Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2018


Chasing Olympic dreams Ryan Zapolski ’11 and Elizabeth Fisher Zapolski ‘11 P. 2


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A message from the president Eleven years ago, New York Time s sportswriter Dave Caldwell wrote a story about our women’s hockey program, quoting then-star forward and 2006 Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta on why she chose to attend Mercyhurst: “I wanted to go to a school where I felt like I could ft in, where it is a family.” And, yes, we are in good health. Construction is on

schedule for our new sophomore residence hall, which will open this fall. The new-and- improved student union at Mercyhurst North East is an amazing space, and an equally spectacular interior design

I know that feeling resonates with all of us who live and work at Mercyhurst. We are an inclusive community that strives to be compassionately hospitable. What I fnd particularly inspiring, though, is how our graduates take that feeling with them long after they’ve left Mercyhurst. As I write this letter, the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are underway, and Mercyhurst is excited to have three alumni and one current student on Olympic ice: Ryan Zapolski for Team USA, Meghan Agosta and Bailey Bram for Team Canada, and Emma Nuutinen for Team Finland. You can read more about them inside these pages. What you’ll see from the interviews with our three alumni is that each one of them seeks to excel, not so much for themselves as for the greater good; to inspire others; and to give of themselves through service – lessons learned, at least in part, from their Mercyhurst years. Could we ask for anything more? Besides these contemporary alumni vignettes, you’ll fnd fashbacks as members of the 50-year Class of 1968 recall what it was like on campus during the turbulent ‘60s and share what they did after graduation. Speaking of after graduation, check out the photo of alumni who now work at Mercyhurst. It’s amazing how large that network has become over the years. We have also tried in this magazine to keep you abreast of changes. Provost and alumnus David Dausey will be leaving us to return to his native Pittsburgh where he will become provost at Duquesne University in July. Beloved athletic director Joe Kimball has retired, as has Mary Daly, seemingly the longest-serving employee in Mercyhurst history. Sister Lisa Mary McCartney, RSM, will step down from Cabinet as vice president for Mission Integration at the end of this year to transition to part-time status. I am grateful for the leadership, the commitment to Mercy, and the loyalty of these dedicated individuals. As always, our people are the common denominator in the health of our institution.

project is underway in Hammermill Library, where we are building a new cyber lab center and renovating the main foor.

I’d also like to recognize that our history department has a new benefactor and has been named in honor of Thomas B. Hagen, chair of Erie Insurance Group. Tom has generously given $1.5 million to Mercyhurst, a large part of which will support the university’s pursuits in the felds of history, specifcally its ongoing academic partnership with the Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara. Tom, like so many of you, has become family to us and we are grateful for his support. I hope you enjoy perusing our spring magazine, and I thank you for being a part of the Mercyhurst family.

Until next time, Carpe Diem .

Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D. President, Mercyhurst University

ON THE COVER: Ryan Zapolski ’11 tries out his Team USA gear after being named starting goalie for the American hockey team at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Joining him on the ice is his wife, Elizabeth Fisher Zapolski, also a 2011 Mercyhurst graduate.


Four 2018 Olympians with one thing in common: Mercyhurst University When the puck dropped at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Mercyhurst University was well represented on the ice. Four Lakers competed: Ryan Zapolski ’11 with Team USA; Meghan Agosta ‘11 and Bailey Bram ‘12 with Team Canada; and current student-athlete Emma Nuutinen with Team Finland. That Mercyhurst’s men’s and women’s ice hockey programs – and coaches Rick Gotkin and Mike Sisti – have produced Olympic-caliber athletes comes as no surprise to those familiar with the Lakers’ storied spirit of competition. Ryan Zapolski ’11

When the National Hockey League (NHL) elected not to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, it opened the door for Zapolski, who played for Mercyhurst from 2007 to 2011 and now plays for Finland-based Jokerit in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He was named starting goaltender for Team USA. “For guys like me, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think that is something that we will all use as motivation – to not let a chance like this go to waste,” he said after his selection. Zapolski got a late start in youth hockey, not in the crease until age 11. He went on to play at Erie’s Cathedral Preparatory School and then enrolled at Mercyhurst. After graduating, Zapolski started his pro career with the ECHL, where he became just the second player in history to be named Rookie of the Year, Goaltender of the Year, First Team All-Star and MVP in a single ECHL season. Determined to play at the highest level, he traveled overseas and was signed by the Finnish pro team Lukko, where he spent a couple seasons before jumping to Jokerit and leading the team to a 15-game win streak last year. Just before heading to South Korea, Zapolski spent a week in Erie with his family and continued his workouts at the Mercyhurst Ice Center. During a media event at the MIC, Erie Mayor Joseph Schember issued a proclamation in his honor and his alma mater retired the #35 jersey he wore during his playing days as a Laker. Ryan and his wife, Elizabeth Fisher, were high school sweethearts who attended Mercyhurst together, Ryan studying biology and Elizabeth marketing. They were married in Christ the King Chapel on Aug. 1, 2015. Zapolski summed up his feelings this way: “I am honored to have the chance to play for our great country and carry on such a strong hockey tradition. Being able to represent Erie and Mercyhurst is really special to me and I hope it can inspire future generations of kids to really believe in their goals and to never give up on your dreams!”

