GMercyU’s 2015 Commencement

May 9, 2015
Posted by
Kirsten Swanson
GMercyU’s 2015 graduates

Gwynedd Mercy University's Class of 2015 walked across the stage to a roar of applause as they received their hard-earned diplomas at the 66th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9. More than 794 associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded at the ceremony, making this the fourth-largest graduating class in the University’s history.

James J. Maguire, LHD '10, founder and chairman of Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corporation, President of the Maguire Foundation and longtime friend and benefactor of GMercyU, served as the Commencement speaker, sharing his wisdom with the graduates and their families.

"The race in life is not always for the swift, but to those who keep on running. Keep on running," Mr. Maguire said.

Each 2015 Gwynedd Mercy University graduate received a copy of his book, Just Show Up Every Day, in which he outlines his six steps to success. 

Mr. Maguire and his wife Frances M. Maguire '55, LHD '10, were also the recipients of The Beacon of Mercy Award which recognizes the impact of their philanthropy on our graduates and current students through The Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions and Frances M. Maguire Hall.

In her address to her fellow classmates, student speaker Megan Kelly reflected on how GMercyU gave her the outlet and support to embrace who she was, both professionally and personally. 

""Diversity is one of the core values of the Sisters of Mercy. I took pride in knowing I would follow in their footsteps," Kelly, Vice President of Pride Alliance, said. 

Cora Marie Billings, RSM , the first African American to join the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic Community, was awarded an honorary degree. She has dedicated her life to combating racism and inequality as a result of her personal experiences and her family history.

In recognition of her 28-year commitment to Gwynedd Mercy University and service to the Nursing profession, Dr. Barbara Vassallo  was awarded the title of Professor Emerita. 

Two-time alum JeNell LaRue '04/'08  was honored with the Tender Courage Award, given to those who exemplify the ideals of Mercy and whose work and lives reflect the mission and values of GMercyU. LaRue is a loyal and distinctive Mercy graduate herself with both a bachelors and master’s degree from Gwynedd Mercy University who has served in our Admissions office and our Upward Bound program and currently serves on the Alumni Board. 

The 791 graduates joined the ranks of more than 20,000 alumni located all across the world.