From Tennessee to Dobbs Ferry and Back: A Mercy Love Story

Mercy alumni Maggie (Cotter) Kennedy ’17 and Rhett Kennedy ’18, who met at Mercy and are now married

Maggie (Cotter) Kennedy ’17 and Rhett Kennedy ’18, two Mercy alumni who connected in the Business Honors Program in 2014 and have since married.

Meet Maggie (Cotter) Kennedy ’17 and Rhett Kennedy ’18, two Mercy alumni who connected in the Business Honors Program in 2014 and have since married.

Maggie and Rhett first crossed paths at orientation bootcamp in the summer of 2014, just prior to starting their first year at Mercy. Their intersection was an unlikely one: she was from New York, and he hailed from a small city in Tennessee.

Unfortunately, Rhett had to return home to Tennessee after orientation, which proved to be difficult after seeing what the future might hold. “That was hard.” Maggie said. “We had spent a week together at orientation, but we knew that wouldn’t be the last time we’d see each other.”

And they were right. After returning to the Westchester Campus for their first semester at Mercy, Maggie and Rhett picked up where they had left off that summer, this time as Business Honors students. She majored in Business Finance, while he majored in Accounting.

Different majors didn’t stop them from spending time with each other, though.

“He lived off-campus and I lived in the residence hall,” Maggie recalled. “I would walk through the [Old Croton] Aqueduct and side nature trails to go see him in town and we would spend time together on Main Street in Dobbs Ferry and in New York City.”

The chance to explore the Big Apple and its suburbs was a major draw for both, but especially for Rhett, whom Mercy personally recruited from his Tennessee hometown.

“Mercy business professors recruit all over the country and they were seeking students to experience New York City and all it has to offer in the business world,” Maggie told us. “Rhett was also a Tennessee state finalist in student business competitions so going to New York was a great opportunity for him.”

It was this dedication to making the student experience personal that truly resonated with Maggie and Rhett during their time at Mercy. “From our first moment in the classroom, the professors treated us like adults.” Maggie recalled. “They didn’t just have a teaching mindset, they had a sharing mindset and encouraged us to stay in touch with them outside of classes.”

After graduating from Mercy with their bachelor’s degrees in 2017 and 2018, respectively, Maggie and Rhett moved to Loretto, Tennessee. She now works as an office manager, while he works as an accountant. Their time at Mercy will always hold a special place in the couple’s heart.

“The value of a Mercy education is reinforced when you're out in the working world. We’re grateful for everything we had a chance to experience during our college years.”

Maggie (Cotter) Kennedy ’17 and Rhett Kennedy ’18, two Mercy alumni, on their wedding day