Academics from around country to attend ceremony for Thomas Gamble
(Erie, Pa.) — Mercyhurst College will inaugurate Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D. as its 11th president on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.
Gamble’s inaugural address will explore the intellectual roots of the Mercy charism and what it says about the future trajectory of Mercyhurst College. An important feature is Mercy hospitality, which goes beyond mere tolerance toward genuine respect, warmth and open-mindedness. Mercy hospitality will be understood as growing out of the Catholic and Western intellectual tradition of faith and reason. It opens one to the goodness of creation, the dignity of work and service to others. Gamble will explore what that means for Mercyhurst College and the broader community of which Mercyhurst is a part.
The college’s theme for the inauguration is “Imagine,” which serves as the canopy over a weeklong series of events (Sept. 10-16) focused on academic symposia, art exhibits, performances and gatherings that are inclusive of the Mercyhurst College family as well as the community at large. The cost of the inaugural celebration, which includes nearly 30 events, is approximately $75,000 and is funded entirely by private donations, including 100 percent participation by the college’s board of trustees. To date, the college has raised nearly $100,000 for the inauguration; the overflow will go toward establishing scholarships for Mercyhurst students.
An academic inaugural affirms an institution’s past, defines its vision and looks toward the future. Although steeped in ritual and tradition, the ceremony is also a festive occasion, with colorful academic gowns, caps and hoods, speeches and music. The Gamble installation ceremony begins with an academic procession of more than 175 faculty, students, administrators and guests, including delegates representing more than 20 colleges and universities around the country from as far away as Nebraska.
The procession features important college symbols, including the mace, the college seal, presidential regalia and, for the first time, the Mercyhurst College Chain of Office, which is a visual reminder of the historical responsibility invested in the presidency. The medallion to be bestowed on Gamble during the ceremony features the seal of the college made of cast bronze and includes links that identify Mercyhurst’s past presidents.
Gamble became president on March 1, 2006, of an institution with an 80-year educational tradition begun by the Sisters of Mercy. Founded in 1926, Mercyhurst now boasts five undergraduate schools and one graduate school with five highly regarded programs. The college includes three campuses: Erie, Mercyhurst North East and Mercyhurst West with a combined enrollment of more than 4,000 students. Another hallmark of the college is a community of faculty who excel as teachers, scholars and researchers. The growing national reputation of the college is evidenced in its consistent ranking among the top 20 Comprehensive Colleges in the North as reported by U.S. News & World Report and its inclusion in The Princeton Review’s “best colleges” guidebooks.
Gamble has chosen as the theme of his administration a commitment to seek understanding, live our values and make a difference.
NOTE: More information, including a full media kit, Dr. Gamble’s biography, high-resolution portrait, event schedule, and other “fast facts” is available online at inauguration.mercyhurst.edu.