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Hurst Happenings

2014 Farewell great Alumni Association Board Members

July Alumni Board update – we say farewell to Six Alumni Board members.

“I recall walking in to the campus of Mercyhurst as an adult, pushing 40, single mother, recently unemployed and wondering how to improve my career prospects and fulfill a need that I had to do what I hadn’t done when I graduated from High School many years prior. I was nervous and afraid of what the future would hold; but from the moment I met the staff of the adult colllombardo graduationeditege, I felt at ease. It was Fall, but within weeks I was enrolled and had financial aid and student loans lined up and was sitting in my first classes. What an experience being in classes with students almost 20 years younger. Taking Algebra of all things! Seriously? It had been 20 years since I had to figure out “X.” Anyway, I survived the first trimester with flying colors. Found out I loved college. Got a job and transitioned into MAP (Mercyhurst Accelerated Program) offered by Adult College and began attending in evenings and on weekends, in what were lovingly called the ‘marathon’ classes by the students. 4 hours on Saturday a.m. and Sunday eve and Wednesdays. What a great way to get a degree. I could work my day job and attend classes and study during what seemed like every other waking hour.

Even though I was a ‘natural’ at school, I do have to thank all the professors who were willing to give of their times to make these special classes successful. Since it was a new program, we all were participating in a great experiment. Many went well beyond the call of duty, especially during my second year when I literally almost died of a pulmonary embolism within weeks of the end of term. The professors gave me every opportunity to finish, even if it meant dropping off classwork at my home. That’s dedication! I had to take one term off, but was back full force the next… Another change of job… Then there was no stopping. I had a mission and a personal goal to do the best I could. Graduated suma cum laud with a degree in Risk Management and was honored by the college with the Bishops Award for Academic Excellence. It was a very special experience to have my parents and my children at my graduation. In fact, my daughter and I graduated with our Bachelor Degrees two weeks apart.

What I didn’t anticipate was missing attending classes and learning. So, of course, when they started the Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, I jumped right in. What some may not realize is, at that time, it was started as a Certificate program, totally dependent upon the success of the program and the enrollment. We were only promised that if we committed to a year, that we would get a certificate. It turned out that the program was well accepted and Mercyhurst continued us ‘pioneers’ into the full M.S. It still warms my heart when I hear of new graduates to that program, knowing that I and my cohorts had a hand in the success of the program being a permanent part of Mercyhurst.

At this point I would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Gamble, who was my thesis mentor. His guidance really made that dreaded experience a success. I can’t say enough good about all the professors I had. From opening my world to classical music and English classics to accounting and statistics, to trying to resolve the issue of brucellosis in Bison to financial management, I was exposed to many interesting and practical topics.

In the brief interval between graduating with a B.S. and starting the M.S., I found I missed participating in the college experience. When I mentioned this to Mary Ellen Dahlkemper, she suggested the Alumni Board and made a recommendation. That is how I became a member. That was 18 years ago. I still can’t believe it’s been that long. I’ve seen many changes in the board, the administration, and Homecoming in those years. My favorite activity to help with at Homecoming was the ‘Comfortable Cup of Tea’ at the Motherhouse. It was such a warm experience to see the alums visiting the Mercy Sisters, and I know the feeling was mutual on both sides. I also had the great honor for many years of welcoming the Adult Students into the alumni association at a reception prior to graduation. My most heartfelt experience, though, was being able to present the Distinguished Alumni award to Mary Ellen on behalf of the Alumni Board. She had been such a blessing to me and all the Adult College ‘non-traditional’ students.

One of the changes on the Board is the institution of Term Limits, so I must bid farewell to the Board, but not good-bye to the University, which will remain part of me and always be held close to my heart. This retirement coincides with my retirement from the PA Dept of Revenue. So, now I’ve come full circle from starting college, new career, to being able to retire. Looking forward to many new opportunities coming my way! Those of you just beginning…. Remember to give it your best and Carpe Diem!”

