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People in Mercy Can Make a Difference

Sister Deirdre Mullan at podium

“Whatever you create, contribute, advance, or become, remember to leave this world better because you have been in it.”

—Deirdre Mullan, RSM, Ph.D.

GCU Trustee Deirdre Mullan, RSM, Ph.D., inspires the Georgian Court community to be kind, be merciful, and make a difference.

As part of GCU’s Inaugural Week Lunch and Learn series, GCU Trustee Deirdre Mullan, RSM, Ph.D., spoke of the extraordinary power of mercy, telling a packed room of students, faculty, and staff, “It’s your time to make a difference.”

Sister Deirdre, who works with UNICEF’s Partnering with Religious Communities and serves as executive director of Mercy Reaches Mercy, noted that while we live in a world deeply entrenched in violence, “the Mercy core values are key to helping us become better people.”

During her presentation, she told moving stories that underscored both the need for mercy and the powerful effect of mercy: her mother helping a dying soldier in Northern Ireland, a young mother in Congo mixing water and sand to feed her two young children; and a child who survived a plane crash and walked toward the light to search for help for her family.

“I appeal to you as Mercy men and women, make this world better, not worse—be bridge builders,” said Sister Deirdre. “Take time to be kind, show kindness, and pass it on.”

She outlined her “Mercy GPS,” emphasizing the practice of mercy in daily life:

  • Pay attention.
  • Pay it forward.
  • Nurture the global citizen that lies within you.
  • Live with gratitude.
  • Live with courage and integrity.
  • Be merciful.

She encouraged students to speak out when witnessing an injustice: “Reach out, touch lives. Take your education and formation here, and become Christian leaders and exercise the kind of leadership to make this world a better place.”

Sister Deirdre’s great passion is girls’ education, and her current project, The Mercy Girl Effect, raises awareness on behalf of girls in impoverished areas of the world. She noted that in those parts of the world, $50 can provide an education for a young girl, including full board and tuition, for one year.

“This university was founded by the Sisters of Mercy and whatever you do in life, be merciful, be kind,” she said. “Whatever you create, contribute, advance, or become, remember to leave this world better because you have been in it.”

Click here for more photos from the event.

Story contributed by Michelle Giles, GCU communications and grants specialist.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.