Over the past several years, we have made significant progress on the objectives outlined in Merrimack’s 10-year strategic plan, the Agenda for Distinction. To support our efforts and continue our growth, the Together for Good Campaign aims to secure investments in four key areas. Read on to learn about how these four areas will be a catalyst for positive change in Merrimack’s people, programs and campus infrastructure.
INNOVATING FOR GOOD
The new Academic Success Center will transform academic support services at Merrimack. Housed in the McQuade Library, the new center will unify our academic enrichment services and provide new spaces for future growth. By helping students develop effective skills, advocate for themselves and become more confident learners, the Academic Success team, working closely with partners across campus, will drive academic and personal achievement. The Academic Success team will also provide support for our growing student affinity groups such as Honors, Compass, Promise, Austin Scholars and Innovation through Engineering and Computing (iTEC). Ultimately, the work in our new center will propel students successfully through their collegiate journey and enhance our student retention and graduation rates.
- New testing and study labs to facilitate one-on-one advising, tutoring and mentoring
- Dedicated classrooms and office space for the Compass Program, Promise Program, Tutoring and Math Center, and Writing Center
- An expanded Office of Accessibility Services to enrich educational opportunities for all students
Dean of Student Success and Academic Support
Charged with providing academic support to help Merrimack students succeed, Peter Ellard offers the best of both worlds—expertise in academic administration combined with extensive classroom experience. Ellard worked as an administrator and assistant professor at Siena College for 16 years before joining Merrimack in 2015.
Merrimack is committed to providing innovative resources and programs to help each student reach his or her full potential. Ellard explains, “We’re focused on individual success and that’s accomplished through one-on-one coaching; test prep help; subject tutoring; and our bridge programs, Compass and Promise. It even includes things like assisting students who have mobility or other issues.”
Ellard feels the Together for Good Campaign is aptly named, explaining, “To me, it’s a validation of my philosophy of academic support and student success. No one does it alone. The best outcomes are only possible if we do it together. It’s great to work with a team that’s dedicated to helping students succeed.”
|Trustee KEVIN LUCEY ’89 and KAREN LUCEY named the Career Advising Center within the Girard School of Business. This gift will connect our students to experiential learning and full-time employment opportunities, helping our future leaders secure exciting and rewarding career paths.
College Leadership Council member KAREN McCARTHY ’92 and KEVIN McCARTHY also support student success through a major investment in health and wellness programs on campus.
BUILDING FOR GOOD
Merrimack’s plans include a new Academic District in the North Campus that will encompass several new buildings and provide more classroom, study, lab and studio space. Prominent in the new district will be a three-story, 50,000-square-foot building that will become the new home for Merrimack’s Girard School of Business. The building will provide flexible learning environments as well as conference and event space, supporting Merrimack’s goal of transforming the Girard School into an accredited business school with a robust array of resources, degrees and programs. Future development plans include enhancing resources for Merrimack’s communications, psychology, STEM and creative arts programs.
- 14 modern classrooms, including two large tiered-style rooms that can host larger classes (80+), campus events and guest speakers
- The Mucci Capital Markets Lab, featuring Bloomberg terminals and access to real-time finance and investment learning resources
- The Comprehensive Business Advising Center, with academic and career advising customized for our business students
- Girard School of Business Dean’s Suite and offices for faculty and staff that will promote interaction and collaboration
LAUNCHING BUILDING FOR GOOD
With big crowds, speeches and a night capped by fireworks, Merrimack College broke ground Sept. 30 for the North Campus Academic Pavilion, the college’s first new stand-alone academic building since the early 1990s.
“Merrimack College is not only an institution of higher learning,” said President Christopher E. Hopey in a ceremony preceding the groundbreaking. “Merrimack College is a promise—a promise made and a promise fulfilled.”
“This new academic building says to our family and the world that we have built success upon success. It is fulfilling the promise of ‘we will be’ with ‘we are,’” he said.
Hopey was joined in the ceremony by Michael Crowe, chair of the board of trustees, who recalled being an undergraduate when the college’s last new academic building, Mendel Center, was opened. He said he was proud of Merrimack as an alumnus, a trustee and the father of a graduating senior, and said it is a “moment the trustees and administration have been working toward for a long time,” after years of strategic planning.
The 50,000-square-foot building will be home to the Girard School of Business as well as 14 general-purpose flexible learning environments, the Mucci Capital Markets Lab, the Comprehensive Business Advising Center and the Financial Capability Center. Construction will begin soon; the building is expected to open in August 2017.
