Dolores' hat
Dolores Attea Sapienza ’53

This spring, we lost a founding member of our college family, the one and only Dolores Attea Sapienza ’53. A member of the second graduating class, she earned a degree in homemaking and attended the college alongside many family members, including her sisters and cousins. Sapienza devoted more than 50 years to alumni efforts. In collaboration with former Rosary Hill College President Mary Angela Canavan, Sapienza was instrumental in planning the 25th anniversary of the college in 1972. She later used that same drive and passion to plan the 50th anniversary celebration and the 50 plus mass and brunch reunions.

Sapienza once said, “I’ve always appreciated the gifts rosary hill college gave me. I am proud that we have such creative and wonderful students following in our footsteps. they are like my family.

A classmate from Sapienza’s college days, Anna L. (Rosati) Pitzo ’53, recalled how Sapienza was always there for her fellow students. “She had a car through her years at Rosary Hill College. When we needed transportation, she was sure to give us a ride,” said Pitzo.

In speaking to Judy Weidemann ’58, a dear friend of Sapienza and fellow alumna, she recounted memories of Sapienza. “It was the night she was inducted as a distinguished alumna. I couldn’t get near her to congratulate her. There were too many people surrounding her and wishing her well. That’s the way it was with Dolores – surrounded by her fans,” remembered Weidemann. “We became fast friends. She claimed she picked me out, which may be true. That’s how she was with all of us. Adding us each to her world.” Weidemann added, “Students were intrigued by Dolores – we all were. As always, Dolores was beautifully dressed – velvet cape, high heels and, of course, the perfect hat. I’m glad she picked me as her friend. We had many good times together. I miss Dolores.”

The college community misses her too. The children of Sapienza have donated one of her beautiful hats to be on permanent display in Alumni House on campus. This hat (pictured) will forever be a reminder of Sapienza.

To share a memory of Sapienza and add to our collection of remembrances for her family, please contact the Alumni Office at 716-839-8364 or Those interested in donating to the college in memory of Sapienza can contact the Advancement Office at 716-839-8212 or, or visit for more information.