Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett proclaimed August 23 Mount Mercy University Day in Cedar Rapids, and called on all citizens to mark the historic occasion as a local institution of higher education reached a milestone. Sr. Kathy Thornton, from the Sisters of Mercy West/Midwest Region, offered a special prayer and blessing on the University and all the students, faculty, staff and community members it will continue to reach.
“As we turn this historic page and embrace a University vision, our message and our mission remain constant, and while we change our name today, we continue to cherish our identity and mission,” said President Blake. “As one of only 16 Mercy universities nationwide in the Conference for Mercy Higher Education, and one of only four in the entire Midwest, we will continue to grow our name, presence and recognition as an institution of academic excellence.”
Mount Mercy’s new University logo was also unveiled during the press conference. A special ground-breaking took place to celebrate the beginning of the construction progress on Mount Mercy’s new University Center, a 43,500-square-foot facility that will come equipped with state-of-the-art technology for today’s 21st century student.
The University celebrated a special Mass with The Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, O.S.B., S.T.L., Archbishop of Dubuque, on August 24. Following Mass, the Archbishop blessed the Mount Mercy University community on the site of the new University Center.
The switch to Mount Mercy University has been several years in the making. As outlined in Mount Mercy’s strategic Plan for Mount Mercy University 2008-2012, Mount Mercy’s vision statement has supported the growth and expansion of the Institution through natural and progressive enhancements. The transition to university status is a result of clear intentions over several years to evolve to a point of re-designation, and fits the institution’s vision of continued growth and expansion.
Mount Mercy’s widely-hailed success with graduate programs, athletic scholarships, adult education, and study abroad opportunities were factors that encouraged the institution’s Board of Trustees to urge the transition to Mount Mercy University earlier than anticipated. Mount Mercy University offers graduate programs in business, education, marriage and family therapy, and will launch a Master of Science in Nursing program in January 2011.
The Sisters of Mercy established Mount Mercy Junior College in 1928 with the purpose of filling an educational need in the community. Mount Mercy flourished as a Junior College, and continued its growth by transitioning to a four-year institution in 1960. As time continued, Mount Mercy College added new programs and curriculum which were reflective of the mission and values of the original institution. Today, Mount Mercy University’s available course offerings are tailored to meet the needs of those who live and work on campus and the surrounding community.