Girard Dean Mark Cordano said the school has had great success in drawing corporate partners and alumni back to work with students and help them find career success.
“This new building will enhance the connections across our entire community,” he said. “It will place our students within an integrated community that will find new ways to collaborate, learn and grow.”
Sara Jane Brazda, senior vice president for development and alumni relations, shared a message from Frank Girard, for whom the business school is named, conveying his honor and excitement at seeing the school expand and evolve.
The president was joined in the first ceremonial groundbreaking by his wife, Cheryl Lucas; the Rev. Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A., vice president for mission and student affairs; Brazda; Cordano; and trustees Crowe, Alfred Arcidi, Jr., and Marybeth McInnis.
Local government officials and members of the Student Government Association also paused for ceremonial groundbreaking photos.
The ceremony was followed by a block party inside the Multipurpose Room of the Sakowich Campus Center, featuring food, games, music and a beer garden for those over 21. Fireworks were launched over the athletic fields to conclude the festivities.
|Trustee ROBERT ZATTA ’71 and KATHLEEN ZATTA have named a modern, tiered classroom designed to host large classes and external speakers.
College Leadership Council member BRUCE BOUCHARD ’79 and SANDRA BOUCHARD have named a new center at Merrimack that will foster management consulting and social entrepreneurship opportunities for our student and community nonprofits.
Trustee MARY FRANCO ’81 and College Leadership Council member MIKE FRANCO ’81 dedicated their gift to Building for Good and will name an important dining and event space for faculty, staff and students.
COMPETING FOR GOOD
To compete at the highest level, Merrimack is investing in a state-of-the-art Athletic District that will include new fields for the varsity teams, a new stadium and track, and facilities for our expanding intramural and club sports programs. These new athletic spaces will support our goal of becoming a Division I institution, help us meet demand from our expanding enrollment, and serve as a resource for the campus, our fans and the surrounding community.
- Redevelopment of 350,000 square feet of land to create three fields for varsity, club, intramural, recreational and community use
- Development of a 2,500-seat stadium with a multipurpose field and a 400-meter eight-lane track
- Construction of a modern concessions area, locker rooms and athletics offices, as well as new sport lighting and walkways
Director of Athletics
Jeremy Gibson has led the Warriors’ athletic programs since 2013.
Says Gibson, “The foundation of our athletic program really starts with our student-athletes and coaches. The Together for Good Campaign will enable us to renovate our field space so that we can provide them with the resources they need to pursue excellence at the highest level. It also helps us attract and retain outstanding talent—and puts us on par with schools that we aspire to be associated with.”
Gibson understands that athletics is often the first touch point for individuals who are new to Merrimack. “In a lot of ways, the athletic department is the front porch to the institution, whether it’s the people coming to our games, the parents who participate in the hockey programs that we sponsor for local youth, or the many alumni, parents, students and faculty who watch the nearly 1,000 webcasts of our games over the course of the season.”
“We’re proud that more than half the undergraduate students participate in athletics in some form. In addition to 24 varsity sports, we offer 18 club sports with more than 450 participants, along with a robust intramural and recreational program. This level of involvement creates a healthy campus that enhances the overall student experience.”
When asked about the anticipated impact of the campaign, Gibson explains, “Merrimack’s made a lot of exciting progress over the years. We want to build on that momentum and continue to inspire pride. It’s an awesome feeling to talk with alumni who come back to campus and see the new facilities and programs—many of which are beyond what they experienced during their time at Merrimack. That’s what we want to perpetuate.”
|Expanded athletic facilities will not only support Merrimack’s move to Division I but provide enhanced experiences for our club and intramural sport competitors, which is a passion for leadership investor VINCENT FOLEY ’68.
RICHARD GALLANT H’15 continues to champion our competitive sports program by supporting the construction of modern hockey locker room facilities.
Trustee LEE SLATTERY ’81 has shown her commitment to enhancing athletics at Merrimack as chair of our Title IX committee and a major investor in our new athletic facilities.
