Over the last 15 years, Misericordia has become nationally known and regionally acclaimed for combining outstanding academics, superb career preparation, and honing each individual student’s passion to serve others. Together, this Trinity of Learning at Misericordia has enabled students to learn to succeed.
President Michael A. MacDowell and First Lady Tina MacDowell have been at the forefront of growing the University’s prestige in the community and in academia. Today, the upper and lower campuses boast new academic and residence hall buildings, improved infrastructure, new and improved athletic facilities, while also boasting record student enrollment.
As President MacDowell and Mrs. MacDowell are set to retire June 30, several members of the campus community shared their thoughts on their leadership, dedication and overall impact on Misericordia and the region.
“Mike and Tina not only made a major impact on Misericordia, but they reached out to many people in a loving and concerned way. Mike and Tina always made sure they supported St. John the Evangelist's annual parish bazaar, even to the point of Mike bringing his mother to enjoy the potato pancakes and pierogies. As busy as he was, he made it a point to visit me in the hospital for my various surgeries and health challenges. They were instrumental in erecting buildings on campus and exciting students to flock to our University in great numbers, but they always maintained that family atmosphere, that aura of hospitality that is so much a part of our Mercy tradition. May God continue to bless them for epitomizing ‘the Heart of Mercy.’
“As a longstanding member of the Board of Trustees of Misericordia, I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Michael MacDowell on his leadership during his tenure as president of the University. While some would rightfully hail his acknowledged ability to advance the position of the school through extraordinary fundraising and the resultant physical development of the campus, it must be recognized that, among many other achievements, he was also the leading proponent for the change in the College’s status to that of a University, created and has led the growth and development of Council Misericordia, and has been a major proponent for the advancement of athletics. His wife has been a huge supporter of the University’s endeavors in every facet of our operations, and together they have greatly benefited us all. Thanks, Mike and Tina for all of your good work. Margie and I wish you both continued good health and happiness in the future.”
“Fifteen years ago, Michael and Tina MacDowell arrived at College Misericordia. It is no secret that the institution was facing many challenges at that time. Low student enrollment, a small endowment, deferred maintenance on buildings, only a fair reputation for academics, and student and faculty satisfaction needed improvement. This amounted to quite a challenge for the new incoming president and first lady. I had the pleasure of becoming a member of the Board of Trustees at the same time and witnessed firsthand the changes that took place. Fifteen years later, our students, faculty, administration, alumni, our donors, and the community-at-large can take a 20/20 look back and see what a difference this dynamic duo has made in the life of this great institution. No one can doubt that their contribution has had a significant positive impact on what we now call Misericordia University. How blessed we have been to enjoy the fruits of their labor. A grateful Misericordia University community will never forget your contribution to our institution.’’