Talking Points Winter 2014

Mount Union Welcomes Inaugural Investment Alliance Scholars

The inaugural recipients of the University of Mount Union’s Investment Alliance Scholarship have completed their first semester as Mount Union students. Through Investment Alliance, the top 15 students of each Alliance High School graduating class who meet the eligibility requirements of the program are awarded full-tuition scholarships to Mount Union that are renewable for up to four years. This year’s scholars, pictured from top left, are Gaston Marian, Kelby Smith, Will Draves, Emily Ault, Michael Unckrich and Cheyanne Gonzales.



The University of Mount Union has been ranked 11th among Midwest Regional Colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 America’s Best Colleges ranking.

The Regional Colleges category includes a 12-state region with institutions from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“This is the 24th consecutive year that Mount Union has been included in the U.S. News & World Report listing, and we are pleased to once again be ranked so favorably among our peers in the Midwest,” said Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the University. “This longevity is a testament to the strength of our mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship. It confirms what we have long known – that a Mount Union education is indeed one that prepares students for success after graduation.”

To determine the America’s Best Colleges rankings, U.S. News & World Report tallied the results of surveys of college presidents, deans and admissions directors. These surveys, combined with educational data provided by the colleges themselves, resulted in the rankings. As stated on the U.S. News & World Report website, colleges and universities were ranked according to graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving.

Mount Union Stadium Celebrates 100 Years

Mount Union Stadium celebrated its 100th anniversary with a number of special events on campus on Saturday, September 27.

Since its dedication in 1914, Mount Union Stadium has hosted everything from Mount Union and Alliance High School football games to concerts and campus and community events. It’s also the home of the Raiders’ men’s and women’s track and field, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.
The stadium is the oldest college football stadium in Ohio.

Speakers during the rededication ceremony included President of Mount Union Dr. Richard F. Giese, Alliance Mayor Alan Andreani, Alliance City Schools Superintendent Jeffrey Talbert and Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees Randall C. Hunt ’75. Harry Paidas ’74 served as the Master of Ceremonies.

Following the ceremony, an Ohio historical marker was unveiled by Stacia Kuceyeski of the Ohio Historical Society at the southwest corner of the stadium. Attendees of the event had an opportunity to tour the Dom Capers Press Box and enjoy a cookout and local entertainment by Jimmy and the Soul Blazers, John Hampu Band and Ohio Weather Band prior to the Purple Raiders’ home opener versus Marietta.

Gallaher Hall Dedicated  

Students, faculty, staff, trustees and distinguished guests met on Friday, October 17 to honor the name of the late Dr. Charles S. Gallaher ’25 in the dedication of the newest addition to campus, Gallaher Hall, Mount Union’s health and medical sciences building.

Gallaher Hall officially opened in September in time for the start of the new academic year. The facility houses Mount Union’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and a potential Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, pending the appropriate approvals.

Built by Hammond Construction, Gallaher Hall is connected by a walkway to the south end of Bracy Hall, Mount Union’s natural sciences building, along Union Avenue.

The lower level includes two 24-seat chemistry laboratories and a motion analysis laboratory. The first floor, which houses the Physician Assistant Studies Program, features a 46-seat tiered classroom, an operating simulation room, a patient simulation room and an eight-bed exam room.

The second floor is devoted to the University’s Nursing Program, featuring a 30-seat classroom, two skills labs and a patient simulation room.

Mount Union’s potential Doctor of Physical Therapy Program will be housed on the building’s third floor, featuring two lab spaces and a classroom.

New Website launched

The University of Mount Union’s Office of Marketing, in partnership with web development consultants, The Karcher Group, has launched a redesigned website at

The site has been built in responsive design, meaning that it will adapt in terms of size, panning and scrolling based on the device being used. Essentially, this gives site visitors an enhanced website experience whether they are utilizing their smart phones, tablets or laptops and negates the need for a separate mobile site.

The new site was developed with input from a team including cross representation from the campus community. The team carefully reviewed the results of user experience testing carried out by Credo Higher Education and then began working on the homepage redesign. To enhance the user experience, the new homepage includes drop down menus within the main navigation and links to critical resources for internal audiences in the top right corner. In addition, a number of enhanced features designed to increase interactivity has been incorporated into the design, including a main scrolling photo slideshow featuring major campus news and stories, spotlights of students, faculty and alumni and action-driven icons through which visitors can easily request information, complete a campus visit form, apply, donate and connect via social media.

