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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
Dunn entered the order of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque and then earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Arizona State University. She taught school for sixteen years in Arizona and Illinois before accepting a faculty position at Clarke in 1973. In 1979 Dunn became the director of development at the college. In this role, she was one of the people who started the office which focused on alumni relations and raising money for college operations.
Dunn brought Clarke through the disastrous fire of May 17, 1984, less than four months after accepting the position of president. In addition to directing the massive building project, she has served on the board of directors of the DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT OF THE HEARTLAND, Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Planning Committee for Advancing Women in Administration, Governor's Commission on Environmental Protection, National Assembly for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Iowa Department of Transportation, and the US West Communications Iowa Executive Board.
Dunn received many honors and awards during her career. The Dubuque Chamber of Commerce awarded her the Distinguished Civic Service Award in 1993. She received the Dubuque Jaycee’s 1996 Gilbert Chavanelle Award. In 2000 the Des Moines Register named her as one of the 50 most influential Iowans. Dunn holds honorary degrees from LORAS COLLEGE, Mount St. Clare College (today Ashford University), the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE, and St. Ambrose University.
Early in 2006 Dunn announced that she was planning to step down from her post. Joanne BURROWS, SC (Sisters of Charity) Ph.D succeeded her as President on July 1, 2006.
"Where Are They Now?," (supplement to the Telegraph Herald, August, 2021, p. 34