SisterAlice Wittenbach

It is a Joy to Be Here

I have enjoyed my life, whether at home on the big farm, whether walking to school along the country roads, whether taking field trips to Mexico, whether learning all about Ireland or Switzerland or the places of Sts. John and Paul.

We kids took advantage of the bookmobile that came to our little one-room country school. As a gift, my mother enrolled us in the book of the month club.

I always enjoyed school. That love of education saw me through high school and into college. I followed my mother’s advice to go to Aquinas College, even though I wanted to go to Michigan State University where my friends were going. That decision, of course, paved the way for the rest of my life.

At Aquinas I met the Dominican Sisters for the first time. I loved their joy and the delight they seemed to bring to each other. At the end of my Freshman year, I went to the Priest to tell him I  thought I should go to the Convent, with the hope they would reject me and send me home. He told me that was no way to respond to a Religious vocation and to pray about it. A year later, God won out. I entered the Dominican Sisters as a College Junior, searching for that part of my life which had always seemed lacking. That decision has made all the difference in my life.


2021 – 63 Years a Sister

Prayer Ministry

Pray for justice in meeting the needs of the immigrant population

Her knowledge of the trees and all flora and fauna at Marywood is deep and she is a delightful tour guide. During an Earth Day tour, Sr. Alice led tours for Sisters and described all the types of trees on our campus in Grand Rapids.

Sister Alice Wittenbach O.P., Ph. D. ’59 taught primarily biology and humanities at Aquinas College from 1969-2004. Here Sister Alice (standing far left), as a young educator, teaches students in a geology class.

Young women from area colleges all passionate about the environment cheered wildly when Sister Alice finished her acceptance speech upon receiving the Woman of Vision Award at the WMEAC Women and the Environment Symposium in 2016. Sister Alice has spent a lifetime sharing her knowledge and sense of wonder for the natural environment, seeding environmentally conscious thinkers by teaching scientific theory and shining light on environmental issues.

Sister Alice gathers with Dominican Sisters at the pond at Marywood for a bit of exploration.

Sister Alice with students at a pond on the Aquinas College campus

In ministry with Sister Alice Wittenbach, OP

Sister Inspiration: Celebrating Care of Earth and Life


Annual Back-to-College Dominican Sisters Aquinas College Picnic


Sister Inspiration: Alice Wittenbach, OP


Tree Planting at Marywood with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and Dominican Sisters


Sisters and AQ Students Engage in National SisterStory Project


Sister Inspiration: Alice Wittenbach, OP