News Briefs

CSJ honors four community women as Providers of the Year

RUTLAND—College of St. Joseph selected Sr. Shirley Davis, Barbara Begin, Nanci Gordon and Myra Peffer to receive this year’s Provider of the Year award at its annual Provider Scholarship Gala on April 29.

College of St. Joseph was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1956, under the name St. Joseph’s Teacher’s College. For its 60th anniversary, the college is honoring the four women, who have dedicated their lives to bettering both the college and the Rutland community.

Sr. Shirley Davis has dedicated her life to the development and growth of Catholic education throughout Vermont. Sr. Shirley is an ardent champion of Rutland’s Catholic Schools: Christ the King, Mount St. Joseph Academy and College of St. Joseph. During her nearly 50-year career in education, she has served in a number of important teaching and administrative positions. She has been an instructor at Christ the King and Mount St. Joseph, before becoming principal and later president of the local high school.

Barbara Begin is the senior vice president of human resources at Heritage Family Credit Union. She currently serves as president of the Green Mountain Human Resources Association and is a strong supporter of CSJ, serving on the college’s board of trustees for nearly four years.

Since taking over the reins of United Way of Rutland County in January 2015, Nanci Gordon has overseen the daily operations of the regional non-profit, including its annual fundraising campaign, special events and much more. She has built an unwavering commitment to the community, as demonstrated in her past employment roles as a consultant for the Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and a career in radio broadcasting.

In 2014, Myra Peffer—alongside a group of generous members of the community—took the challenge of transforming the dream of a tiny children’s museum in the heart of downtown Rutland into a reality. Today, Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum is a vibrant, community-funded cultural jewel that welcomes thousand of visitors through its doors each year.

After years of educating their members within the walls of the motherhouse on Convent Avenue in Rutland, the Sisters purchased the campus of Rutland Junior College to continue their education in the Sisters’ normal school.

The Provider Scholarship Gala is Friday, May 6, at the Mountain Top Inn and Resort in idyllic Chittenden, Vt. Tickets can be purchased online at

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