Top: Young fans Sam Wilkosz, 4 (in goalie mask), and Ian Wilkosz, 2, were thrilled to meet Olympian Ryan Zapolski during a Mercyhurst visit. Bottom: Honoring Ryan Zapolski before his departure for South Korea are from left: Bill Flanagan and Father Scott Jabo of Cathedral Prep; Erie Mayor Joseph Schember; Zapolski; President Michael T. Victor; and Rick Gotkin, head men’s hockey coach. 2

Meghan Agosta ’11 Meghan Agosta would appear to lead a charmed life. Everything she touches seems to turn to gold. She already had her frst Olympic gold medal when she arrived at Mercyhurst, where her career (2006-2011) was the stuf of legends: a four-time All-American, she fnished her NCAA career as the leading scorer in Division 1 women's hockey history. She took a year of from her studies to train for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, where she won gold #2. After winning her third gold in Sochi, Agosta returned to campus in 2014 where fans lined up to meet her and check out her medals. This year she set her sights on a fourth gold medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In addition, she has experienced the rare opportunity of fulflling both of her life’s passions: ice hockey and police work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Mercyhurst and is a constable with the Vancouver Police Department. Balancing Olympic prep and working full time as a police ofcer isn’t easy, but Agosta squeezes in gym and ice time whenever she can. Since there is no women’s hockey program in Vancouver, she plays on the Valley West Hawks men’s team in the British Columbia Major Midget League and the Vancouver Police Men’s Hockey Team. She took a one-year leave of absence from the police force to train with Team Canada in Calgary. She said she was as enthusiastic about her fourth go-round at the Olympics as she was her frst. “The Olympics never get old,” she said. “It’s always a new journey.” She isn’t yet calling this her last Olympics, although she turned 31 during the Games. “I want to inspire the younger generation to do something special with their lives,” she said, promising to continue the pursuit of her passions for as long as she can.

Bailey Bram ’12 Bailey Bram remembers sitting in the hallway of Team Canada’s headquarters four years ago, waiting to hear if she had made the roster for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, only to learn she was out, the very last player cut. It was devastating. She took comfort in the support of her family, and then went of to play hockey in Sweden. “I needed to get away and heal,” she said. She also needed to do some real soul-searching on what to do next with her life. Ultimately, she decided to stick with hockey and try again for the Olympics. Fast-forward four years, waiting for the 2018 roster to be called: same place, same hope, same sick-to-your-stomach feeling. “I couldn’t even breathe,” said Bram. And then the verdict: Bailey Bram was in! “There were tears, lots of tears,” said the 27-year- old. “But I knew I was stronger mentally and physically this time around.” Bailey comes from a hockey family. Her dad, Bill, as head coach of the Eastman Female Selects AA team in Landmark, Manitoba, had an eye for talent. Ultimately seven of his eight kids would play the game, making the Brams one of the most famous hockey families in Manitoba. Bailey and her sister Shelby both played for Mercyhurst. Bram’s family life and her Mercy education also inspired her commitment to service. In Canada, she volunteers for a group called Classroom Champions, which connects underserved students with world-class mentors. As a mentor, she creates classroom video lessons on topics like healthy living, diversity and goal-setting. Part of her life’s purpose, she said, is to inspire others, especially those who have been through hard times. After all, she knows how it feels— that agony of defeat. But, she also knows, there’s always tomorrow. She is engaged. She just bought a new house. And, she’s fnally part of Team Canada.

Emma Nuutinen Being named to Finland’s women’s ice hockey team for the 2018 Olympic Games was a mixed bag for Mercyhurst forward Emma Nuutinen. She was honored and excited to make the team, but disappointed that fellow Laker Vilma Tanskanen, her best friend since childhood, wouldn’t be joining her. The women, who grew up in Vantaa, Finland, played together in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and both competed for a spot this year. Nuutinen was one of 23 women to make the roster; Tanskanen was named frst alternate. Despite the fact that Nuutinen headed to Pyeongchang alone, she felt she was better prepared physically and mentally this year than she was four years ago, when she was only 17. “Finland’s women’s hockey has taken big steps ahead in the past couple of years,” she said. “Competition to earn a spot for the Olympic team this year was very difcult and it demanded improving my speed on the ice. I worked a lot with my weaknesses and I’m happy that it paid of. I’m defnitely a better player now than I was in 2014.” Nuutinen and Tanskanen came to Mercyhurst this academic year from the University of North Dakota, which eliminated its women’s ice hockey program, and both performed extremely well for the Lakers. Nuutinen said, “I’m more than happy that I found a new home at Mercyhurst. I made the decision to come here after my visit. I loved how small and pretty the campus was and everyone I met was very nice and friendly to me.” Nuutinen hopes to graduate with degrees in marketing and sport business, but said she’s not sure what career path she’ll pursue. For now, it’s all hockey.

