Dear Marywood Community,

As if in need of a “feel good” story, all the news outlets ran video streams of the human chain that rescued nine swimmers in distress off the coast of Florida on a warm July day. As I watched the rescue over and over, I heard witnesses sharing the good news. They spoke of the spontaneity of the rescue, and the genuine effort to help others in need. During the hour-long ordeal, what mattered was saving lives. What didn’t matter was the diversity of those 80 individuals who formed the human chain.

An image such as this is clear, and the message powerful. Equally powerful and similar is the message the Marywood Community sends to the world in all that we strive to do. All of us, no matter our role or position, are deliberate in the desire to link arms in order to empower and serve one another and those we meet along the way.

At this time in Marywood’s history, there are many other kinds of links that strengthen us as an educational community. Strong academic programs attract students, not only from Northeast Pennsylvania, but from a wide range of states and multiple foreign countries. These programs join an expert faculty with students who become lifelong learners and catalysts for positive change in the workforce of today and tomorrow. Coupled with impressive professional programs is a Liberal Arts curriculum that brings critical thinking, a moral compass, and spiritual depth to life in our Marywood graduates. Alumni, more than 30,000 strong, connect to business, industry, education, health care, and service agencies where they lead with head and heart. All of these chains in the Marywood spirit are linked together by a reverence for one another, a thirst for a world that is free from discrimination and hatred, and the willingness to serve, especially the least among us. Above all, our Catholic identity compels us to work toward the common good for all.

What seemed extraordinary off the coast of Florida in July is what we do symbolically at Marywood every day. We link our hands and hearts, buoyed up by the values that make us better together, to support the mental, physical, moral, and spiritual lives of our students and to make an impact in the worldwide Marywood enterprise – a 102-year enterprise that grows stronger with every storm and brighter with every dream that brings hope to the world.

Standing stronger together, we are Marywood.

Sister Mary Persico, IHM-compressed





Sister Mary Persico, IHM, Ed.D.
President of Marywood University