Timeline of Mount Mercy's 90 Years

Timeline of Mount Mercy's 90 Years

In 1928, Mount Mercy Junior College began with one building, about a dozen faculty, and 21 students as it grew from a girls’ academy to an institution of higher education. Today, Mount Mercy University flourishes with a campus of 16 buildings, 160 full-time faculty, and 1,800+ students. This is the story of how the Sisters of Mercy have held steadfast to their vision, developing Mount Mercy into one of the best universities in Iowa…and beyond.

1875

  • Sisters of Mercy establish St. Joseph Academy in Cedar Rapids

1907

  • Sacred Heart Academy housed in Greene Mansion 


Warde
1924

  • Mount Mercy Academy established


1927

  • Work on the Grotto begins


1928

  • Sisters of Mercy establish Mount Mercy Junior College, housed in Warde Hall


1930

  • First Mount Mercy Junior College graduating class


First Grad Class


1940

  • Commercial program class


1941

  • Following years of travel, William H. Lightner finishes Our Mother of Sorrows Grotto


1943

  • All students were required to take charm class where they learned how to walk in high heels


Charm Class


1955

  • McAuley Hall dorm built and tunnel installed
  • Regis High School opens; Mount Mercy Academy closes as Sisters focus on post-secondary education


1958

  • Senator John F. Kennedy visits campus


1960

  • Mount Mercy becomes a four-year college


1962

  • Catherine McAuley Library enacts Operation Booklift—students and faculty moved 15,000 books in one day, keeping them in order armload by armload


1969

  • Mount Mercy becomes co-educational, accepting men for the first time
  • First BSN class admitted


First men


1971

  • Mount Mercy becomes Iowa’s first college to offer blanket acceptance as juniors to all Kirkwood grads who earned AA or AS degrees


1975

  • Sisters of Mercy celebrate 100 years in Cedar Rapids


1976

  • Donnelly Center for nursing education built


1978

  • Mount Mercy celebrates its 50th anniversary


1980

  • Palm Sunday march to downtown


March


1993

  • The new Busse Center Chapel of Mercy and Busse Library open


1994

  • Women’s basketball team reaches NAIA national semifinals


BBALL


1998

  • Mount Mercy offers first adult accelerated programs


2008

  • First graduate programs offered


2010

  • Mount Mercy becomes a university

2013 

  • CRST International Graduate Center opened


2018 

  • First doctoral programs launched


Grad Center