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: 3,583
New undergraduates on the Erie campus: 701
New graduate students: 112
46 states and 52 foreign countries represented


(Faculty: 147; Staff & Administration: 267)

CAMPUS: 75-acre main campus with approximately 81 buildings in Erie, Pa.

ALUMNI: Approximately 19,950


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. Post baccalaureate 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), Intercollegiate Rowing Association (men’s rowing) and Eastern College Athletic Conference (women’s rowing).


2017: Year in Review

  • Welcomed 701 new undergraduate students for the 2017-2018 academic year.
  • Added 22 faculty members at the Erie campus this fall.
  • Reported a freshman-to-sophomore retention rate of 83 percent.
  • 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 ranked # 48 out of 179 schools in its category. Mercyhurst was also recognized prominently under Best Value Schools at #7, and was featured as a school with the Most International Students and Best Schools for Veterans.
  • Lived the Mercy Mission in many ways: sponsored welcome receptions for new U.S. citizens; built enrollment in Mercy Emissary Program, now in its third year; increased service learning initiatives stateside and abroad; and created a Diversity Task Force, continuing the inclusive message that “You are Welcome Here.”
  • Became a “Tobacco-Free Campus.”
  • Began construction of a $25 million sophomore residence hall on the east campus. The suite-style building, which will house approximately 350 students, will be named Ryan Hall, in honor of alumna, donor and former trustee Ellen Ryan and her husband, David.
  • Undertook nearly $1 million in renovations at Hammermill Library, including a redesign of the main floor and the addition of a Ridge Reading Room.
  • Announced a $1.25 million investment to develop a risk management program aimed at educating a growing workforce, creating economic opportunities and advancing the high-demand field. Program made possible through the generosity of Betsy Hirt Vorsheck, a 1977 graduate of Mercyhurst and a board member of Erie Insurance.
  • Received a $4 million grant from the Erie Community Foundation, the Susan Hirt Hagen Fund for Transformational Philanthropy and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, to establish the Erie Innovation District (EID) to drive a new knowledge-based economy focused on safety and security. Besides Mercyhurst, founding partners include Erie Insurance, McManis & Monsalve Associates, UPMC and Velocity Network Inc. Later in the year, the district’s board, led by Mercyhurst Provost Dr. David Dausey, announced the EID’s first president and CEO: Philadelphia native Karl H. Sanchack.
  • Composed a new strategic plan, through 2020, in accordance with President Michael Victor’s business model. The plan has four primary goals:  Renew commitment to a Mercyhurst education; Renew commitment to campus life; Renew the university’s resources, processes and infrastructure; and Renew the Mercyhurst North East vision.
  • Graduated the first class from its Physician Assistant Studies Program. All 18 students passed their board exam for a 100 percent first-time pass rate.  
  • Made significant investment in Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, in particular, to expand programs in cyber and data science, where jobs are in high demand.
  • Welcomed three new faculty leaders in the intel department: Afzal Upal directs data science, Chad Griffin heads cyber, and leading the entire Ridge College this year is Duncan McGill, our newest dean.
  • Started construction on a new cyber lab and a network operations center in Hammermill Library, thanks to a $1 million investment from MCPc, a national technology company based in Cleveland. The lab will provide students with top-notch training in cybersecurity. The operations center will pay our students at industry rates to work with real MCPc clients, another important example of Mercyhurst’s commitment to hands-on learning.
  • Recorded another high-performing year in fundraising, with pledge activity surpassing $6.5 million. Giving Day brought in a record $51,300. At $580,000, annual fund contributions increased by 28 percent over last year. The year saw more than $400,000 in new scholarships for students.
  • Hosted inaugural Conference on Autism in Higher Education, sponsored by the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst (AIM) at Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center, and welcomed three national headliners in the field: Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Stephen Shore and Steve Silberman.
  • Finished 25th among 268 NCAA Division II athletic departments in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, an annual award given to the most successful athletics departments. Points are earned based on the order of finish in each sport’s championship. It is the 5th time the Lakers have posted a top-25 finish in the last decade.
  • Launched initiatives, like The 501 membership society, to allow the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture (MIAC) to book more high-profile artists and, at the same time, reduce ticket prices to make the performances accessible to broader audiences. Shows featuring two major headliners – Bernadette Peters and Lily Tomlin – sold out before the season even began.
  • Announced that Mercyhurst radio station WMCE-FM 88.5 will transition from its current oldies format to a student-managed operation.
  • Moved the RN-to-BSN program from Mercyhurst North East to the Erie campus, which doubled the number of new RN-to-BSN students. (The Erie location proved more convenient to employees at local health care institutions.)
  • Welcomed author and political commentator Cokie Roberts to campus for the Joan D. Chittister Lecture Series.
  • Appointed Dr. David Hyland vice president of Mercyhurst North East and a member of President Victor’s Cabinet.
  • Presented the Teaching Excellence Award to Kristan J. Wheaton, J.D., associate professor of intelligence studies.
  • Noted the passing of former Mercyhurst President William Garvey on Aug. 9, 2017.