Plans for new graduate center announced

Mount Mercy announced plans for a new graduate center during a ceremonial groundbreaking on Friday, November 2. The Mount Mercy University CRST International Graduate Center is undergoing renovations for a grand opening planned in the fall of 2013.

The graduate center was made possible thanks to a grant through the U.S. Department of Education and a $2.1 million dollar gift given to the university by Dyan and John Smith on behalf of CRST International. The Smiths’ generous gift marks the largest single outright gift in Mount Mercy’s 85-year history.

“My husband and I believe that further education and training are one of the most important ingredients necessary for the future of our community,” Dyan Smith said. “We choose to support the graduate programs at Mount Mercy University to further not only the individuals, but the community as a whole. Our hope is that others will choose to support Mount Mercy University in this way.”

Located just a mile away from the main campus, the renovated 34,494 square-foot building will include a 3,324 square-foot auditorium that will seat up to 200 people, a marriage and family therapy clinic, computer lab, coffee shop, lobby, common area and faculty conference room. The building will house 14 classrooms, 17 faculty offices, 10 therapy rooms and two observation rooms. Naming opportunities within the Mount Mercy University CRST International Graduate Center remain available.

“We are tremendously thankful to Dyan and John Smith for their generosity as well as to CRST International for this new partnership,” said Mount Mercy President Christopher Blake, Ph.D. “Mount Mercy University is celebrating this as yet another milestone in its commitment to lifelong learning and opportunities available at the graduate level to our students and our community for professional leadership.”