Carlow University to Honor Seven Sisters of Mercy with Posthumous Honorary Doctoral Degrees on August 30

Seven Sisters of Mercy, who came to Pittsburgh from Carlow, Ireland in 1843, will be honored with posthumous honorary degrees on August 30, 2018.

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Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations August 28, 2018
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Seven Sisters of Mercy who Arrived in Pittsburgh from Ireland in 1843 and Founded Hospitals and Schools throughout the Nation; Their Legacy Includes Carlow University

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University will honor seven Sisters of Mercy, who first came to Pittsburgh from Ireland in 1843, with posthumous honorary doctoral degrees during the university’s Academic Convocation on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at 12:30 p.m., in the Rosemary Heyl Theatre, located on the ground floor of Antonian Hall on the Carlow campus.

The seven Sisters of Mercy – Frances Warde, Josephine Cullen, Agatha O’Brien, Elizabeth Strange, Veronica McDarby, Aloysia Strange, and Philomena Reid – left Carlow, Ireland for Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1843.  This was the first time the Sisters of Mercy had set foot in the United States, and they immediately founded a school and cared for the sick, eventually founding Mercy Hospital, in Pittsburgh. This was the beginning of numerous hospitals and schools founded by the Sisters of Mercy throughout the nation, and their legacy eventually led to the founding of Mount Mercy College – now known as Carlow University – in 1929.

“The seven Sisters of Mercy are true exemplars of the university,” said Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, president of Carlow University.  “Having left home and country and traveled to Pittsburgh, they turned their attention and compassion to the needs of the poor and disenfranchised, transforming lives through education, healthcare, social services, and countless other ministries across our country.  Carlow University’s values of mercy, hospitality, service, discovery, and the  sacredness of creation are rooted in their lives and witness.”

Accepting the honorary doctoral degrees for the Sisters of Mercy will be Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, the president of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.  Sister Patricia has been a member of the Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas since 1999, and prior to that was president and a member of the Provincial Administrative Team for the Omaha Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy.  

The Academic Convocation will begin at 12:30 p.m., but is preceded by a call of bagpipes at noon, followed by a procession down the campus driveway to the theatre inside Antonian Hall.   


Editor’s Note:  The News Media is welcome to cover the events of Carlow University’s Academic Convocation on Thursday, August 30.  Parking will be tight, however, so please contact Drew Wilson on his cell phone (412) 260-6807 to arrange convenient, free parking.

About Carlow University

Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curricula, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Carlow’s 13 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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