Three professors awarded the title of “professor emeritus”

Vydalia Weatherly, Staff writer

Three retired professors have been newly honored with a new title. Mr. Thomas Hubert and Mr. Robert Hoff have earned the title “professor emeritus” while Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, Ph.D., has been titled “professor emerita.” Joanne Hosey-McGurk, Ph.D., the vice president for Academic Affairs, said “A professor emeritus is an honorific title that is given to a retired full-time faculty member who served Mercyhurst for at least ten years with distinction in the area of teaching and with dedication in service to the university and in scholarly contributions to their discipline. This title is granted by the university president.” Prime ministers and presidents and others in various distinguished offices have also been given the title “emeritus” for centuries. “‘Emeritus’ is a Latin word. Latin is a language that has masculine & feminine forms for nouns and adjectives. Emeritus is the masculine singular form. Emerita is the feminine singular form. The plural is “emeriti.” So when we are talking about more than one of these folks, we say “professors emeriti,” Hosey-McGurk said. Being honored with this prestige title is no easy task, there is a significant process involved. One year after the faculty member’s retirement but before the end of the second year, the chairperson of the faculty member’s department nominates the retired faculty member through a letter written to the vice president for Academic Affairs. The content of these letters typically laud the faculty member’s exemplary service and shows support for that individual to receive the distinction of “professor emeritus.” “At some universities, the status is automatic upon a faculty member’s retirement after a certain number of years of service. Other universities, such as Mercyhurst, have a process for bestowing the title. After careful consideration, the vice president makes a recommendation to the president of Mercyhurst, who then makes the final determination of whether or not to grant emeritus status” said Hosey-McGurk. Honored professors review a formal letter in the mail to notify them of their new title and congratulate them. The Merciad is honored to highlight the new professor emeriti. Mr. Thomas Hubert, professor emeritus of Art, taught at Mercyhurst for 40 years. He is an alumnus of the class of 1977. He became department chair in 1992 and led it until 2007 and then chaired again from 2013 to 2015. Art is one of the oldest majors that Mercyhurst has offered its students. Hubert served the university on many important committees and served his students admirably in the Ceramics lab. He was a good and fair-dealing col-league whose sense of humor was al-ways welcomed. Mr. Robert Hoff, professor emeritus of Psychology, taught for 52 years at Mercyhurst. At the time of his arrival in 1969, just as Mercyhurst was going co-ed, there was no Psychology department. He helped found it and was its department chair for over 30 years. Under his leadership, the department greatly expanded its curriculum. He served the university on many important committees and mentored generations of students. Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, Ph.D., professor emerita of English, adroitly led the faculty and students in the English department for many years through curriculum changes and changing populations of students. Her dedication to the university was unbounded. She joined the president’s cabinet as the first vice president for Mission Integration. The common denominator among all recipients of the title “professor emeritus” is that they gave unstintingly of their time and ingenuity to make Mer-cyhurst a better place for its students, faculty, and staff. “They invested themselves in the success of their departments but also of the whole university,” said Hosey-McGurk. McCartney still works at the university as the Mission Associate even further-ing her commitment to helping Mercy-hurst project its core values out into the world. Mercyhurst is honored to have such dedicated faculty and staff that care so much about the school and the students who attend. Congratulations to all the newly honored Professors.