I read with interest the letter expressing sadness at the appointment of a lay woman as president of the University of St. Thomas (Readers Write, Feb. 20). My guess is that the search committee overseeing the selection process went to great lengths to find an outstanding leader who would guide the institution with both intellectual and practical skills, as well as strong values.

As a lifelong Catholic, a number of people greatly influenced my "spiritual well-being." Some were clergy, some were not, and some were Catholic, some were not. As for the new president, I hope she finds support at every turn. I also hope she inspires the student body to be not only great learners, but great people capable of someday making the kind of strong decisions that brought her to the university.