President’s Farewell

When people asked me what I will miss most about Misericordia I answered quickly. It is the students. For 15 years Tina and I have been both impressed and enamored with the students. On the whole they are bright, inquisitive, hard-working and dedicated. They seem not only to care about others but about those less fortunate in this community and well beyond.

Clearly there have been changes at Misericordia in the past 15 years. There are new buildings, athletic venues, new teams, new programs and majors, faculty and staff, and a much larger campus. We even became a University.

Tina and I always enjoy talking to alumni who returned to campus having not visited for 20 years or more. Almost all of them say they can’t believe all of the changes that have taken place. But when these same alumni walk around campus, talk to students, and visit their former professors they’re quick to conclude that while much has changed, much remains the same. The friendliness of the place, the willingness to help out a stranger, the smiles on the faces of most all they meet are what they remember.

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the country. Each strives to “differentiate itself” from others. The spirit of our founders and sponsors, the Sisters of Mercy, have had a profound effect on this “College on the Hill.” Our collective passion to serve others combined with an overwhelming belief in their charisms of mercy, service, justice, and hospitality is truly unique. There are many colleges and universities that in structure, size, and background are very similar, but in one important way they differ. There is an almost palpable friendliness and “Mercy spirit” at Misericordia that distinguishes this special place from all the others.

I’m always amazed by the number of students who are ready to help others in times of need. But I’m even more impressed that students here do not wait for a natural disaster or tragic occurrence to offer support. They do so every day. That spirit of giving back is the attribute about which I am most proud. Our staff, faculty, trustees and most particularly our students are always willing to lend a helping hand. As students progress through their courses of study their service to others becomes even more valuable because they are able to put their education and the enviable career preparation skills behind their desire to serve.

Our 15 years here have been the best of our lives. Tina and I will remember with great fondness and affection the friends we made here, the great times we shared together, and the many occasions when we worked hard to make Misericordia even better than when we found it.

Our most sincere desire for this small University is that the spirit of giving back will grow and enhance Misericordia‘s reputation. We know Dr. and Mrs. Botzman share these feelings and Misericordia will move smartly on to bigger and better accomplishments.

Michael MacDowell
President, 1998- 2013