Misericordia University

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Misericordia University
Former names
College Misericordia
AffiliationRoman Catholic (Sisters of Mercy)[1]
Endowment$30 million[2]
PresidentThomas Botzman
DeanAmy Lahart[3]
Administrative staff
LocationDallas[1], Pennsylvania, USA
41°20′42″N 75°58′18″W / 41.3451°N 75.9716°W / 41.3451; -75.9716Coordinates: 41°20′42″N 75°58′18″W / 41.3451°N 75.9716°W / 41.3451; -75.9716
ColorsBlue and Yellow          
AthleticsNCAA Division IIIMAC Freedom

Misericordia University is a four-year, Catholic, co-educational liberal arts university located on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus in Dallas, Pennsylvania, near the cities of Wilkes-Barre and Scranton within the Diocese of Scranton. It was founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy on August 15, 1924. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees as well as post-master's and post-bachelor's certificates.[1]

On August 24, 2007 Misericordia achieved university status. It was called College Misericordia prior to August 24, 2007.


Misericordia University campus during spring

The Religious Sisters of Mercy were of the order of Mercy founded in Dublin in 1831. The Sisters vowed to be of service to the impoverished, sick and uneducated. The Sisters of Mercy came to the Wyoming Valley area of Pennsylvania in 1875, continuing their mission of praying, teaching and caring for the sick. The sisters established a school for children and a night school for adults in the coal mining region.

On August 15, 1924, the Sisters of Mercy established Luzerne County’s first four-year institution of higher learning, Misericordia, on nearly 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land in Dallas, Pennsylvania, purchased by the Sisters for this purpose in 1914.

More than 2,500 people witnessed the dedication of Misericordia (whose name means “heart of mercy”). That September, 37 students began their studies.

Misericordia continues to be as a university, a broad-based liberal arts and pre-professional studies institution offering education to those of all faiths. The university has been co-educational since the 1970s and offers graduate programs. Today, Misericordia University is located on the original grounds, but has expanded to 120 acres (0.49 km2), situated in a suburban setting eight miles (13 km) from downtown Wilkes-Barre.[6]

University Status[edit]

Prior to August 24, 2007, Misericordia operated as "College Misericordia." The process to determine whether or not to become a university began in August 2005 with the introduction of the concept to faculty, staff and students.

A University Status Task Force was formed with representatives from alumni, current students, the Board of Trustees, and the faculty and staff to provide a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The task force recommended to the Board of Trustees on June 9, 2006 that the college make application to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to pursue university status.

The PDE Visitation Team conducted a site visit at Misericordia in January 2007 and submitted a written response in March 2007 to our application (submitted 2006).

Final approval was received on August 15, 2007 and institution began operations as Misericordia University on August 24, 2007.[7]


Recently (2009–2013), numerous changes have been added to the campus:

  • The Shakespeare Garden [8] Misericordia University features the only Shakespeare Garden in northeast PA and won a 2011 Greening Award from the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society [9][10]
  • Pauly Friedman Art Gallery [11]
  • The College of Health Sciences - Passan Hall[12]
  • Insalaco Hall [13][14]
  • Metz Field House [15]
  • MacDowell Hall [16]


Misericordia gives students a choice of 34 majors in three Academic Colleges:[17]

  • College of Arts and Science
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences

Guaranteed Placement Program[edit]

Misericordia's Guaranteed Placement Program (or GPP) is a development program pertaining to a student’s education.

Established in 1999, the GPP assists students entering the workforce or graduate school after graduation. Students participate in the GPP for all four years of their college experience. If they do not receive a job offer or are not accepted into graduate/professional school within six months of graduation, the university gives them a paid internship in their chosen field.[18]

BA to MA in English[edit]

Launched in September 2014, the Misericordia University/University of Reading BA to MA in English is a five-year program in which students complete a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Misericordia and a one-year Master of Arts degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Students may study for an MA in Children’s Literature or English, including pathways in Renaissance studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, or Modern and Contemporary Writing.[19]


Misericordia University competes in the NCAA Division III, Eastern College Athletic Conference and the MAC Freedom within the Middle Atlantic Conferences. Women's sports include basketball, soccer, field hockey, volleyball, swimming, softball, cross-country, cheerleading, lacrosse, tennis and track and field. Men's sports include basketball, football, soccer, swimming, cross-country, baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The school has had an athletics program since 1932, when it introduced intramural sports.[20]

Student life[edit]

41 clubs, service organizations and special interest organizations.[21]

Special Organizations: Assistive Technology Research Institute; Diversity Institute; Ethics Institute of Northeast Pennsylvania; Institute of Gerontology (Aging Religious); Institute of Law and Religious Life; Institute of Sacred Scripture.

Special Programs: Alternative Learner's Project (ALP) for students who learn differently; Center for Service Learning; incorporating community service into academic study; Distance Learning Program, providing college level courses to students in the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania; Fun and Fitness Program, providing a variety of athletics and other activities for the community at the Anderson Sports-Health Center; Cultural Events, providing a variety of programs usually at no cost to the community. The Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program, a unique program that empowers economically disadvantaged single mothers by providing the opportunity to complete a college degree.

Student Government Association[edit]

Misericordia's Student Government Association is a student-run, student-elected executive board which represents the students at Misericordia University. Members of the board and delegates represent the students on various college committees. Student Government also is the governing body of the various clubs on campus and keeps records of each club's activities.[22]

English Department[edit]

Instress is the campus' annual literary magazine published each spring. It prints original material by students and members of the university community.[23]

Notable alumni[edit]

Financial aid[edit]

The University participates in financial aid programs. These programs generate funds from Federal, State and College resources. Additional financial aid monies are contributed by alumni and friends of the University. The financial aid office packages aid from a combination of sources to meet indicated need.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Oram, Fern A, ed. (2006) [1986]. Peterson's Colleges in the Middle Atlantic States. Peterson's. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7689-2421-3. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-14. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  3. ^ http://www.misericordia.edu/cf_news/view.cfm?newsid=349
  4. ^ a b c http://www.misericordia.edu/page.cfm?p=518
  5. ^ ACCU Member Institutions Archived 2014-03-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Misericordia History". Archived from the original on 2008-04-22. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  7. ^ "Misericordia University Status". Archived from the original on 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
  8. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  9. ^ "PHS new release". PHS Blog. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  10. ^ PHS 2011 Greening Award Winners
  11. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-10-18. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  12. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-10-11. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-12-15. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Misericordia University - Metz Field House". Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-10-11. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  17. ^ {http://www.misericordia.edu/page.cfm?p=518
  18. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-12-18. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-10-27. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  20. ^ "About - Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  21. ^ http://www.misericordia.edu/page.cfm?p=518}[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Misericordia Campus". Archived from the original on 2007-12-14.
  24. ^ "Misericordia University Financial Aid Reference". Archived from the original on 2008-01-12.
  25. ^ "Misericordia University". misericordia.edu. Archived from the original on 2013-05-06. Retrieved 11 February 2015.

External links[edit]