Metz Family

Mount Mercy University has long been a part of the Metz family—but it became much more than that—a “home away from home”—for sisters Catherine and Elizabeth Metz.

“Growing up in Cedar Rapids, we always knew about Mount Mercy—the Sisters, the college, and being on campus. Our uncle, Joe Hansen, worked in the biology department; he was in charge of the biology labs. Our aunt, Loi Dana Hansen Miller, held her wedding reception at Mount Mercy,” says Catherine.

Even their mother, LeElyn Hansen Metz, attended Mount Mercy. “When we were younger, I always remember coming to Sacred Heart Convent to visit our grandma’s cousin, Sister Ruth Torpe, and going through the walkway that connected Busse Chapel to the Convent.”

Both Catherine and Liz also remember visiting the baby ducklings that Sister Laetitia cared for in the space now known as the Busse Center Library. “Mount Mercy has always been part of our lives,” says Liz.

From the very start, Catherine knew she wanted to attend a smaller school—and Mount Mercy was one of her first choices because it was well known for her chosen field of education. But Catherine was also concerned that Mount Mercy was a little too close to home. After several conversations with the admissions staff, however, Catherine made the decision to attend.

“I knew Mount Mercy was going to be my new home for the next four years—it just felt right! Everyone was so welcoming. They were happy to be there, warm, and friendly. I ended up loving the closeness to home while still being in a new world with new people and new experiences.”

With Catherine as her sole sibling, and only 18 months older, Liz had concerns of her own about Mount Mercy being too familiar. Initially, she didn’t want to attend because Catherine was already there. “Once I found my ‘home’ at Mount Mercy, however, I never looked back,” says Liz.

Catherine remembers the faculty and staff caring for her not only as a student, but “especially as a human being. They wanted to see how life was going, and how my grades were. They cared about the ‘whole’ me. I am so grateful for them and the impact they had on me—the entire group of people who make up Mount Mercy!”

Today, Catherine and Liz both give back in every aspect of their lives, just like they learned to do through the mission of the Sisters of Mercy. Liz is a counselor at Kennedy High School, and Catherine is an elementary teacher at Arthur Elementary, both in Cedar Rapids.

“The mission of the Sisters of Mercy has definitely guided and impacted my life and career in a very strong way,” says Catherine. “I am so grateful for their impact on my education. Because of them, I am in a service role, giving back to the community and to those most in need: children. I have been lucky to stay in contact and work with the Sisters of Mercy through music and shared experiences. Without them, I don’t think I would have such a rich life in so many ways.”

Both of the Metz sisters have kept Mount Mercy, and the people who impacted them there, as a part of their lives. Liz even worked at Mount Mercy from 2003 to 2012, first as an admissions counselor and then as the assistant director of admissions. “I gained some of my closest friends at Mount Mercy. I also was exposed to a variety of experiences in and out of the classroom. It really is my ‘home away from home’ … and it will be for as long as I can imagine. I still feel comfort every time I’m on campus and see people I once knew or worked with. The students may be different, but the experience is the same.”

Catherine agrees. “Through my experiences at Mount Mercy, I have made friends from many places and from all walks of life. I am so blessed to have been part of the MMU experience—to continue relationships with the campus community. I love my Mount Mercy family!”