By: Amy Lombardo `94, `96, `01

We would also like to say farewell to longtime board member Jeanne Phillips `68, as her final term expires. Jeanjeanne picture for board blogne has been a staple at our Erie alumni events and helping us to educate students and recent alumni about the importance of giving back to your beloved alma mater. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition, we say goodbye to the always hardworking and creative genius networking team chair and co-chair, JP Ratajczak `02, `04 and Kristen Hudak `05 as they continue to move forward with family, work and life adventures. We also thank Bob Dubik `78, Mary McKenna `90 for their board service, as their terms expired as well. 

 

Thank you for your years of service.

 


We have a race! Who will be the ULTIMATE FACE?

We have a bit of a race going on through our FACE campaign – many of you have made gifts in honor of those who have made an impact on you and several people have Mary Dalyhonored longtime Mercyhurst employee Mary Daly ’66.

One alum who honored Mary indicated that she was one of his strongest and most guiding influences at Mercyhurst as a student. He said “As advisor to the Merciad, Mary insisted on mentoring with quality, style and showed me the charm and character of Mercyhurst.”

With multiple gifts that honored Mary, she is a front-runner to be the winner as our “Ultimate FACE of MU” – thank you Mary for making such an impact on our alumni, you are a wonderful asset to Mercyhurst!

Who do you think should be in the lead? Make a gift and honor someone that you think deserves to be the “Ultimate FACE” online at giving.mercyhurst.edu/FACE or by clicking the green button below!

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Fr. Sullivan – The FACE of the day and an important historical figure!

Today a generous supporter who also loves Mercyhurst’s history made a gift in honor of Fr. Sullivan! Fr. Sullivan

She stated, “I’m making my gift in honor of Fr. Sullivan.  Fr. Sullivan was the first chaplain at Mercyhurst, from 1926-1933, but also served as professor, farmer, landscape designer and supervisor of the grounds.  It was at the height of the Great Depression when he recruited stone masons and workers to construct the Mercyhurst grotto from the line of unemployed men who were being served food from the Mercyhurst kitchen.  I love this picture of Fr. Sullivan, as he is surrounded by all of the stones and boulders that were found on the Mercyhurst campus; an undeveloped spans of land at the time of 1932.”

 

Fr. Sullivan and MANY other Mercyhurst FACEs have made a huge impact on our school – help us reach 501 more donors and show your support before the end of the fiscal year (May 31) to help us reach an alumni participation rate of 20% – give now online at giving.mercyhurst.edu/FACE or by clicking the green button below!

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The Ultimate Return on Investment

In the business world, one of the most important ways to measure success is “ROI” – Return On Investment. We treasure the concept of getting far more back than we put in, and really, why not? It’s just good business sense.

For this week only, ending May 26, Mercyhurst University alumni like you and I can get perhaps the biggest bang for our buck ever when we decide to support our alma mater. And when I say “buck,” I mean $1.

If you could give Mercyhurst $1 and see it turned into $51, that would be pretty amazing ROI, right? That’s the deal – this week only! I’m reaching out to Hurst alumni near and far because deals like this just don’t come around every day, and because Mercyhurst grads like us are smart, we know a good deal when we see one.

Between now and May 26, the university is on a mission to welcome 501 new donors to this year’s Annual Fund. (You know, the really important fund that provides valuable financial aid; ensures strong academics, athletics and arts programs; strengthens the library and keeps the Mercy mission going strong.) Why 501 new donors? It’s in honor of the street address you and I used to call home: 501 East 38th.

Here’s all you have to do: Head to giving.mercyhurst.edu/FACE before May 26 and give any amount you’d like – as little as $1 - to your favorite area of the Annual Fund. (You can even honor a favorite Mercyhurst faculty member, administrator, coach or employee through the FACE Campaign.) When you give, Mercyhurst’s Board of Trustees will add $50 to your gift. It’s that simple! But hurry – this offer is only good for the first 501 new donors to take advantage!

