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LIBA 150 - College Success and the Mercy Experience: Mount Aloysius College

This resource guide presents links and information to assist you in meeting the course objectives and learning outcomes of LIBA 150 - College Success and the Mercy Experience.

College Success and the Mercy Experience


Mount Aloysius College - Then and Now

A Glimpse at the History of Mount Aloysius College

Catherine McAuley, dob 1778

  • Opened Baggot Street House on September 24, 1827
  • Became a Religious and founded the Sisters of Mercy on December 12, 1831, dedicated to service of the "poor, sick and ignorant"
  • Founded 14 convents in Ireland and England by 1841
  • Died November 11, 1841; over 100 Sisters of Mercy at the time of her death

Sister Mary Frances Xavier Warde

  • One of the first Sisters to enter the Sister of Mercy in Ireland, and six Sister companions invited by Bishop Michael O'Connor to Pittsburgh
  • Made the first foundation of the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh in 1843
  • Sent Sisters to Chicago in 1845 and later throughout the Eastern United States
  • Sent four Sisters to Loretto, PA, in 1848

SCENE III, LORETTO, PENNSYLVANIA, founded by Prince Gallitzin
Sister Mary Catherine Wynee, first Superior, 1848

  • Founded Saint Aloysius Academy for Girls in 1853

Mother de Sales Ihmsen, with Sister Gertrude Cosgrave

  • Moved Academy to Cresson and renamed it "Mount Aloysius Academy"
  • Academy continued until 1961 when last class graduated

Sister M. DeSales Farley and Sister M. Silverius Shields

  • founded Mount Aloysius Junior College for Women on Septmeber 24, 1939
  • College became officially co-educational in 1969


  • Sister M. Ursula Hauk (1966-72)
  • Sister M. Cecilia Meighan (1972-1976)
  • Dr. James A. Salony (Interim, 1976-1977)
  • Dr. James P. Gallagher (1977-1981)
  • Mr. Bernard A. Ganley (1981-1982)
  • Dr. Edward F. Pierce (1982-1997)
    • Initiated baccalaureate programs and the name change to Mount Aloysius College in 1991.
    • Built the Health and Physical Fitness Building (now the Bertschi Center and Technology Commons), Academic Hall, Science Building (later named Pierce Hall) and the Library
  • Sister Mary Ann Dillon, PhD (1998-2010)
    • Developed the Master site program for the College Physical Plant in 2000
    • Initiated three graduate programs in Psychology, Criminology and Health Services Management (2002) while retaining two and four year programs
    • Enrolled College in the Mercy Higher Education Conference, a consortium of 18 Mercy colleges in the United States
  • Dr. Thomas P. Foley, J.D. (2010-2018)
    • Built the Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center (ACWC)
    • Completed the renovation of Alumni Hall and the renovation of the original gym into the Bertschi Center
  • Dr. John Mills (Interim, 2018-2020)
  • John N. McKeegan, J.D. (2020-)

Take a Stroll through the History of Mount Aloysius College and Enjoy a Tour of the Grounds and Buildings - Three Printable Walking Tours

Mission Statement of Mount Aloysius College


The mission of Mount Aloysius College is to respond to individual and community needs with quality programs of education in the tradition of the Religious Sisters of Mercy.  Each student is provided the opportunity to acquire knowledge and to develop values, attitudes, and competencies necessary for life-long learning within an environment that reflects a liberal arts orientation and a Catholic, Judeo-Christian heritage.

Extra! Extra! Read All about It!

A History of the Sisters of Mercy and the Founding of Mount Aloysius College

Written by Cassandra B. Brown, Mount Aloysius Student

Completed in Fulfillment for Independent Study Academic Credit

May 2017

Division of Mission Integration at Mount Aloysius College

"The Mount Aloysius Division of Mission Integration incorporates our mission and Mercy core values into campus activities, faith experiences, classroom learning and community programs.  We value the importance of responding to societal concerns set forth by the Sisters of Mercy.  We prepare our students to be engaged community citizens with strong sense of purpose."   

For further information on the Offices of the Division of Mission Integration and the various activities that they coordinate, see  "Mission and Heritage."

Sunrise at Mount Aloysius

Student Guided Tour of MAC!

Words of Sr. Catherine McAuley


Mercy is more than Charity - 
for it not only bestows benefits,
but it receives and pardons
again and again -
even the ungrateful.


Now and again
bestow some praise.


Cross of the Sisters of Mercy, from a devotional print, ca. 1920

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