Mercyhurst University

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Campus Profile - Erie

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TYPE OF COLLEGE: Catholic comprehensive. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Coeducational since Feb. 3, 1969


MOTTO: Carpe Diem - Seize the Day

MASCOT: Luke the Laker

ENROLLMENT: Total Enrollment across all campuses: 3,681
New traditional undergraduates on the Erie campus: 771 (721 freshmen, 49 transfers) 
New adult students: 39
New graduate students: 174
46 states and 53 foreign countries represented


(Faculty: 165; Staff & Administration: 270)


CAMPUS: 75-acre main campus with approximately 80 buildings in Erie, Pa.

ALUMNI: Approximately 19,500


Middle States Commission on Higher Education

3624 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (267) 284-5000

DEGREES: More than 100 programs of study

UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music; also Associate of Science and Associate of Arts, Certificate Programs in the areas of Business and Health Professions

GRADUATE DEGREES: Master of Science in Special Education and Applied Disability Studies, Criminal Justice Administration, Organizational Leadership, Anthropology, Applied Intelligence, Secondary Education: Pedagogy and Practice, Physician Assistant Studies and Data Science; Ph.D. in Anthropology.  

ADULT PROGRAMS: Comprehensive degrees. Postbaccalaureate certificates. Accelerated degree program. Teacher certification.

HAMMERMILL LIBRARY:  The Hammermill Library is a fully automated facility; the virtual library provides 24/7 access to most of the library’s collections. Among the library’s holdings are book volumes, eBooks and electronic journal databases to support the scholarly needs of students. It is also home to the Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection (archives and the Sister Joan Chittister Archives 



MASCOT: Luke the Laker

24 VARSITY SPORTS: Basketball (M/W), Baseball (M), Cross Country (M/W), Golf (M/W), Soccer (M/W), Softball (W), Tennis (M/W), Volleyball (W), Rowing (M/W), Field Hockey (W), Ice Hockey (M/W), Lacrosse (M/W), Football (M), Wrestling (M), Water Polo (M/W)

CONFERENCE AFFILIATIONS: NCAA Division II. Division I in men’s and women’s ice hockey. Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Atlantic Hockey Association (men’s hockey), College Hockey America (women’s hockey), Collegiate Water Polo Association (men), Western Water Polo Association (women), Great Midwest Athletic Conference (men’s lacrosse).



  • Mercyhurst inaugurated President Michael T. Victor on Sept. 10, 2016. The theme chosen for his presidency was: “Renewal through Mercy: The Next 90 Years.”
  • A university-wide effort, combined with that of admissions, marketing and financial aid, resulted in a record freshman enrollment of 721 students. The university added 49 transfer students to bring the total for new undergraduates to 770. Despite declining enrollment in Erie County high schools, Mercyhurst enrolled more than 100 new students from Erie County, its best in five years.
  • Eighty percent of Mercyhurst’s 2015 freshman class returned for their sophomore year. The stability of our freshman retention rate over the years speaks to the ongoing commitment of many in our community to strengthen student persistence, and we anticipate an even stronger retention rate in the future with the addition of several new initiatives led by the Office of the Provost.
  • At $6.57 million, Mercyhurst’s advancement office recorded its greatest fundraising year in history, yielding gains in nearly every area: the endowment, major gifts and the annual fund. It also launched several new initiatives, among them the Mercyhurst Leadership Giving Society and a crowdfunding platform to raise money for four mission-driven university projects.
  • The university completed several capital projects, including major upgrades to the Ice Center and a $3 million renovation of Egan Dining Hall, newly christened the Grotto Commons. 
  • Mercyhurst continued to rank in the top tier of Regional Universities (North) in the Best Colleges Guide of U.S. News & World Report. This year, the university was also recognized on three important lists: Best Value Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans and Most International Students.
  • Mercyhurst University has been ranked among the nation’s best colleges for master’s degrees in human resources, according to College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources.
  • The university underwent considerable academic restructuring under the direction of Provost Dr. David Dausey, including consolidating into four colleges, each with full-time deans: Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences, Dean Michael Elnitsky; the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, Dean James Breckenridge; the Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Dean Leanne Roberts; and the Walker College of Business, Dean Missy Breckenridge. The provost’s office also designed a new core curriculum and a new academic calendar.
  • Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM, the only sister of Mercy still working full time on the Erie campus, began the Mercy Emissary Program to sustain the Mercy legacy at Mercyhurst.
  • Mercyhurst introduced a new marching ensemble, Laker Pride, to its athletic bands, complete with new uniforms.
  • The Office of Student Life oversaw the expansion of 57 double rooms into triples in Warde Hall to accommodate the large freshman class. All student athletes returned to campus living this fall as well. 
  • Another group with a growing footprint on campus is the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst. With the program’s burgeoning reputation, the university has seen a significant increase in the number of qualified student applicants from across the country. In continuing this pioneering initiative, enrollment in the AIM program was upped from 45 to 60 students, where it was capped.
  • AIM also was set to host its inaugural Conference on Autism in Higher Education in November, bringing together three of the nation’s leading experts on the subject: Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Stephen Shore, and Steve Silberman.
  • The university undertook one of the largest-scale IT projects in the past decade by installing a new wireless network, expanding the network from 430 access points to 700, covering both the Erie and North East campuses. 
  • The university introduced a new online program called SALT to help students and alumni navigate the challenges of financing higher education. The new support system guides them in managing debt and making wise financial decisions for their futures.
  • The Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences at Mercyhurst announced a partnership with The School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University intended to attract more students to today’s high-demand information management fields.
  • The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Mercyhurst earned degree accreditation from the American Chemical Society (ACS), a sought-after designation acknowledging high-caliber academic programs across the nation.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized Mercyhurst as Individual Conference Champion in the 2015-16 College & University Green Power Challenge for using more green power than any other school in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).