SAN ANTONIO — On March 3, Sister RoseAnn H. Castilleja, M.C.M., was announced Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) President for a Day as part of an OLLU tradition that goes back to 2002.

OLLU students are nominated and participate in a week-long campaign raising funds. The student who raises the most funds to contribute during the campaign is the elected winner. Sister Castilleja raised $4,000.00 during her campaign.

All funds collected during this challenge go directly back to students in scholarships, emergency aid, or student enhancements. This year’s funds will be utilized specifically for student scholarships and/or emergency aid.

Sister Castilleja will have the privilege of meeting OLLU President Dr. Melby for lunch and discuss the future of OLLU. She will represent Dr. Melby at the university Strategic Planning meeting and other various meetings alongside Vice Presidents and other members of the President’s Council.

“Having a student voice on campus as president for a day allows for students to make an impact on different policies and procedures,” said Catherine Fragoso, interim assistant vice president for Student Affairs. “It’s a great honor.”

Dr. Melby is in full support and thinks the President for a Day campaign is a wonderful fundraising opportunity and another way for students to involved with the student government.

Sister Castilleja is a Missionary Cordi-Marian Sister pursuing her bachelor’s in social work and is president of the Warden’s Social Work Organization. She was inspired to run after receiving an email stating she was nominated for President for a Day.

“I thought, well, if someone believes that I can do this, I’m going do my best in what I can,” Castilleja said.

Her motivation grew when she realized the funds raised would go directly back to undergraduates. She is looking forward to meeting Dr. Melby and discussing how to reopen the campus to more students.

As President for a Day, she has a message for those contemplating OLLU as their higher learning institution.

“Come join our OLLU family; it’s a wonderful place, the faculty is excellent,” Castilleja said.

She asks for continued prayers for her congregation. She would like to thank everyone for their support, and she congratulates the other notable OLLU student candidates, Nuria Diallo Padro, Brandon Puente and Nancy Gomez, for participating in the campaign.  Collectively, all four candidates raised $5280.

The President for a Day Challenge was brought back in honor of the 125th Anniversary. The history of this challenge goes back to 2002, when it began as a student fundraiser as a opportunity for students to give back to themselves. The last President for a Day was in 2007. The winner was Hector Garza, a Sigma Theta Epsilon Men’s Christian Fellowship Fraternity member.

A date has not been scheduled for Sister Castilleja to take her day-long presidency yet, but it will be sometime before the spring semester ends.

Watch Sister Castilleja’s plea video here. For more information on OLLU, please visit Our Lady of the Lake University (


President Melby and Sister Castilleja held their one on one meeting Wednesday, April 14. Sister Castilleja’s presidency will be Thursday, April 22.

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