MacDowell Adds Life, Structures

Arthur Dowell, Webmaster/ Online Sports Editor

Editors note: The second of a three-part series looks back on MacDowell’s time at Misericordia from 2003 to 2007.

President Michael A. MacDowell stepped foot on campus with the goal of making sure the school reached the potential he knew it had but had not met.

The biggest investment was the addition of Insalaco Hall in 2007. The school was in need of classrooms, room for the business department and an art gallery for  people to enjoy. All of this was accomplished in the $7,699,000 construction project that consisted of the building and renovations to the Lemmond Theatre. The new building connected to Munson and extended the lobby to accommodate people wanting to enter the theatre for shows.

The auditorium facelift took $1 million of the $7,699,000 needed for all renovations. The theatre received new lighting and a new heating and air conditioning system for the comfort of the guests.

“Before the new renovations, the theatre was not built to have events in the winter or summer months due to awful conditions.”

The Intermetzo Café was added so students could get a quick snack on the way between classes. It was also allowed food service to serve refreshments during gallery exhibit openings and shows in the Lemmond Theatre.

MacDowell also went about building the bell tower for a much more convenient way for people to get in and out of the building and  to dorms and the newly constructed library. The project cost $700,000, and cut student and staff travel times in half – or more.  In 2002, students who wanted to go from the first to the third floor of Mercy Hall had to use one of the staircases on either side of the building.

The last major construction piece came in 2006 with the renovation of Merrick Hall, known today as Banks Student Lounge. The relocation of the bookstore from what is now the Campus Ministry office to its current location, the raised of the roof, and the renovations of the Cougars Den, including the fire pit, cost $1,250,000.

All of this was to meet MacDowell’s goal.

“We wanted to make the campus as pretty as we could and give it a good reputation among the students,” said MacDowell. “We wanted to meet the students’ needs both inside and outside the classroom.”

The campus not only got a facelift in these five years, but it also got a name and status change.  In 2007 College Misericordia became Misericordia University, emphasizing to students – both current and prospective – that the school is a place to go not only for four years, but for Master’s and doctoral programs as well.

With three colleges –  College of Health Sciences, College of Professional Studies, and College of Arts and Sciences – MacDowell found it odd to not have the university title. Most colleges with university status have more than one college of study for perspective students to investigate.

During MacDowell’s first ten years of presidency, he marked the growth and maturity of the campus, and he is thankful for all who made it happen.

“The staff, faculty, and coaches at this institution are so involved with the students lives and want to make sure they all succeed to do bigger things when their school days are done,” says MacDowell. “The relationship coaches have with the faculty is great and that is because they have the same goal in mind for the each of the students at Misericordia.”

In MacDowell’s last five years at Misericordia, the school continues to grow – particularly in student enrollment.

MacDowell has never taken a sick day, a personal day – not a single day – off because the school deserves the work and dedication it takes to lead it forward.  Magnificently.

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