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If you aren’t sure whether you quality as a “new donor,” think back to your last gift to Mercyhurst. If it was before May 31, 2013, you are a new donor this year. If you last gave after May 31, 2013, then here’s a perfect opportunity to give again before the fiscal year ends May 31, 2014. And if you can’t remember ever supporting Mercyhurst, I guarantee there’s never been a better time. It’s a free $50 to help you give back – Carpe Diem and give before May 26!

 

By: Scott Koskoski ’00, Alumni Board Member


FACE Gift – Honoring Sr. M. Angelica Cummings, RSM

Sheila Coon `72, Director of External Affairs & Government Relations honors Sr. M. Angelica Cummings, RSM Sr. Angelica

 “Sister Angelica was my professor, advisor, mentor and my work-study boss when I was an art major at Mercyhurst from 1968-72.  She was a brilliant educator and working artist. She trained in Florence, Italy and developed a technique, style and use of color that became her trademark.  She would stand behind students and demand that we “stop…before you turn your work into mud.”  She was kind and considerate and truly loved her craft.  She developed a living Art History course where one evening a week during Fall term she would present a slide lecture illustrating the great European architects, architecture, artists and their work.  Her lectures were culminated by a 3-week tour of Spain, Italy and France during Intersession, where we visited every site, museum and cathedral we saw in slides during Fall term.  We came to know every artist and architect by name and experienced their original magnificent work in person.  We learned a little of the 3-languages, a lot of the rich culture and an enormous love for the great European artists in history – and the 5′ 1″ tall, magnificent artist herself – Sister Angelica.  Sister Angelica loved and believed in perpetuating the Fine Arts and at that time hired master artists to teach courses in: jewelry making, ceramics, lithography, printmaking, sculpture, oil, acrylic, watercolor as well as commercial and professional art.”

In 1984, Sister Angelica Cummings, founder of the Mercyhurst art department, watched as generations of art students and supporters honored her by dedicating the college’s art gallery in her name. Today, that gallery pulls in artists from around the tri-state area as well as highlighting the works of Mercyhurst art students. The gallery hosts solo and group exhibitions by emerging and established artists, juried student shows, and art faculty shows. Located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, patrons of the PAC are encouraged to wander around and view the works on display before the live performances.

 

Join Sheila in honoring a FACE (Faculty member, Administrator, Coach, or Employee) who made an impact on your Mercyhurst experience! We need your help to reach 501 donors and this is the perfect way to join in and help us reach our participation goal. You can give now at: giving.mercyhurst.edu or via the green button below.

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Greater voice. Greater impact. Give today!

501 BLOG bannerGoing back to our founding year and the address that started it all, the Office of Institutional Advancement is launching a trustee challenge to all our alumni! From May 19-26, we are challenged to obtain 501 new donors to which a group of generous trustees will match $50 for every new donor we obtain.

In order to reach our 20% alumni participation rate, we have to secure all 501 donors! This is your chance to make a gift of $1 and have the impact of $51 through this generous trustee match.

In addition, we have a new giving campaign called FACE in which donors can have a greater voice when giving back to their alma mater. This is your opportunity to recognize someone special from your time at Mercyhurst, a faculty member that helped you identify new skills, an Administrator that helped you connect with new friends through campus activities, a Coach that mentored your mental and physical strength, or even a staff member that cared about your well-being and said hello to you everyday in the cafeteria.

It takes an entire community to build the best Mercyhurst and we want to start hearing these stories!  Give back May 19-26 and honor those that have given so much to you!

 Give today : $1=$51. $5 = $55. $10=$60. $25=$75. $100 = $150.


Dr. John Olszowka – Today’s FACE

Today’s “FACE of the day” comes from a gift from Tori Pepicello from the class of 2011 in honor of Dr. Olszowka! John Olszowka

She said that from taking classes with Dr. Olszowka, she was inspired by his passion for history and she was actually persuaded to change her major to history! His class was her favorite and credits him for helping her to reach her career path!

