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Misericordia honors longest serving academic dean by establishing merit-based, full-tuition scholarship program
Posted 10/31/2017 01:30PM

Traditional first-year students who apply to Misericordia University to be full-time students will be eligible for a new merit-based, full-tuition scholarship program beginning with the fall 2018 semester.

Sister Mary Glennon '62

Named in honor of Misericordia University's longest serving academic dean, the Sister Mary Glennon '62 Scholarships awards six competitive scholarships annually to qualified incoming first-year students. Every first time, full-time student who applies for acceptance to the private, four-year, Catholic institution is eligible for the new program as long as the students meet established academic criteria.

"The establishment of the Sister Mary Glennon '62 Scholarships underscores our institution's commitment to provide access to higher education for caring, motivated students who excel academically,'' said Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., president of Misericordia University. "I commend the faculty and administrators who developed this concept at Misericordia as it speaks to the quality of our academic programs and our objective to inspire all students to achieve inside and outside the classroom.''

Students applying to Misericordia University who meet or exceed eligibility criteria – (1250 SAT or 26 ACT and 3.7 GPA) or (1250 SAT or 26 ACT and top 5 percent of their graduating class) – will be invited to participate in the competitive selection process. In January, the University will invite eligible applicants to campus. They will participate in a tour, lunch with faculty and students in their field of study, and write an essay.

A five-member committee comprised of faculty and administration will review completed essays and narrow the field to about 12 students. In February, committee members will interview the finalists and make scholarship offers to students who plan to major in academic programs available in each of the University's three colleges – College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, and College of Health Sciences and Education. Overall, the program will award no more than three scholarships in any one college and not less than one in each college.

The awarding of the scholarship also guarantees recipients acceptance into the University's Honors Program if students choose to participate. The competitive Honors Program is an interdisciplinary learning community based upon a common sequence of enriched and intensified core curriculum courses that honors students take in place of regular core offerings.

The Sister Mary Glennon '62 Scholarships is the culmination of discussions between the Office of President, Faculty Senate and Enrollment Management about rewarding high-achieving students and providing better access to a college education for all students. Over a four-year period, the initiative will enroll 24 students and cover tuition costs for each of them.

"We wanted to make sure Misericordia could be competitive in attracting high-achieving students without taking resources away from other students,'' said Joseph J. Curran, Ph.D., professor and chair of religious studies and chair of Faculty Senate, who collaborated with colleague Joseph Cipriani, Ed.D., O.T.R./L., professor of occupational therapy, and others on the concept.

"We also want to build a culture of academic excellence, and we know that having high-achieving students in the classroom is good for everyone,'' Dr. Curran added. "From the faculty standpoint, it is a great moment of cooperation and working for the common good of the University and student body.''

A Religious Sister of Mercy, Sister Mary Glennon, Ed.D., RSM, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in French and a minor in English, history, and the Greek and Roman classics from Misericordia in 1962. She earned a Master of Arts in English from the University of Scranton and a doctorate degree in higher education administration from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. Sister Mary completed additional academic work at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania State University, State College.

Misericordia cannot overestimate the depth and breadth of Sister Mary's service to the order, institution and education of countless students and alumni during her more than 45 years of service to the educational community as a student and administrator. In 1957, she entered the Mercy Community and shortly thereafter enrolled as an undergraduate student at Misericordia. Sister Mary professed her final vows with the Sisters of Mercy in 1965 and continued to teach English at a Catholic high school in western Pennsylvania. In September, she celebrated her 60th jubilee as a Sister of Mercy.

The daughter of a coal miner, the Freeland native returned to Misericordia in 1975 to serve as the institution's first director of continuing education. In 1979, she became dean of continuing education. Sister Mary left Misericordia in 1982 to complete her doctoral studies. She served as dean of institutional advancement at Notre Dame College, Cleveland, Ohio, until Dr. Joseph Fink, then president of Misericordia, encouraged her to return to her alma mater in 1987. When the administrative divisions of the College reorganized in 1997, Sister Mary became vice president of academic affairs and dean of the college – supervising all services related to academics and students.

"The mission of Misericordia (drove Sister Mary),'' said Sister Jane Kennedy '60, RSM, who has known her for more than 50 years. "The spirit of camaraderie among faculty and staff on behalf of the students and the spirit that they brought in to making Misericordia's mission alive. Her happiest moments were working with faculty and administration, and determining what programs were needed in the future, especially in the health sciences.''

Known for her vision, intellect, and mentoring and relational skills, Sister Mary is a fun loving and gregarious person, who simply loved working with others so they could reach their greatest potential, according to Sister Cathy McGroarty '74, RSM and Sister Jane, two of her closest friends in the Dallas Regional Community.

"These scholarships are in the best traditions of Sister Mary's commitment to the vision and mission of Misericordia,'' Sisters Jane and Cathy said. "She is humbled by the recognition and pleased as well.''

Under her leadership, she worked to ensure the institution met the growing needs of adult learners through the development of innovative accelerated degree programs that offered convenient, flexible scheduling and on-line formats. Misericordia also introduced popular academic programs for traditional students during her tenure in occupational therapy and physical therapy, and reintroduced majors in psychology and chemistry, while adding biochemistry and a graduate-level nurse practitioner program.

The institution recognized Sister Mary's career and accomplishments when it awarded her the prestigious Catherine McAuley Medal in 2001. The institution's highest honor recognizes significant service to others in the spirit of Catherine McAuley, as well as a commitment to the ideals and goals of Misericordia and the values to which it aspires. In 1994, Misericordia presented her with the Mother Mary Catharine McGann Award in honor of the founder and first dean of the college. The award recognizes a graduate for distinguished and sustained career accomplishments.

For more information about the Sister Mary Glennon Scholarships at Misericordia University, please call Donna F. Cerza, director of admissions, at (570) 674-6460 or email her at Additional information also is available at
Students walking from the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library
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