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Trustees approve strategic plan

Alumni giving helps boost Mercyhurst in rankings Mercyhurst continues its upward trajectory among the 180 top regional universities in the North according to the 2013 rankings of America’s Best Colleges by U.S.News & World Report. “This serves as additional affirmation that the creativity, initiative and commitment of the entire Mercyhurst University family is paying great dividends,” said Mercyhurst President Thomas Gamble, Ph.D. “Such accolades are wonderful, but at the end of the day what matters most is that our students have an outstanding educational experience. We think that happens every day on The Hill.” Rankings are based on a variety of factors that are believed to reflect an institution’s quality. Significant for Mercyhurst this year is its “Average Alumni Giving Rate,” which jumped from 18 percent to 20 percent, tying with top-ranked Villanova University. Among the top 50 regional universities in the North, only Misericordia University was higher with an alumni giving rate of 24 percent. “This is a credit to our alumni who, despite tough economic times, continue to be there for their alma mater and to invest in the future of our students,” said David Livingston, Ph.D., vice president for advancement. “Our alumni participation ranking has risen in each of the past five years, with the last fiscal year finishing at over 23 percent and the current year on pace to achieve our goal of 24 percent,” added Ryan Palm, director of alumni relations and annual giving. Mercyhurst also recorded upticks in its rankings for student/faculty ratio (14:1), percentage of classes with fewer than 20 students (60), and average SAT scores for entering students (950-1160).

Mercyhurst Trustees approved the university’s 2013-2020 Strategic Plan at their Sept. 29 meeting. The approval followed discussion by several committees at the board’s May meeting, as well as an in-depth review over the summer by a special board sub-committee. The strategic planning process, which began in summer 2011, included numerous constituent meetings, focus groups and interviews on the Erie and North East campuses, as well as an online survey of alumni. More than 200 comments and suggestions were received during the last year. “We had a tremendous response from the Mercyhurst community,” said Mercyhurst Vice President Michael Lyden, Ed.D., who coordinated the planning process. “The strength of the plan is a direct result of people’s willingness to share their time and ideas.” The plan identifies initiatives in five broad areas: academic excellence, hands-on and engaged learning, the student experience, collaboration beyond the campus and organizational effectiveness. “We expect to update the plan every year as circumstances change,” Lyden said, “so we’ll be welcoming ideas from all members of the community on a continuous basis.” The plan is available for review at Comments can be sent to

Donor listings now online Mercyhurst University has replaced its former Honors magazine with a new online list of donors. The new format allows us to continue to recognize the generosity of all our supporters, but also reduces costs and environmental impact. To view the honor roll for 2011-2012, visit

Add to your collection Back by popular demand, the alumni relations team is happy to offer once again a limited edition Christmas ornament as a ‘thank you’ gift for anyone who makes a gift to the Mercyhurst Annual Fund through Dec. 14. Make your donation today at or call (814) 824-2392.

We also have a limited number of last year’s ornament, featuring the O’Neil Tower. 22

Mercyhurst Magazine - November 2012  
Mercyhurst Magazine - November 2012