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HomeNewsArchivesMary Raissi Stewart, St. Croix Teacher for Decades, Honored by Alma Mater

Mary Raissi Stewart, St. Croix Teacher for Decades, Honored by Alma Mater

Mary Raissi Stewart Mary Raissi Stewart is not your typical 93 year-old. The long time educator is more active than most people 20 years younger. She still visits St Croix twice a year, a place where she spent most of her five- decade teaching career and played an integral role in the founding of the St. Croix campus of the College of the Virgin Islands (now the University of the Virgin Islands).
Recently, Stewart took the stage at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Mass., to receive an honorary degree from her alma mater. She and Longmeadow attorney A. Craig Brown were honored at the American International College commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19.
Stewart told the graduates that when she graduated from the school in 1942, a professor told her that AIC also stands for "an individual counts." "That is a motto I have taken with me all my life. I have tried to make every person I meet count. I ask that you follow the same motto," she said.
Some 300 undergraduate and 790 graduate degrees were awarded to students representing 11 foreign countries and 19 U.S. states.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from AIC in 1942, Stewart began her teaching career — a career that spanned five decades. She returned to AIC in 1949, after receiving her master’s degree from the University of Connecticut, and worked in the Alumni Office coordinating events and setting up files for each of the previous classes at the college, beginning with 1885, the year AIC was founded.
She currently lives in Middletown, Conn., but has been active speaking at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Enfield about her experiences on St. Croix. She worked for law offices off and on during her career, but primarily, she taught secretarial and management courses at Moody Secretarial School, Holyoke Community College and the University of Vermont. She also once served as a chief yeoman in the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 40s, where she taught business courses.
For more information, contact the AIC Office of Public Relations at (413) 205-3231.

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