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Hurst Happenings

Welcome New Mercyhurst Alumni!

Graduates and guests joined faculty, alumni relations staff, and fellow classmates on Friday in celebration of graduation and becoming part of the Mercyhurst University National Alumni Association! Food, drinks, memories, and laughs were shared. As new members of the alumni association, graduates were presented with alumni pins and encouraged to stay in touch with their Alma Mater- alumni events happen throughout the country! Congratulations again to the Mercyhurst Class of 2016, Carpe Diem!

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HUMANS OF MERCYHURST: Alex Vinesky`14 & Kaleigh Hubert`13

MU Homecoming 2015The roof of Old Main, Habitat for Humanity, Molly Brannigans, and the chapel: Alex and Kaleigh are a true Mercyhurst love story! Alex describes, in his own words, how Mercyhurst brought he and Kaleigh together:

“Kaleigh and I both signed up to help with the House that ‘Hurst Built in August 2012, a school-wide Habitat for Humanity project. When we arrived, the site manager asked the group who wanted to work on what part of the house, and the two of us volunteered to help put up the roof. While we worked, I noticed that Kaleigh was struggling to move her ladder and offered to help – that’s how it all started.

After getting to know each other for a few months, I asked Kaleigh to be my girlfriend on the roof of Old Main (before they started locking it). We went on a Habitat for Humanity trip to Tupelo, MS in February – I signed up before we even started dating. When Kaleigh graduated in May 2013, we dated long distance for a little over two and a half years. Kaleigh moved to Buffalo for Physician Assistant school, and I moved home to Cleveland to work after I graduated in 2014. During that time, we would see each other briefly for a few days in either Erie, Buffalo, or Cleveland. The situation was not ideal, but we certainly made the most of it!

In November 2015, I got a job in Erie and moved back. I had been saving for an engagement ring for over a year, and now that we were reunited again, I knew it was the right time to ask her to marry me. When my plans to propose on the roof of Old Main fell through, I had another idea in mind. The last Friday in January, I showed up at her house with a dozen roses, and we went out to dinner at Molly Brannigans, where we had our first date. Little did she know that I had her engagement ring in my pocket the entire night.

After dinner, we made a special stop at the now-completed Habitat for Humanity house where we first met. I had asked the owner, Rosemary, for permission to propose there the day before, and she couldn’t have been more excited. When we arrived, I first asked Kaleigh to help me get something out of my trunk – a ladder. We walked over to the house, and I encouraged her to get on the roof. However, when we realized the ladder was too short, I adjusted my plans. I got down on one knee and proposed in the exact spot where it all started – she said yes!

Our four years at Mercyhurst were some of the best years of our lives. There are too many memories to count, and we both met lifelong friends and the love of our lives. We are getting married at the Mercyhurst chapel on September 16, 2017, and couldn’t be happier that our love story started here at the Hurst.”

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Catholic Charities Ball

Mercyhurst University will be well-represented this year at the annual Catholic Charities Ball on May 6 at the Bayfront Convention Center.


Employees Rick Gotkin (Men’s Hockey Coach), Holly Hebebrand (Donor Relations Coordinator), and Tyler Peterseim (senior Human Resources major) will be celebrity dancers!

Best of luck to Rick, Holly, and Tyler!


HUMANS OF MERCYHURST: Katherine Juarez `08

11096685_10205957080586928_7936276737585251734_nOne of the first international students to arrive at Mercyhurst from Honduras, Katherine Juarez `08 remembers cold and dreary Erie winters filled with warm cuddly friendship. The 2008 graduate earned a degree in Business with a dual concentration in Marketing and Public Relations. Juarez remembers fondly the big Polish and Honduran community during her time on campus: “we did trips and had events together….and all lived in the same building, we were like one big family!” The tight group of friends is still close and visits each other often. Juarez also reminisces about working with catering services, in the cafeteria with Patty and Lavell, and in Mr. Moore’s office.

Mercyhurst  further left a mark on Juarez’s professional career through AdPro Club (shout out to Jodi H) and her advisor Ms. Belovarac. Both guided her steps in the business program and made her feel like she was home. Juarez is currently a college counselor at one of the best private schools in Honduras. She helps recruit students to go all over the world, including to Mercyhurst University! She will be moving to Poland in August. Juarez states “Mercyhurst not only provided an excellent education, but also introduced me to some of my greatest friends!”

SALT® Partnership- Share Your Way to $10K

Cgbjro5VIAApNYlMercyhurst University has partnered with SALT® to make sure all of our students and alumni can confidently and successfully pay for school, manage student loans, and save and track money.

SALT®, a program created by American Student Assistance® (ASA)—a highly respected, nonprofit source of financial education. It’s part of our ongoing commitment to helping you achieve and enjoy financial wellbeing.

April is Financial Literacy Month and you can boost your finances by taking control of your money and helping your friends do the same. From April 11 to April 30, enter SALT’s Share Your Way To $10K sweepstakes.

