Dear Lakers,

I hope you are doing well and staying safe and healthy. During these difficult times, we lean on each other (from afar of course) to stay strong and remain optimistic for better days ahead. It was a tough few days at the Hurst last week with abrupt goodbyes and tears in students' eyes as they left. Our students headed home, our staff are working at home, and our faculty continue to teach their courses from their homes as well.

Through all of this we are reminded of the spirit of Mercyhurst - through good times and tough times, we are still here for one another. When we do get to head back to campus, the gates will be open, Old Main will stand tall and greet us, and we will celebrate being together once again - and the celebrations will be that much more meaningful.

Our Alumni Relations and Advancement Team are here for you - we are all able to be reached via email. You'll see below in this newsletter that we've had to make some hard decisions about Giving Day, Reunion Weekend, and several events. We trust that you will support our decisions and keep Mercyhurst and our students in your prayers moving forward.

As always, Carpe Diem,

Lindsay Frank '12
Director of Alumni Engagement

Reach the entire Advancement Team...
Courtney Olevnik:
Matt Sanfilippo:
Meaghan Hubert:
Susan Reddinger:
Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis, Mercyhurst has made the difficult decision to postpone Giving Day 2020 which was originally slated for March 31.
We appreciate the excitement and generosity that members of the Mercyhurst community have already extended in anticipation of Giving Day and look forward to celebrating the occasion with you later in the spring.
Reunion Weekend 2020 is postponed. We are looking forward to celebrating double the reunions in 2021. All awards intended for 2020 will be honored in 2021 and the classes of 2015, 2010, 1995, 1980, 1970, 1965, and 1960 will celebrate their respective reunions as well.

Please save the date for Reunion Weekend 2021: June 10-11-12-13.

Members from this year's reunion classes (2015, 2010, 1995, 1980, 1970, 1965, and 1960) and next year's reunion classes (2016, 2011, 1996, 1981, 1971, 1966, and 1961) should contact Lindsay Frank '12 to join their planning committee.
Due to rapidly changing developments in the COVID-19 global situation, Mercyhurst University transitioned from in-person classroom instruction to remote instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. All events are canceled until future notice. Our campuses are closed to all persons, with the exception of a limited number of essential employees.

For the latest information on campus updates, events, and general information related to COVID-19 and Mercyhurst, please visit
Several of our upcoming events have been postponed until the Fall.
We're looking forward to visiting the Buffalo, Chicago, and Pittsburgh Chapters ASAP!
Save the Date: Homecoming 2020
October 2-4
Announcing the
Intelligence Hall of Fame at Mercyhurst University
Mercyhurst University, widely known as a pioneer in the field of intelligence studies, has been tapped to house the U.S. Intelligence Community Hall of Fame.

The  Intelligence and National Security Alliance  (INSA) and the Intelligence and National Security Foundation (INSF) have partnered with the prestigious  Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences  at Mercyhurst to create the first Intelligence Hall of Fame, designed to recognize recipients of the William Oliver Baker Award,* INSA’s highest honor presented annually since 1984. 

Learn more about the Intelligence Hall of Fame here.
A NEW BENEFIT FOR YOU: Organizational Leadership Grad Program Offers Alumni Tuition Discount

As Mercyhurst’s Organizational Leadership (OL) master’s program marks the 20 th anniversary of its first graduating class, Mercyhurst is offering a special OL tuition rate to alumni who graduated from Mercyhurst more than two years ago: $1,000 per course. This special discount allows alumni to earn a master’s for approximately $10,000—a savings of more than $15,000.

Now offered 100 percent online, the 10-course OL program (30 credits) complements almost every academic and professional background, offering instruction in the complexities of modern leadership than can be applied in any field. As an OL student, you’ll develop a sophisticated understanding of leadership principles, with opportunities to further develop your leadership and problem-solving skills. An online three-course (9 credits) graduate certificate in OL is also available; the tuition discount also applies to the graduate certificate.

For more information on the OL program, contact Kseniya Kampova in the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education at or 814-824-3384. You can also begin your free application at



National Alumni Association Board of Directors: Application
Applications for the National Alumni Association Board of Directors are due by April 10!
To submit a Class Note, please visit  to have your news featured here and in the next Mercyhurst Magazine!

Career News

Shane Krige '91 recently became the new General Manager of The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in The Bahamas.

Cara (Adamus) Natalo '10 accepted a position as Branch Manager in the Cochranton branch of The One Federal Credit Union.

Eric Schultz '02 was promoted to the rank of Sergeant at the Monroe, County Sheriff Office in Rochester, NY. He has worked with the, Sheriff's Office for the past 13 years. Married to Julie (Lindsay) Schultz '02.

Matthew Whelan '86 was recently named the ninth President of Caldwell University located in New Jersey.

Jessica (Lamb) Giordano '05 was named by Sports Business Journal as 2020 Forty under 40 Class. The Forty Under 40 awards is an annual celebration of the best young talent in sports business. It celebrates the hard work, accomplishments and aspirations of talented young professionals from nearly every sector of the industry.

Victor Laurenza '02 has been named senior vice president and team leader for Key Private Bank's Wester, Pennsylvania Market. In his new role, Laurenza will lead the market's wealth management team and help clients achieve their wealth building and preservation goals.

Births and Adoptions

Colleen (Gaffney) Volkmar '10 and husband Jeff welcomed their first, child, Avery Rose on Dec. 22, 2019.

Kerry Bowman '08 and Jessica (Lamb) Bowman '07 welcomed their first child, Robert Knox Bowman on Oct. 23, 2019 in Arlington, VA.

Ted Nagorsen '05 and Marley (McKenzie) Nagorsen '09 welcomed their third daughter to the family. Piper Quinn Nagorsen was born On Feb. 2, 2020.

Lindsay (Peters) Heilman '07 and her husband Elias welcomed their fourth child, a daughter Willow Mae on Oct. 2, 2019. Willow excitedly joins her siblings: Bingham, Remington, and Easton.
Award Announcements

Daniel P. Spizarny '87 received an award from U.S. Department of Defense which recognizes supervisors who go above and beyond to support service members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Marriages and Engagements

Alyssa Ross '13 married Stephen Miller (Georgetown) on Oct. 11, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Both currently work in downtown Cleveland for large law firms.

Emilee Ballaro Despagni '05 married Matthew Despagni on Oct. 5, 2019 in New York City. The couple resides on the Upper East Side and met in 2014 while playing softball in the Saints & Sinners recreational softball league sponsored by the Catholic diocese of New York. Emilee, works at Glocap Search as a corporate recruiter where she has been since 2011 and Matt works in research and analytics at National CineMedia where he has been since 2012.

Alumni Deaths

Dorothy (Kuhn) Heidecker '44
Camilla (Decampli) Fellner '53
Rosemary (McCabe) Kaveney '54
Susan Smith-Beidler '65
Sr. Paul Marie Westlake, R.S.M '67
Christine (Mack) Arne '86
Peter Ogden '92
JoAnn (Ploss) White '99
Yvonne Peck '08


Sylvia (Haise) Colson '58 on the death of her husband Warren Colson

Judith Emling '66 on the death of her brother Jerry Emling
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