GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sister Mary Aquinas Weber, a pillar in the West Michigan community, celebrated her 100th birthday at Aquinas College Friday.

Staff and faculty surrounded her to celebrate her birthday and her many accomplishments.

Weber was born in 1923 in Kingsley, Michigan near Traverse City. Throughout her leadership in the Dominican Sisters, she advocated for sisters’ rights. In 1966, she was elected prioress of the Dominican Sisters at 43 years old, the youngest person to ever occupy the role.

At 50 years old, she went back to school to get a master’s degree in urban studies.

She worked to improve Eastown in Grand Rapids and served many roles at Aquinas College. She retired from the school five separate times, but kept returning, wanting to give more. Weber currently serves as chancellor emerita.

Faculty members on Friday said she is a staple at Aquinas College and they were happy to celebrate her birthday, which is on May 2.

“I don’t know what we would do without her. So I hope this is just the beginning of a long, long celebration of having Sister Aquinas with us and all the wonderful work that she has been doing,” said Katharina Hausler-Gross, the associate provost of outreach and engagement for Aquinas.

Aquinas College will have several events next week to continue her birthday celebration, including a musical performance Wednesday that will be open to the public.