A group of faculty and administrators is in the process of choosing six incoming students for a full tuition scholarship in honor of Sister Mary Glennon, the university’s longest serving academic dean
The Sister Mary Glennon ’62 scholarship is a merit-based award, which covers all four years of the undergraduate degree and guarantees acceptance into the Honors Program.
Eligible students must score at least 1250 the SAT, or a 25 on the ACT, and have a combined 3.7 GPA.
“We knew we wanted it to be competitive, and we knew we wanted to focus on students who have a high academic profile,” said Donna Cerza, Director of Admissions.
The university has not offered a full tuition scholarship in over 25 years, according to Cerza. The current award, which is now in its second year, was originally called the Presidential scholarship in 1990.
Prospective students must complete several steps in the application process. The first requires them to visit campus and complete an essay, according to a prompt provided by the scholarship committee. Members include professors from all three colleges – Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences and Education, and Business. The prompt focuses on the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.
“This is a topic that is very meaningful to us as a community of Mercy,” Cerza said.
Students choose one of multiple essay dates, which end in February. Committee members grade the essays, which are identified only by students’ assigned identification numbers to ensure the writers’ anonymity and prevent any chance of bias, Cerza said.
Last year, 86 students completed essays, and the committee selected 13 candidates for face-to-face interviews. Six students received the award.
While the university will continue to provide six awards, the number of applicants has increased to 116. If a scholarship winner decides not to attend the university, the award is granted to another candidate.
“It is unusual for people to refuse a full scholarship these days, but it is people’s prerogative. We don’t want people to come here just because they got a full tuition scholarship,” stated Cerza
Once students are awarded the scholarship and have accepted it, they are required to live on-campus.
“We consider them as student leaders and scholars,” Cerza said, because she wants them to be fully involved in campus life.
Cerza believes recipients will be a crucial part of Misericordia, much like Sister Mary Glennon was. Cerza and Glenn Bozinski, Vice President of Enrollment Management, share a personal connection with Sister Glennon, who was a part of the hiring process for many employees.
“She had a gravitas about her. We she came in the room, you knew somebody really smart and somebody with a really big personality was there,” Bozinski said.
Bozinski added that her laugh would echo throughout the halls. This was in an era when Misericordia had less than half of the full-time student enrollment than it does today.
Sister Glennon earned her Bachelor of Arts in French with minors of English, history, and Greek and Roman classics from Misericordia in 1962.
After receiving her doctorate in higher education, she went on to become the first director of continuing education for Misericordia in 1975 and became Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean 22 years later in 1997.
Sister Glennon has done more than 45 years of service to the university as both a student and an Administrator, and one of her biggest contributions was bringing the occupational therapy and physical therapy programs to fruition.
“Mary, to me, was the essential figure in Mercy Hall and in the academic sense. She was a real mentor to me along with other staff and faculty members,” Bozinski said.