Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Dear Mercyhurst Community:
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back to another academic year at Mercyhurst University. As our students return to campus and our faculty and staff continue their preparations for the busy months to come, I want to thank each and every one of you for distinguishing Mercyhurst as a place where collaboration, creativity and innovation thrive.
We are excited to welcome a stellar group of new students this year. At the Erie campus, our new Lakers meet the high standards of recent classes, entering with an average GPA of 3.4, 1580 on the SAT and 24 on the ACT. The diversity of the class – a record 80 international undergraduates from 25 countries – continues our commitment to a diverse educational experience. All told, nearly 700 new undergraduate students will make Mercyhurst Erie their home this fall. The admissions staff of the McAuley College of Associate Degree Studies is still in the midst of a heavy recruiting season and we applaud their hard work. Enrollment in many of the health professions programs at North East remains strong with several at or near capacity, and we anticipate a record enrollment at the Booker T. Washington Center and a 15-year high at Mercyhurst Corry.
Mercyhurst also welcomes 12 new faculty at its Erie campus and five at North East, continuing our pledge that every student be afforded the opportunity for personal interaction with professors and engagement in hands-on learning.
At the Erie campus, we have been busy during the summer, completing more than $1 million in renovations and upgrades to student housing, not to mention construction of a new Media Convergence Center, which will strengthen interdisciplinary learning while integrating more opportunities for students to engage in real-industry practices. Located in the Audrey Hirt Academic Center, the facility is five years in the making and includes a multimedia center combining The Merciad and Laker TV in one space, a conference room, a new lounge and a renovated graphic design studio. At North East, construction continues to progress on the Miller Estate property to transform the scenic homestead into the new center for hospitality and culinary arts associate degree programs.
Also, as you may know, Mercyhurst is one of many institutions nationwide having embarked on a thorough process of research and self-examination in evaluating the safety of its campuses. We will continue that process this fall as we move toward arming our sworn police officers by spring 2015, a decision made by the Board of Trustees on May 31. As part of that process, we look forward to involving all members of the campus community in emergency awareness training and other initiatives that will further build a “culture of safety” on all our campuses.
In closing, let me say how much we value you as a member of the Mercyhurst community and the hard work you do each day to strengthen our mission. May you all have a happy, productive and rewarding academic year. God bless you, and God bless Mercyhurst University.
Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D.