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Mercyhurst University impacts our community in many positive ways. As a leader in postsecondary education, Mercyhurst provides a high-quality educational experience to more than 4,200 students each year. Last spring, the university graduated 936 traditional and adult students, who are fully prepared to enter the workforce and make a difference. Mercyhurst transforms lives. In addition to baccalaureate and graduate programs of regional and often national reputation, Mercyhurst also provides a variety of programs to help meet the regional need for affordable and accessible postsecondary education. In addition to the academically distinguished baccalaureate and graduate programs available at the campus in Erie, Mercyhurst offers cost-effective, nearly “open-admission,” associate degree and certificate opportunities at four locations in Erie County: North East, Corry, downtown Erie (at the Booker T. Washington Center) and Girard, Pa. The tuition rates at all of these locations are significantly less than the tuition rate at the Erie campus in order to provide low-income students with the opportunity to pursue a university education for very little outof-pocket expense. The associate and certificate programs annually enroll nearly 1,200 students. Typically, 75% are from Erie County, about 25% are students of color, 33% are over 23 years of age and 70% are eligible for Pell Grants. These campuses provide academic programs that facilitate employment opportunities as well as allow for credit transfer for baccalaureate degrees and beyond. In fact, students who perform well in these programs are eligible to receive annual scholarships allowing them to continue their education at the Mercyhurst University Erie Campus at the lower tuition rate. The impact of Mercyhurst University on Erie County reaches beyond the classroom. Economically and socially, Mercyhurst offers a tremendous impact on the quality of life here with:

• $101.1 million boost to the Erie County economy each year

• Employment for 524 full-time and 100 part-time university employees who contribute to the local tax rolls as well as the social and cultural vitality of the region

• Continuing and certificate education for 141 nondegree students

• Partnerships that strengthen local organizations and groups

• Affordable, entertaining, inspiring and thought-provoking arts and cultural events

• Development of community infrastructure and jobs through construction projects

• Leadership in developing environmentally friendly and sustainable services and programs

Economic Impact of Mercyhurst Overall, Mercyhurst University pumps more than $101.1 million into the Erie County economy each year from several significant investment areas.

Employing Erie Residents

Mercyhurst employs 524 full-time and 100 part-time employees who are members of the Erie community, which represents an increase of 40% over the past decade. Additionally, the university employs more than 100 adjunct faculty members and 800 students each year. Payroll exceeds $22.9 million in after-tax salaries and wages. The wages and salaries paid to university employees multiplies as it moves through the economy. In all, the university’s impact, using a conservative multiplier of 1.5, equates to a $34.3 million financial injection into Erie County. In 2011 alone, staff and faculty paid $345,000 in local taxes. The university directly contributes financially to local governments. Mercyhurst has paid more than $164,000 in taxes on city property it owns surrounding campus. Since 2006, the university has made an annual financial contribution to the City of Erie. The 2011 gift of $100,000 brought the total to $650,000. Additionally, Mercyhurst University faculty members do more than teach. Many of the faculty are recognized national leaders in their respective fields and are called upon by local and national figures to share their expertise. More than $6.3 million in federal, state and foundation grants were awarded for faculty-directed research and projects last year. It could be said that the knowledge base of Mercyhurst University faculty and staff makes the greatest positive impact on our community.

Capital Projects and Local Purchases

In order to provide the community with an educational resource, Mercyhurst spends millions of dollars annually on capital improvement projects and local purchases. The campus has made significant strides in enhancing the surrounding neighborhoods through housing and apartment renovation and development. Mercyhurst is committed to not only investing in the university community, but also in the Erie community.

Student Spending

Besides university tuition, room, board and fees, studies indicate that students spend an average of $361 per month on discretionary items. That means Mercyhurst students contribute an additional $8.3 million directly into the local economy.

