Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2018

’ At the start of their sophomore year, members of the Class of 1968 witnessed groundbreaking for a second academic building (Zurn Hall of Science and Fine Arts, which would open during their senior year). Pictured during the ceremony: Student Government President Carole Stoiber (Napolitano) ‘66; Sister Carolyn Herrmann, RSM, president; Sister Mary Clare McWilliams, RSM, general superior of the Sisters of Mercy in Erie; Erie Congressman Joseph Vigorito; Father William Beibel, Mercyhurst chaplain; Msgr. Homer DeWalt, Erie Diocesan Schools Superintendent; Erie Mayor Charles Williamson; and Carl Lechner, MD, president of Mercyhurst s Advisory Board. Class of 1968 recalls change-filled years at Hurst

‘ Freshman year “During orientation week we were assigned a big sister from the junior class who had the responsibility of looking out for us and teaching ’ us about campus life. These juniors gave us funny initiations that included wearing a sign with a made-up name to classes the frst week. My name was Moof—and it has stuck till this day!” - Linda Salem Burtis “ My freshman year was still very traditional – and somewhat innocent, as I remember. The Sisters lived with us in the dorms as Deans of Residence. During the week, we were required to be in our dorms by 7:30 p.m. We had quiet hours every night until 9:30, lights out at 11 p.m. I always had an 8 a.m. class! On the weekends, we could have one 10:30 p.m. night, and one 12:30 a.m. night – Friday or Saturday. One of the sisters was always on the desk to check us in and out!” - Paula Blood Pitts

’ Twice in the weeks leading up to their June 2 graduation, members of the Class of 1968 gathered in front of Old Main to carry on traditions that dated to the college s earliest years. Senior Kathy Fitzgerald crowned the statue of Our Lady during the Mary s Day celebration. And on Lantern Day, the graduating women dressed in white and launched small sailboats into a pond to symbolize their departure from college into the world beyond Mercyhurst s gates. ’ ’ It was apparently the last time either of those ceremonies was held – a ftting reminder of the unique experience of this transitional class. When they arrived in 1964, life at Mercyhurst was little diferent than it had been during the ‘40s and ‘50s. By the time they graduated, the waves of change that were rolling across the nation were being felt on campus as well. ’ The biggest change – coeducation – wouldn t happen until after they left. But they were there:

’ When Sister Carolyn Herrmann set out to create a Blueprint for the college s future. When Barry McAndrew, Bill Bryan, John Lincourt, Igor Stalsky and other men joined the faculty. When male students from Gannon started taking classes here. “ When the Sisters of Mercy gave up their in loco parentis role and rules were loosened. ” When the trimester system and intersession were introduced.

• When Zurn Hall was built. As the Class of 1968 gets ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer, we invited a number of graduates to reminisce about their time at Mercyhurst during the tumultuous ‘60s.


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