med2015President of Mercyhurst Preparatory School, Mary Ellen Dahlkemper, has announced her retirement as of July 31, 2015 to coincide with her husband’s retirement. Mercyhurst Prep is a Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of Mercy, under the auspices of the Diocese of Erie. Dahlkemper’s responsibilities included oversight of strategic planning, finances, advancement, human resources and facilities as well as cultivating stakeholder relationships and promoting the school’s Catholic mission and the charism of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.

Under her presidency, the Mercyhurst Prep outdoor mural project was completed in the fall of 2014 and the “I am a Laker” marketing campaign was simultaneously launched resulting in an 8 percent increase in enrollment for the 2015-16 freshman class. Additionally, she led the 3 million dollar “Next 90” Campaign for Transformational Change that began this year with 30 percent of the funds raised for Phase I. This plan embraces an upgrade of nine areas of the school facilities that will reflect a modern approach to educating tomorrow’s leaders. They include the Hirt DREAM Labs, the Vorcheck Library and Research Center, Performing Arts Center, Chapel/Campus Ministry, The Bell Family Faculty Suite, Cafeteria/Community Room, and Entryway to Mission, Fitness Center and a Fieldhouse. Bolded names are either already completed or will be by August 2015.

ecurtin2015Hired by the board of trustees as a transitional leader, Dahlkemper was also charged with mentoring the next president. According to Marilyn Renkes, long-time board member and outgoing board chair, “The board has unanimously approved Ed Curtin, as president of Mercyhurst Preparatory School. He is the current assistant principal/dean of operations and will officially become president of the region’s only co-educational Catholic school on August 1, 2015.” Dahlkemper has graciously agreed to continue as an advisor to the new president during the coming year.

Curtin, who holds a master’s degree in pastoral studies, boasts 25 years of experience at Mercyhurst Prep, as teacher, theology chair, athletic director, and assistant principal/dean of operations. Along with this wealth of experience, Curtin has most recently worked closely with the development of plans for the “Next 90” renovation project at the school and will see the plan to fruition. He has secured contracts and overseen care of the building as well as the 7.25 acre campus.

As the fifth president of Mercyhurst Preparatory School, Curtin brings a reputation for living and teaching the Mercy values of Compassionate Presence, Justice, Service, Hospitality and Concern for the Dignity of All Persons. He and his wife Patty are the parents of two Mercyhurst Prep graduates, Sadie Curtin ’09, and Sebastian Curtin ’15, as well as current student Noah Curtin ’17.

Dahlkemper said, “It has been an honor to serve my alma mater and to assist the school during this pivotal time in its history. I am confident in handing the reigns over to Ed Curtin, a very accomplished, capable and spiritual leader who will continue and exceed the expectations of the Sisters of Mercy and the Mercyhurst Prep Board of Trustees.”

Curtin stated, “I have gleaned much wisdom from the past presidents during my 25 years as a teacher and administrator at Mercyhurst Prep. I am honored to lead MPS into the next 90 years.”