Watch CBS News

What's Kept Sister Jean 100 Years Young? 'Being With Young People'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- What do you give someone who has everything -- even her own bobblehead -- for a 100th birthday present?

A look-a-like Lego statue isn't bad. In reality, Sister Jean has been a gift we've all shared since she became the heart, soul and face of Loyola basketball.

As CBS 2's Megan Mawicke explains, there is nun better than the celebrity chaplain who turns into a centenarian Wednesday.

"Five, and then I have five more to attend. And I am looking forward to everyone of them," sister Jean said of her upcoming birthday parties.

That's 10 parties on the calendar for Sister Jean Delores Schmidt to celebrate her 100th birthday. It's fitting for the heart and soul of Loyola University.

"It's just fun," Sister Jean said. "If people have good time because I am turning 100, then that makes me happy too."

"We have a room named after me in this building, and it's called Sister Jean BVM Multi-Purpose Room. But the students call it Sister Jean's Party Room because they said that's all that is ever in there," she said.

Sister Jean is also the chaplain for the basketball team, a fixture at their games. She became an international star during the team's Cinderella Final Four run in 2018.

And it hasn't stopped.

One of her bigger parties will be in the Atrium Wednesday for the Loyola community. After nearly 30 years here, what does Sister Jean want to be remembered for?

"A very happy person and a very generous person with my time and with my energy and a person who really wants to be involved," Sister Jean said. "And I believe that is what has kept me so young, too, is being with young people."

The milestone birthday is on her mind, but she might be more excited about her beloved Ramblers and their upcoming basketball season.

"I really believe we can make it to the dance floor again," Sister Jean said with a smile and vows to be dancing with them. "I will. I hope so!"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.