Merion Mercy Academy Receives a Transformational $9.1 Million Gift from The Howley Foundation

Merion Mercy Academy is excited to announce an extraordinary and transformative commitment of $9.1 million from The Howley Foundation. This generous restricted gift will have a profound impact, providing annual scholarships, supporting enrollment management initiatives, and funding the creation of the Howley Center for Applied Biological and Health Sciences and the Howley Academic Center for Excellence. 

The Howley Foundation, founded by Nick and Lorie Howley, believes in the power of education to change lives and the importance of creating opportunities for qualified, deserving students throughout the region who would normally not have access to a Merion Mercy education. The Howley Scholars program benefits both academically talented students as well as high achieving students with demonstrated need. Nick Howley stated, “The Howley Foundation believes that a high-quality education combining strong academics and character formation is vital to developing tomorrow’s leaders. This philosophy aligns with Merion Mercy’s mission to educate young women in a values-based environment where they are empowered to reach their goals, both individually and collaboratively.”

Highlighting the personal connection to Merion Mercy Academy, Howley Foundation board member Beth Howley Krieger '76 shared, "We know firsthand the impact a Merion Mercy education can have and we’re pleased that this gift will provide so many students with the same meaningful educational experience that we shared." Krieger, along with Howley sisters Kathy (Howley) Charamella ’80 and Mary Anne (Howley) Keith ’82, are proud graduates of Merion Mercy Academy.

Head of School Marianne Grace P '04 expressed her gratitude for The Howley Foundation's ongoing support, emphasizing its instrumental role in advancing the school's strategic mission. She said, “Their continued commitment through The Howley Scholars program, coupled with this remarkable gift for our capital initiatives, amplifies our joint dedication to empowering young women. It aligns with Merion Mercy Academy’s vision of graduating oung women who are prepared to lead through innovation and service in a constantly evolving world.” 

In addition to the scholarships, this substantial gift will also fund capital projects, prominently featuring the establishment of the Howley Center for Applied Biological and Health Sciences and the Howley Academic Center for Excellence.

Merion Mercy Academy’s Howley Center for Applied Biological and Health Sciences will result from a comprehensive transformation of the current science wing. This state-of-the-art facility promises to revolutionize learning by fostering a dynamic environment for hands-on experimentation and inquiry-based exploration. Newly constructed and renovated labs will provide our students with access to the latest advancements, inspiring a new generation of confident and capable young women in the sciences. 

Simultaneously, the Howley Academic Center for Excellence will serve as a central hub for personalized instruction, academic support, and a variety of tools and resources. The center aims to empower students with an understanding of their individual strengths and develop the competencies to perform at the highest levels. It will also provide spaces for individual research, collaborative work, and group instruction.

Expressing her deep appreciation, Merion Mercy Academy Board of Trustees Chair Ellen Byrnes Willcox ‘80, P ‘12, stated, "I extend our deepest gratitude to The Howley Foundation for their generous gift and invaluable partnership. This extraordinary contribution will have a lasting impact on our school, enabling us to not only advance our academic mission but also to empower future generations through scholarships. The Foundation's dedication to education and belief in the potential of our students is truly inspiring, and we are honored to partner with them in shaping the future for Merion Mercy Academy.”

Construction on the Howley Center for Applied Biological and Health Sciences and the Howley Academic Center for Excellence is expected to begin in the summer of 2024. 

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