STANDING UP FOR GOOD
At Merrimack, Catholic Augustinian values guide our actions. That is why we plan to expand service learning and mission opportunities, support faculty excellence, foster research initiatives, and advance academic programs. To ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to a Merrimack education,
we also intend to expand our scholarship support. By focusing on student-centered programs that inspire, engage and enlighten, we are committed to achieving 75 percent undergraduate participation in at least one of the following enrichment activities by 2021:
- Undergraduate research
- Clinical learning experiences
- Mission trips and service learning
- Study abroad
- Hands to Help
- Service immersion trips
- Alternative summer and winter break expansion
HONORING OUR AUGUSTINIAN VALUES
Scholarships ensure that Merrimack can continue to attract talented students, enable them to choose meaningful paths and help them graduate in better financial standing.
Currently, more than 90 percent of Merrimack students receive financial assistance to bridge the gap between tuition and their ability to afford a college education. With more than $45 million in scholarships, financial aid and fellowships awarded in the last year alone, Merrimack has put an exceptional education within reach for many students. Private philanthropic support is critical to this important Augustinian mission of helping others.
We will launch our “Good to Great” scholarship drive with the goal of raising $3 million in new endowed and current-use scholarships. Through this ambitious initiative, we will have the financial support we need to ensure that deserving students, from all backgrounds, have the opportunity to achieve greatness at Merrimack.
Father Raymond Dlugos, O.S.A.
Vice President for Mission and Student Affairs
The powerhouse behind Merrimack’s day of service, Mack Gives Back, Father Ray helped reintroduce the Mass of the Holy Spirit and was instrumental in shaping Merrimack’s vision to “enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives.”
Father Ray explained how Merrimack continues to “stand up for good. Through student affairs and co-curriculum, we’ve been able to infuse Catholic Augustinian values into many student experiences. Our service immersion trips are a prime example. They include alternative spring and winter breaks, as well as summer trips, which are now both domestic and international.”
“I see students change on those trips as they learn and experience new things. Their concept of the world changes. St. Augustine said, ‘No one should be so contemplative as to ignore the needs of his or her neighbor.’ To that end, we also offer service components to our academic courses. This year, we expect over 1,200 students to go out in the community and bring their lessons and perspectives back into the classroom. Beyond that, we have active student organizations like Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research; Active Minds, which focuses on suicide prevention and destigmatizing mental illness; and the Young Athlete program, which is part of the Special Olympics—all of which are focused on the needs of others.”
Of the Together for Good Campaign, Father Ray says, “The idea of sharing, of holding things in common and embracing the common good are all Augustinian hallmarks. St. Augustine says you know you are growing in charity when you put the common good ahead of your own. Together for Good captures that sentiment very beautifully.”
|Supporting college success through scholarships has long been a tradition at Merrimack College. Recent endowed scholarship donors include trustee JACK BOYCE ’81 and College Leadership Council member MARYANN BOYCE ’81, ROBIN SMITH ’66, and DAVID SCHELZI ’81 and JONI SCHELZI.
The SAKOWICH FOUNDATION made a major commitment to launch and endow the Anthony J. Sakowich Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities and the Gladys Sakowich Charitable Foundation Scholarship.
The JAMES W. O’BRIEN FOUNDATION established the O’Brien Scholars program, providing students with financial aid and social justice and service learning experiences.
With the aim of developing more inclusive leaders, EILEEN JENNINGS ’64 made an estate gift in support of enhanced interfaith programming at Merrimack.
STANDING TOGETHER FOR GOOD
Equally important to our $50 million fundraising goal are our alumni engagement objectives. Through the Together for Good Campaign, we aim to expand Merrimack’s annual fund, increase alumni participation, and enhance research and sponsored program funding. In addition to raising our national profile, this campaign will cultivate a greater sense of pride within the Merrimack College community.
THE MERRIMACK FUND
Annual giving is a meaningful way for donors of all levels to strengthen the future of Merrimack College. The Merrimack Fund encourages alumni, parents and friends to begin donating regularly to Merrimack and experience the impact of giving back. Every gift to The Merrimack Fund will count toward the Together for Good Campaign. Throughout this historic campaign we seek to raise $7 million in annual fund support and continue to enhance alumni engagement at Merrimack.
THE WARRIOR FUND
The Warrior Fund raises awareness of our student-athletes’ impact and accomplishments and provides philanthropic support to our athletic program. In 2016, The Warrior Fund raised nearly $200,000 to help fund staff and student training initiatives, athletic equipment purchases, out-of-region team travel, leadership development programs, and recruitment efforts.
Sponsored programs will also count toward our campaign and support our overall goal to bolster Merrimack’s reputation and strengthen our value proposition and competitive position. Supporting this goal, we seek to raise $4 million for research and sponsored programs as part of the Together for Good Campaign.