They’ve made it easy to get started and gain multiple entries all in one spot. Here’s how it works:

  • Visit the sweepstakes page and register to get started
  • Sign up or log in to your SALT account through this page to gain +10 entries
  • Earn +5 entries for each friend you refer through the sweepstakes page
  • Share on Facebook for +1 entry
  • Share on Twitter for +1 entry

Good luck!

Please contact Jeff Lasky in Student Financial Services at with any questions.


HUMANS OF MERCYHURST: Anastasia Welsh `13

Anastasia WelshMany girls dream of becoming ballerinas – Anastasia Welsh is currently living that dream as a professional ballerina with the Manassas Ballet Theatre. Currently in her third season with MBT, Anastasia graduated from Mercyhurst in 2013. She received her B.A. in Dance with a minor in Business Arts Administration. Her choreography has been performed at the American College Dance Festival, Regional Dance America Northeast, and the Erie Festval of Dance. Prior to Manassas, Anastasia performed with the Moscow Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet Company, Lake Erie Ballet Company, and Company Danzante.

When asked about her time at Mercyhurst, Anastasia states:
“Mercyhurst is a wonderful place full of culture, creativity, growth, and memories. I will never forget the four years I have spent there. I still stay connected with a lot of the people who have made a difference in my life and continue to stay in touch with my mentors as well. I am proud to bring what I have learned and the memories I have made with me always.”JazzInMotion-3410 JazzInMotion-1571

Beyond the Gates: Lakers Connect

LaxTwo alums who never crossed paths while at Mercyhurst have since reunited and formed a bond over athletics, communication, and Mercyhurst. Steve Warzala graduated from Mercyhurst in 2004 and is currently a play-by-play announcer for the ESPN Networks. Jason LaShomb, of the class of 2009, currently plays Goalie for the Rochester Rattlers in Major League Lacrosse (professional outdoor lacrosse league). The two crossed paths while working, proving the Laker connection is strong and thriving out in the “real world” and beyond the gates.

Steve is currently in his 5th season as a play by play announcer for Major League Lacrosse which airs on ESPN ,ESPN 2, ESPN3, CBS Sports Network & NBC Universal Sports.  He is also in a 4th season play by play role for the Niagara University Purple Eagles.

Jason, who has his B.A. in Elementary and Special Education, is currently a preschool teacher at Seton Catholic School in addition to his position with the Rochester Rattlers.

Presidential Tour Concluded

The Presidential Welcome Tour concluded last week in Buffalo, NY. From PA to FL and everywhere in between, the tour was a lot of fun and a great success according to Lindsay Cox`12. President Victor had the chance to meet a lot of alumni and reconnect with those he knew from his time as Dean of the Walker School of Business.

Alumni got the chance to hear from President Victor about changes and successes that have been happening on campus. All seemed to be in awe – how couldn’t you be – of how great Mercyhurst is doing. President Victor also told alumni about his addition of “Hurst Day”. Lindsay states “I am pretty sure we’re going to have alumni trying to attend Hurst Day 2016 now that they’ve heard all about it!” Thank you to all who attended and made the tour such a success.
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Dan1 Dan O’Donoghue graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2014. O’Donoghue was the fifth Laker to sign a National Hockey League contract in the history of the Men’s Hockey program- signing with the Arizona Coyotes following his senior season. O’Donoghue has recently been acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a trade with Arizona during the 2015-2016 season. On December 20th,  2015 he got engaged to Dana Court, the love of his life. The two are very excited for the future and have been discussing wedding plans.

When asked about his favorite memories from Mercyhurst, O’Donoghue says:

“My four years at Mercyhurst were some of the best years of my life. I was fortunate to have great teammates and classmates that provided me so many memories that I will forever be grateful for. I have two favorite on-ice memories. The first would be suiting up for my first game as a freshman against the University of Michigan. I’ll never forget the excitement of going into a sold out Yost Arena, on the campus of Michigan, and beating the #4 team in the country to start my college hockey career. My second favorite on ice memory was winning the Atlantic Hockey Regular Season Championship my senior year for the first time in school history. To accomplish what we did that year was amazing and what made it even better was tDan2he guys in the locker room that I get to share that memory with.”

“There are so many memories I have made off the ice, as well, and that just speaks volumes of the student body at Mercyhurst. If I was to choose one favorite off-ice memory, it would have to be the block party on Lewis the students held my sophomore year. It was St. Patrick’s Day and the amount of green filling the streets was incredible. What an amazing day that was and that will forever go down as the best party in Mercyhurst University history.”

Regarding how Mercyhurst prepared him for the future, O’Donoghue says: 

“Mercyhurst has done so much for me as a person and has given me the necessary tools to be successful in life. The faculty, student body, my coaches and teammates have all had an impact in my life in helping me not only become a better hockey player, but more importantly a better person. From the moment I stepped on campus as a freshman in 2010 I knew Mercyhurst was the place for me. Mercyhurst was home, and in my honest opinion, will always be home.”

We wish Dan & Dana the best and look forward to cheering him on as a Pittsburgh Penguin!








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