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Misericordia Holds Inauguration Ceremony for Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., 15th President

Dr. Daniel Myers, 15th President of Misericordia University

On his 295th day in office, Misericordia University President Daniel J. Myers, Ph.D., officially began his tenure as the university's 15th president during an inauguration ceremony held today in the Lemmond Theater on the university's campus in Dallas. Planners intentionally delayed the ceremony until spring as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony opened with a procession of university, diocesan and community dignitaries, led by a rousing performance by the Ceol Mor Pipe and Drum Corps. 

R. Gregory Collins '82, vice chairperson of the university's Board of Trustees, served as Master of Ceremony and provided the opening remarks. Monsignor John "Jack" Bendik offered the invocation. Additional remarks were made by students, faculty and staff of the university, including Michael Schlosser '22, president, Student Government Association; Joseph Curran, Ph.D., chair, Faculty Senate; Maureen Cech, chair, Staff Council; Christelle Patrice '13, incoming Alumni Association board president; Lisa Baker, State Senator, 20th Senatorial District; Carol Sweeney, district office manager for Karen Boback, State Representative, 117th Legislative District; Julia Cavallo, Ed.D., executive director, The Conference for Mercy Higher Education; and Patricia McDermott '71, RSM, president, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Stephen Broskoske, Ph.D., associate professor, Teacher Education, performed the alma mater. The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop, Diocese of Scranton, delivered the benediction. 

Deborah Smith-Mileski '75, D.Ed., chairperson of the university's Board of Trustees, was one of many speakers who congratulated Dr. Myers on his inauguration. "During his inaugural year. Dr. Myers has demonstrated his outstanding leadership guiding the university through the strategic planning process, conducting a comprehensive review of current and innovative academic programs, and implementing an array of collaborative and creative enrollment initiatives.  The board is confident that Dr. Myers will continue to provide the leadership and empowering vision necessary to achieve our future institutional goals. You have embraced our university’s mission in the traditions of our founders, the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Together, in collaboration, we shall achieve much to improve and enhance opportunities for the students of today and tomorrow," said Dr. Smith-Mileski.

Dr. Smith-Mileski presented Dr. Myers with the charter, seal, and presidential chain of office. Following the official signing of the university covenant, Dr. Myers addressed those in attendance. 

“There is power in connecting deeply with other people,” said Dr. Myers.  “And there is power in doing difficult things together… We are going to have to recognize the interconnected nature of everything we do.  We are going to have to collaborate and coordinate in ways we never have before.  There is great power in that purposeful, collective synchronicity.” 

Dr. Myers continued, “When we put Mercy at the front of our reasoning, Service at the core of our action, Justice as our fundamental aim, and the openness and dignity of Hospitality as our orientation to others, we will, indeed, not only persist through challenges, but also do great things we could have only imagined as a set of disconnected and anomic individuals.” 

Dr. Myers previously served as provost at American University and Marquette University. Before that, he spent 17 years at the University of Notre Dame, serving as vice president and associate provost for Faculty Affairs, Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Letters, and as chair of the Department of Sociology. Dr. Myers had also been the director of Faculty Development and Research in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and he founded and directed the Center for the Study of Social Movements.

Dr. Myers earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, before completing a master’s and doctorate in sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is a well-known expert in the study of collective behavior and social movements. He has published books and articles primarily focused on protest and unrest, the diffusion of social phenomena, social psychology, and urban politics. He has won awards for both his research and teaching.

A series of events were held throughout the campus in the days leading up to the event, including the Acceptance is an Action symposium organized by The Autism Center; a reading of the university’s literary magazine, Instress; academic lectures; a Friedman Art Gallery exhibit opening, theatrical performances, and a free concert by the President’s classic rock band, Quest.  The President's Day of Service is set for Saturday, April 23 where students, faculty and staff will join Dr. Myers at the Catherine McAuley House in Plymouth for outdoor cleanup and other small projects. That evening, the Trustee Associates Gala, will celebrate the university’s donors.