Dr. Richard Merriman Named 12th President of Mount Union

Dr. W. Richard Merriman Jr., president of Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, has been named the 12th president of the University of Mount Union, announced Randall Hunt, chair of the Mount Union Board of Trustees and Allen Green, chair of the Presidential Search Committee. The appointment, which concludes a six-month nationwide search, comes upon unanimous decision of trustees during a special meeting of the Board in December.

Merriman, who has served in his current capacity at Southwestern College since 1998, will succeed Dr. Richard F. Giese, who announced his intention to step down as president this past January at the conclusion of his contract in June, 2015. After a successful 10-year tenure, he and his wife, Sandra, look forward to relocating to Virginia to enjoy quality time with their son, daughter-in-law and grandsons.

“I am certain Dr. Merriman is the right leader for Mount Union at this time in our history,” said Green. “He brings with him the necessary experience to build upon the incredible foundation that has been built under Dr. Giese’s direction and further guide the University into the future. He has a keen understanding of the institution’s strengths and challenges and a proven track record of innovation and success. We are pleased to welcome someone of his caliber to the Mount Union community.”

Merriman will begin his official duties as president of Mount Union on July 1, 2015.

“The commitment and great spirit of the Mount Union community were very evident to my wife, Margot, and me during our visit,” said Merriman. “When a job interview is fun and energizing, that signals that you’re at an exceptional place, and we really felt that at Mount Union. The innovative curriculum that balances a strong foundation in the liberal arts with career-focused instruction, the quality and appearance of Mount Union’s facilities and grounds, its growing enrollment, the quality of its faculty and staff and the enthusiasm and affection for the University expressed by its students all signify that Mount Union has had extraordinary leadership from President Giese and the Board of Trustees.

“There is no way to learn about a university except to dive in, begin meeting its people, and learn about both its strengths and the challenges it faces,” Merriman continued. “I’m looking forward to those opportunities for discussion, learning and engagement with the University’s trustees, faculty, administrators, staff and students when I begin my time at Mount Union. It’s also clear that the University has a great partnership with the community of Alliance, and I’m looking forward to maintaining those strong, cooperative ties.”

During his service at Southwestern, a private, United Methodist Church affiliated institution of about 1,700 students, Merriman has guided the college through years of unprecedented growth in scope and mission. In addition, Merriman led two capital campaigns and several project-specific fund drives, which raised more than $50 million for college projects. This led to a number of campus improvements including a new stadium and performing arts center as well as renovations to the library, among other improvements. In addition, Merriman worked to foster cooperative relationships between the college and the Winfield community.

A native of Kansas, Merriman earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social science from Emporia State University and a Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University. Prior to his post at Southwestern, he was vice president for institutional advancement at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York.

Merriman and his wife, Margot Kelman, who holds a Ph.D. in communication sciences and disorders and is in private practice as a speech-language pathologist, are the parents of two sons. Ben is married to Sarah Wilson and is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. Aaron is a senior in high school.

“As Sandy and I prepare for our departure from this great University, it brings us comfort to know that we are leaving Mount Union in the very capable hands or our faculty members, trustees, administrators, staff and our new president,” said Giese. “I am confident in Dr. Merriman’s ability to lead the University into the next decade – to build upon the institution’s current position of strength to ensure an even brighter future for Mount Union and our students. We wish him and his family well in this new endeavor and look forward to seeing all that the institution will accomplish under his guidance in the years to come.”

“The successful conclusion of this process, resulting in the appointment of Dr. Merriman, would not have been possible without the dedicated work of the Presidential Search Committee Chair Allen Green and the trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and students who so diligently served as members of the committee,” said Hunt. “Their participation, as well as involvement and feedback provided by the campus community at large, were invaluable as the committee took on the very important task of searching for Mount Union’s next president. There’s no doubt, though, that the hard work was well worth the effort. As a result, it is my belief that the institution’s legacy of strong and effective leadership will continue with Dr. Merriman at the helm.”

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