Greetings from Mercyhurst University -

We're glad to bring you July's Alumni Newsletter.

As we look forward to the Fall Semester, we are also excited to envision our campus once again filled with alumni, returning HOME for events - it has been far too long!

July's newsletter includes additional ways to stay connected, and as we prepare to begin hosting alumni events again, please be sure to take the time to update your information with us. If you moved, changed your email address, got a new phone number, we want to be able to reach you!

Carpe Diem,

-Your friends in the Alumni Office
Be a part of Laker history as we unveil our newly renovated Mercyhurst Athletic Center this fall! Alumni, families, fans, and friends will have the opportunity to have their name on a seat or in an entire row for years to come.

Join in on the campaign and learn more at
Save the Date!

We are so excited to finally welcome YOU back HOME to Mercyhurst for Homecoming Weekend 2021.

What to know:

Homecoming Weekend: Sept, 24-26

Registration Opens: July 20

Registration Deadline: Sept. 22
The Mercyhurst community welcomes Dr. Kathy Getz, the 13th President, who will officially begin on Monday, July 12. We look forward to opportunities for alumni to meet Dr. Getz very soon! Submit a welcome message for Dr. Getz here.

Thank you to our Education alumni who mentored this semester - your expertise and guidance is invaluable to our Lakers!
Alumni Mentors: Allison Boehm, Madison Bruno, Christina Caccione, Ryan Cassidy, Libby Clark, Kim Damcott, Claire Eichner, Carly Fenton, Gina Gordon, Colleen Griffin, Bea Habursky, Kathleen Haslett, Pat Hersch, Megan Hollern, Donna Jaworek, Laura Jones, Tessa Kalwasinski, Hayley Kloecker, Tirzah Kurien, Rachel Lewis, Mariana Mathewson, Rachel McGourty, Theresa Meyers, Meg Milligan, Katie Myers, Renee Pagel, Sarah Palm, Scott Quivey, Eileen Ritchie, Jane Scura, Teri Sinnott, Christa Smith, Rachel Sobina, James Strand, Liz Swantek, Meghan Thompson, Kelli Trenga, Holly Villella, Christine Walsh, Morgan Wangler, Carla Wyrsch, and Marion Young

Join the 501 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center!
The 501 is a membership society for patrons who wish to enhance their performing arts experience while also supporting the arts at Mercyhurst. Members enjoy exclusive benefits, including first access to tickets, premium seats at star-studded performances, special events, and more. View the season line-up at

Earlier this year, we conducted the Alumni Engagement Survey. Thank you to all who participated! Our gift card winner was Walter Green '80. Additionally, we gladly welcomed The Class of 2021 as Mercyhurst alumni and asked them to complete an update as they leave the Hurst. The winner of the Class of 2021 gift card was Maureen Wilson '21.

Sign-up to join the 2nd alumni cohort of the Mercy Emissary program which will begin this fall. Interested in joining? Please email Director of Alumni Engagement, Lindsay Frank '12 at

Thank you to those who participated in Virtual Reunion Weekend. Whether you celebrated your 5th reunion or your 60th, seeing everyone's faces over Zoom was exciting, and our team enjoyed sharing the virtual tour with alumni near and far.
While the virtual reunion was fun, it is simply not the same as being together - save the dates for Reunion Weekend 2022, June 9-12.
Connect with Lakers near and far!

Alumni Chapters are available all over the country and are continuing to gather and form. Take a look at the full list to the right for an Alumni Chapter in your area.

To submit a Class Note, please visit to have your news featured here and in the next Mercyhurst Magazine!

Career News

Nellie Dephtereos '19 is pursuing her master's at the Colorado, School of Public Health in Denver, wrote a recent column for Colorado Politics, bringing to light, the problem of homelessness relative to environmental concerns. Read the article here.

Donald Gibbon, DO, '86 was promoted to the position of Executive Director/Regional Chief Medical Officer with Aetna Medicaid, a CVS, Health company. In this position, Dr. Gibbon oversees the executive leaders for medical management, their market performance, and ensures high quality of care for Aetna Better Health plans in Illinois,, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. In addition to this new role, Dr. Gibbon remains as the Chief Medical Officer of Aetna Better Health of West Virginia. He graduated from the Kirksville, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO, and is board certified in Emergency Medicine.

