Mercyhurst Magazine captures university life, heritage

As the spring 2015 semester winds to a close, Mercyhurst’s Marketing and Public Relations Department is readying its biannual publication, the Mercyhurst Magazine.

The University has sent out the 30-page magazine since 1986. Scheduled to print soon after the new president of the University is announced, the magazines creators face a fast approaching deadline.

Sue Corbran, Editor of the magazine, said that the publication is the result of extensive interdepartmental cooperation.
“It’s an ongoing process that gets really intense in the last few months,” Corbran said.

Mercyhurst sends the magazine to approximately 23,000 readers each semester, most of whom are alumni. Other recipients of the magazine include parents of current students and “friends of the University” such as the head administrators of other Erie schools, including Gannon University and Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, are also Mercyhurst magazine recipients.

The publication focuses on updating alumni about progress made by peers and exciting changes for the University, according to Corbran.

“We’re trying to come up with the right mix of stories,” Corbran said.

The magazine challenges Mercyhurst’s marketing and public relations team to maintain the right balance of nostalgia and new developments for readers. The publication’s most popular segment highlights updates and significant changes in the lives of alumni.

The magazine’s Class Notes section documents significant changes in the lives of alumni, including marriages, births and deaths. Alumni submit their stories through the alumni relations office.

Close connections with past graduates help make the Mercyhurst magazine a personal reflection of life as a Laker after graduation, Corbran said.

This semester’s magazine features a statement from President Thomas Gamble, highlights the accomplishments of several highly successful alumni and will celebrate a lecture series presented by keynote speaker Sister Joan Chittister.
“We often include stories that highlight Mercyhurst’s Sisters of Mercy heritage,” Corbran said.

The spring 2015 issue will feature the mathematic contributions of a Sister of Mercy who doubles as a Mercyhurst alumni.

“Our stories are fun for older alumni who have fond memories of Mercyhurst, but are still interesting to younger readers who may wonder about Mercyhurst’s past,” Corbran said.

The glossy pages of Mercyhurst’s magazine are not the result of in an in-house document center. A third party printing service prepares the magazine. However, the magazine’s distinctive imagery, design and photography are the work of Jeremy Hewitt, Mercyhurst’s resident graphic designer and class of 2007 alumni.

A member of the Mercyhurst marketing and public relations team, hired in August 2014, Hewitt said he is cautious about making changes to Mercyhurst’s iconic publication, but hopes future magazines will continue to grow under his influence as designer.

“I did a lot of research into past editions,” said Hewitt. “I want to retain the spirit of Mercyhurst while giving the magazine a modern touch.”

“We want them to know about the great things that are happening here,” Corbin said.

Readers can receive bonus content from the Fall 2014 online at