Our History

A Catholic University in the Mercy Charism

Founded in 1928 with the purpose of uniting people with opportunity through high quality, values-based education, Mount Mercy University has a rich foundation upon which we’ve built our on-campus and online degree program options.

We’ve grown from a junior college to a four-year university and today, Mount Mercy University is pleased to offer our online academic programs to an even bigger population of learners in the same spirit of our founders.

The Mount Mercy Timeline

  • 1907: The Sisters of Mercy purchase Mound Farm and Greene mansion, the future site of Mount Mercy Junior College
  • 1928: Mount Mercy Junior College opens as a two-year institution for women
  • 1960: Mount Mercy receives accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools as a four-year college
  • 1965: Regina Hall is built, providing the first on-campus housing since the original construction of Warde Hall
  • 1969: Mount Mercy College becomes co-educational
  • 1975: Donnelly Center opens
  • 1985: The Hennessey Recreation Center opens
  • 1993: Busse Center opens
  • 1995: Lundy Commons opens
  • 1996: Betty Cherry Heritage Hall opens
  • 1997: The Mount Mercy ADVANCE program launches, allowing adult students from community colleges to earn their 4-year degree faster
  • 2001: Andreas House opens
  • 2003: Basile Hall opens
  • 2010: The school is officially designated as Mount Mercy University, making it the only Mercy University in the state of Iowa and one of only four in the Midwest.
  • 2011: Sisters of Mercy University Center opens
  • 2013: The CRST International Graduate Center opens, hosting students enrolled in six graduate programs
  • 2014: Laurie M. Hamen, J.D., assumes the role as the ninth President of the university.
  • 2017: Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex opens