Larry Walczak '74 recently had several of his artworks purchased by art consultants "Aesthetics, Inc." for the new Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center currently being built in the Pittsburgh area. Walczak has artwork in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Brooklyn Museum of Art as well as several private collections. He currently has a collage in the Erie Art Museum Spring Show as well as an online exhibition by FLATFILES Gallery of New York City.

Margaret (Peggy) Harold-Rauch '06 completed her Master's of Science from Buffalo State College in science education. Her masters paper focused on the public education system in the United States, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), as well as utilizing scientific phenomena in the classroom to engage students.

Awards & Accomplishments

Carrie (Tappe) Schreiber '00 was recently named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women. She currently works as a Commercial Banker in Baltimore, MD and serves on the Board of Directors for several nonprofit organizations including Marian House Inc., The Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, The United Way of Central, Maryland, and the YMCA of Central Maryland's Community Leadership Board.

Kevin Courtright '91 was named the 2021 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Faculty, Member of the Year. The award recognizes a faculty member who consistently exhibits exemplary teaching skills, presents a, well-developed personal philosophy of teaching, and demonstrates, mastery of their discipline. He is in the Criminal Justice, Anthropology, and Forensic Studies Department.

Kristin (Peterson) Pierce '08 was recently awarded two 2020 Nautilus Book Awards for her fourth and fifth children's picture books, The Sweet Dreams Express: A Meditative Bedtime Journey, and Hazel Mist Hypnotist. As the author and founder of Inner Compass Books, Kristin creates mindfully crafted children's books that are full of impact, inspiration, and empowering messages to help our youngest generation, establish self-awareness and growth mindsets from an early age.

Caileen Farrell Fox '11 and Patrick Fox '11 welcomed a baby boy, Bennett Gregory, on July 6, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Colleen Lanigan Hordych '07 and her husband Jake, welcomed a baby girl, Georgia Marie on Aug. 18, 2020. Georgia joins big sister, Lydia.

Ryan Bartizal '13 and Jenna Bartizal welcomed baby boy Evan Ryan Bartizal, on Nov. 9, 2020. Evan was born in Cleveland, Ohio, he is the couple's first child.

Marriages and Engagements

Dara Swisher '08 married Brent Shultz on Oct. 10, 2020 in an intimate ceremony in Virginia Beach. Dara and Brent are performing and teaching artists in New York City.

Noelle Lelakus '04 '08 '12 married Matthew McClellan on Feb. 20, 2021 in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Matron of Honor was Jo (Alspaugh) Theisen '08. Noelle is employed as a nurse practitioner at, AdventHealth Carrollwood and Matthew is an anchor/reporter at Fox 13, News, both in Tampa, Florida.

Sarah Margaret Hlusko '11 is engaged to Evan Karl Everhart, Erie metal artist.

Alumni Deaths

Mary (Taylor) Elliott '44
Colleen (McMahon) Doyle '50
Joan (Oster) Harf '51
Barbara (Klein) Perusse '54
Donna (Byers) Cotter '54
Catherine (Drouhard) Lewis '54
Katherine (Eichenlaub) Nuber '55
Jean (Bryson) Burney '56
Val (Mancini) O'Melean '57
Mary (Shine) Hilbert '58
Mary Pat (Schaefer) Russell '60
Margaret (Tellers) Dupre '61
Ann C. Titus '61
Patricia (McMullen) Triandiflou '62
Sheila (Himes) Fiscus '63
Virginia (Curnutte) Umpirowicz '64
Mary (Mehl) George '67
Genevieve (McManus) Tirpak '68
Elizabeth Carroll '68
Julie (Penberthy) Harmon '71
Rochelle (George) Wooding '71
Carolyn Lange '72
Joan (Page) Moore '73
Robert J. Gaughan '77
Barry A. Sturm '81
Robert M. Conklin '82
Georgia (Botinovich) Hill '82
Carolyn Anderson '87
Janis (Pullinger) Guthrie '93
Matthew E. Turner '95
Erika (Ballman) DeSalvatore '00
Melissa (Wagner) Ripley '14


Maryann (Schneider) Yochim Flaherty '71 on the death of her husband Bill Flaherty

Peggy (Anibaldi) Patrick '68 on the death of her husband and friend of the University, Guy Patrick. A memorial Mass will be held at Christ the King Chapel on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m.

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