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|Motto||"Latin: "Carpe diem
(Seize the day)
|Affiliation||"Roman Catholic ("Sisters of Mercy)|
|"President||Michael T. Victor|
|Location||"Erie, "Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Campus||"Urban - 74 acres (300,000 m2)|
|"Colors||Green and White
|Athletics||"NCAA Division II – "PSAC|
|Affiliations||Conference for Mercy Higher Education
"Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
|Sports||3 "NCAA Division I
22 "Division II
|Mascot||Luke the Laker|
On September 20, 1926, Mercyhurst College opened its doors just a few blocks away from the city's southern boundary. It was founded by the "Sisters of Mercy of the "Diocese of Erie, who were led by "Mother M. Borgia Egan, who became the first president of Mercyhurst College. The college received its "charter on October 5, 1928, after Mother Egan convinced the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that the Sisters of Mercy were a living endowment for the college and worth just as much as a monetary endowment.
From the beginning, Mother Egan was determined to make Mercyhurst the "beauty spot in the diocese of Erie." Wanting the institution to be a masterpiece of harmony, she directed that the exterior of the college be given as much attention as its interior by hiring prominent architect F. Ferdinand Durang of Philadelphia to create Old Main. It became a masterpiece of English Gothic design and stateliness that has the suggestion of a medieval castle in its lines. With the addition of the college gates in 1950, the Mercyhurst campus became a city landmark.
In 1963, the college prep department separated to form "Mercyhurst Preparatory School, which is located behind the university. On February 3, 1969, the board of trustees voted to make Mercyhurst a coed college. From its foundation in 1926 until 1972, members of the Sisters of Mercy had been presidents of the college. After 1972, lay presidents led the college. On March 27, 1991, Mercyhurst purchased the 100-year-old "Redemptorist Seminary in "North East and turned it into a branch campus, offering associate degrees and one-year certificates.
In the past two decades, Mercyhurst has become one of the top comprehensive colleges in the North and the second largest Mercy college in America. Among its five campuses, enrollment has grown to well over 4,000 students while full-time faculty employment numbers includes 168 members. The endowment has increased to more than $20 million and its budget is more than $85 million.
A $40 million program of building and campus renovation has changed the look of Mercyhurst's 50 structures during the past 20 years. The "Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center opened in February 1996. Then, in fall 2002, the $7.5 million Audrey Hirt Academic Center opened on the southeast edge of campus, a building funded largely through the college’s $22.8 million capital campaign.
On October 10, 2004 the Erie Times-News published a story stating that former president Dr. William Garvey molested grade school boys while serving as a basketball coach at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in "Erie. The article further stated that "two current Erie residents told the Erie Times-News that Garvey paid them to have sex with him in the early to mid-1980s, when both men were minors." On December 17 the paper reported that Garvey "abruptly announced his retirement Thursday, months before the completion of a college-ordered investigation Garvey had predicted would exonerate him." Several months after Garvey retired, an investigation conducted by retired Erie County Judge Michael Palmisano, at the instruction of the board of trustees, determined that the allegations against Garvey "appear[ed] to have merit". The University has a park, Garvey Park, named in honor of the former President.
In August 2005, the $5 million Michele and Tom Ridge Health and Safety Building was dedicated at Mercyhurst North East. A $1.3 million residential apartment complex also opened in time for the North East campus' "academic year.
Also in 2005, the board of trustees authorized the purchase of 400 acres (1.6 km2) in "Girard as the first step towards developing Mercyhurst West, a two-year college serving western "Erie County, northwestern "Crawford County and northeastern "Ohio.
The board of trustees elected Dr. Thomas J. Gamble as the 11th president of Mercyhurst College. Dr. Gamble, who previously served as vice president of academic affairs at the college, assumed the presidency March 1, 2006.
The construction of a $14 million freshman residence hall began in fall 2008, and the hall opened in the fall of 2009. Frances Warde Hall, a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2). building, houses 318 students and contains a convenience store, media room, TV lounges, computer lab, campus printing station and a fitness center.
Opened in September 2012 is the Center for Academic Engagement, a four-story, 31,000-square-foot (2,900 m2) building that will be set into the rolling hill north of Hammermill Library and feature a skywalk over East Main Drive to connect the two facilities. The building, which boasts many green technologies, houses classrooms and lab space for two of Mercyhurst's signature programs—Intelligence Studies and Hospitality Management—as well as the Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society and the Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP).
On January 25, 2012, Mercyhurst College officially became Mercyhurst University.
The Board of Trustees of Mercyhurst University appointed Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D., as the 12th president of Mercyhurst University on May 19, 2015. Victor had served as president of Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, since 2006. Victor served as dean of the Walker School of Business at Mercyhurst from 2002 to 2006. He took office on Aug. 3, 2015.
Mercyhurst University continues to be guided by the legacy of its founders, the Sisters of Mercy, in educating students in a culture where faith and reason flourish together; where the beauty and power of the liberal arts combine with an appreciation for the dignity of work; and a commitment to serving others.
Enrollment at Mercyhurst University's Erie campus is nearly 4,500 students. Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D. is the current president. The university formerly was on a trimester calendar and moved to a 4–1–4 calendar for the 2013–2014 school year. Currently, the university is on a traditional semester calendar.
The University has also operated Mercyhurst Corry, a school offering an associate degree in business administration, for over 25 years. Meanwhile, a new campus location at the Booker T. Washington Center makes it easier for disadvantaged members of the Erie community to attain a college degree.
The University's fifth campus, Mercyhurst West, was located in Girard, Pennsylvania, at the site of the former Faith Lutheran Church. Classes began at this location in fall 2006. Due to low enrollment, the campus closed at the end of the 2013–2014 school year.
Notable Mercyhurst faculty include Epidemiologist "David Dausey; two American Board of Forensic Anthropology certified Forensic Anthropologists: Dennis Dirkmaat and Steven Symes; and Physical Anthropologist Stephen Ousley, co-creator of "FORDISC.
Mercyhurst University competes in three "NCAA Division I and 22 "NCAA Division II sports as the Lakers, one of the newest members of the "Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Around 15 percent of the student body consists of student-athletes.
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