Gwynedd Mercy University Tallies Up Numerous Reasons to Fly with the Griffins

brick building gwynedd mercy university
Image via Gwynedd Mercy University at Facebook.
Gwynedd Mercy University's Nov. 3 virtual symposium addresses neurodiversity, brain health, and student success; it is open to the public.

Education has been a part of the Sisters of Mercy — whose foundations serve as the core of Gwynedd Mercy University — long before there even was a Gwynedd Mercy University. Or even its forebear, Gwynedd Mercy College. Or even Sisters of Mercy.


The Sisters of Mercy started with a single visionary in Dublin, Ireland: Catherine McAuley. She recognized the need for the uplift of Irish women of the 19th Century and started sheltering and educating them.

The Archbishop of Dublin encouraged her, charging her with starting a religious ministry to formalize the outreach.

The religious order that resulted, the Sisters of Mercy, has therefore been in the Catholic education business since 1831.

Fast-forward to 1843. The Bishop of Pittsburgh invited the Irish nuns to come to America and spread their care and knowledge here. From those few immigrants, the order expanded on this side of the Atlantic.

In the Phila. suburbs, sat Willowbrook Farm, owned by investment banker Francis Bond and his wife, Margaret. Interesting side note: Bond’s son, James Bond, was indeed the real person for whom the literary and film character was named.

After the Bonds had passed, the estate was sold to owners who, in turn, sold it to the Sisters of Mercy.

The college opened onsite in Gwynedd Valley in 1948.

Enumerating the Advantages

From there, the statistics of success have only continued to mount. The following data reflect the details of the University (it rose to that status in 2013) in the 2018–2021 timeframe.

  • Alumni: 24,000
  • Undergrad students: 1,724; graduate students: 771
  • Full-time enrollees: 92 percent; part-time: eight percent
  • Percentage of first-time, full-time students receiving financial aid, including scholarships: 100 percent
  • SAT scores: 950–1140
  • Retention rate: 73 percent
  • Student geographies: 38 states represented; five countries
  • Graduation rate for students pursuing bachelors’ degrees: 62 percent
  • First-in-generation undergraduate students: 55 percent
  • Programs: 30+ undergraduate majors; 14 minors; 10+ graduate programs
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
  • Number of teaching assistants: zero
  • Student-athlete average GPA: 3.34
  • Number of NCAA Division III Athletic Teams (Atlantic East Conference): 19
  • Study abroad countries (including those hosting spring break service trips: 26
  • Intramural sports: 10
  • Graduates employed or in graduate school six months after commencement: 97 percent
  • Alumnus/alumnae 10-year earning potential: top six percent of their fields
  • Campus life: Four residence halls; four onsite eateries; 24/7/365 security; unlimited tutoring services; 29 student clubs and organizations; 16 honors societies
  • Satellite campuses: 1 in Bethlehem for adult students in accelerated programs
  • Mascot: Merv, the Griffin

More information on Gwynedd Mercy University is online.

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