Remembering Sr. Arita
Many Viterbo students will remember Arita Dopkins, FSPA and mourn her passing.
Sr. Arita, 85, a Biblical scholar and longtime member of Viterbo’s religious studies faculty, died June 7.
She taught for 28 years at Viterbo and was chairperson of the department from 1989–1993. She held the distinction of Professor Emeritus.
Sr. Arita received the Rev. J. Thomas Finucan Award from Viterbo College in 1983 and the Teacher of the Year Award in 1985. She started a food pantry for students on the Viterbo campus and volunteered at A Place of Grace, Catholic Worker House. In fact, it was six years ago that her life dramatically changed when she was critically injured when hit by a car walking home from A Place of Grace. Her mobility and health was seriously compromised from then on.
Community members, family, and friends remember Sr. Arita as a successful teacher with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. She was bothered by an inconsistency: only Catholics were deemed to be in need of religion courses. Sr. Arita persistently worked to get courses in religion into the required core of courses of the Viterbo curriculum. She had the satisfaction of seeing religion given its rightful place in the curriculum in 1972.
Former students share memories of Sr. Arita at www.viterbo.edu/alumni/dopkins.htm.