’ Medal Update The women of Team Canada took the silver medal, losing in the gold-medal fnal to Team USA. Team Finland captured the women s bronze medal. The men of Team USA fell to the Czech Republic in the quarterfnals.


From left: Provost David Dausey, Thomas B. Hagen, President Michael Victor, Vice President Cal Pifer, Dean Leanne Roberts Hurst christens Thomas B. Hagen History Department

lifelong dedication to community development and historic preservation. Hagen recently gave Mercyhurst a $1.5 million gift, part of it earmarked to support the university’s pursuits in history, including its partnership with the Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara. Every student who enters the Hagen History Department is fascinated by the past. And each will emerge with a strong background in history, in keeping with the traditions of a liberal arts education. Along the way, they can also opt to specialize in areas like education, public history, and soon documentary flmmaking. Senior Andrew Gebauer spent fall term immersed in the study of medicine during the Civil War, working with primary sources created more than 150 years ago. He borrowed a medical journal written in 1865 by the medical director of the Union Army through Inter Library Loan. Carefully turning pages turned brown and crusty with age, he learned not only how war injuries were treated, but also about lasting advances in medical care that resulted. He accessed digitized versions of other resources right on his computer.

Thomas B. Hagen’s impact can be seen and felt all over Erie and around the state: At Erie Insurance Group, Erie’s only Fortune 500 company, which he chairs; At the Historical Society of Erie County, which has designated its campus the Thomas B. Hagen History Center; At Preservation Pennsylvania, which presented

“What sets us apart from other programs is the diversity of options and possibilities we ofer our students,” says Department Chair Dr. John Olszowka. “We simply facilitate pathways that allow them to grow into the career they wish to pursue.”Whatever they focus on, he adds, the skills they learn – conducting thorough research; analyzing and weighing facts; and presenting sound and eloquent conclusions both orally and in writing – will serve them well in any career they choose. Here’s a snapshot of some of the options available in the history department.

him with its highest honor for historic preservation, the Otto Haas Award.

And now at Mercyhurst as well. As of last fall, Mercyhurst’s history department is known as the Thomas B. Hagen Department of History. It’s a ftting tribute for a man best known for his

“Most people have heard gruesome stories about battlefeld amputations without anesthesia,” he says. “I want them to understand that yes, it was gruesome, but so many medical advances came out of it.” Andrew presented his paper – “From Bull Run to Petersburg: The Story of the Union Medical System and Its Lasting Efects” – in January at a conference of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society, in New Orleans.


In August 2017, Mercyhurst announced that it had become an “Ofcial University Partner” of the U.S. Brig Niagara. Just months earlier, seven Hurst students enjoyed a journey of a lifetime, setting sail for two weeks on the reconstructed replica of the 19th century warship that sailed and fought during the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Nine students are already registered to make the trip this summer, and it’s expected to become an annual ofering.

The students will enroll in Professor Ben Scharf’s course on the history of the Great Lakes, which covers everything from the native peoples who inhabited the region to its pivotal role in the War of 1812 to its current post-industrial condition. But for students the highlight is living aboard the Niagara and learning traditional seafaring skills from professional crew members. home for retired veterans since her freshman year. Her flm covers the history of the home since its founding in 1836, and includes interviews with residents, employees and others with a personal connection to the home. Sydney was also the frst Mercyhurst student named a “Historical Scholar” by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, one of just 15 in the nation chosen to enjoy a week in New York City attending seminars and lectures and touring historic sites. Dr. Averill Earls, the newest member of the Hagen History Department faculty, will shepherd the flmmaking program. Last spring, students in her Digital History: Storytelling class used the popular new medium of podcasts to tell historical stories. The frst series, titled “Hurstories,” covered topics like Mercyhurst and its assorted hauntings, shipbuilding in the Erie harbor, Erie County & the Civil War, building the Erie Canal, and smuggling around Lake Erie. (Check them out at .) Now a social studies teacher in Mooresville, North Carolina, he says the program prepared him well. “Being a history major allowed me to take a lot of high-level history courses with great professors, do in-depth research and writing, and generally learn to act as a historian in addition to being a teacher,” he explains. “I like to think of myself as a historian who teaches rather than a teacher who happens to know history.” Keven is currently teaching world history, AP U.S. Government & Politics, and AP European History, a course he redesigned for the school. He’s also the head cross country coach, assistant coach for the track & feld team, the world history team lead, and a senior project advisor.

