History of the Presidency
The Religious Sisters of Mercy founded Luzerne County's first four-year institution of higher learning, College Misericordia, in Dallas, Pennsylvania, in 1924. From 1924 until 1957, the Mother Provincial of the Diocese of Scranton served as the honorary president of the college, while the academic dean (now known as the Vice President of Academic Affairs), as the de-facto chief academic officer, ran the day-to-day operations. Six honorary presidents (and five academic deans) saw College Misericordia through its first thirty years: Mother M. Ricarda Cavan; Sister M. Loretta McGill; Sister M. Mercedes McHale; Sister Maria Teresa Corrigan; Sister M. Pierre Desmond; Sister M. Borromeo Dunn; and Sister M. Gonzaga Kehoe.
Sister M. Celestine McHale (1897-1980) established the Administrative Office of the College President in 1957--a bold step in modernizing Misericordia’s administrative structure. Sister Celestine envisioned Misericordia’s President to serve as a link between the College and the public; “[h]er vision enlarged the scope, the image, the future itself [of Misericordia.]” During Sister Celestine’s tenure as College Misericordia’s first acting president (as opposed to honorary president), she completed a series of building projects that included the Science Building, Alumnae Hall and Merrick Hall (now Banks Student Life Center); substantially increased enrollment; reorganized the Board of Trustees to reflect the Mercy mission and values of the Sisters; and chose Misericordia’s motto mulier fortis (“valiant woman”) for the institution’s coat of arms in its rebranding.
Since 1957, Misericordia University has been served by fifteen Presidents, both members of the clergy and lay-persons.
- 1957-1964, Sister Mary Celestine McHale, Ph.D.
- 1964-1966 & 1967-1975, Sister Miriam Teresa O'Donnell, M.A.
- 1966-1967, Sister Mary Florita Maloney, M.A.
- 1975-1978, Sister Ann Miriam Gallagher, Ph.D.
- 1978-1979, Rev. William B. Hill, S.J., Ph.D.
- 1979-1988, Joseph R. Fink, Ph.D.
- 1988-1989, Bruce Wilson, Ph.D.
- 1989-1992, Pasquale Di Pasquale, Jr. Ph.D.
- 1992-1995, Carol Smith Jobe, Ed.D.
- 1995-1998, Albert Bernt Anderson, Ph.D.
- 1998-2013, Michael A. MacDowell, Ed.D.
- 2013-2020, Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D.
- 2020-2021, Kathleen Owens, Ph.D.
- 2021-Present, Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D.