Gwynedd Mercy University

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Gwynedd Mercy University
Former names
Gwynedd Mercy College
Motto Veritas et Misericordia
Motto in English
Truth and Mercy
Type Private
Established 1948
Affiliation Roman Catholic
President Dr. Kathleen Owens
Academic staff
81 full-time, 196 part-time
Undergraduates 2,020
Postgraduates 627
Location Gwynedd Valley, PA, USA
40°11′53″N 75°14′10″W / 40.198°N 75.236°W / 40.198; -75.236Coordinates: 40°11′53″N 75°14′10″W / 40.198°N 75.236°W / 40.198; -75.236
Campus Suburban, 160 acres (0.65 km2)
Colors Red and gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IIICSAC
Nickname Griffins
Affiliations CMHE
Mascot M.E.R.V

Gwynedd Mercy University is a Catholic university located in Gwynedd Valley of Lower Gwynedd Township, Pennsylvania, 25 miles (40 km) northwest of downtown Philadelphia within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In addition to the Gwynedd Valley campus, Gwynedd Mercy also has locations in Philadelphia, East Norriton and Bensalem, Pennsylvania.[1]

Gwynedd Mercy University was founded in 1948, as Gwynedd-Mercy College, by the Sisters of Mercy as a junior college. In 1963 the college was rechartered as a baccalaureate institution. As of September 2013 the school achieved University status; renaming itself Gwynedd Mercy University.[2] GMercyU offers more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, education, business, and the arts & sciences.


Dating to the early 1900s the grounds were originally owned by Frances Bond, an investment banker, and were known as Willowbrook Farm. The farm hosted a large Gregorian mansion, formal gardens and outbuildings that were designed by renowned Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer, the acclaimed architect of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.[3] The mansion which the Bonds lived in and is now over one-hundred years old, is still in use by the University today as Assumption Hall.

For a time Frances’ son and respected ornithologist James Bond lived on the land. When devout birdwatcher and author Ian Fleming needed a name for his now-infamous protagonist he turned to a notable bird watching guide written by Bond. “I was looking for a name for my hero - nothing like Peregrine Carruthers or 'Standfast' Maltravers - and I found it on the cover of Birds of the West Indies by James Bond," wrote Fleming in the book Ian Fleming Introduces Jamaica.[3]

Frances Bond’s wife Margaret died in 1910, a few years after the Gregorian Mansion was finished in 1906-7. Two years after her death Bond sold Willowbrook Farm to Roland and Anita Taylor. The couple renamed the farm Treweryn, after the creek that flows through the property. Mr. Taylor was an enthusiastic landscaper who planted many ornamental trees and shrubs, including 53 varieties of Rhododendron. After the death of the Taylors their daughters sold the mansion, outbuildings and additional land to the Sisters of Mercy in 1948.[3]


Espousing the ideals of a liberal education, the University offers baccalaureate and associate degrees in more than 40 programs. Gwynedd Mercy University is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Programs of Study and Degrees Offered
Bachelor of Arts
  • Communication
  • English
  • History
  • Human Services
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
Bachelor of Science
  • Accounting
  • Behavioral and Social Gerontology
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Computer and Information Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Early Education
  • Education Studies
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Human Services
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Middle Level Education Math/Science
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Respiratory Care
  • Special Education
Associate Degree
  • Liberal Studies
  • Natural Sciences
  • Respiratory Care
Teacher and Other Certification
  • Biology
  • Curriculum and Instruction Supervisor
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Education and Special Education
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Middle Level Education Math/Science
  • Middle Level Education and Special Education
  • School Counseling
  • School Principal
  • Special Education
  • Special Education Supervisor
  • Superintendent Certification
  • Nurse Practitioner (Post-Masters)
Master of Science
  • Education
  • Nursing
  • MBA
  • Education
  • Nursing


Lourdes Library houses nearly 100,000 volumes and 10,000 media titles and receives over 700 current periodical subscriptions in print and microfilm. Several hundred additional periodical titles are available full text online. The library is open seven days (including four evenings) a week during the fall and spring semesters, with a reduced schedule during the summer and inter-sessions. A currently validated student ID is required for students to borrow materials.

The Academic Resource Center - equipped with state-of-the-art computers, tutorial software and a video library - offers professional tutoring in writing, and math and workshops for test-taking, skill-development and resume writing.

The Lincoln Library in Assumption Hall contains a large adjunct collection of books on Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War.

Theaters include the Julia Ball Auditorium, a small-in-the-round theater.

Frances M. Maguire Hall, 46,000-square-foot (4,300 m2) is home to the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions, natural science, and math and computational science.

University Hall, a 50,000-square-foot building, is the university's newest building on campus. It is home to the schools of business and education.

Four residential-halls, Alexandria (built in January 2006), Siena, St. Brigid and Loyola, provide on-campus housing to students.