Students in Mercyhurst’s Public History program are front and center in eforts to document Erie’s past and widely share the stories uncovered. Dr. Chris Magoc, who started the Public History program in 2003, says his students’ senior projects often live on long after they’ve graduated. Just a few examples: • “You Are Here, We Are Here: A Portrait of Erie’s Historic Eastside Multicultural Community.” Students

partnered with the Sisters of St. Joseph Neighborhood Network to help transform the image of Erie’s east side. Erie Insurance underwrote production of a booklet describing the cross-cultural diversity of the area, and other grants will allow students to expand the efort with oral history interviews, photos and more. A comprehensive inventory of 31,000 historic buildings in Erie County, begun by Steve Bukowski ’12, who photographed and documented 500 properties in the city. In 2014 Bukowski’s senior project became the basis for the production of the Erie County Cultural Heritage Plan (adopted in 2017), and four other public history students worked on parts of the inventory and plan. “African Americans in Erie County: A Heritage Trail.” Adriana Houseman ‘11 researched and produced a driving tour of 22 sites related to the rich history of African Americans in the Erie region. Now, thanks to a grant from Erie Arts and Culture, current students will work with a team of community historians to publish an illustrated brochure and create a website featuring oral histories and additional information about the sites.

Sydney Van Leeuwen knew she wanted to combine her love of history with documentary flmmaking. So she created her own contract minor by combining courses in history, communication, photography and art. It was so successful that it’s become the prototype for a regular documentary flmmaking concentration proposed for next fall. In the meantime, Sydney’s wrapping up her senior project: a documentary on Erie’s Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Home. The topic was a natural, since she’d been volunteering at the

Keven Gregg ’12 ‘13M was one of the frst students to complete Mercyhurst’s innovative 4 + 1 program, earning both an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in secondary education in just fve years. “This program seemed like a no-brainer to me,” he says. “I could get my graduate degree at a discounted price before even starting my career, so once I started teaching I wouldn’t have to worry about ‘going back to school.’”


The man behind Mercyhurst’s new architectural footprint By Deborah W. Morton

’ has taken one bold step after another in transforming Mercyhurst s architectural footprint. ’ His frst blip on the college community s radar came with the renovation of the student union at Mercyhurst North East. His quirky design elicited universal oohs and ahhs. (See photos at right.) Then, Cal Pifer, vice president for external relations and advancement, plucked Asef from the classroom to design two more projects, both in the library: on the ground foor, a cyber security lab and Network Operations Center; and on the main foor, a complete overhaul of the lobby and surrounding study spaces, including the Ridge Reading Room. ’ What s not widely known is just how Asef came to be tapped for these jobs. Enter David Myron, vice president for fnance and administration. Myron began his Mercyhurst tenure nearly three years ago as renovations were underway in Egan dining hall. He felt something was missing; more open spaces were needed, not to mention some accouterments to add personality. Certainly among Mercyhurst s ’ From the farthest reaches of campus – the Interior Architecture & Design Department on Wayne Street – came a virtual unknown in instructor Keyman Asef who, since discovered,

’ He says Mercyhurst s leaders, like him, think outside the box and are open to innovative design ideas. In dedicating the MNE student union last fall, Mercyhurst President Michael Victor told the assembled crowd: “I have been through a fair number of building projects in my lifetime, and I can honestly say this is the frst one to completely exceed my expectations. ” talented faculty, there had to be someone whose mind he could pick. So, he reached out to Kathy Weidenboerner, chair of the Interior Architecture & Design Department. She recommended Asef, who helped Myron tweak what would later become the trendy Grotto Commons. Asef grew up in Tehran, the son of a developer who built houses for quick sale. Even then, Asef yearned to put his mark on the spaces, so he went of to study and later work in Southeast Asia, eventually making his way to the United States to learn frsthand about American architecture. He has been an instructor at Mercyhurst since 2015. Asef explained his vision: “I tried to shape an environment on multiple levels where students could hang out together, or be on their own;


’ a place where they could feel motivated and creative. The design features random platforms where you can sit or stretch out. There s mini- golf and other games. There s custom-built study pods where you can be alone. I used ’ - vibrant colors and foor-to ceiling glass that lets in lots of natural light, and there s green turf on the walls to absorb sound. ’ ” ’ The reception to Asef s work at North East is universal. When working with Keyman, it s clear that you re working with someone who is a visionary and someone who can see and use space as an expansive design element, said MNE Vice President Dave Hyland. “Keyman has created something truly unique that our students use every day, can see as an extension of themselves, and about which they feel very proud. All of us at Mercyhurst North East are overjoyed with what Keyman designed for us. After witnessing the eye-popping transformation of the union, Pifer was “ ’ ’ ” ” determined not to settle for less with the library projects. With the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences committing heavily to expansion in areas of cyber security

