Cushing Society Celebration

Enjoy highlights below from St. Mary's 23rd Cushing Society Celebration honoring Dr. Elizabeth A. Molloy Twomey '52 and William F. Connell '55 Service Award Recipient Elaine Gustafson held October 10, 2019 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

Cushing Tribute Video to Dr. Elizabeth A. Molloy Twomey '52

2019 Cushing Award Recipient

2019 Cushing Award Recipient: Dr. Elizabeth A. Molloy Twomey '52

Dr. Elizabeth A. Molloy Twomey ’52 began her Catholic education at Sacred Heart School in Lynn before choosing St. Mary’s for its academic rigor. She appreciated the investment by the teachers in the student, and believed in the mission of the school. She found both humanity and support in Sr. Barbara and Sr. Ellen St. James, both of whom became "guiding lights" throughout her educational pursuits.             

After leaving St. Mary’s Betty stayed in Lynn working at the General Electric in order to be present in her parent’s lives. In recognition of her wish to work at something she enjoyed, she found a home at Emmanuel College where she studied English and Psychology.

Betty went on to Salem State College and took a Master’s Degree in reading. This step took her teaching career from English teacher to teaching as a reading specialist in the Reading Public Schools. After the classroom, she became the sole female principal in Reading at the Highland School. Her next assignment was at Reading High School as Assistant Principal. During this time she continued her studies at Boston College PhD program for school administration.

With her doctoral degree completed, Betty was appointed Superintendent of Schools in Lincoln with responsibility for schools at the Hanscom Air Force Base, which are a part of the Lincoln Public Schools. At the time, Betty was one of only few female superintendents in the entire state of Massachusetts. 

While Betty acknowledged she never set out to be in administration, she recognized early on that administration provided an opportunity to influence and lead more change than is possible from the classroom responsibilities. In that spirit, after a number of years in Lincoln, she was named Associate Commissioner of Education for the state of Massachusetts. From there, she became Deputy Commissioner of Education for the state of New Hampshire, and subsequently, Commissioner of Education. Most recently, Betty’s active career includes twelve years of teaching at the Lynch School of Education as well as the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College.

An emeritus Board member of St. John’s Prep, the first alumna representative of the Board of Emmanuel College, and now as Vice Chair of St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, Owen Lynch ’52, provides the perfect summary by saying, “I have known Betty since first grade at Sacred Heart School. She was a star in those early years and has continued to be so throughout her life. She has had an outstanding career in education and become a brilliant administrator. She is a devoted advisor and trustee of St. Mary’s. We are fortunate to have her on our team.”

As Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the School’s Education Committee, Betty has persevered to ensure that St. Mary’s classrooms are full of the rich learning that each student deserves, so that they, too can find their destiny in the strength and confidence that lies within each of them.

- By Joan Luise Hill ‘71

2019 William F. Connell '55 Service Award Recipient

Elaine Gustafson

Elaine Gustafson, a pediatric nurse practitioner, formerly served as an Associate Professor at Yale School of Nursing (YSN) where she directed the School-based Health Care Concentration. Currently she serves as an Associate Clinical Professor at YSN. In that role, she has continued as a periodic lecturer and yearly preceptor for students involved in a clinical experience in Nicaragua. 

Previously she worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Fair Haven Community Health Center and Fair Haven Middle School-based Health Center in New Haven, CT.

Elaine recently completed two years as the first woman President of the Yale Club of the Suncoast in Sarasota. Prior to her presidency, she served many years on the Board as Newsletter editor, Program Committee Chair, Alumni Schools Committee interviewer, Vice President and YAA delegate. During her tenure she worked with the Board to provide outstanding programs and to develop a new, highly regarded website as well as to expand Yale Day of Service options. 

Elaine continues to honor the memory of her late husband, Paul Gustafson ’59, by supporting St. Mary’s students through the Gustafson Family Scholarship. 

Elaine continues work with children through volunteering with special needs children at Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and participating on their Advisory Board. She has also supported Yale Alumni Service Corps during two clinical programs in remote villages in Nicaragua and at a College Summit Teen Training program in West Virginia. 

In April, 2019, she was elected to the Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors where she will serve a three-year term of office.

She currently divides her time between Woodstock, Vermont and Sarasota, Florida. She was recently married to Bill Chorske of Woodstock, VT. Together they have 10 children and 22 grandchildren.

St. Mary’s established the Cardinal Richard Cushing Society to celebrate the commitment to Catholic education and to honor its generous supporters and contributors. Members of the Society make an annual leadership gift of $1,000 or above to St. Mary's.

The Cardinal Cushing Award is presented annually to a vigorous champion of Catholic education whose personal and professional life mirrors St. Mary's mission.

Cushing Award Honorees

Fr. Edwin Leahy
Tom and Marill Demakes
Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap.
Reverend Brian J. Shanley, O.P.
Dr. Mary Grassa O'Neill
Monsignor Paul V. Garrity
Owen B. Lynch '52
Robert J. Devereaux '52
Thomas W. O'Brien '52
James J. McInnis
William S. Mosakowski
Sr. Janet Eisner, SND '58
Margot C. Connell
Paul A. Gustafson '59
Michael A. Ruane '67
Anthony F. DiCroce '67
Joan Luise Hill '71
Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch
Jack Connors Jr.
Richard J. Santagati
Reverend Philip A. Smith, OP 1999
William M. Bulger
Reverend J. Donald Monan, SJ
John R. Silber, Ph.D
William F. Connell '55