The Ebel-Harriott Family

Kalli Harriott graduated from Mount Mercy in 2014 with a BS in nursing. While attending, she also learned the goals of the Sisters of Mercy mission: promoting reflective judgment, strategic communication, the common good and purposeful living. As a nurse, she carries them out in her life every day:

“Not only do I serve the common good every day in my career, but I learned the importance from MMU to serve our community. There are a variety of different ways to serve, but they all make a difference in one shape or another. The Sisters of Mercy helped me form my purpose in life, which is to make a difference in my patient’s lives. When I know I made a difference, I succeeded for that day.”

— Kalli Harriott

Kalli said she always knew Mount Mercy had an excellent nursing program, so there wasn’t a question as to where to attend college once she had chosen to go into nursing. That’s because fifty-one years earlier, Kalli’s grandmother, Margaret (Margie) Schmitz Ebel came to Mercy Hospital School of Nursingfor the same reason that Kalli ultimately did: because of their reputation for having an outstanding nursing program.

“The Sisters of Mercy, instructors and professors modeled the ethics and nursing excellence that guided the students through their education.

“I value the education I received that so well prepared me for a successful, satisfying professional nursing career at Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids. It aided and influenced me as a nurse, mother and contributing member of my community. I continue part-time nursing to this day, as well as volunteer nursing at the Cedar Rapids Community Health Free Clinic.”

— Margaret Schmitz Ebel

In between these two MMU nursing graduates, Margie’s daughter, and Kalli’s mother, Kathy Ebel Harriott graduated in 1987 with a BS in Business Administration.

“MMU was a perfect fit for me because it allowed me to learn in a faith-filled environment with small class sizes, so I could enjoy the classroom interactions and communications with the professors.

“I remember MMU fondly and felt I was part of a family. I felt part of an effort of wonderful and diverse professionals who were dedicated to guiding us in our educational journey. I was challenged, stretched and supported.”

— Kathy Ebel Harriott

The Sisters of Mercy mission provided guidance for Kathy’s faith and serving others, just as it has for her mother Margie and her daughter Kalli. She has served the United Way in many ways and for many years, she is active in her parish at All Saints Church and she gives back to MMU by participating in the Alumni Board as Board Secretary.

Kathy: “This role provides me with the opportunity to continue to stay connected to fellow alumni, the campus, the staff and faculty. But by far the most proud MMU event for me was when my daughter Kalli graduated in 2014 in the nursing program, with our three generations all present.”

The Ebel-Harriott’s expanded their Mount Mercy family when Margie’s son Michael married Deanne Robey Ebel, who graduated from MMU in 1990 with a political science/ criminal justice major and a sociology minor.

“At the time we met I did not know his family had connections to MMU, let alone his mother Margie, sister Kathy, and now, niece Kalli. This was one of the many things we discovered we had in common as we were dating, and they are so much more than in-laws. I am very lucky to have them as friends.

“The Sisters of Mercy provided a loving caring home for me during my college education, and I want to share this feeling with those I associate with on a daily basis. MMU is a great institution. Its size allows you to receive a good quality education, but not be lost in the masses of a larger institution. It has a family-friendly, community atmosphere.”

— Deanne Robey Ebel

Sister-in-law Kathy shares the familial sentiment: “We have a special relationship with MMU. We are proud to have three generations, with four family members as graduates of MMU, and I hope we can continue the family tradition of MMU graduates, somehow, some time.”