“ He had a comrade in Asef, who believes our surroundings afect the way we think. You can t teach creativity in a non-creative environment, Asef said. You have to practice in an innovative ’ ” “ and data analytics, the new lab and operations center, funded by a $1 million investment from nationally technology company MCPc, had to be nothing short of sublime. ’ Asef s plans (see sketches at left) call for clean lines and sharp, often unexpected, angles. Perhaps most striking is the entrance, where strips of built-in LED lights span the deep blue walls to create striking patterns. And don t expect all walls and ceilings to meet at standard right angles. TVs, monitors, clocks and lights don t hang on the white aluminum paneled walls – they re built in. Everything in the lab is custom-designed and specially built. ’ ’ ’ space. The spaces where you work or study have an impact on you. If our goal is to send students out into the cyber security world, why not bring real-work operations into our space here? Why not give our students that kind of experience?”

’ The new facilities are expected to open sometime in the spring. Asef s next charge, meanwhile, is to design the main foor renovation, made possible through a $500,000 gift from alumna and retired Trustee Ellen Ryan and her husband, David. The details are still being fnalized, but Director of University Libraries Darci Jones says the library is a place where tradition meets technology. The main foor design includes efciency initiatives and more learning spaces, a modernized circulation desk, a technology assistance area, an updated writing center and tutoring services area, upgraded ofces and much more. Two gifts, $250,000 each from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and the Arnold D. Palmer 2003 Charitable Trust, will make possible construction of the Ridge Reading Room to enhance the Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection. (See related story on the Palmer gift, page 20.)

’ Celebrating the opening of the new MNE Student Union (from left): Morgan Barksdale, fall student government president; Trustee Christina Marsh; Vice President David Myron; Director of Student Life Michelle Simpson; President Michael Victor; Vice President David Hyland; designer Keyman Asef; Provost David Dausey; Deacon Raymond Sobina; and De Martaz Turner, fall student government vice president


’ 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.


“ The dress code pontifcated no shorts or jeans (not even on cold, snowy days. Burr-rr, those winters in skirts!); however, slacks and Bermuda shorts and kilts may be worn at picnics, hayrides, or by decorating committees and stage craft crews in carrying out their work. Sneakers may not be worn on Sundays unless…for a picnic or tennis. Evening meals were dress-up, family style afairs served by waitresses like yours truly. Shirley Miller Schilling ‘ - ’ ” - ” - “I just remember always wearing kilts and knee socks, Weejun loafers, matching skirts and sweater sets and blouses with Peter Pan collars with circle pins or button-down shirts. Of course we were never allowed to wear pants on campus. When we had any activity of importance in the chapel we wore academic attire and white gloves. Jane Carney Those frst weeks we had to wear nylons and skirts or dresses. It was like wearing a uniform again, but we got to change each day. We couldn t wear pants until junior or senior year – whatever the temperature was. - Marlene DiTullio Mosco At exactly 6 p.m. we (student workers) “ ’ ” “ organized platters of meat, vegetables and potatoes onto large trays, held these heavy trays one-handed on our shoulders, and lined up in the kitchen. A bell was rung, we came out in a line and began serving dinner. We then stood at our stations on the side of the dining hall waiting to clear plates and bring out dessert. Describing this scene now makes it sound as if Mercyhurst was a fnishing school for wealthy girls!” - Linda Salem Burtis

‘ ’ “Dress was always skirts or dresses—no slacks. We still dressed up to leave campus—coats, heels, gloves—they had loosened up on the hat rule! We still had room checks on Friday afternoon, and there was a demerit system, and one could be campus-ed. - Paula Blood Pitts ‘ ’” ' “Social life was gathering with a group of friends in the suites set aside for that and singing Joan Baez songs while some of the girls played their guitars. There were also Gannon socials - Mixers - on the weekends where you could go and meet guys and dance (and pray you weren t a wallfower!). As far as political issues we were pretty sheltered. I rarely watched TV but we knew the Vietnam War was going on and we sang all the great songs of protest - songs from Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan. - Maureen Milan Carroll ” ’ “For those who didn t date or care to date, fun was had on campus: sledding down the Grottos hills, over the mounds of snow, trying not to hit a tree or break a leg (Oops, someone didn t get that memo!) or raiding the cafeterias fridge in Egan Hall. There were also sing-a-longs with those girls who played their guitars. Card games went on day and night. - Shirley Miller Schilling Life as a commuter ’ ’ ’ ‘ ’ ” ” - “Being a day student never bothered me because right from the beginning I chose to get involved in things. I loved the dorm students and had a lot of fun with them. Jeanne Keim Phillips

Linda Salem Burtis Within three years after graduating from Mercyhurst, Linda Salem had met her husband, David Burtis, in New York City, gotten an MSW from Rutgers University, and become a mother of two daughters. Her working life since then has been varied. She has been an award-winning environmental reporter; a nationally ranked tennis player who ran a large tennis academy; and, since 2000, has worked in the feld of wind and solar energy. “I love this green work and have no plans to retire,” she says. Linda is a peace and environmental activist who has organized a local nuclear freeze march and started several grassroots groups that mobilized her town to keep drinking water clean and minimize air pollution. She and David also enjoy long-distance trekking and have walked several classic routes, including the Tour du Mt. Blanc, which circles Europe’s highest mountain.

