Students and faculty gathered on Friday, March 23, as Mercyhurst University President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D., announced the opening of the Mercyhurst International Center in Dungarvan, Ireland.
Mercyhurst has had a long-standing relationship with Dungarvan since the late 1980s when students from Ireland studied in Erie as part of the John F. Kennedy Scholarship Program.
Dungarvan is also the sister city of Erie with a long-standing history.
Gamble was featured on a screen in the Carolyn Herrmann Student Union as he made the announcement from Dungarvan.
“It is important to us to make sure our students have a greater global awareness,” said Gamble. “This also gives us an opportunity to have partnerships between Mercyhurst University and Irish institutions of higher education.”
Mercyhurst is the first international university in this region of Ireland.
“Mercyhurst is proud to be the first university in this region to have an international campus in Dungarvan,” said Gamble. “We can’t imagine a better place to do this.”
Junior Brian Lombardo stressed that his time in Ireland was life-changing and expressed excitement about the experiences this will provide for Mercyhurst students in Ireland.
“I think this is a great opportunity for more students to be able to participate in such an incredible experience,” said Lombardo. “It’s a sign of the growth of the program, which remains so popular. This is only going to enhance studying students’ time in Dungarvan.”
Dungarvan’s County Manager, Denis McCarthy, spoke on behalf of Dungarvan and the Irish community.
“As a result of today’s announcement, I am proud to announce Dungarvan as a university town and a center of academic excellence,” he said.
The new addition of the Mercyhurst International Center in Dungarvan will expand the relationship of Erie and Dungarvan and will bring global attention to Erie, Dungarvan and Mercyhurst University.
Junior Bridget Finn said, “The expansion internationally into Ireland is significant for the sharing of crucial information as well as expanding the knowledge and studies of analytic techniques.”
Lombardo sees the opening of the International Center as a significant step for Mercyhurst.
“This is another huge step for the university and is really a solid example of the bond between Mercyhurst (and Erie in general) and Dungarvan that has been developed in the past year,” said Lombardo.
Junior Alison Palmeri agreed with Lombardo.
“I think that the opening of an International Center for Mercyhurst is a great step,” said Palmeri. “By having this, it gives us students a greater opportunity to study abroad, experience other cultures and be connected to the world in a way that we couldn’t if we were just learning about it from inside the classroom.”