Linda Smith & Thomas Hood, News Editor & Contributer
Sr. St. John (Dorothy) Begnaud, SSMN
Sr. St. John (Dorothy) Begnaud, SSMN, one of the University of Dallas’ founding members, passed away Aug. 26 at the age of 87.
Begnaud belonged to the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, one of the groups responsible for building up the university. She was also an assistant professor of English and taught both in Irving, starting in 1959, and in Due Santi, in 1989. In the ‘70s, she left the university to do missionary work in Africa.
Returning to the university in the ‘80s, Begnaud directed the academic formation program at the Holy Trinity Seminary, which is now the Philosophy and Letters program. She then helped form what is now the School of Ministry and served as a faculty member. Shs wrote a book about the work of her order, entitled A Little Good: The Sisters of St. Mary in Texas, which was published in 2011.
Begnaud will be missed by many alumni and faculty. Her legacy at the University of Dallas shall not be unseen, unfelt or forgotten.
Henri Rojas, lead custodian for plant services, passed away on Aug. 8 after a two-year fight with cancer. He was 49 years old.
Born in Mexico, Rojas moved to the U.S. as a young man and worked in hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before beginning work at the University of Dallas in October 1998.
“He cared about UD and motivated his employees to serve the students and public,” Administrative Director of Facilities Jerry Haba said. “He never had a bad day and was always smiling.”
Rojas loved to have fun off duty, too. He met Judi, his wife of 13 years, while out dancing. He enjoyed cruises, constantly worked on home projects and babied his truck.
Haba said that Rojas was “always friendly, happy and had a great customer service attitude,” and that, when Rojas was on duty, “things had to be perfect”.
“He worked all the hours necessary to host graduation or student move-ins on arrival day of freshman families,” Haba said. “He loved UD.”
Louise Hicks Benit
Louise Hicks Benit, a long-time employee for Aramark food services at the University of Dallas, died of a cardiac arrest the morning of Saturday, Sept. 1. She was 55 years old.
As the lead cook, Benit was a central part of the food services crew. “She worked here for 27 years,” fellow Aramark employee Darren St. Romain said. “She will be missed.”
Benit is survived by her son, Henry Benit Jr., her seven grandchildren – Desiree, Camry, Stoni, Aubria, NyKirah, Christian and NyKia – and two daughters-in-law, Nyeshia and TeMesa.