Paula Blood Pitts

Mary Patalon Schaaf An elementary education major with a focus in math and science, Mary started teaching even before ofcially graduating from Mercyhurst. She went on to earn a master’s degree in school administration from Edinboro University, but fate intervened in 1977 in what she calls a “seize-the- day moment.”When Merrill Lynch decided to open a branch ofce in Erie, she applied and was hired, launching a 30+- year career in the then-male-dominated world of fnancial advising. After a stint on Wall Street, she came home to Erie, eventually teaming up with the second woman hired here – Craige Pepper Victor – to run educational seminars for women, combining elements of her two careers. Mary was honored several times by Merrill Lynch as one of the top female fnancial advisors in the nation. After retiring from Merrill Lynch, she was recruited to run for public ofce and is now in her second term as Erie County Controller, responsible for protecting taxpayer dollars. Mary has one son and two grandchildren. 9

Paula married Tom Pitts just 13 days after her graduation, so she’ll be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary as well as her 50th class reunion this June. They met on a train returning from the 1965 World’s Fair in Flushing, New York, and traveled back and forth between St. Bonaventure University and the Hurst for the rest of their college years. Certifed as a secondary science teacher, Paula taught middle school life science in Rome, New York. After a break to raise three children, she returned to work teaching high school science and fnished her career as a high school computer lab supervisor. Over the last 50 years, she also learned to quilt, has been active in whatever parish she has belonged to, and now does volunteer work at her local library in Queechee, Vermont. None of her children attended Mercyhurst, but she’s part of a big Laker family: two of her sisters, a brother-in-law, two nieces and a nephew have all attended the Hurst.

” “In our class, the residents kiddingly called us dirty old day hops and we retaliated by calling them dirty old dorm students. We really did get along very well with each other and I always felt like we were a very close class. We had a lot of laughs and made some lifelong friends. - Jane Carney “I didn t have those dorm experiences and rules and regulations of the nuns that the resident students did, but I probably spent more time on campus than most commuters because I was in the work-study program. We played a lot of pinochle in the day hop lounge in the basement of Old Main. There were Gannon dances every Friday night. Mary Patalon Schaaf ’ ” – “During my frst week of school I met another day hop who dragged me to the college bulletin board on the second foor of Old Main (this is where we all left notes for each other and you ” checked it every day). She signed me up for everything. Because of that I got to know so many girls from all diferent classes and really felt a part of college life, even though I was a dirty old day hop! I thank Georgina Cantoni for that. - Jane Carney “ We had a day hop lounge that was located on the lower level of Old Main. We would meet there to discuss the day s classes, socialize, or some played cards there. Another gathering spot where some of the Erie girls would meet for lunch was in a snack bar in McAuley Dorm. It was here that friendships were formed and those friends have remained some of my closest friends today. - Gretchen Hinz Brugger Faculty memories ‘ ’ ’ ” ” “Sister Carolyn hired several young male professors at the beginning of our freshman year. They had newly minted graduate degrees, were just married and began their academic careers at Mercyhurst. They were enthusiastic, their lectures were riveting and their energy created a great vibe throughout campus. - Linda Salem Burtis “Bill Garvey and Dick Kubiak really infuenced my career. I was honored to participate in Bill Garvey s fnal publication on Erie s Mayors. Sue Sutto Through the work-study program, I was ’ ’ ” – “ ’ assistant to Sister Angelica, which opened up the world of art to me. I was Dr. Garvey s secretary. My mentor was Sister Mary Celine, who basically invented a precursor to computer language. She

- was a wonderful mentor and friend and teacher to me. Sr. Mary Charles, Sr. Mary Matthew, all the faculty gave me the confdence to pursue my seize-the day moments. Mary Patalon Schaaf “I am confdent that the infux of male ” – instructors was due to the impending change to coed. I did enjoy the perspective that the male professors brought to our learning ” - environment. I believe it created an atmosphere that challenged our learning in a positive way. Stephanie Lucas Basile ‘ “I was an El Ed major and had the luck of the Irish to be taught by the best: Dr. Garvey, Dr. Bryan, Mr. Lincourt, Mr. McAndrew, Sister Matthew among others. Through my life I have thought of them, been mindful of what they taught and tried to incorporate their teachings in my life. - Peggy Meagher Pietraszek ’ ” ” - “I had such knowledgeable teachers and when I think of how many of them were Ph.D.s and not graduate assistants like in the bigger schools, I feel I really benefted from their experience and knowledge. Mother Eustace was head of the English department and my major professor. When I started as a freshman I was scared to death of her but I came to really like and admire her. She was just so smart and knew so much plus she was a very compassionate person. Jane Carney

