What makes Merrimack special?
Mike: Many of the kids that attend Merrimack are first- and second-generation college students. They come to the College grounded by practical, real-life experience. Merrimack takes good kids and helps them realize their potential as business and community leaders.
Kerridan: Merrimack produces great people who are business savvy but also socially conscious. I recently introduced Merrimack’s senior leaders to MGH Aspire, a program that helps adults with autism explore work opportunities, and they quickly found a place at the College for two interns. It’s just one example of how Merrimack shows that it’s a progressive institution with a lot of heart.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being involved with the College?
Mike: Merrimack has always been a great school, and as an entrepreneur, I see the opportunity to make it even greater. Being on the Board is a significant time commitment, but it doesn’t feel like work because of the progress that we’ve been able to make. It’s been an honor to play an active role in the growth and transformation of the College.
Kerridan: Our daughter Keelyn is a senior at Merrimack majoring in communications with a focus in marketing. I’ve really seen her grow during the last few years and I couldn’t be happier with the woman she has become.
What does the Together for Good Campaign mean to you?
Mike: Together for Good means moving forward and standing out, both academically and culturally. We’re now a master’s comprehensive college and on campus, there are new innovation spaces that didn’t exist five or six years ago. The centerpiece of the Together for Good Campaign is attracting and retaining great talent. Like a private company, you need that–especially when you’re growing an educational institution. Merrimack has also been able to attract talented faculty and administrators, which in turn has attracted great students. To sustain our upward momentum, we need to continue working together.
Kerridan: When you hear President Hopey talk about the students at Merrimack, he coins it perfectly. Even if students come to Merrimack uncertain or lacking confidence, they are going to leave with everything they need. That type of acceptance and belief that every kid has the ability to aspire to be something greater is huge. A lot of kids don’t get that opportunity. To me, the way the Merrimack community comes together to help students is what Together for Good is all about.
Why should people support the Together for Good Campaign?
Mike: The Together for Good Campaign will help us do so much – offer scholarship assistance to kids who could not afford to go to Merrimack, expand facilities, and grow the College. Your contribution to Merrimack will have a significant impact on both the institution and on students’ lives. Put simply, an investment in Merrimack is an investment in the future of our community.
Kerridan: At the end of the Campaign, you’ll actually see what you’ve created – the positive, tangible results. It’s been exciting to see what has already changed and what will change because of the Together for Good Campaign.
What do you think Merrimack will look like in 10 years?
Mike: It will be a self-sustaining institution with a future of greatness. I believe Merrimack will be in an entirely different peer group, competing alongside outstanding institutions such as Villanova University and Providence College.
Kerridan: I think the school in 10 years will look drastically different given the rapid progression I’ve witnessed in just a few short years. Merrimack continues to grow academically, athletically, and structurally while maintaining a social conscious that exists in the fundamental roots of Augustinian tradition. It’s an innovative institution.