Past Presidents

Dr. Robert PearceDr. Robert Pearce, President
Mount Mercy College, 1999-2006

During Pearce’s tenure with the campus, student enrollment increased, college finances became cost efficient, and a salary equity plan was established for faculty and staff. The addition of Andreas House, suite-style apartments for upperclassmen (2000), the restoration of the grotto (2001-2002), and the completion of Basile Hall, the college’s business and science building (2003), all mark significant achievements. The college also marked its 75th anniversary (2003), noting recent improvements in student services and retention. Dr. Pearce retired from Mount Mercy College on June 30, 2006. The Robert and Marie Pearce Serenity Garden, located near the west entrance of Warde Hall, is dedicated to the couple’s seven years of service.
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Dr. Thomas Feld

Dr. Thomas Feld, President
Mount Mercy College, 1977-1999

Under Feld’s guidance, Mount Mercy expanded its curriculum, developed an admired continuing education program, and became fiscally strong, quadrupling the campus endowment. Successful capital campaigns provided a massive renovation and re-roofing for Warde Hall (1977-81), new facilities for the chemistry department, the construction of Hennessey Recreation Center (1985), the redesigned Sacred Heart Convent and new Busse Center (1993), and the opening of a student union, Lundy Commons (1995).
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Sister Mary Agnes Hennessey

Sr. Mary Agnes Hennessey, President
Mount Mercy College, 1961-1977

During her fifteen years as college president, Hennessey led the campus through monumental change. McAuley Library opened in 1962, shortly followed by the second dormitory, Regina Hall, in 1965. The Greene Mansion, once the home of the Sisters of Mercy, was demolished, and in 1968, the Sisters transferred legal authority to a Board of Trustees. Student enrollment tripled, and the college became co-educational in 1969.  Faculty numbers expanded, reflecting a varied curriculum.
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Sister Mary Maura Marron

Sr. Mary Maura Marron, President
Mount Mercy College, 1939-1946

Sister Mary Maura’s tenure with the campus is recognized for its tremendous work within the Sisters of Mercy. Marron established the Sisters’ first, formal novitiate and directed the revision of their constitutions. For the college, she initiated studies that would eventually lead to the North Central Association accreditation and established a building fund, clearly seeing the need for future structures in the quest to become a four-year institution.
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Sister Cornelia Burke

Sr. Mary Cornelia Burke, President
Mount Mercy College, 1933-1939

Sr. Burke's decision to expand the college’s course offerings to include nursing can be directly associated with her position as Superintendent of Mercy Hospital, Cedar Rapids. While appointed as president of the college, Sister Mary Cornelia simultaneously served as Major Superior of the Sisters of Mercy. Burke also extended Mount Mercy’s student teaching opportunities. Her significant work in growing the campus’ education and nursing programs remains her legacy to the college.

Sister Holland

Sr. Mary Ildephonse Holland, President
Mount Mercy College, 1928-1933 and 1946-1961

Sister Mary Ildephonse formally entered the Sisters of Mercy on April 15, 1904 and is notable for her two terms of service as the college’s president. Considered the “Foundress of Mount Mercy College,” Ildephonse had past educational experience as a teacher on most K-12 levels, worked as the Bursar and Mother Superior for the Sisters, and served as a college instructor and campus business manager. Among her many achievements are the construction of Warde Hall, the opening of Mount Mercy Junior College, the Bachelor’s degree designation by North Central, and the all-important accreditation for the college.
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