Jeanne Keim Phillips At one point, Jeanne was one of three Keim girls at Mercyhurst. After teaching for a year in Millcreek, Jeanne married her high school sweetheart, Carmen Phillips. When he fnished his military service, they returned to Erie and she taught again in Millcreek until taking a break to raise her three children. She returned to teaching part time as a math teacher with the Intermediate Unit, assigned to St. Luke School, for 17 years before taking a full-time job with the Erie School District. She loved teaching and stayed until retiring fve years ago. Now she’s an active volunteer with Blessed Sacrament Church and School and walks four miles every day with a group of friends. Carmen is also retired and they enjoy traveling to visit their seven grandchildren. Jeanne served so long and well on the Mercyhurst Alumni Association board that she earned emeritus status and this year will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award for service to Mercyhurst.

Gretchen Hinz Brugger Gretchen graduated with a degree in Home Economics education and began teaching at Venango Christian in Oil City, Pennsylvania. After her frst year of teaching, she married John Brugger and then taught at McDowell High School. She became a stay-at-home mom while raising three children. When her youngest was in high school she returned to work part time as a grocery store home economist, supervising and planning fundraising dinners for organizations. Now she spends retirement traveling with her husband, playing bridge, volunteering at her parish, and attending the sporting events of her eight grandchildren.


' Change comes to campus “I don t remember really being aware of too many changes during my frst few years on the hill. Of course it was during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights marches and we were aware of and interested in all those issues but we were also wrapped up in our own little world of college least I was. Life really changed senior year. The calendar changed, Zurn opened, and I went out to student teach. We now had intersession and left school at Christmas and didn t have to be back until the end of January. The opening of Zurn made me feel like I was in a big school. I had to go between TWO buildings for classes and had to leave notes for classmates on TWO bulletin boards now. What confusion. - Jane Carney The campus was a sheltered and very town and gown place during our frst two years. ' ” “ ‘ ’ ’ I spent little time beyond the gates at the bottom of the hill except for weekend mixers or basketball games at Gannon and occasional shopping excursions into Erie. By junior year, those gates opened, literally and fguratively. This was due both to Sister Carolyns visionary leadership and the hyper ’60s world outside ’ which had fnally reached Mercyhurst. For the frst time, we were allowed to take classes at Gannon. The college bought the Baldwin apartments and juniors and seniors didn t have to live in the dorms—we could now live in ” the sisters around to monitor us when our boyfriends came by. - Linda Salem Burtis “I think 1968 was the beginning of what Mercyhurst is today. We saw Zurn Hall built for our senior year, more male faculty, a very few male students taking courses—though they were not matriculated at Mercyhurst, and the Sisters went from their old traditional habits to a more modifed version. I thought they looked GREAT! It was a feeling of moving toward a new and modern beginning. - Paula Blood Pitts ” apartments with kitchens. This gave us freedom to come and go without curfews and without

“ My major was history with emphasis on American History. The three who taught my history classes were Sister Loretta, Dr. Garvey, and Mr. Kubiak. Each brought a very unique teaching style to the classroom. And each had a very diferent approach to teaching. All three of them had a profound impact on my Mercyhurst experience. - Stephanie Lucas Basile ” ” - “I loved Barbara Weigert, who was in charge of the education program. Barry McAndrew was wonderful in English and Sister Mary Matthew, she was a gem. Dr. Bryan, Dr. Lincourt, Barry all came at the same time. That was exciting. Jeanne Keim Phillips Of all my teachers, Sister Mary Charles and Dr. Haas (who was from Austria, but taught Spanish) stand out the most. Sister Charles was brilliant, kind, and patient. She was my chemistry teacher. If it weren t for Dr. Haas being a sponsor for the American Student International Service, I would never have “ ’ ” thought of going to Europe after freshman year, much less staying there to live and work both in Switzerland at diferent resorts and then in Copenhagen, Denmark. - Shirley Miller Schilling Many of us took Dr. Donatelli's Aristotle class during intersession so we wouldn t have such a load during our last term. It turned out to be one of my most memorable classes. Aristotle's philosophy intertwined with Dr. D's philosophy “ ' of life really impacted me. To this day, I still think about the things I learned in this class. Jane Carney ” - ’ “I dealt with Sister Carolyn because of being a class ofcer and on student council. She was a wonderful, very charismatic, very caring person, but very soft-spoken. She didn t need to raise her voice. Sister Carolyn was a presence that was always absolutely respected. - Jeanne Keim Phillips ”

- proofreader and voice actor (with her own business, Edit Perfect/Voice Perfect). Active in her parish church, she also graduated from an intense three year Church Stephanie Lucas Basile Stephanie married Dennis Christenson and they raised four children before his death in 2006. In 2012, she met and married another amazing man – George Basile. Since graduating, she’s been a news reporter, a facilitator, a trainer, a community education coordinator for a school district in Kentucky, a consultant in community education for the Kentucky Department of Education, a Girl Scout leader, a Band Booster President, a political activist, a magazine editor and story editor, and a CCD teacher and coordinator. She’s currently a writer, editor, Ministry Institute sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Basiles traveled across Croatia three years ago to explore the villages where her grandparents grew up.

