Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
I am pleased to see the sun shining this week and temperatures starting to warm up after the recent snow. It is a nice reminder that spring – and brighter days – are on the way.
I have been reflecting recently on how much has changed in the last 11 months – in our world and in our work. Like you, I miss greeting smiling students and colleagues while walking down the hallway in Main Hall, celebrating special events in the French Auditorium, and enjoying lunches in the Herald Square Café. I am confident that those memories will be made again soon. In the meantime, I continue to be inspired by and grateful for the many sacrifices our faculty and staff have made to ensure that College operations remain uninterrupted. To those who have been reporting to campus in these unusual times, thank you for ensuring that our students have an in-person educational option. To those who are working remotely, thank you for making a previously unthinkable transition so seamless. This has not been an easy time for any of us, and every day I am inspired by how your hard work and dedication ensures that we fulfill our mission and that our students get all they need to reach graduation and beyond.
I am also pleased to let you know that Standard & Poor’s Rating Service for higher education has reaffirmed Mercy’s ‘A’ credit rating. This is important because it recognizes Mercy’s financial commitment to maintaining a healthy financial outlook, bolstered by our careful expense management as we’ve navigated the pandemic, and the potential for enrollment growth. This rating sets Mercy apart from other colleges that are currently facing difficulties meeting their enrollment and revenue targets as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the College has received a second round of federal funding under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) that will allow us to distribute much-needed financial aid to our students and allow for the College to implement improvements on our campuses that will enhance the student experience. More information on CRRSAA requirements for eligibility and distribution will be shared in the coming weeks.
Despite our uptick in COVID-19 cases at the beginning of the spring term, we are encouraged by the declining positivity rates in our region and on our campuses and are looking forward to the fall when we hope to welcome everyone back in person. I hope you have been finding these regular communications helpful in keeping you informed about our response to COVID-19 and I want to remind you to visit our website for FAQs and other important resources. Let us all remember to take good care of ourselves and one another – we will be together again soon.