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Alum Gives Back to Mount Students

February 24, 2020

Dianne (Plou) Schautschick ’65 loves Mount students, and it shows. A frequent visitor to campus, Schautschick enjoys interacting with the students every chance she gets.  

“I love seeing the quality of the young ladies and young men that are at the school now and witnessing how the university keeps moving forward,” she says. “It’s exciting to see the legacy of the sisters live on in an expanded version.”

Schautschick is grateful to be an integral part of that change. She’s invested directly in student education by establishing the Service Learning Endowment Fund to provide scholarships in honor of her mother, Angela Callens, who attended the Mount for two years before getting married.

“I dedicated the scholarship to my mom after she died, as a tribute to her leading me to the Mount,” she says. “I’m so thankful for my education, for the friendships that I made, and for the relationships with my professors.” Schautschick has also supported the building fund for the new Wellness Center and has made donations to the library, specifically to the Archives.

The University Archives are near and dear to her heart. Twice a month she and her friend Vivian Santibanez and fellow alum Emily (Deutsch) Keller ’66 drive two hours from Huntington Beach to the Chalon Campus to volunteer in the Archives, located in the basement of the Charles Willard Coe Library. It’s a trip she’s been making for the past ten years. 

“I heard Vicky McCargar, the University archivist, speak at a Regents Council Christmas event, and wanted to get involved,” she says. “It’s such important work.” 

While the women spend their time in the Archives filing, making boxes for precious books, and checking on catalogs, every once in a while they will find a little jewel from the past. 

“Vivian actually found confirmation in a book that the Mount really did have the first bachelor of nursing program, before UCLA,” she says. “It was an incredible discovery. When I heard about the recent fire, once I knew the students and the sisters were safe, my next thought was of the Archives. Not only for the monetary value of things, but for the historical records and the preservation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. It has such a wealth of information.”

In 2017, Schautschick was awarded the Outstanding Alum Award for Service to the University. This year, she will be honored with the Unstoppable Supporter Award at the annual Scholarship Luncheon for dedicating her time to further the mission of the University and for her investment in helping Mount students achieve academic success.

In addition to her volunteer work, Schautschick also serves as a Mount Regent and is a member of the MSMU Campaign Cabinet.

Schautschick majored in social work at the Mount. After graduation, she got married and moved to Houston, Texas, where she became a social worker for Catholic Charities, supervising babies in foster care. The family moved back to California a few years later, and after her youngest child started school, she earned her teaching credential in her mid-thirties and retired from the Magnolia School District in Anaheim 30 years later. Even though it was years after she had earned her undergraduate degree, the lessons of the sisters stuck with her.

“The study skills I learned at the Mount really applied in my credential program,” she says. “I had one professor tell me that I didn’t have to be so detailed in my work. But the Sisters had high standards.”

After a long and satisfying career, Schautschick finds much joy her present activities. And it always comes back to Mount students.

“I really enjoy coming to the scholarship luncheon every year,” she says. “I tell the students how things were and they roll their eyes. Things like, men could only go into the dorms on move-in day and move-out day. That was it. We couldn’t wear pants, and we had curfews in the dorms. How things have changed.” 

But as they talk, she always shares one piece of advice.

“I tell them that what I loved most about the Mount was the camaraderie,” she says. “There’s still a group of us from my graduating class that gets together about once a month. We laugh, we cry, we console and we remember. It’s the lifelong friendships you make that matter the most.”