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Hurst Happenings

March Mercyhurst T-shirt Descriptions

T-shirt design image

We hope you’ve have a chance to see our latest t-shirt design. One reason why we love it is that there’s something for everyone on the t-shirt – whether you went to Mercyhurst College 50 years ago or you’re a parent of a current Mercyhurst University student today, the shirt simply has it ALL!

Because the shirt “has it all,” there may be some images that some people do not know about. Here’s our list of images and a little back story on each one!

From top left to right:
-Cummings Art Gallery – located in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center building, the Cummings Art Gallery, named for an amazing artist, Sr. Angelica Cummings (whose paintings are on display in Old Main), is an event space and gallery that displays student art work and work from community artists
-Joe Hep(finger) – a favorite neighbor and fan of the Mercyhurst Lakers. Joe is known for his amazing Laker spirit and is even a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame. The image reads Joe Hep, with a foam finger, to combine as Hep-finger for Joe’s last name
-Sister Damien/Bell – the bell is famously known on campus as Sr. Damien, another loyal Laker fan’s most prized possession. She was known for cheering on the Lakers and ringing her bell in support of the Laker athletic teams.
-Anchor DOWN – a favorite line used by Laker athletes to signify “giving it your all” and “anchoring down” to get the job done
-Lake WILLIAM – prior to Garvey Park being built, a small lake filled the space running between Baldwin Hall to Preston Hall. Lake Williams was drained when it came time to build Preston Hall and the space later became Garvey Park
-Louie the Laker – Mercyhurst’s former mascot and uncle to current mascot, Luke. Louie was tragically lost in the great flood of the Student Union – he gave his all to Mercyhurst and unfortunately went down trying to save the Student Union
-kids & sibs – a fun weekend celebrated for many years each spring. Mercyhurst students are invited to bring their siblings to campus for a weekend to stay in the residence halls. Today, the kids and sibs concept is a part of Family Weekend
-LAKE SHOW – another term for athletics to use when referring to the amazing performances completed by our Laker athletes. When attending a Mercyhurst game/match/race, it’s sure to be a show and a lot of fun to cheer on the Lakers
-Mercyhurst College logo – prior to becoming a University in 2012, Mercyhurst used this logo. The logo shows four M’s and C’s intertwined, symbolizing MC for Mercyhurst College
-Big Boy – in the 1970’s a group of Mercyhurst male students were notorious for stealing the well known mascot statue of a local restaurant that was previously located near campus. The boys “kidnapped” the state and brought him to campus. A photo of the students with the statue can be found on the first floor hallway in Old Main
-Shamrock – a lucky symbol associated with Mercyhurst as we are known for and celebrate our Irish roots. The Sisters of Mercy, who founded of Mercyhurst, originated in Ireland, the home of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy
-Anchor – another symbol associated with Mercyhurst and our ties to the Lake (Mercyhurst and Erie are situated on the shores of Lake Erie). A campus anchor was also generously donated by the Class of 2016 as their Senior Class Gift
-Snowflakes – Erie, Pennsylvania is (for better or for worse) known as one of the snowiest cities in the country. The Erie snows will not stop the students of Mercyhurst – classes will most likely never be cancelled 
Next row
-Graduation cap – a symbol for the goal of all Lakers, to succeed in their studies and complete their years at Mercyhurst with a walk across the stage at a Mercyhurst graduation ceremony. In the earlier years of Mercyhurst College, for special functions, the female students were also expected to wear a cap and gown (which we associate with graduations) to mark the occasion
-Canterbury Clock – a favorite spot on campus and a great photo op, the clock is located in the center of Garvey Park and chimes every hour, on the hour. In recent years, Christmas tunes play during December, and bagpipe sounds play on Hurst Day
-carpe diem – the motto of Mercyhurst University which translates to “seize the day”
-HURST DAY – an annual tradition brought to Mercyhurst by 12th President, Michael Victor. Each fall, a random and secret day is held where classes are cancelled; students are notified that it is Hurst Day with the sounds of bagpipes beginning at 7a.m. followed by a scavenger hunt and an afternoon of lunch, snacks, treats, and games and activities
-Old Main/O’Neil Tower – the original Mercyhurst. Old Main was built in 1926 and was later followed by the addition of the O’Neil Tower and Chapel. When pulling onto campus, one cannot help but feel captivated by its grandeur 
-#LAKERPRIDE – a hashtag used to celebrate the pride one feels for being a Laker
-Cornerstone – a favorite local hangout for Mercyhurst students; known for its proximity to campus, its Mercyhurst decor, and its most popular night, Stone Wednesday
-Haunted Hurst spider – celebrated each fall near Halloween, students and the Mercyhurst community both celebrate Halloween and recall the popular ghost legends associated with Mercyhurst – some say the campus is haunted, many tales have been passed down from generation to generation about the ghosts that may or may not haunt the halls of MU
-The Laker Inn – once a local restaurant run by the students of Mercyhurst who studied hospitality management; today, the lower level of the Student Union uses the name and is a dining area for the MU community to enjoy
Next row
-Mercyhurst College logo (to the right of the clock) – a former Mercyhurst College logo used in the 1980s, known for its blue and green to honor the school’s colors, the interlocking M and C can still be spotted around campus
-M – for Mercyhurst, of course!
-Briggs Ave – one of the streets in the upperclassmen housing area; Briggs Ave. is specifically a spot for many sophomores to live, a great entry into apartment living
Next row
-Lewis Ave – another street in the upperclassmen area, being further east than Briggs Ave., this street is where many juniors and seniors live in apartment buildings
-Garvey Park – a center space on campus, home of many activities, the Canterbury Clock, park benches, the Sr. Damien Bell, and a spot for sitting in the sun, eating lunch, studying, and some favorite celebrations such as Hurst Day and Springfest
-Audrey Hirt Academic Center – built in 2002, this building houses several academic programs and is a spot where many students have classes. Its green pointed dome top can be spotted from near and far
-Mercy Cross – Mercy’s symbol is a contemporary version of the original cross which Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, adopted for her ministry. The outer extensions of the cross represent a ministry that is diverse but aligned around a common purpose, forming a cross-within-a-cross
-Gates/1926 – the gates of Mercyhurst can be found at the campus entry on East 38th Street. Welcoming all to campus, the gates are always open and have been a part of campus since 1950. The year 1926 stands for the founding year of Mercyhurst
-Ambassador jacket – founded in 1993, the Ambassador Club is one of the most well-known clubs on campus. Student Ambassadors who successfully complete the pledge process and are selected, are given a green jacket to wear while giving tours to prospective students and campus guests or while working at a special campus event
-That Thing You Do – a film starring Tom Hanks; in the movie, the band plays a small gig set at Mercyhurst College. An odd fact about the movie is that Mercyhurst’s colors were depicted as maroon and gold…an unfortunate color combination for us Lakers, as those are the colors of our biggest rivals, the Gannon Knights
Next row
-Luke – the current campus mascot, also the nephew of former mascot Louie the Laker. Luke can be seen at campus events and athletic events cheering on the Lakers. Luke follows in his Uncle Louie’s footsteps and came to Mercyhurst to take his place
-Pennant – a symbol to celebrate Laker spirit
-Glasses/lightning bolt – traditionally associated with the popular book and movie series, Harry Potter. Many Harry Potter fans, when coming to campus for the first time, cannot help but compare our beautiful buildings Hogwarts from Harry Potter
-Catherine McAuley signature – the beautiful signature of the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy
-Hurst Hawk – noticed on campus in recent years, the Hurst Hawk can be spotted flying around campus or sitting in a tree overlooking Garvey Park. His presence is very popular and many enjoy spotting the hawk on campus
-Mercy World – a way of life for Lakers. The way one feels when within the gates, a fun term to describe what its like to live and be a part of the Mercyhurst community
-Crazy Dave – a nickname for Mercyhurst alum, Dave Armstrong, Class of 1986. Dave is one of the very few individuals to be both a member of the Athletics Hall of Fame and a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
-White fountain image – a silhouette of The Blessing, the fountain located in Munson Plaza, south of Garvey Park on campus

