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Mercyhurst College

Mercyhurst University, formerly Mercyhurst College, is a Catholic liberal arts college in Erie, Pennsylvania in the United States


501 E 38th St
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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Roman Catholic (Sisters of Mercy)
Campus Housing
Louie The Laker
White Blue Green

College History


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 state 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 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 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. 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. 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 opened in the fall of 2009. 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 will boast many green technologies, will house 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). 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. On January 25, 2012, Mercyhurst College officially became Mercyhurst University.

College Specialty


The mission serves as the integrating force for all aspects of life at Mercyhurst College and as a critical link to the original vision of the Sisters of Mercy and the dedication �to the pursuit of knowledge and to the furtherance of the social, political, economic, and spiritual well-being of the human community� that lies at the heart of Catholic and Mercy Higher Education. Centered around four themes: the Catholic identity, the Mercy heritage, the liberal arts orientation, and the understanding that the college is of modest size and committed to teaching excellence as a primary focus, the mission statement states: Mercyhurst College, a Catholic institution in the liberal arts tradition, is a community of learning dedicated to the lifelong development of the whole person. It strives for academic distinction in each of its programs. Inspired by the vision of the Sisters of Mercy, the college holds in highest esteem the qualities of excellence, compassion, creativity, and service to others. The college integrates its strong foundation in the arts and sciences with focused programs in career preparation, challenging students to think critically, to comprehend the riches of our global community, and to work for positive change. At Mercyhurst, students gather the knowledge, insights, skills and vision necessary to lead fulfilling and productive lives. Guided by its Catholic heritage, Mercyhurst promotes the values of truth, individual integrity, human dignity, mercy, and justice.



John Reilly Costello, (pitcher) 1988-1990, St. Louis Cardinals; 1990, Montreal Expos; 1991 San Diego Padres David Emmer Lee, (pitcher) 1999-2000, Colorado Rockies; 2001, San Diego Padres; 2003�2004, Cleveland Indians James "Buster" Douglas, 1981�1999, Professional Heavyweight Boxer (First to defeat Mike Tyson) Rob Keefe, (Head coach) for the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League Mike McLellan, (Forward) 2005 Edmonton Rush (NLL); 2005�2006, Arizona Sting (NLL); 2006�2009, New York Titans (NLL); 2009�2010, Orlando Titans (NLL); 2010�2011, Colorado Mammoth (NLL); 2011�Present, Edmonton Rush (NLL) Patrick Merrill, (Defence) 2003-2007, Toronto Rock (NLL); 2007, Boston Blazers (NLL); 2007�2009, New York Titans (NLL); 2009�2010, Orlando Titans (NLL); 2010�Present, Toronto Rock (NLL) Pat Harkins, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (2007�present). Anthony Maher, 1998�2002, Professional Soccer Player (2002�present). Matthew Hatchette Professional Football Player,(NFL),1997�2003, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL). Meghan Agosta, (Women's hockey player) 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist 2006, 2010 and 2014 for Canadian National Team. John Deasy an Irish Fine Gael politician, he is currently a Teachta D�la (TD) for the Waterford constituency. Joan Chittister member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pa., serving as prioress for 12 years and has authored over 45 books and has articles. David Lough outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball.



Urban - 74 acres (300,000 m2)