“PRESIDENT SUE, as we all endearingly referred to her, taught us to embrace our mission and identity as a Marianist University,” said Chaminade’s acting president, Bro. Bernard Ploeger, S.M., Ph.D. “She was deeply committed to this university and centered our focus on always serving our students well. We will miss her keenly.”
President Sue was a driving force behind Chaminade's resurgence, financial stability, and growth. On a human note, President Sue took a personal interest in every student, and was an encouraging presence in the lives of everyone on campus.
Because of her accomplishments, and the way in which she achieved them, she was named Pacific Business News' "Women Who Mean Business Businesswoman of the Year Award" in 2008. In December, Chaminade University conferred upon her its degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, in recognition of her unparalleled accomplishments during her 13-year tenure at Chaminade.
Wesselkamper died peacefully on January 3, 2009, surrounded by family and friends in the comfort of her home. She had taken a medical leave of absence from Chaminade in fall 2008.
A site in memory of Sue Wesselkamper:
Born on March 27, 1942, she was 66 years old and is survived by husband Dr. Thomas (Tom) Wesselkamper, daughter Suzanne, son David, and two grandsons Samson and Tomas Angel Wesselkamper.
Before coming to Chaminade, Dr. Wesselkamper was Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Associate Professor of Social Work at the College of New Rochelle in New York. Originally a high-school history teacher, she earned her Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her Ph.D at the Graduate Center, New York University. Her professional and scholarly interests included cross-cultural and experiential learning, planning and program assessment. She was a member of numerous Boards, including the American Council of Education’s Women Leaders in Higher Education-Hawaii. Sue Wesselkamper was married to Dr. Thomas Wesselkamper, Chaminade’s director for sponsored research and computer sciences professor.