We recently completed one of the most exhilarating and exhausting weeks of my life with my presidential inauguration. It was all that I had hoped for, and more, as we celebrated the many accomplishments of Misericordia University over the years and looked forward to the excitement our future holds.
One of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received since I began my tenure – and many more times during our Inauguration Week celebration – was about the “vision” for Misericordia University.
Universities are places where the highest level of learning is to be achieved. My belief is that for true learning to occur we must see a change in behavior. Misericordia University must, to truly become a university with a reputation spreading far beyond our campus borders, seek to demonstrate how we learn in many ways. For example, we base our academic program on the liberal arts and sciences, providing our students with many lenses with which to learn and interact with concepts, cultures and communities. Inauguration week, with guest lectures, poetry readings and presentations of student and faculty research, was a celebration of our academic programs.
Moreover, a university demonstrates its value through the ability of our faculty and students to generate and expand the base of knowledge in basic and applied fields. We have a long history of excellence in the health and medical sciences, education and business professions in addition to the humanities. An essential part of our vision will be to build upon those strengths, enhance our commitment to fields that develop the student as a whole person, such as art or philosophy, and to build our capacity to share our learning with the world. Misericordia University will become known for exploring the intersections of knowledge as we continue to build upon newer fields of inquiry, such as sport management, digital communications or speech-language pathology.
Finally, we’ll take our learning into the world to benefit others, as is the tradition of our founders, the Religious Sisters of Mercy. And, we’ll learn languages and travel to near and far-away places as we make it known that all are welcome in our learning community. We will live the Sisters of Mercy charisms – or the gifts that are given to us so we can share them with others – of mercy, service, justice and hospitality. One of the highlights of the inauguration week celebration was my time joining students for their presentations of service projects and our day of service at the Catherine McAuley House, Habitat for Humanity and Mercy Services.
Our shared vision of the future is bright, knowing that the young women and men studying today are ready to lead tomorrow and that they have such a sense of service to children and families.
Misericordia University is a young university, less than a decade removed from its transition from a single college, with challenges and successes, and struggles and victories. We are just beginning to learn how to expand our reach beyond the borders of our campus and our local community. My hope is that we can continue to talk with each other, and more importantly listen to each other, as we find our way into an even more exciting future. We have come a long way since our founding in 1924, and are looking forward to our 100th birthday in the upcoming decade. By then, we’ll certainly be a full university with the range and depth of programs and offerings that signal our arrival.
I am so grateful to the Misericordia University and regional communities for the warm welcome bestowed upon me and my family. This Valley is quickly becoming home to us. It’s really pleasing to be warmly greeted from Noxen to Pittston and from Nanticoke to the Back Mountain. We are very blessed to be a part of this wonderful community and look forward to seeing many of you as you visit our campus for a musical program, athletic event or just to see how things are going at the old college on the hill.
All are welcome.