100 Days Until Graduation

The class of 2017 is currently fundraising to leave a Coffee Bar for all future Lakers to enjoy in the Hammermill Library.

Friday, February 3 will mark 100 days left until graduation; check out the video below to hear from some seniors on what that means to them.

Gifts are being accepted in support of the Senior Class Gift. Please show your support by visiting



Celebrate the End of 2016!

As 2016 comes to a close, celebrate the AWESOME year we’ve had! Show your Laker support to Mercyhurst by making a gift by midnight on December 31. Gifts can be made online at or checks should be received by December 31 (checks can be made to Mercyhurst University).

Check out our year in review video below…we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store for us at the Hurst!

HUMANS OF MERCYHURST: Kellie Wendell `14

kellie3From glamorous weddings and rehearsal dinners to work expos and intimate parties, Kellie Wendell `14 plans it all as the Event Coordinator for White Lodging Services at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel and Courtyard Erie Bayfront. As the Event Coordinator, Kellie is in charge of every organizing and planning facet, from conception to clean up, of meetings and events for third parties at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel and Courtyard Erie Bayfront locations. She meets with clients to work out event details, budget, food, entertainment, staff and cleanup. Kellie also makes sure the events run smoothly, efficiently and handles any issues that arise. Each day is different and exciting, as is each event and client.

Mercyhurst University played a major role in preparing Kellie for the position of Event Coordinator, in addition to helping her secure a position in the Erie area at the Sheraton and Courtyard through an alumni connection! Kellie graduated from Mercyhurst in 2014 with a unique Business Contract Major in Event Management and Promotions. Such a major was constructed by Kellie and professors in the hospitality and business departments to accurately prepare her for the career path she so desired. Kellie notes Ryan Johnson, a Hospitality Management professor, and Daryl Georger, Hospitality Management Chair, as key role models throughout her Mercyhurst experience. Kellie says the hospitality introductory course helped her greatly due to the exposer it gave her to every function within the industry, from engineering to cooking. An events coordinator must know all functions within the industry and Kellie is very grateful for the fundamentals taught in the introductory course that built such a swendell2trong foundation for her. Kellie also notes how Mercyhurst prepared her through cultivating skills such as organization, good communication, professionalism, and problem-solving.

