Mercyhurst College enrolls record number of new students on three campuses this fall

Mercyhurst College will open its 2006-2007 academic year with a record enrollment of more than 1,500 new students and top 4,000 enrolled students on three campuses, Mercyhurst College President Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D, announced today. 

More than 755 new students, including freshmen and transfers from as far away as Peru, will arrive on the Erie campus Saturday, Aug. 26, in what is being heralded as the most geographically diverse class ever. New students on the Erie campus represent 31 states and 15 foreign countries. 

Further, Mercyhurst is a frontrunner among local colleges for the most valedictorians and salutatorians in its freshman class, a total of 18, six of whom are graduates of Erie area high schools, noted undergraduate admissions director J.P. Cooney.

Cooney said Mercyhurst also is experiencing “an extremely high residency rate” of 95 percent among its freshman class, pushing residence halls to capacity. 

“Every freshman residence hall bed is spoken for this fall,” he said. “The fact that only 5 percent of our freshmen are commuting reflects our growing regional reputation and the success of our admissions team in broadening our reach. In fact, key programs like intelligence studies, dance, and archaeology/anthropology, among others, are drawing students from around the globe.” 

While the freshmen are settling in, upperclassmen will begin returning to campus for the start of classes on Thursday, Aug. 31. Mercyhurst North East anticipates 460 new students and 420 returning students for a total enrollment of 880. Mercyhurst West, in its inaugural year, expects 15 students at its temporary site in the former Faith Lutheran Church at 824 Main Street East in Girard. 

Mercyhurst Adult College will enroll 130 new adult undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students for a total of 375, and the college’s graduate school will host 98 new students in its five masters degree programs, bringing the total number of students in those programs to 225. 

Freshmen on the Erie campus spend Saturday, Aug. 26, through Wednesday, Aug. 30, in orientation. Monday, Aug. 28, is designated as “A Day of Service,” when more than 800 freshmen, faculty and orientation leaders board buses and head to 24 sites around Erie to perform more than 2,000 hours of community service, from park cleanups to outdoor walks with senior citizens.

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