The daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Jumela Ann Boulus arrived at the Woman's College from her home in China Grove, NC in the Fall of 1943. She majored in mathematics, and participated in numerous extracurricular activities, including the Catholic Students organization and Square Circle (a student group focused on the study of math). As the leader of WC's Service League during her senior year, she raised an all-time high $3000 during the school's annual Campus Purse Drive. She also served as president of the Interfaith Council during the 1946-1947 school year, leading an effort to salvage and scrap enough paper to buy a $100 government bond for the campus chapel fund. For her work, she was one of ten WC seniors elected to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
|Boulus in 1947 Pine Needles yearbook|
On August 2, 1949, she entered the Sisters of Mercy religious institute after a meeting with Sister Mary Immaculata. Boulus offered to drive one of the Sisters back to the convent in Belmont after Sunday mass. While there, Boulus was introduced to Mercy Sister Mary Immaculata Dulohery. Sister Immaculata asked Boulus, "Why don't you come teach for the greatest principal on earth and you'll never have to worry about money again?" And a few months later, she took her vows.
After joining the Sisters, she continued to teach mathematics in Charlotte area schools, including O'Donoghue High School and Charlotte Catholic School. By 1966, Sister Michel had joined the teaching faculty at the Sacred Heart College, a Roman Catholic liberal arts college for women in Belmont, NC. And in 1967, she became the college treasurer. Then, in 1975, she was named the college's president, becoming the first UNCG graduate to lead a four-year college or university.
|Sister Michel, 1981 Sacred Heart College yearbook|
In 2011, she was honored by the President of Lebanon for her service to the Lebanese people. In presenting her with the Presidential Shield of the Republic of Lebanon, President General Michel Sleiman called Sister Michel "a leading example of those American Lebanese." UNCG honored Sister Michel with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award and an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1977.
On December 9, 2012, Sister Mary Michel Boulus passed away at the age of 86.