It wasn’t, however, all class and no play during Kellie’s time at Mercyhurst. Kellie exemplifies what it means to make the most of the college experience through balancing both academics and social activities. Throughout her undergraduate career, Kellie was active on campus through ambassador club, ROTC, snowboard crew, intermural teams, leadership development programs, senior gift committee, and the Ireland study abroad program. Kellie notes herwendell1 semester studying in Ireland was one of her greatest Mercyhurst experiences. Kellie’s senior year highlight was being on Homecoming court, which she states felt like a culmination of everything she did and participated in over her four years at Mercyhurst being recognized. Other Mercyhurst memories Kellie cherishes include meeting her boyfriend at the Stone and spring break spent with fellow Lakers.

Kellie plans to leave the Erie area eventually, but hopes to stay in event coordination and the hospitality field because it makes her happy. Her advice to those wishing to pursue a role like hers is to stay positive and focus on the good. She also believes in the mantra “the customer is always right”- a hard saying to live by, at times, when she has multiple brides and conference organizers emailing her on a daily basis! Kellie truly exemplifies what success looks like beyond the gates of Mercyhurst and the alumni department is proud to call her a Laker alum.


`65 Mercyhurst Alum Receives Women’s Initiative of Central Massachusetts Award

grayEach year the Women’s Initiative of Central Massachusetts honors two local women that embody the leadership and values of its co-founders Lois Green and Meridith Wesby and whose deep commitment and dedication make a meaningful difference in the community. The awards are presented at the Stepping Up for Girls event.

This year’s recipient of the Lois B. Green award was Mercyhurst alum Maureen Gray`65.  Maureen holds a lifelong dedication to motivating young people to learn and achieve, to community service and to financial empowerment for women and girls.

Maureen earned her BA from Mercyhurst University and went on for a Master’s from Assumption College in French and Education. She then launched a 21-year career as a teacher and administrator at Bancroft School, teaching foreign languages and English. During her time there, she co-authored the textbook, The Phenomenon of Language, an exploratory language skills program for Middle School students. At her retirement from Bancroft, she was awarded the school’s Carpe Diem Award for excellence in teaching.

In 1990, Maureen prepared to pursue a second career in financial planning. For the last 26 years, she has advised clients on investments, retirement savings, insurance and budgeting in her profession as Senior Wealth Strategist for the Gray Group at UBS Financial Services in downtown Worcester.

Maureen has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Seven Hills Foundation, Junior League, Worcester Historical Museum and Girls Inc. She is a Trustee of Seven Hills, a Corporator of the Worcester Art Museum and a member of the Financial Literacy Committee for the Women’s Initiative. She has enjoyed speaking at conferences and events designed to teach young women about finance, careers in finance, fundraising and governance.

For these and other efforts, she was awarded the Robert W. Stoddard Award for Outstanding Community Service by Bancroft School in 2015.

Maureen is known as someone who works behind the scenes connecting people to organizations to help make the community thrive. In her mind so many have latent leadership talent and are ripe for mentoring in order to be effective on boards and committees. She has a personal and professional mission to help others make well-informed financial and philanthropic decisions.

Maureen lives in Worcester with her husband, Bob Gray, and is the mother of three sons and the grandmother of seven, six girls and a boy.

Congratulations Maureen!

Reunion by the Sea III

reunion-by-sea-iii-groupA group from the Class of ’65 had another get-together in Maine this September.  They dubbed it Reunion by the Sea III.  Once again, the gang enjoyed the hospitality of Maureen Gray and her son Rob at their summer homes in Cape Porpoise. The days were spent catching up, sightseeing, going to the beach, and eating great seafood, but mostly reminiscing about their years together at the Hurst.  A special treat was having Mary Ann Finnerty Belladonna and Nancy Ferraro Santola join the ladies, as they had not seen them since graduation, 51 years ago.

The group also raised over $300 for the Class of 1965 Scholarship by raffling off a beautiful painting of a Cape Porpoise harbor scene done by a classmate Barb Kramer Brozich.  Barb had sketched the scene on a previous trip to Maine and generously donated a giclee print of the resulting painting for the fundraiser.

The fourteen ladies who attended Reunion by the Sea III include: Maureen Aleci Gray, Carol Klein, Maryce Jaeger Cunningham, Liz Cicholski Vargo, Anne Ledoux Erwin, Ann Kleindinst Abbate, Bonnie Morris Gerace, Mary Ann Finnerty Belladonna, Kathie Mahaney Baumeister, Nancy Ferraro Santola, Ann Sheridan Kreider, Peggy Hock Heetmann, Ginny Gorsak Degironimo, and Sue Smith Beidler.



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