Alumni of the Year

Rosemary LoCascio Hanley ’79

Please join us in congratulating Rosemary LoCascio Hanley '79 as our 2022 Alumna of the Year Recipient! 

We look forward to honoring Rosemary Hanley during this year's Homecoming festivities at a dinner and reception to be held on October 13.

Children have been at the center of most of Rosemary (Rose) Hanley’s life. A former educator, with a degree in Elementary Education from Loyola University, and a mother of three, Rose found her niche in listening, understanding and addressing the unique needs of children. But nothing could quite prepare her for the enormity of need she found among the inner city children of St. Louis in 2001. That was the year Rose and a friend organized a coat drive at their sons’ school, which caught the attention of a St. Louis school teacher. Could they collect enough coats for her school, where children routinely showed up without them or missed class because of the cold? “We’ll certainly try,” was the answer.

On a cold winter day, they delivered on their promise along with 170 warm coats for the students. And then Rose met the children who would benefit from the coats. “One child – his arms were blue. That’s how cold he was. How can a child survive winter in St. Louis without a coat?” she despaired. A warm feeling began to grow in Rose and her friend – a burning desire, actually – to do more. But how could they make a difference in the lives of so many children in need? A little bit at a time. And thus, The Little Bit Foundation was born.

Soon after, Rose resigned her position at a graphics display company, where she was a top performing sales representative, and instead pounded the pavement for donors and partners, called neighbors and friends to volunteer and reached out to school and city officials to identify the needs. Since that day in 2001, she has dedicated her life to breaking the chains of poverty on a child’s ability to focus, to learn and to succeed in school.

Through this tenacity, resourcefulness and sincere love for “her kids,” Rose has helped build and now leads an organization of well over 200 weekly volunteers serving 14,000 students living in poverty in the St. Louis area. Currently partnering with 42 schools in St. Louis city and North County, The Little Bit Foundation is positively impacting student attendance, disciplinary issues and academic performance – with the aim of seeing every student graduate – by providing for needs of the whole child be it food, clothing, underwear and socks, books, school supplies, health and wellness, eyeglasses and more. Where will you find Rose today? Rose retired as CEO of The Little Bit Foundation in January. She is spending her time enjoying her family, taking up golf and traveling. She is looking forward to seeing what the next chapter of her life will bring.

Awards and Recognition
2009 Missouri College President’s Award
2009 Progressive Youth Connection World of Children Award
2009 Ladue News Charity Award
2011, Nov. 5 “The Little Bit Foundation Day” Mayoral Proclamation
2013 St. Louis Public Schools “The Power of One Makes a World of Difference”
2013 St. Louis Public Schools “Building Better Schools One Volunteer at a Time”
2014 Jennings School District Certificate of Recognition for Contributions
2015 Missouri Athletic Club Women of Distinction Award (Rosemary Hanley)
2016 FOCUS St. Louis What’s Right with the Region Honoree
2016 Royal Vagabonds Excellence in Civil Engagement Leadership Award
2016 Changemakers Children’s Wellbeing Pioneer Award
2017 “Women of Achievement” Award Recipient
2018 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient
2020 Drum Major Award Recipient – Christian Hospital Foundation
2020 Arcus "Ameren Corporate Citizen Award"


Faithful to Catholic Tradition and to our Dominican heritage of scholarship and service, Bishop Lynch High School promotes the development of the total person by bringing together a diverse community in a rigorous, college preparatory environment where students are taught to strive for excellence, seek truth, and work for justice in the world. - Founded in 1963