Dr. Donna Bauerly began her teaching career at Loras in 1971, the same year the college became coeducational. During her 36-year career, she achieved many firsts. She was the first women to achieve the rank of full professor, to serve as faculty chair, and to serve as chair of the faculty senate.
Even after her retirement Bauerly continued her groundbreaking career. Her book Raymond Roseliep: Man of Art Who Loves the Rose (2015) about Father Raymond Roseliep, award-winning haikuist who taught at Loras from 1946 to 1966, is believed to be the first book-length treatment of an English-language haiku poet. Roseliep and his poetry were not a new interest for Bauerly, however. She began writing about his haiku in 1976 and first thought of writing a biography a year later. This final work weaves together the story of Roseliep’s life with his poetry, letting each illumine the other.
Bauerly was not simply a scholar of Roseliep’s work but a haiku poet in her own right. Her haiku have been published in the member anthologies of the Haiku Society of America, such as The Sacred in Contemporary Haiku, and in journals including Frogpond and Wind Chimes. She was especially active in the Shiki Internet Kukai.