Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2021

Refections on the Victor presidency By Deborah W. Morton

Six years ago when Michael Victor took ofce as Mercyhurst University’s 12th president, an employee was overheard remarking: “This is like The Wizard of Oz transition from black and white to Technicolor – a brilliant moment in history.” The university came alive, many agree, as collaborative and innovative leadership at all levels created transformative change marked by enrollment growth, including record highs; streamlined administrative and academic operations; expansion of niche programs and development of innovative new programs like cybersecurity, cyber risk management, and integrative nursing leadership; new and enhanced campus facilities; and a growing national reputation for academic quality. Calling it the most gratifying experience of his professional career, Victor concluded his tenure last month, confdent that he left the university in a far better place than he found it in 2015.

“ Victor is the frst to say that he did not accomplish anything alone. He has repeatedly acknowledged the hard work of his Cabinet, chief administrators, and other key employees. In fact, his time at Mercyhurst only served to further validate his longstanding belief that a leader must pick good people and let them do their jobs. As a connected community of students, faculty, staf, alumni, ” “ ” parents, and Sisters, I believe we have made the right choices for this extraordinary institution and that our work during these past six years will stand as a legacy for years to come, he said. Just this past year, despite the challenges of COVID-19, Mercyhurst experienced a 14 percent gain in new freshman enrollment and a historic 50 percent increase in graduate enrollment. Among the more signifcant capital improvements of the Victor Administration are the new sophomore residence, Ryan Hall, named in honor of prolifc Mercyhurst donors David and Ellen Hammond Ryan ‘64; renovation of Grotto Commons dining hall; construction of the


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