Storm Recovery & Fall Start Plan

Mount Mercy University experienced a derecho storm on August 10 with 112+ mph winds resulting in significant damage to campus, including downed trees, power lines, and building damage. Thankfully, our employees and students are safe with no injuries. Governor Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for the Cedar Rapids community and 25-county region. While campus remains closed, we want to communicate our storm recovery plan and details for our fall start.

Key Points

Campus Updates

Academic Calendar

  • We are delaying the start of the academic year. For all Mount Mercy students, the fall semester and Block 1 will start Monday, September 7.
  • Due to storm recovery and associated issues, grades for Summer Session II and Block 9 are now be due by 8 AM on Monday, August 24. Students may receive a letter grade if work was complete, or an “I” incomplete grade with an open amount of time to complete work. Please work with your faculty to arrange completion of outstanding work.

Course Schedule

Courses will be offered as designed—hybrid and online. Students, if you have questions about your schedule, please contact the Registrar at

McAuley Hall & Housing Capacity

McAuley Hall has water damage on several floors, which has unfortunately limited our overall housing capacity. Students who were placed in McAuley will be relocated to a different residence hall. 

We have also made the difficult decision to only place students living more than 15 miles from campus in campus housing for the fall semester. Residence Life is contacting all residential students to talk about the next steps.

Move-In & Mustang Welcome

Due to recent changes caused by not only COVID-19 but also the derecho, we kindly ask students to sign up for their move-in times again. 
Sign-ups will be sent on Monday, August 24th at 4:00 PM. 

  • August 27th & 28th
    Athlete Move-In (Golf, Soccer, Women Volleyball, Softball, Cross Country)

  • August 29th
    Project Connect/Mustang Welcome Leaders

  • September 1st, 2nd & 3rd
    First-Year and Transfer Students

  • September 5th
    Returning Students 

These are the only move-in dates available and students will not be permitted to move to campus early or on an unassigned day without an approved academic or athletic reason. If you cannot make any of the times available, or have any questions or concerns, contact

As we work towards a reimagined fall, we are looking forward to seeing students return to the hill. With the goal in mind to secure the safety and wellness of all students, family members, and staff, we have developed the following Move-In instructions.

Work Schedule

Power has been restored to main campus, and we’re in the process of phasing in A/C and checking technology, refrigerators, etc. to ensure everyone's safety.  

Please plan to return to work on Monday, August 24, with fall hours (8:00-4:30). Supervisors will be in contact with essential personnel in the meantime. We will also work on Labor Day, September 7, the first day of classes.

Campus Clean-Up—for Employees and Students Only

Campus clean-up will take place August 20-21 from 8 AM-4 PM. Please meet at the Busse Atrium. 

  • What to bring: wheelbarrows, rakes, work gloves, safety glasses, masks, magnetic nail sweepers, and leaf blowers
  • What to wear: closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing
  • Where to park: the Pit

Drinks, snacks, and lunch will be provided. Please contact Cara Reilly at 319-899-2433 with any questions. Additional volunteer opportunities are being developed and will be communicated later.

Personal Property Damage

Please contact your personal insurance agent if your vehicle was damaged in the storm. 

  • Facilities—The high winds damaged many of our outdoor facilities at the Plaster Athletic Complex, including our soccer goals, outfield fences, and much of our track equipment. Fortunately, everything can be replaced, and no one was hurt. Hennessey Recreation Center and Rinderknecht Athletic Center were not damaged.

  • Competition—We have connected with the Heart of America Conference, and the plan as of today is to continue with fall sports. Mount Mercy’s first day of competition may be delayed to ensure proper time for training and the safety of facilities.

  • Screening—All student-athletes are still required to complete a COVID-19 screening, a negative result, prior to participating in team activities. If you are able to complete that prior to arriving on campus, please do so and email your result to Or, you can complete the screening during your move-in process. 

Power has been restored to main campus, and the following systems are available:

  • Email server
  • Shared drives
  • Office365
  • Brightspace
  • PowerCampus
  • myMountMercy self-service
  • VPN/FortiClient (depending on your internet provider)

COVID-19 Testing

Some Iowa colleges and universities are finding students with positive tests. Therefore, Mount Mercy is now highly recommending all students get a COVID-19 test before coming to campus. If you test positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days from your test date, be asymptomatic, and have no fever for 24 hours before reporting to campus. Testing is important to ensure the health and safety of our entire Mount Mercy University family.

COVID-19 Resources & Pledge

Please visit our Safe Return YouTube playlist and website for the latest information. If you haven’t already, please start the practice of wearing a mask, as they are mandatory on campus. 

We have also created a Mustang Pledge that highlights our expectations for all students and employees. Students and faculty, you will see this displayed in Brightspace prior to your classes beginning, and you will have a chance to review and accept the pledge. Employees who do not use Brightspace will be sent an email with an opportunity to electronically sign to accept the pledge prior to classes beginning.

Dealing with a natural disaster, adjusting to the COVID-19 changes, and preparing for classes can feel overwhelming. Employees, please check up on each other as you are able. Please remember that students and employees can access all services offered at our Olson Clinic by emailing Employees have access to counseling support through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and can confidentially contact Human Resources for more information. The Red Cross also has a guide for self-care after a natural disaster. 

Campus visits for prospective students and families are currently postponed due to storm recovery efforts. We look forward to welcoming you to campus as soon as recovery is complete. In the meantime, please schedule an online meeting with an admissons counselor. 

Campus is closed to the public. 

If you have questions about your financial aid package, please contact If your personal situation has been impacted by the storm or COVID-19, please contact Nate Klein at

Drinking water is safe to consume. Please visit the City of Cedar Rapids website for the latest information on tree removal, road clearing, traffic signals, and more. 

To receive personalized updates, sign up at or download their mobile app. Information will be broadcast daily on Z102.9 at 7:30 AM and WMT at 6:00, 7:10, and 8:35 AM.

Recovery Progress

Mount Mercy University thanks every single volunteer as well as the facilities team that helped with the clean-up project. We would also like to thank all other contractors that helped restore our campus beauty as we prepare for the Fall semester.

The following companies were a part of this progress:

Mount Mercy University appreciates every hand that helped with the cleanup process.

City of Cedar Rapids

See latest updates