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Hurst Happenings

Lindsay Cox ’12 Reflection #MercyWeek

I sit here in my office in Egan Hall (which is just two doors down from what was my room during my freshman year) and look out onto the front of Old Main/Egan and smile knowing that right where I sit is where all of this began. From the vision of the Sisters of Mercy, to the labor of the men and women who put the buildings together, to the dedication of all those who came after to help it all grow, here we are today with a rich history and a bright future – all thanks to the people who make up Mercyhurst.

We know, that this 75 acres of land and the people that make it a Mercyhurst community, is just one small part of larger Mercy impact…but the work and the education that takes place at Mercyhurst is important and something to be proud of. I personally, am proud to be a part of the Mercyhurst community and believe that it is all of our duties to carry on the Mercy traditions and heritage that was set by the Sisters of Mercy so long ago.

The Mercy mission is something that has greatly impacted me from the first moment I encountered the Sisters of Mercy. Mercy runs deep for me as I received a wonderful Mercy education for a total of 10 years strait – four years of high school at Mercyhurst Preparatory School, four years of undergrad at Mercyhurst University and two years of grad school at Mercyhurst University as well as (going on) two years of employment here at the Hurst!

To say that I owe SO much to the Mercy community is an understatement. In these Mercy institutions, I have come to meet my very best friends, my future husband, some of the hardest working colleagues around, and employees and professors who show relentless commitment. I have received an education that is second to none, it was challenging, enlightening, faith-based, and significant to the work that I do today. I sincerely love this community and its people!

As time goes by and the foundations set by the Sisters of Mercy become more distant, let us, the alumni, the employees, the friends of Mercy and Mercyhurst, carry on that foundation of service, education, hospitality, and care for all. Let us all celebrate, honor and live the spirit of Mercy not only this week during Mercy Week, but every day, in all that we do!

Lindsay Cox ’12 is the assistant director of alumni relations and annual giving at Mercyhurst University.Chater Oak Tree


Ryan Palm ’07 Reflection #MercyWeek

When I arrived at Mercyhurst in fall 2003, I fully expected that my four years at the college would have a profound impact on my life. I looked forward to growing academically, watching a few hockey games, and making some good friends. While I did all of those things and enjoyed them immensely, to this day I remain in awe of how much my Mercyhurst experience strengthened my faith, perhaps more so than any other element in my life.

From my very first experience with the Sisters of Mercy, I was amazed at their dedication to their work. Whether their ministries in health care, education, or caring for the sick and homeless, they truly are an incredible group of powerful women. I think that it is critical that all in the Mercyhurst community periodically think back to the days when Mercyhurst was being built, and the sisters literally finished the construction of Old Main because the workers when on strike. From that very moment the Sisters of Mercy have laid a strong foundation for Mercyhurst rooted in Catholic faith, the Mercy charism, and a wonderful acceptance of all who enter through those special gates.

I think anyone passionate about the Sisters of Mercy has a favorite quote or prayer from Catherine McAuley. While there are many I have saved in different places, my all-time favorite is a short snippet from her letter to de Sales White in February 1841 – “The simplest and most practical lesson I know … is to be good today, but better tomorrow.” I believe the Sisters of Mercy have exemplified this lesson through the history of Mercyhurst, and we in the faculty, staff, and administration owe it to them to keep pushing Mercyhurst forward always focused on being better tomorrow.

— Ryan Palm ’07 is the associate vice president for advancement at Mercyhurst University.

Flashback Friday Mother Borgia Egan

Everyone here at Mercyhurst Alumni was so happy and excited to be a part of the HOTC Alumni Rowing event this past weekend in Boston Massachusetts. We had a great time and congratulate you on your successes!

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“The Mercyhurst University women’s and lightweight men’s rowing programs traveled to Boston this past weekend for the largest regatta in the world, The Head of the Charles. The Lakers had a strong showing with the Women’s Collegiate Eight finishing fourteenth while the Men’s Lightweight Eight finished thirteenth.” – Jamie Francis Mercyhurst Assistant Coach

HOTC Alumni Party                    2014-10-18 21.03.23

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 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 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 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: 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 or by clicking the green button below. Gifts of all sizes allow for a “FACE” to be recognized!

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