Visitor and Tourist Impact

Mercyhurst welcomes thousands of visitors annually to Erie and the region. Throughout the year, potential students and families visit the campus as guests of the admissions department while alumni come back to celebrate their alma mater for many reasons. The annual Career Fair and College Fair brings 100 representatives from recruiting companies and dozens of universities to Erie for overnight visits. Twenty-four NCAA Division I and II athletic teams on the Mercyhurst campus invite more than 4,000 athletes in the PSAC to Erie for competitive events throughout the year. Dozens of performing artists and troupes stay overnight in Erie as a result of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center’s scheduled events. Graduation brings the families of 936 graduates to Erie each year for overnight visits while thousands of parents and friends of students visit multiple times during the year, staying overnight, dining out and shopping in Erie during their stay.

Mercyhurst University, Erie County

Direct Impact

Indirect Impact


Faculty and staff impact



Property taxes and community gift



Institutional expenditures



Construction expenditures



Student discretionary impact



Visitor and tourist impact








$34,355,488.50 $396,000 $16,061,656.50 $36,508,500 $12,567,781.50

Mercyhurst Saves Pennsylvania Taxpayers $20,000 per graduate

In 2009, the taxpayer cost for a four-year university degree bestowed upon a Pennsylvania resident who graduated from a state college or university in the commonwealth was $23,768. That year, the taxpayer cost for a four-year degree from a private college or university in the commonwealth (Mercyhurst University) was only $3,700. Additionally, full-time students in the Pennsylvania state system and state-related universities each receive a taxpayersubsidized “scholarship” of $4,000 annually through state appropriation funds. That means Mercyhurst University’s Pennsylvania students save state taxpayers more than $10.9 million in tax-based scholarships each year by attending our private institution of higher education.

Community Impact of Mercyhurst Mercyhurst has a strong history of carrying out its vision through charitable giving, cultural attractions, neighborhood revitalization and community service.

In 2010, the university awarded more than $52,000 in diversity grants to university clubs, organizations or departments. The grants fund activities aimed at fostering diversity awareness and action.

The university is playing a pivotal role in combating poverty. Mercyhurst financially supports and serves as a lead partner agency with GECAC and the United Way in the Erie Together initiative, a collaboration between area leaders and concerned citizens who are working to address poverty in the region in relation to individuals, neighborhoods and our entire community.

A three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education enables Mercyhurst University to launch Carpe Diem Academy–an after-school enrichment program at seven of Erie’s neediest elementary schools. Carpe Diem Academy will benefit more than 400 of the most vulnerable kindergarten through second-grade students and their parents.

The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst showcases a broad array of cultural events, music and dance each year. Mercyhurst’s support of the Performing Arts Center means lower ticket prices, enabling many members of the community who may have found it financially unfeasible to experience the arts do so.

Since its inception 15 years ago, Mercyhurst has subsidized the operations of the Performing Arts Center with over $2.5 million. This support will continue with the recently created Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture.

Nearly every major department at Mercyhurst has organized projects that positively affect the community. Faculty and student efforts reinforce the university’s core values and commitment to the dignity of work by working to effect positive change in the Erie community. The following are just a few examples of how Mercyhurst students, faculty and employees give back to the community.

Academics • Mercyhurst contracts with local parochial schools to place graduate assistant (GA) certified teachers in classrooms, saving the schools money. Mercyhurst GA students annually save parochial schools $14,311 per classroom as compared to the rates of contracted teachers. •

Each year, Mercyhurst awards more than $30 million in Presidential scholarships, athletics and other institutional aid to students.

Mercyhurst University and the Booker T. Washington Center (BTWC) developed a partnership in 2010 by opening a new campus in the city. The BTWC campus removes barriers to attaining a university degree for inner-city students and provides vital financial resources, reliable childcare and transportation.

Each year, seniors in the Walker School of Business at Mercyhurst University present their group findings from their Business Policy & Strategy capstone and Strategic Communication courses to local businesses, for which they complete case studies. Graphic Design students provide clients at the SBDC with more than 1,450 hours of pro bono design work annually. Collectively, these students provide upwards of $293,250 annually in strategic services to Erie nonprofit and for-profit organizations and businesses.

Similar pro bono work is conducted for area for-profit businesses each year by students in the Intelligence Studies Department, with a value of upwards of $250,000 per year.

