Mercy: Past, Present, and Future
September 19, 2016
Filed under Features
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“We have people tell us there’s something really exciting going on at Mercy,” says Mary Beth Lennon, class of 1985. I sat down with Ms. Lennon to get the inside scoop on what is happening around Mercy High School in both this year and in the years to come.
She divulged several different projects to me that are going on around Mercy. Mercy girls can look forward to newly painted red panels to complete the paint job above the windows, a renovated College Counseling Center later on this fall, and air conditioning in two to three years! The current freshmen won’t have to spend their final year unsticking their new senior sweaters from the backs of their chairs.
When asked about her past and the changes between her years at Mercy and our years at Mercy, Ms. Lennon laughed, “We also sat in front of our lockers every morning before school. I think we were like Mercy girls today. We were a little wrapped up inside of our groups. Our friends were very important to us. Generally, we were helpful and kind to girls in our class, and sometimes we are a little clueless.”
When I told her about the tales of Debbie Robinson, mother of senior Grace Rappazzo, and her escapades to the sub shop down the street, Ms. Lennon smiled. “There were several trips to McDonalds that I remember…”
I asked her if there were any traditions she would like to bring back, and she immediately said, “Well, I’m not bringing this back, but we had to dress like babies when we were freshmen and then our big sisters dropped us off at Calvert Hall…it was awful.” But then she excitedly said, “Can I get my yearbook?” and suddenly we were pouring over the pages of the yearbook from 1984-1985. Some interesting old traditions were Shakespeare Day and a fundraiser spaghetti dinner at which the freshmen were required to be servers. She giggled when she told me she was voted the most peppy and the most talkative.
Mary Beth Lennon is not only a graduate of Mercy, but she is also the current president. At the start of the interview, before asking any questions, she immediately said to me, “Did you know of my connection to the Shield? I was actually the editor in 1984-1985.” Ms. Lennon isn’t the only former Shield editor in our faculty; Ms. Yanson was also the editor in her days at Mercy.
As a closing question, out of curiosity, I asked her if, in her opinion, Mercy has changed for the better. She gave an insightful response: “Every institution has to grow and change; our job is to retain the very best elements of the traditions and Mercy legacy and continue to build Mercy, continue to offer students the latest in teaching and learning, and continue to enhance the environment, but our core values will never change. They’re the heart of Mercy.”