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Mercyhurst to present full scholarship as part of Rotary Ethics Symposium

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Fourth Annual Rotary Club of Erie Ethics Symposium for High School Students will be held on Tuesday, March 11, in partnership with Mercyhurst University’s Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society. Selected juniors representing all 19 high schools in Erie County will attend.

“This symposium was developed because one of the guiding principles of Rotary throughout the world is applying high ethical standards in business and professions,” said past Erie Rotary President Terry Pytlarz, who was instrumental in developing the symposium during his 2010 presidency. “The Ethics Symposium is a direct extension of that practice.”

The Rotary Club of Erie and Mercyhurst University have agreed to award one four-year, full tuition scholarship to Mercyhurst University to a participant in the 2014 symposium as it did in 2013. Only students who attend the symposium are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applicants are judged on the reflections of their experience at the symposium based on an essay and interview. Along with other school and community service work, these criteria will be used to select the student to be awarded the scholarship.

Jenna Uhlig, a senior at McDowell High School who attended the 2013 Symposium, was selected as the recipient of the full scholarship for 2013. She will be present at this year’s symposium to receive the award. The scholarship has been made available through the support of E.E. Austin & Son, The Merwin Foundation, Eriez Magnetics, Mercyhurst University, Erie Insurance and Rotary Club of Erie Scholarship Foundation.

“Mercyhurst University is pleased to collaborate with the Rotary Club of Erie to offer this scholarship that stems from our joint work on the annual Ethics Symposium, said Daniel McFee, Ph.D., co-director of Mercyhurst’s Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society. “This provides an important opportunity for high school juniors to think carefully and deeply about ethics. We are pleased to support this effort.”

Rotary District Governor Patty Meehan will attend the symposium and offer a few words in closing to highlight the work of the Rotary Club of Erie in offering this signature event, which has gained recognition and praise from Rotary International’s President Ron Burton.

The day will begin with a continental breakfast and a live play, Choices, written by Rev. Shawn Clerkin and performed by actors from Gannon University’s Schuster Theatre. Students will then participate in an open talk-back session with the Gannon Theatre actors, followed by a breakout session to discuss ethical issues with university faculty and Rotarian facilitators.

Due to the expansion of the symposium to all Erie County high schools, the main events will be held at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center with breakout sessions at the Audrey Hirt Academic Center at Mercyhurst. Students arrive at 8 a.m. for registration and are dismissed at 2 p.m.

For more information on Rotary, contact Joyce Miller ( ) or Norm Zymm ( ), co-chairs of the 2014 Rotary Club of Erie Ethics Symposium. To learn more about Mercyhurst’s ethics institute, contact Daniel McFee (