Honest, caring and dependable. These are just a few of the traits exemplified in Sister Patricia Whalen’s tenure at Mercyhurst and in her life. Whalen’s devotion to Mercyhurst is clear as she has been a part of the Mercyhurst family for almost 50 years.
Her roles at Mercyhurst have been diverse as she has gone from student to teacher to supervisor to registrar since 1999.
Whalen has truly loved her time at Mercyhurst but feels that now is the time to move on from her role.
“I’ve been thinking about it for months and being here as long as I have, I feel that it is time to pursue other opportunities that are in my life,” Whalen said.
Whalen offers a unique perspective when it comes to students, after her long time here and hands-on experience with them.
“Students today are no different than they were 50 years ago. The only difference between these students is social media. All the generations at this school are good people and many are involved when it comes to service and very interested in learning and building their intellect,” Whalen said.
Whalen thinks that the changes Mercyhurst is currently going through will ultimately be good for the university. She, like many, cringed at the teacher cuts, but understands that the leadership is doing what is necessary.
“The university is ‘right-sizing’ and ensuring that there is the correct number of faculty to students they are doing the best they can,” Whalen said.
Whalen’s biggest thanks is to her colleagues.
“I have to acknowledge my deep appreciation for my colleagues. They are fully invested in getting students to graduate,” Whalen said.
Whalen is one of the most integral parts of Mercyhurst. She is the oil that keeps the ’Hurst machine going; the behind the scenes presence that makes students’ lives that much easier. Her integrity, positive outlook and kindness will be missed in the coming years.
“Each position I’ve had here better prepared me for the next. It’s been a gift to me to service this university, following in the footsteps of great women is a huge honor. As long as I’m living and able, I will dedicate my services to this University in any capacity I can,” Whalen said.