Athletics and Healthy Lifestyles •

Mercyhurst University student-athletes volunteer their time to benefit dozens of organizations and individuals in the community. Their impact reaches the lives of those who are not afforded many opportunities.

The men’s and women’s hockey teams annually volunteer their time with Gliding Stars, a program that teaches the physically challenged how to skate.

Food drives have been coordinated for charitable organizations, and substantial funds have been raised for cancer-related projects each year.

Sustainability and Conservation •

Mercyhurst University purchases 100% of its electricity from wind power sources.

Mercyhurst University West Campus houses a greenhouse and acres of organic community gardens. The greenhouse is powered by solar panels purchased by the university’s “Green Team.”

Mercyhurst has led a sustainability initiative in West County, which will be instrumental in the development of trails, bike paths and linkages to the area’s farm markets.

Since 2001, the Lake Erie Region Conservancy—housed at Mercyhurst—has led efforts that have protected more than 1,100 acres of open space in Erie County and have procured relationships and funding that have been earmarked towards conservation studies.

Mercyhurst Institutes •

Thirteen institutes are housed here, providing expertise and direction for our community in areas such as arts and culture, civic policy, sustainability issues, teaching excellence, religious and ethical issues, public health, forensics, archaeology and public safety, among others.

The Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics has become a leader in public opinion polling at the state and local levels. They have worked with agencies to help gauge public opinion on cyberbullying, civic engagement, nature and the environment, and a host of other issues.

The Center for Mercy and Catholic Studies works to enhance the mission and Catholic identity of the university by promoting the values of caring for the poor, caring for immigrants, caring for the elderly, promoting nonviolence and combating racism.

The Evelyn Lincoln Institute for Ethics and Society facilitates dialogue that engages an exchange of ideas pertaining to ethical inquiry. Its primary focuses are Socially Responsible Business Practices, Science and Emerging Technologies, and Ecology and Sustainability. In March 2011, a co-sponsored event with the Rotary Club of Erie brought 125 students from 12 northwestern Pennsylvania high schools to campus for a full day of lectures and activities focused on “Ethical Theory and Practice Regarding Human Relationships.”

Mercyhurst Global Ambassadors This year, Mercyhurst welcomed students from more than 30 states and territories and 43 international countries. In the 2011-2012 academic year, the Mercyhurst international student population increased to 220— a full 9% of the undergraduate population. As a result, the university is ranked number 15 for international students in the Top Regional Universities (North) category of the U.S.News & World Report University Guide.


23. Mexico

2. Bhutan

24. Montenegro

3. Brazil

25. Nepal

4. Canada

26. Netherlands

5. China

27. Nicaragua

6. Costa Rica

28. Norway

7. Ecuador

29. Pakistan

8. El Salvador

30. Panama

Mercyhurst students give back as well. Volunteerism is the backbone of strong, caring communities, and Mercyhurst takes pride in its contribution to the Erie community.

9. Ethiopia

31. Peru

10. Finland

32. Poland

11. France

33. Rwanda

12. Germany

34. Serbia

13. Ghana

35. Slovakia

14. Guatemala

36. Spain

15. Honduras

37. Sweden

16. Hungary

38. Thailand

17. India

39. Tunisia

18. Ireland

40. Turkey

19. Jamaica

41. United

20. Kenya


21. Latvia

42. Vietnam

22. Liberia

43. Zimbabwe

Mercyhurst students from Erie, other parts of Pennsylvania or from the other side of the world all serve as global ambassadors wherever they travel, creating favorable impressions of our region and sharing potential economic opportunities with families and friends around the world. The university has developed strong relationships in support of and involvement with Erie’s sister cities of Dungarvan, Ireland, and Lublin, Poland.

• Last year, Mercyhurst students completed more than 39,450 service hours; at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, this equates to more than $286,000 in donated time.

