cruise.jpgSister Patricia Cruise

President, Covanent House
Russell Sage College, Troy, New York
Physical Education, 1979

In her current position as president of Covenant House, Sister Patricia Cruise espouses, as she has done in all her work, “thespirituality of walking with rather than doing for.” Thissimple and profound concept is what motivates her to offer asmuch as she can to young people in need.

And there are many. In addressing a throng of 6,000 in Times Square on December 9, 2003, Sister Patricia spoke of the plight of thousands of homeless children in America and throughout the world.

“We stand here in Times Square in the city that never sleeps,” she told the assembled crowd, which included residents of Covenant House. “That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a bed and much more... In this country, as well as in Canada, Central America, and Mexico, there are tens of thousands of young people who have nowhere to go.”

A 1979 graduate of Russell Sage College, Sister Patricia Cruise has carried with her the life lessons she gathered at college whether working at the Red Cloud Indian School in South Dakota or supporting runaway and homeless youths on New York City streets. A Boston native, she chose to pursue her education in New York State because Russell Sage College, a member of The Sage Colleges, offered an environment where women work together to develop their personal strengths. “Russell Sage College provided a structure of women supporting women,” says Sister Patricia.

After graduating with a bachelor of science in physical education, she joined the Catholic women’s community Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati and became known as Sister Tricia. In 1995, she began teaching at the Red Cloud Indian School, where she spent eight years working with young people of the Lakota Tribe. In 1998, she became executive vice president and chief operating officer of the school.

Sister Tricia returned to New York in July of 2003 when named president of Covenant House, the largest privately funded, internationalchild welfare agency in the United States. She is responsiblefor raising $120 million annually for this multi-service agencythat now has 21 shelters in cities throughout North and SouthAmerica assisting more than 60,000 children each year. In additionto shelter, Covenant House provides advocacy, health care, education,drug abuse prevention and treatment, community outreach, andmore.

“Service to others in any field of work is my hope as we build a strong new generation,” she says. “My job now is to make sure the doors of Covenant House stay open for any kid who needs our help.”