Peggy Meagher Pietraszek Margaret “Peggy” Meagher Pietraszek earned her degree in elementary education and served as editor of the Praeterita yearbook. She also holds a master’s degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Now retired, she was formerly a teacher and team leader in the Millcreek School District and Libertyville (Illinois) School District. She taught English in Tokyo and was a member of the board of directors for the American School in Japan for four years. She and her husband, Henry, spend summers in Chicago and winters in Naples, Florida. She now serves as a Mercyhurst Trustee, carrying on her parents’ long association with the school. Her father, the late Erie newsman Joseph E. Meagher, was among the frst lay advisory board members at Mercyhurst, and her mother, Marie, was a member of the original Carpe Diem Society. 11

“ When I was at Mercyhurst, Pope John XXIII opened all the doors and windows of a stufy church and we saw changes all around us, not just at Mercyhurst, but in our local parishes as well. Mass with guitars and folk music.... religious in regular clothes.... - Georgina Cantoni ” “ We were that transition class. It was a good transition. We were growing up, school was changing, all for the better. We were a little more of a change agent class. - Marlene DiTullio Mosco The Vietnam War did bring a kind of expansion of life to the campus. Girls had ” “ ‘ friends and relatives being drafted so awareness became much more intense. Vatican II was concluding and the changes brought by the decisions in Rome afected some of the practices we had been used to. One I remember in particular was that we no longer needed to wear a head covering to go into chapel. Another major change from Vatican II was that some of the nuns chose to wear street clothes, rather than the traditional habit. - Stephanie Lucas Basile ’ ” ’ “Political issues became huge then. I didn t go to march at Selma, but I would go to rallies here in Erie. I remember going to Shiloh Baptist Church in one class for a rally for civil rights. Vietnam was such a big thing, students were involved in protests, and it was very Georgina Cantoni Georgina – who edited the Praeterita yearbook in 1967 and took photos for the Merciad newspaper – began her career as a reporter for the Erie Morning News and did freelance writing and public relations in the Erie area, then moved to Dallas as a writer/editor for the National Center of the American Heart Association. Completely switching felds, she later earned a graduate degree in geology. She put her newly acquired math and science knowledge to work as a technical writer and, after working for several years with a small high-tech startup company, opened her own small consulting frm. She eventually focused on usability analysis and business analysis. Now retired, she lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where she volunteers with the local animal shelter and food bank and is a Bear Educator for the North American Bear Center. She married Jheri McMillan in 2010.

’ decision to admit men to Mercyhurst, several acknowledge they re glad the change didn t come until after they d left. Attending an all-girls school was ’ ’ “ ’ important—I had discovered that the learning environment with other women was very appealing—and, the sisters KNEW that! Their focus on educating women was inspiring! I had no objection to going coed— but, then I didn t have to attend classes with the men. I did feel, though, that it needed to happen for Mercyhurst to survive—I m glad it did happen. - Paula Blood Pitts ’ ” ” - felt it had to be. Maureen Milan Carroll Overall, Sister Carolyn and Dr. Garvey possessed the foresight to repave the direction of Mercyhurst from a prim and proper all-girls college to one that was “ ‘ ’ “I was supremely glad it happened the semester after I graduated. There were approximately 700 women on campus and it was a small and close-knit family. We all knew fnancially that men would have to be admitted to sustain any growth and despite the fact that most of us were against it, we all much a part of our discussions – should we be there?” - Jeanne Keim Phillips Going coed While class members now applaud the

Marlene DiTullio Mosco

Marlene was one of the frst Mercyhurst women to take courses at Gannon. She was interested in a business career, but didn’t want to teach, so she went downtown for courses in economics and business management. After graduation, she became a training director at a hometown bank where she later moved up to director of marketing and public relations. For 30 years she steadily climbed the corporate ladder, survived the merger of two fnancial institutions, and in 1998 was named the frst female regional president of PNC Bank. She had been elected a trustee of her alma mater three years earlier and made board history as the frst graduate of Mercyhurst elected chair of the board. Retired now after 47 years at PNC and 25 years on the Mercyhurst board, she’s enjoying her young grandson. (Both daughter Emily and son-in-law Bob Merski are Mercyhurst graduates.) Her husband, Homer Mosco, runs the travel agency they own.


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