• Students are placed in service scholar programs, such as Community Fellows and Scholars in Service to Pennsylvania. These students help to rebuild communities and lives. • Dozens of Mercyhurst students forgo their fall and spring breaks to visit impoverished regions of our country, volunteering their time to help their fellow Americans in need. Through these endeavors, Mercyhurst students become more civically aware and engaged, expanding their world view in the process. • Mercyhurst works in tandem with AmeriCorps VISTA to offer daily tutoring and mentoring services to underprivileged children in the Erie area.

The Mercyhurst Family Proud to Serve Our Community Mercyhurst University faculty, administrators and staff donate their time, talent and treasure to more than 100 local nonprofit agencies and organizations. The following is a partial list: Academic Sports League judge for the Erie School District After Dinner Opera Company Alzheimer’s Walk American Cancer Society NWPA American Heart Association NWPA American Red Cross ArtsErie - CultureSpark Asbury Woods Association of Fundraising Professionals Barber National Institute Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies Bayview Toastmasters Books for Kids Breast Cancer Foundation Cathedral Preparatory School Catholic Charities Cody’s Wheels of Hope Community Shelter Services Diocese of Erie Review Board member Eastern Paralyzed Veterans - NWPA Edinboro Area Historical Society Emmaus Ministry: Kids Café Emmaus Soup Kitchen Erie Art Museum Erie City Mission Erie Community Foundation Erie County Criminal Justice Coalition: member Erie County Juvenile Probation: ACT 33 study Erie County Neighborhood Watch Council Erie County Prison Erie County Technical School’s Health Assistant Program Erie District Golf Association Erie Philharmonic Orchestra Erie Home for Children and Adults

Erie Maritime Museum

Operation Christmas Child

Erie Playhouse

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership - Ambassador

Presbyterian Homes

Erie Together

Rotary Club Erie

Erie Times-News in Education Erie Youth Soccer Association (EYSA) Erie Zoo Family-to-Family Instructor NAMI Flagship Niagara League

PA Board of Probation & Parole, Erie District. SafeNet Saint George RC Church Saint Peter’s Cathedral Saint Vincent Health System (Corporator)

Fort LeBoeuf Little League

Saint Vincent Health System (Regional Telemedicine Network)

Friend of the Erie County Library book sale

Salvation Army

Harborcreek Youth Services Academy (Alternative Education): Advisory Board

Save The Villa Chapel Project

Harborcreek Youth Services: Board of Directors

Sisters of Mercy

Highmark Caring Place Hooked on Books House of Mercy Humane Society Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of NWPA Kanzius Cancer Foundation Knights and Ladies of St. Patrick Koinonia of Erie County Lake Erie Regional Conservancy Leadership Erie March of Dimes McDowell Athletics Mental Health Association (MHA) of NWPA Board of Directors Mercy Center for Women Mercy Center of the Arts Mercyhurst Child Learning Center Mercyhurst University Mercyhurst Preparatory School Muscular Dystrophy Association National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Neighborhood Art House Neighborhood Watch North East Chamber of Commerce North East Volunteer Fire Department (Cherry Festival)

Shawl Ministries Sisters of St. Joseph St. George RC Church | School St. James RC Church |School St. John the Baptist Church St. John-Holy Rosary School St. Jude the Apostle Church St. Luke Church | School St. Martin’s Center St. Mary’s Home St. Peter Cathedral The Achievement Center The Sight Center of NWPA The Sunshine Group Times-News Open Bowling Tournament Times-Old Newsies - food drive Trinity UM Church United Way of Erie County UPMC Hamot (Corporators) Veterans of Foreign Wars Villa Maria Academy Voices for Independence Wayside Presbyterian Church Women’s Roundtable NWPA WQLN YMCA

Methodology Notes: Where figures are derived •

Data Sources: Mercyhurst financial and departmental records; Civic Institute statistical research calculations; campus-wide survey of employees.

The line items and figures utilized in the table below are recommended by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) to be used in economic impact studies. These are the most consistent areas to utilize and are found in other conducted studies.

Direct Impact figures are those areas that are spent directly in given categories.

Indirect Impact figures are those that are generated as dollars spent and subsequently further dispersed throughout the economy. AICUP utilizes a multiplier figure of 2.2 for statewide figures and recommends using an economic multiplier of 1.5 for county-level initiatives. For this report, 1.5 has been utilized.

