Even before attending Mercyhurst, President Michael T. Victor’s name preceded itself. Commonly referred to as MTV by the Mercyhurst community, the first time I heard MTV’s name was on my tour of the Hurst. I remember walking through the upper levels of the library and my Ambassador mentioned his name in reference to Hurst Day – one of the days most looked forward to by the student body.
Throughout his time at Mercyhurst as its 12th president, MTV has certainly helped lead the school to where it is today. While I was not able to experience the Hurst before his time, I can without a doubt say from his list of accomplishments alone he has significantly helped chaperone the school to its current rankings. When MTV first announced his plans for retirement on Oct. 19, it came as a great shock to all of the Mercyhurst community. Then, his retirement came sooner than planned, which was another shock. Personally, after every single shock of the past year, I did not really think much about his announcement beyond the thought of “Will there ever be another Hurst Day?” In regard to will there ever be another Hurst Day, I have no worries because, since its introduction, Hurst Day has become such an iconic tradition that I am pretty sure the student body would revolt before they allowed it to be taken away forever.
In the grand scheme of things, I was not really concerned with Victor’s retirement in one way or another because I know whoever will follow him will have to go through a rigorous hiring process in order to step foot through the gates of Mercyhurst to assume such a position. According to Victor, he and his administration have accomplished all of the goals that they set out to complete. While from the outside, MTV leaving in the midst of a worldwide pandemic may look like a captain jumping from a sinking ship, personally I understand his want to retire and move on to new things. If a job no longer challenges or excites you and there is no more room for personal or professional growth, it is not really serving you as a person. As a student, however, it can feel a little disheartening to see the leader of your school leave while the world is in such disarray. I for one was looking forward to seeing this pandemic and its restrictions end and getting to return to the Hurst to walk across the graduation stage and shake Victor’s hand.
However, I am sure one thing most students will not miss is almost being hit by a speeding MTV in his black Mercedes or Jag on the way to his parking spot. Although, the thought of free tuition from being hit by the President’s car has tempted students for years and left many in regret for jumping out of the way. While I am sad to see MTV go, I have hope for the future of the University and its new leadership who will lead Mercyhurst into a post-pandemic era.