Mercyhurst transitions to university

After months of waiting, Mercyhurst College is now known as Mercyhurst University.

On Wednesday, Jan. 25, President Tom Gamble, Ph.D., made the announcement of the university transition in the Herrmann Student Union Great Room to tell the campus of the news.

The process to attain the approval for university status too more than a year.

“We were a university when the Pennsylvania Education Department secretary signed the letter and it was official on Monday, Jan. 23, 2012,” Dean of the Walker School of Business Monsignor David Rubino, Ph.D., said.

This new change is considered to have the biggest impact on Mercyhurst since the college went co-ed in 1969.

Gamble unveiled the new logo at the announcement, which featured the traditional colors of blue, green, black and white. A new college shield and Mercyhurst cross are also featured in the logo, which symbolizes the founding Sisters of Mercy. The Carpe Diem motto and founding date are included as well.

Much of the work involved in this process was already taken care of prior to the announcement.

“All the steps took place before the announcement. Now is the time to start allowing for changes,” Rubino said.

The next step will be making changes to administrative materials, signs, marketing materials and to the website.

“It’s a very slow process and so much needs to be done,” Rubino said.

The change is hoped to clarify to international students that Mercyhurst University is not a high school. In international countries high school is often referred to as college. With the title of university, no confusion should occur.

“The university status will bring us up a notch if we follow through. We’re still the same school, but we’re just on a different clientele for schools now,” Rubino said.

As of now, the university transition is to be celebrated during events that are already scheduled. Something additional will happen at graduation to celebrate the first class graduating from Mercyhurst University.

A university celebration will also take place at the alumni reunion, so former Mercyhurst students can take part in the change. There will be an additional celebration during the 2012 fall term.

Many question the changes the transition will have on the school as well as on the students. Becoming a university will have no effect on tuition as well as no correlation to the term changes.

“The day-to-day lives of students and faculty will not be affected,” Rubino said.

Changes will quickly occur, as Mercyhurst University will include three colleges. These are the College of Graduate Studies, the College of Baccalaureate Studies in Erie and the College of Associate Degrees in North East that will also have sites in Girard, Corry and at Booker T. Washington Center in Erie.

“This is truly a historic moment and hopefully the end product will make us more visible internationally and nationally,” Rubino said.