Mercyhurst University, Erie County

Direct Impact

Indirect Impact

Faculty and staff impact



Property taxes and community gift



Institutional expenditures



Construction expenditures



Student discretionary impact



Visitor and tourist impact








Faculty and staff impact: Direct faculty/staff impact was calculated by (Gross Salaries and Wages of $31,367,198 x 97%, the estimated percentage of Mercyhurst employees who reside in Erie County) – ($8,463,546 in Federal, State and Local taxes paid). Institutional expenditure and construction expenditures: Purchases made by Mercyhurst University locally and money spent by the university on construction of new facilities and buildings. Student discretionary impact: 2010 study completed by the 360 Youth/ Harris Interactive College Explorer Group found the average college student spends an average $361 per month on discretionary items (spending on anything other than tuition, room/board, rent/ mortgage, books/school fees).

This figure only includes the discretionary dollars spent and DOES NOT include books, fees and other campus-related expenses, which are used in other AICUP reports. Figure is generated by $361 x 9 months x student body population (4,298). This is then multiplied by .6 to come up with a conservative figure of dollars spent locally. Mercyhurst saves taxpayers money: The $10.9 million in savings is derived for the $4,000 x 2,722 PA residents attending Mercyhurst. Savings of $14,311 per classroom for parochial schools: Mercyhurst contracts with local parochial schools to place graduate assistant (GA) certified teachers in classrooms, saving the schools money. Mercyhurst GA students annually save parochial schools $14,311 per classroom as compared to the rates of contracted teachers.

Total $34,355,488.50 $396,000 $16,061,656.50 $36,508,500 $12,567,781.50

Visitor and tourist impact: Calculated by utilizing the U.S. government daily travel expenditure rates for tracked overnight stays for campus recruitment, athletics and miscellaneous visits (career fairs, graduation, family visitations and estimated number of drop-offs and pickups for out-of-town students). Recruitment: (1,300 day visits x $43 daily M&IE rate) + (761 overnight visits x $84 hotel rate) + (2,600 overnight days x $43 M&IE rate) Athletic tourism calculated by number of M&IE days for non-overnight stays (2,011 x $43 daily rate) + costs associated with overnight stay athletes (1,542 athletes x 2 days x 43 rate) + hotel cost, three to a room (1,542/3 x 84 rate). Other miscellaneous calculated by number of overnight stays (1,936 x 84 rate) + M&IE day.

The Mercyhurst University Mission Vision Statement Mercyhurst University seeks to be a leading higher educational institution that integrates excellence in the liberal arts, professional and career-path programs, and service to regional and world communities.

Mission Statement Consistent with its Catholic identity and Mercy heritage, Mercyhurst University educates women and men in a culture where faith and reason flourish together, where the beauty and power of the liberal arts combine with an appreciation for the dignity of work and a commitment to serving others. Confident in the strength of its student-faculty bonds, the University community is inspired by the image of students whose choices, in life and work, will enable them to realize the human and spiritual values embedded in everyday realities and to exercise leadership in service toward a just world.

Core Values We are...

Socially merciful,

Mercy restores human dignity, expands our social relations, and empowers us to reach out in compassion to others.

Globally responsible,

Globalization challenges us to learn how to steward the resources of the Earth wisely and to act in solidarity with its diverse peoples.

Compassionately hospitable,

Mercy hospitality begins with self-acceptance, welcomes peoples of different faith, ethnic, and cultural traditions, and thus builds communities that transcend mere tolerance.

Intellectually creative,

Generous, inquiring, and critical habits of mind, which support the aspirations for excellence manifested within the academic community, encourage us in our lifelong search for what is true, good, and beautiful.

Reflectively aware,

Our Christian environment encourages self-reflection and contemplation of human behavior, promotes balance of mind, body, and spirit, and ultimately offers the opportunity to develop a moral compass for a life of integrity.

Ambassadors of service.

501 East 38th Street, Erie, PA 16546

2011 Community Impact Report  

2011 Community Impact Report from Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pa.

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