Class of 1966
Homecoming 2016, October 7-9, was a huge success—drawing the largest homecoming crowd to date.
Highlights of the weekend included a popular murder mystery dinner in A.J. Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology—and a trip to Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood to sample local brews and cuisine.
Alumni worked alongside current students to pack hygiene supplies for the homeless, and listened attentively as students described their involvement in the 2016 Roots of the Civil Rights tour.
Carlow President Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, highlighted exciting new university developments at a Homecoming Town Hall gathering. To see more homecoming photos and find out what she mentioned in her address, read on.
Dr. Mellon: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s wonderful to see so many of you here today at this town hall meeting. Since our time together is relatively short, and I know you must have lots of questions to ask, I’m just going to take a few minutes to tell you about some of the highlights from the academic year that just ended—and some of the initiatives you’ll hear more about in the weeks and months ahead.
Let me begin by saying your university continues to be committed to the Mercy values and mission that have been our foundation since 1929. Our strategic plan, now in its third year, is focused on strengthening our financial health, increasing enrollment, attracting new support from donors and friends, and ensuring that our students receive a high quality, educational experience. We like to say our graduates are values driven—and career focused. According to our most recent career outcomes report, more than nine out of ten of our graduates were employed within six months of graduation, in fields ranging from health care and business to professional counseling and social work.
Carlow was re-accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education—and we received numerous commendations from this body for our academic programs and business practices. The Board of Trustees approved an ambitious master plan for the campus, with an eye towards new facilities, including an athletic center and nursing simulation space, which will attract new students to the university.
Like many smaller, private liberal arts institutions, we continue to face challenges in enrollment. This year, our enrollment was slightly lower than in years past and, in response to a demographic shift that has resulted in fewer traditional high school students, we are investing in marketing in order to “tell our story” and looking at new programs, such as respiratory care completion, that could help us accelerate growth. We continue to add new partnerships, such as nursing agreements with the Community College of Westmoreland County, in order to offer Carlow students options for beginning and completing their degrees.
Athletics was one of the big stories of the past year. More than 20 percent of the Fall 2016 class are athletes—and we are proud of the academic honors many of our student-athletes achieved in 2015-16. And I want to give special recognition to our softball coach, who was named coach of the year—and to the women on the team who took Carlow to a second place showing in the championship tournament.
Another big round of applauses went to our nursing students. They had the highest pass rate of any school (95.74%) in Pittsburgh on their licensure examination.
There’s so much more to share—from the McDarby Institute’s trip to Ireland, hosted by our own Sister Sheila to the generous support received from our alumni, donors, and friends. But let me stop here, so that I can hear from you. I hope you have lots of questions for me, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts about your university. I also hope you will use this time to share some thoughts about how we can all work together to be sure Carlow stays strong in the years ahead.
Homecoming photos with the article: first, Corwin Manker and Shallegra Moye ’08; second, Henry Blanker and Virginia Crosby Blanker ’66; third, Nancy Ward Pollack and Margo Hoffman Lane ’66; and fourth, Chloe Giovanetti ’17 and Hannah Tajuddin ’17