Mary Murphy was born on June 22, 1933 to Charles and Madeline McGovern Murphy, in Waucoma, Iowa. She graduated magna cum laude from Clarke University in 1954 and entered the Sisters of Charity, professing her first vows in 1957 and final vows in 1962. She joined the faculty at Mundelein College in 1959 and went on to receive her master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University. While at Mundelein, Mary was chair of the biology department for 16 years before serving as vice president for academic affairs from 1985-1991. During that time she was on the Clarke University Board of Trustees and was chair of the academic affairs committee of the board. From 1992-1998, Mary was chair of the Clarke University Biology Department.
She was a member of Sigma Delta Epsilon, a Stanford University’s Shell Merit Fellow, and an American Council on Education Fellow. She was involved with the accreditation of colleges and universities as a consultant-evaluator for the North Central Association.
Mary entered into eternal life on January 25, 1999.