Virtual events bring the Hurst to alumni

Garrett Freas, Staff writer

Mercyhurst University’s Alumni Relations Department has recently been working tirelessly to plan numerous up-coming virtual events.

As the dedicated office for those who have already graduated, Alumni Relations usually focuses on bringing people back to the Hurst. This year however, their focus has had to shift to bringing the Hurst to the people. In order to do so, the office has planned numerous virtual events.

The largest of these is Mercyhurst’s “Home-coming from Home” weekend which will occur from Oct. 2 – 4 and will try to replicate the Homecoming experience of past years as best as possible. Also planned are multiple “Tips and Advice for Job Hunting During COVID” webinars.

Additionally, the Alumni Relations Department also set up the recent “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” panel discussion, which occurred on Sept. 15 via Zoom. This “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” discussion commemorated 100 years of women’s suffrage and was centered around what it’s like to be a woman in the workplace, touching on challenges, triumphs and advice.

The event was moderated by Mercyhurst University Provost Leanne Roberts, Ph.D. Some of those who shared their experiences were Chanel Cook ‘17 M, Bea Habursky ‘85, Kristen Hudak ‘05, Chris Marsh ‘89, Sue Mack ‘83, Emily Merski ‘04 ‘06 M, Marlene Mosco ‘68, Mary Schaaf ‘68 and Melanie Titzel ‘80.

The breadth of speakers meant that women of all ages and professions were heard. Another set of important upcoming events are webinars that can help alumni find jobs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. As many may know from experience, finding a job during the economic recession caused by COVID-19 can be particularly difficult.

Thankfully for Mercyhurst alumni, the Alumni Relations Department has various upcoming virtual events to help them in the job search process, that can be found at These events cover how to write a résumé, how to prepare for a job fair, and more.

As noted by director of Alumni Engagement, Lindsay Frank, these webinars are open to all Mercyhurst alumni, regardless of when they graduated. “A benefit that we extend to all Mercyhurst alumni is that they continue to have access and support from the CDC [Career Development Center]. Whether the person graduated in May or 25 years ago, a new job, a career change, whatever it might be, we are happy to offer these services for alumni,” Frank said.

Also on Frank’s list of great opportunities for alumni is “Homecoming from Home” weekend. The biggest up-coming virtual event that the Alumni Relations Department has planned will offer all of the traditional alumni gatherings from Friday through Sunday, with the majority occurring on Oct. 2 and 3.

There will also be a Mercyhurst Trivia Event on Oct. 3, and the traditional Catholic Mass which will be done virtually on Oct. 4 at 11 a.m.

Despite the Alumni Relations Department’s success in planning these virtual events, Frank noted that there have been difficulties due to the University’s current inability to host large in-person gatherings.

“The biggest challenge for Alumni Relations is that so much of our work in engaging with alumni comes through personal contact. Because we cannot gather for events, we lost our two biggest events in 2020: Reunion Weekend in June and now the traditional Homecoming Weekend in October,” Frank said.

That said, the department is glad their events can go on, even if in a different form.

For further information on any upcoming events for Mercyhurst alumni, please visit, or contact Lindsay Frank at or 814-824-2330.