Judge Cardwell Hughes Speaks at Academic Convocation

September 26, 2018
GMercyU Academic Convocation Speaker

Gwynedd Mercy University marked the beginning of the academic year with its Academic Convocation on September 26, 2018. The day began with mass in celebration of Mercy Week, an annual tradition that honors GMercyU's Mercy heritage. 

This year's Convocation Speaker was Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, retired CEO of the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Region and first African-American woman to hold the position. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Judge Cardwell Hughes served as a trial judge in the Court of Common Pleas, the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. There, she completed a 10-year full-term and was re-elected in 2005 to a second full term, which she served until 2011. 

Judge Cardwell Hughes addressed the audience, comprised of GMercyU students, faculty, and staff, and challenged them to stand up for change and be an advocate for social justice. She emphasized that education, particularly an education rooted in Mercy values, is the foundation for change. 

"All of you chose Gwynedd Mercy University because you share a desire to live meaningful lives in a global society. Your values distinguish you, integrity, respect, and a desire for social justice," Judge Cardwell Hughes said. "With this foundation, you are called to lead. America needs you and America needs Griffins." 

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Patrick McGrain, PhD gave remarks on behalf of the faculty and urged this year's incoming class to rely on their professors. 

"These are the people that will do whatever it takes to help you succeed. Use them, ask them, challenge them, question them," Dr. McGrain said. "Let them give you everything that they have. They will be the teacher and mentor you need to succeed."

GMercyU's celebration of Mercy Week will end with Red and Gold Homecoming Weekend. Check the event listings for more details.