Merrimack College

From Academic Kids

Merrimack College is a small private liberal arts college in North Andover, Massachusetts, located on Route 114. It was founded in 1947 by Augustinians. Approximately 2,500 full-time and 300 evening students from more than 26 states and 17 countries are enrolled at Merrimack, approximately 80% of whom reside on campus.



Merrimack College was founded in 1947 in North Andover, Massachusetts, by the Order of St. Augustine O.S.A.

The Augustinians, at the invitation of Richard Cushing, then Archbishop of Boston, established the College as a direct response to the needs and aspirations of local G.I.'s returning home from World War II.

Merrimack College is a tribute to the man who, more than anyone else, made it all possible: the Reverend Vincent A. McQuade. A native Lawrencian, Reverend McQuade, led the College to eventually become a showcase of the Merrimack Valley, approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of Boston.

Since that time 55 years ago, the now 220 acre (890,000 m²) Merrimack College has graduated nearly 20,000 students; has grown to nearly 40 buildings including a 125,000 volume library; four classroom buildings; including the state-of-the-art Gregor Johann Mendel, O.S.A., Science, Engineering and Technology Center; the 130,000 square foot (12,000 m²), state-of-the-art Sakowich Campus Center which opened in 2001; the Rogers Center for the Arts; the S. Peter Volpe Athletic Center; Austin Hall, which houses administrative offices; the Collegiate Church of Christ the Teacher; the college's newest residence building, Santagati Hall, named in honor of Merrimack's current president; student apartment buildings, townhouses and residence halls; the Louis H. Hamel Infirmary and the Urban Resource Institute in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Students at Merrimack College now come from all across the United States and around the globe. Information taken from


Merrimack College, a small, comprehensive, modern Catholic center of higher learning in the Northeast, reflects in its policies the teaching traditions of the founding Order of St. Augustine: to provide, in a Christian, values-sensitive environment, the opportunity for its students to develop a mature intellectual, cultural, social, emotional, and moral awareness; to combine professional training of high-quality with a commitment to an integrated liberal arts component in all courses of study; to act as a major educational resource for individuals and for the Merrimack Valley community. Info taken from

Statement of community standards

Before all else the students, faculty, staff and administration of Merrimack College form an Augustinian community that supports and challenges its members in the pursuit of Truth.

We declare and celebrate our common purpose, and commit ourselves:

to serious study, generous service and courageous leadership

to academic integrity and personal growth

to civilized discourse in the exchange of ideas

to friendship, diversity, and mutual respect

to primacy of conscience and the spiritual life

to responsibility for the common good, and

to pride in our school and ourselves.


Merrimack offers majors in Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering, Business and offers a program in Continuing Education. The small class sizes at Merrimack allow for a comprehensive and interactive education that will be with the student long after they leave Merrimack. The Merrimack curriculum has three principal aims:

1. To develop studentsí academic and analytic skills

2. To engage students in active learning

3. To develop in students a coherent understanding of the world

To accomplish those aims, the faculty has adopted an emphasis on inquiry and conversation on civilization to guide the curriculum as a whole. The exploration and critical examination of human civilization, in all its diverse and conflicting aspects, gives the program coherence. The pedagogical emphasis on active learning involves students and faculty in intensive interaction to build understanding through conversation and dialogue on civilizational issues.

  • The student / faculty ratio is 12:1.
  • Merrimack offers 35 majors including Digital Media Arts, Sports Medicine and Health Science/R.N. Pre-professional programs in pre-dental, pre-med and pre-law are available.
  • The college employs 139 full-time, 105 part-time day and evening faculty.
  • The college offers a four-year and a five-year Cooperative Education program for all majors. It is one of the best nationally and one of the longest-running in the Northeast.

Information taken from


The campus is mostly isolated from outside business and residential areas - there is not much to do within walking distance, except some of the businesses on the other side of Route 114 such as the Fuddruckers hamburger joint. Boston is only a 30 minute drive from the campus and is a wonderful city to visit. Main Street in Andover has many charming shops and wonderful restaurants.


  • Deegan Hall - Opened Fall 1998. Freshman dorm, mostly 2 person rooms. Characterized by very garish paint scheme inside. Divided into East and West buildings, in the Freshman Quad. Named for former Merrimack College president, Fr. Deegan. Deegan West has "fireplace lounge," seminar rooms.
  • Ash Centre - Opened circa 1950s. Mostly consists of 4 person suites, with a wing of doubles. Freshman Quad.
  • Santagati Hall - Opened Fall 2003. Suites of 4 to 8 people. Houses mostly juniors. Along Monican Buoulevard. Named for current Merrimack president, Richard Santagati. Has a few classrooms on 2nd/3rd floors.
  • Monican Centre - Opened circa 1950s. Houses sophomores. At the end of Monican Boulevard. Sometimes said to be haunted. Also houses the Public Safety department in the basement.
  • Townhouses - Opened circa 1970s. Two-story, 12 person houses. Houses juniors. Tend to be a party location. On Monican Field, opposite Santagati Hall.
  • Apartments - St. Ann and St. Thomas quads. Built in the 1980s. These are 4 person apartments with kitchens and two bathrooms. Houses seniors and a limited number of juniors. Very big party location on weekends due to less-restrictive alcohol policies for students who live there.