Gwynedd-Mercy College Athletics Logo

Gwynedd Mercy is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) with 19 sports teams that compete at NCAA Division III level. In the spring of 2009, Gwynedd Mercy opened its doors to a new turf athletic multi-purpose stadium and the addition of Men's Lacrosse to their athletic department. The Griffins most successful athletic program is Women's Basketball, which captured the CSAC championships in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2012. Men's Basketball captured the title in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2016. The Gwynedd Mercy Women's Soccer team won their only title in 2001. The Griffin Baseball team has had back-to-back championship seasons in 2000 and 2001, then again in 2007 and 2008. Men's Cross-Country team has won four consecutive league championships from 2008 to 2011. The Women Griffins ran to a title in 2009 in Cross-Country. The Women's Tennis team has gone on to win four consecutive league championships from 2009 to 2012. The field hockey team has won the past four CSAC championships, in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

The 160-acre (0.65 km2) campus has outdoor tennis courts, outdoor basketball courts, and playing fields for softball, lacrosse, baseball, soccer and field hockey. The Griffin Complex, the university's multimillion-dollar sports facility, contains a full-size collegiate basketball court; an indoor track; an aerobics room; racquetball, volleyball and wallyball courts; a weight room.

Student Life[edit]

The Voices of Gwynedd[edit]

The Voices of Gwynedd is a 100-member choir composed of full- and part-time students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Gwynedd Mercy University. Directed by Carol Evans, a seasoned soprano and assistant professor of music in the University's School of Arts and Sciences, the choir has developed into a highly professional choral ensemble presenting quality programs representing many different genres. Performances by the choir and its musical collaborators are establishing the university as a strong cultural presence in Southeastern Pennsylvania and the entire Tri-state area.

Enriching the campus and the region, the Voices of Gwynedd provide on-campus concerts and events throughout the year, currently attracting its largest audiences ever. In addition, the ensemble has represented the University at a number of high-profile regional events. Their most recent regional events include performances at Longwood Gardens and the Philadelphia Phillies games, and in August 2008 the Eagles! In addition, for the past four years the Voices have been joining hundreds of Breast Cancer Survivors in their search for a cure by performing at the opening ceremonies at the Race for the Cure on the steps of the Art Museum in Philadelphia. Other notable performances include performing with Barry Manilow on The Ultimate Manilow Concert Tour, Jo Dee Messina on her Christmas Tour, Broadway singer Linda Eder on her Holiday Tour, and as the featured choir with Judy Collins on her Christmas Tour in 2002.

The group has expanded its repertoire with concert tours in England, Italy, Canada, Alaska, Nashville, San Diego, Washington D.C., Virginia, the American Southwest and performances for Spanish Missions, U.S. Naval Bases and most recently Ireland where they sang at the Mercy International Centre in Dublin, home of the Sisters of Mercy. The Voices of Gwynedd were also selected to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida where ensemble members worked one-on-one with Disney's professional singers, providing music enhancement and motivation. The group was invited to New York City to perform at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts "Music Makers" program in March 1998. In spring 2003 the Voices of Gwynedd sang at Carnegie Hall performing the Mozart Requiem.

To help commemorate Gwynedd Mercy University's 60th Anniversary, the ensemble accompanied the Ireland Heritage Tour, performing for a variety of concert venues throughout Ireland. The Voices traveled to San Diego, CA in the spring 1999 and performed at Spanish Missions, the U.S. Naval Base, and Walt Disneyland in Los Angeles. During recent summers, the choir successfully completed international concert tours to England, Italy and Ireland.

The Voices were honored in 1999 when they were asked to sing at the world premiere grand finale of Leslie Burr's opera Vanqui, at Opera Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. Subsequently, the Voices have participated in additional presentations of Vanqui at the National Opera Association convention in Philadelphia in 2002 and at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in New York City in 2004. The Voices again served as the Opera Chorus for Opera North's production of Vanqui in May 2005 at the Prince Theater in Philadelphia. This past spring the Voices collaborated with Mr. Burrs in a production of Vanqui in affiliation with the Philadelphia Opera Company, and the premiere of Egypt’s Nights, in affiliation with Opera North.

The Griffin[edit]

The Griffin is an annual literary journal sponsored by Gwynedd Mercy University. It prints poetry, short stories, short plays, and essays. It comes out in the spring.[4]

Special Programs and Services[edit]

Valie Genuardi Hobbit House[edit]

The Valie Genuardi Hobbit House is a child development nursery school (ages 3–5) where the age groups work and play together in a family atmosphere.

Located in the college's Trocaire building, the Hobbit House preschool extends hands-on experience to early childhood development and nursing majors currently enrolled at the college. Fulfilling its mission to raise a child’s awareness of his/her surrounding natural environment, the Hobbit House opens all field trips and special occasions to Gwynedd-Mercy students and parents who wish to attend.

As of October 19, 2012 the Valie Genuardi Hobbit House was licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Academic Schools.

Upward Bound[edit]

A comprehensive, pre-college preparatory program designed to aid high school students interested in higher education, Gwynedd-Mercy offers eligible, Diocesan-city-schooled participants a five-week, summer residential stay on-campus. Program offerings include academic instruction in mathematics, science and English; tutorial and counseling services; PSAT/SAT workshops; financial aid information; visits to colleges; and cultural and social activities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About GMC". retrieved August 22, 2012
  2. ^ "Gwynedd-Mercy College earns university status, changes name to Gwynedd Mercy University (updated)"
  3. ^ a b c Bogaert, Pauline Pinard "Walled Garden Thrives After Rejuvenation But Could Use A Cleanup". retrieved August 21, 2012
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]