Wow what a great example of the impact our FACEs (Faculty, Administrators, Coaches, and Employees) can have on students!

Which FACEs have made an impact on you? Show your support by making a gift to the annual fund in honor of a Faculty member, Administrator, Coach, or Employee that went above and beyond while you were a student – and maybe they are still impacting you just like Caitlin’s experience!

Give now online at giving.mercyhurst.edu/FACE or by clicking the green button below. Gifts of all sizes allow for a “FACE” to be recognized!

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Friday’s FACE

Happy Friday to all of our alumni, parents, and friends out there! It’s a beautiful day here in Erie which is enough to make everyone nostalgic for all the beautiful springs of the past  LenaSHwhen graduation is approaching, students are outside studying and enjoying campus, and some professors are even holding class outside!

This is also a great time to recall all of those individuals at Mercyhurst who made an impact on you and your time at Mercyhurst! For a recent graduate from the class of 2013, Lena Surzhko-Harned did just that! Caitlin Handerhan has shown her support for the FACE campaign by making a gift to the annual fund in honor of Lena.

Caitlin stated, “One of the things that makes Mercyhurst so special is the interactions that students have with faculty. I had such an overwhelmingly positive experience with the political science department, I could easily select any faculty member; however, I selected Dr. Surzhko-Harned because she went above and beyond to make me a better students From holding me to high standards in the classroom to challenging me as a research assistant, she was a large part of my academic and professional growth at Mercyhurst and subsequent success in my graduate work at Cornell University.”

It’s so wonderful that these two are still connected and that Caitlin has someone that she so fondly remembers as a huge impact on her college experience.

Which FACEs have made an impact on you? Show your support by making a gift to the annual fund in honor of a Faculty member, Administrator, Coach, or Employee that went above and beyond while you were a student – and maybe they are still impacting you just like Caitlin’s experience!

Give now online at giving.mercyhurst.edu/FACE or by clicking the green button below. Gifts of all sizes allow for a “FACE” to be recognized!

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Kris Wheaton – Honored through FACE

Kris Wheaton is definitely a faculty member that is making a difference in the lives of our Intelligence Studies students which is why he has been honored through a FACE donation! Kris Wheaton

 

Ryan Palm from the class of 2007 made a gift to the annual fund in honor of Kris, his former professor. Ryan indicated what an impact Kris made on his Mercyhurst education. He stated in a tribute, “Kris was an outstanding faculty member during my time at Mercyhurst. He was instrumental in my success as an intelligence analyst after graduation. His approach to teaching, and his crazy desire to push students to be better each day is something that should be applied across the University.”

 

Thank you, Kris for making a difference for students and for preparing them well for life after Mercyhurst!

 

Join Ryan and show your support for a FACE (Faculty member, Administrator, Coach, or Employee) with a gift to the annual fund. Give now online at giving.mercyhurst.edu/FACE or by clicking the green button below and honor those who impacted you!

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FACEs of the Day – Anne Zaphiris, Meghan Waskiewicz, Dan McFee

Yesterday, Eric Evans was in the spotlight and our post received a lot of traffic – Eric has clearly made a huge impact on so many of our international students! AnnMeghanDan

 

Another gift that came in for the FACE campaign was in honor of some of our faculty. This specific donor from the class of 2009 had a hard time picking just one, and we don’t blame him because we know we have A LOT of awesome faculty members!

His gift is in honor of faculty members Anne Zaphiris, Meghan Waskiewicz, Dan McFee. He wrote: “All three of these professors helped shape my professional and personal career track. They are wonderful teachers who challenge their students to think, excel and succeed.”

 

Do you have FACEs (Faculty members, Administrators, Coaches, Employees) that have impacted you? Make a gift today via the green button below in their honor and we will highlight just how special they have been to you and your education or college experience!

 

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