Academic buildings:

  • O'Reilly - Mostly business classes
  • Cushing - Business/art classes and a microscale chemistry center on the top floor
  • Sullivan - Humanities, math/science classes
  • Mendel - Math/science classes
  • McQuade - Library


  • Sakowich Center - Student center. Has a "multipurpose room" (basketball courts, event hall), cafeteria, Warrior's Den snack bar, game room, fitness center, administrative offices. Located between townhouses and academic area.
  • Austin Hall - Administrative offices. Far end of campus, past academic areas, by the church.
  • Volpe Center - Athletics. Hockey rink, basketball court, tennis courts. Located near Deegan East.
  • Hamel Health Center - Clinic.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named Merrimack College a top ten regional school in its rankings of colleges nationwide.
  • Merrimack College placed 15th overall in a field of 44 top engineering colleges and universities across the country that competed in the 13th Annual National Student Steel Bridge Competition in 2004. Merrimack won the New England Regional competition.
  • As part of Merrimack's presidential initiative to achieve greater diversity and to foster discussion and understanding of diversity issues at the college, the Diversity Education Center opened on campus in 2003 to serve as an educational and supportive environment for the campus community.

Campus life

The vast majority of the student body is both Catholic and Caucasian and hails from Massachusetts and the surrounding New England states. The administration has a number of ongoing programs to increase minority attendance, which is less than 10% as of 2005.

The student body had consisted primarily of commuters up until the last several years. The construction of Deegan and Santagati halls brought the percentage of resident students up from roughly 50% in the early 1990s to 80% as of 2005.

As stated previously, the campus's relative isolation limits the available activities within walking distance. Though downtown Andover is roughly fifteen minutes away by foot, the majority of students simply drive or get a ride elsewhere to perform errands. Drinking is a major pastime, as it is at most colleges. The Campus Police and Resident Life departments are quite restrictive of social activity, reflecting the school's conservative nature. There are currently three sororities and three fraternities, whose activities are severely limited by college policies which prohibit the construction of Greek housing on-campus.

Use of a car (a privilege granted to all juniors and seniors, and to sophomores who either become Resident Assistants or participate in a lottery) opens up new possibilities, as there are malls and restaurants nearby, and Boston is approximately 30 minutes down I-93.

Traditionally, the Merrimack Program Board orchestrates a major concert every spring. Recent performers include Fuel, Guster, and Third Eye Blind.

The Merrimack Beacon Newspaper, founded in 2002, functions as Merrimack's student-run news source. The Beacon is the successor to the now-defunct 'Argus' newspaper that had been in existence from the 1950s until the late 1990s.

McQuade Library

The intellectual hub of the campus, McQuade Library boasts 133,000 volumes and several electronic databases. It also houses a Media Center with a TV studio, the Technology Center, Math and Writing Centers, and a 180-seat auditorium. Info taken from

The Rogers Center for the Arts

The Rogers Center for the Arts at Merrimack College encourages artistic excellence and expression. The Center integrates appreciation of the arts into the studies and lives of our students and neighbors. The Rogers Center for the Arts brings the campus and community together to explore the drama of the mind and heart in educational and enjoyable ways.

The Merrimack Players, a student run theatre group on campus, typically puts on two to three shows per year. Community theatre is also put on during the summer months.

Merrimack College gratefully acknowledges the alumni, parents, friends, corporations, and foundations whose generous support contributed significantly to the creation of the Rogers Center for the Arts. A special thank-you is extended to Irving E. Rogers, Jr. (1929-1998), the Rogers Family, and the Rogers Family Foundation for exceptional leadership and philanthropy. Information taken from the


Merrimack's teams are known as the "Warriors". Formerly, their mascot was a proud and fearsome Native American warrior, however, some of the faculty felt this was not politically correct. Following a heated, drawn-out debate that led to the alienation of a number of alumni, the faculty and administration saw that the mascot was changed to a Greek warrior along the lines of a Spartan. The student body was not convinced this was entirely necessary, but had little say in the matter.

Merrimack offers 16 varsity sports for men and women. The only Division 1 sport at Merrimack is men's hockey. The Warriors participate in the highly competitive Hockey East conference, which allows the students who attend the games to see skilled players on both teams battle it out. Intramural hockey also exists on campus and is often quite competetive.

Division II sports include men's and women's soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. (Women's basketball is quite good, placing in their division semifinals in 2004, and 2005.) There is also men's football and baseball, women's tennis, field hockey and volleyball.

  • In 1994 the Merrimack Women's Softball team captured the Division II National Championship.
  • In 1978 the Men's Hockey Team won the Division II National Championship.

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