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Seniors announce gift of after-hours coffee bar

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Class of 2017 hopes to keep Mercyhurst Lakers up at night starting fall 2017 with this year’s senior class gift: an after-hours coffee bar in the 24/7 Student Study Lounge in Hammermill Library.

On Friday, May 12, the Senior Class Gift Committee presented Mercyhurst President Michael T. Victor with a check for $12,015.55. The project is estimated to cost $9,000, which includes the installation of a custom-built coffee bar, the cost of purchasing and licensing a cash register, new coffee-making equipment, utensils, coffee and accoutrements. The countertop will feature a collage of student photos collected via a yearlong photo drive to add a personal touch.

After narrowing fewer than a dozen Senior Class Gift ideas down to three, the committee received overwhelming support from the Class of 2017 and underclassmen via a survey for the late-night, pick-me-up option.

“The coffee bar is going to be such an excellent addition to the Hammermill Library,” said Lindsay Frank, Senior Class Gift Committee advisor and director of alumni engagement. “The committee really did their best work in preparing for the gift and talking with younger students to come to the conclusion that a coffee bar was needed.”

While the project was kept under wraps for much of fall semester, fundraising began as early as October 2016 when the committee hosted a Halloween party and social media costume contest at the Cornerstone Bar & Grill, and later Christmas festivities in early December.

To amass more support for the class gift, the committee spilled the beans with a video featuring a “sleepy” President Victor in need of a coffee break in early December, by which point they had already raised $4,000. Spring semester fundraisers included a Senior Week Launch Party, a Senior Date Auction, a 100 Days Party, a Senior vs. Faculty/Staff basketball game, and annual end-of-year activities.

“We truly could not have done this without the support and generous donations of the senior class,” said dance major Alyssa Archer `17, committee chair. “Mercyhurst has been very good to us in providing an excellent education and home away from home, and this gift is a small way to show our gratitude.”

The Senior Class Gift is an annual tradition that gives the graduating class an opportunity to leave behind its mark on campus with a permanent gift of their choosing.

“Although challenging, this project was well worth it,” said Archer. “Every senior who helped make this happen should feel immensely proud.”

Under the supervision of Alumni Relations, this is the first opportunity for soon-to-be alumni to learn the value of fundraising and giving back to their alma mater. It is the hope of the university that Senior Class Gift ignites a lifelong connection to alumni association participation and donor support.

“I encourage the senior class to always remember their time here at Mercyhurst and to cherish their memories and their friendships,” said Frank. “My wish is that no matter how near or far they go, they know they always have a home here at Mercyhurst and they always remember and appreciate all they have received at Mercyhurst.”

PHOTO: Senior Sam Lioi joins President Michael Victor with Senior Class Gift committee members (l-r) Alyssa Archer, Jimmy Duncan, Kelly Fergus and Mathew Jury.