Today Magazine Spring 2021 | Page 2

A Message from the President

I hope you and your loved ones have been well and your new year has gotten off to a healthy start . You are continuously in my thoughts as we pass the one-year mark of living through a pandemic .
Our campus community recently gathered together , virtually , to address the future and to observe and acknowledge the many challenges we have faced over the past year . It gave me an opportunity to reflect on how our campus community banded together in true Mercy fashion to navigate those challenges .
Through remarkable teamwork , our University community has provided a safe environment for faculty , staff , and students who have needed to come to campus through space modifications , deep cleaning , health screenings , COVID-19 testing , PPE , and many other health and safety protocols . We have continued to refine remote learning through the addition of new faculty and technology , additional training , and virtual ways to take full advantage of library services , tutoring , counseling , accessibility services , campus ministry , student activities , and so much more . We expanded the amount of support available to students through Catherine ’ s Cupboard , continuing to provide access to fresh food throughout the pandemic .
These strategies have proven to be effective , and we will continue to take additional steps to further support a healthy and productive learning environment for our students .
In addition to meeting current challenges , our campus community continued to forge ahead toward a bright future .
As we close out year two of our five-year Strategic Plan , we can take pride in the initiatives we completed so far . These initiatives fall under the four themes of the Strategic Plan : Distinctive Teaching and Learning ; Transformative Student Experience ; Empowered Community ; and Compelling Brand .
We launched new and innovative programs such as Public Health and Artificial Intelligence , expanded our partnerships with local community colleges , and enhanced our website to ensure we ’ re meeting the needs of our students and their families .
We also welcomed our new Assistant Vice President for Diversity , Equity , and Inclusion who is working on University-wide initiatives to ensure we all embrace a culture of Inclusive Excellence . Our Facilities Master Plan is nearly complete and will help us utilize our campus spaces to their full potential . And , we are piloting a new program called “ The Griffin Edge : Your Distinctive Mercy Experience ”, which is built on 5 E ’ s : Excellence , Engagement , Experience , Empathy , and Encouragement – all hallmarks of GMercyU ’ s mission- and student-centered approach to higher education . A full roll out of the program will begin this fall .
These are just a few of the major initiatives we have completed within the past two years . As we look ahead to the final three years of the Strategic Plan , I am encouraged and excited to see the ways in which our University will continue to grow and evolve .
For now , I am very much looking forward to celebrating our 2021 graduates later this spring with modified , in-person ceremonies . We are also planning to return to campus this fall , provided it is safe to do so !
I wish you and your family continued health and am looking forward to resuming the traditions that we all have missed sometime soon .
Deanne H . D ’ Emilio , JD President