Then and Now

Copy of Crane, Anne #4

Sister Anne Crane grew up with four brothers and three sisters in Wyandotte, Mich., and attended St. Patrick elementary school. Following in her mother’s footsteps, she spent her high school years at St. Mary Academy, where she had “great teachers, who were also strong women.”

Encouraged by her parents, who knew the importance of higher education, Anne attended Marygrove College, her mother’s alma mater. Her IHM professors were bright and impressive women whose students became professional women motivated by a strong sense of social justice. The possibility of working with them was appealing to her; so she entered the congregation in 1955 after graduating from Marygrove with a major in English and teaching certification.

As a postulant, Anne began taking theology classes with noted theologians, such as Margaret Brennan, John Hardon and Richard McCormick. She also tutored in the Motherhouse reading clinic. From the beginning, she was a teacher and loved that work.

As a second-year novice, Anne was assigned to St. Matthew, Detroit, where she taught fifth through seventh grades.  In 1960, she was sent to teach seventh and eighth grades at Gesu, Detroit before moving to St. Frederick High School in Pontiac, Mich. In 1964, missioned to Immaculata High School, “arguably, the best academic school for girls in Detroit,” she taught English, coordinated the senior homerooms and co-chaired the English department with Maureen DesRoches. During her years there, she earned a master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan.

In 1969, she was sent to Marygrove College to teach English and was mentored by Janice Lauer, who became nationally known at Purdue for her work with university rhetoric and composition. In 1972, she accepted a position teaching English in Austin, Texas, at St. Edward’s University.


Austin became home and her time there as an English professor could not have been happier or more productive. She served as dean of the School of Humanities for 16 years; and, at the same time, pursed doctoral studies in rhetoric and composition at the University of Texas. One of the most rewarding experiences of those years was being able to work closely with CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program). Because of it, thousands of children from migrant families received a university education.

Her years in Austin were personally enriching and rewarding ones. She often recalls the early times at St. Edward’s, when the 10 IHM Sisters on faculty worked 80-hour weeks in collaboration with the Brothers of Holy Cross and lay faculty and staff. “We needed to do that to keep St. Ed’s afloat and to establish the foundation for the premier university it is today,” Anne notes. “I loved being an integral part of the St. Edward’s family where teaching and collaborating with others in an environment where faith, hospitality, innovation and creativity, friendship and community were all valued. It has been sharing values and beliefs that have compelled me in ministry.”

In “retirement,” Sister Anne volunteers in the IHM Archives at the Motherhouse.


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