During her tenure, she initiated two successful capital campaigns, established five master’s and two doctoral programs, implemented a curriculum revision and heightened Immaculata’s visibility as an institution of excellence with a special commitment to women and underserved populations. The Exton Chamber of Commerce selected Sister Marian William as Citizen of the Year in 1992. The University recognized her dedication and support by honoring her with the 1999 Immaculata Medal.
Sister’s gift with words translated into countless invitations to speak, to preside at public events, to act as mistress of ceremonies. Her wit and humor and her engaging personality, coupled with her fantastic ability to charm an English class, made her one of Immaculata’s best loved and sought after teachers. Her expertise in accreditation issues gained the attention of the Middle States Association resulting in a long-term commitment of her time and talent to chairing and arbitrating evaluation visits and outcomes. Her range of roles made her newspaper moderator, department chair, dean of college advancement, academic dean, and ultimately, president.
A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.