By Mackenzie Bowring ’18
To many, the word warrior holds many meanings. Words such as courageous, strong, and leadership are often attributed with it. A warrior is a person who, beyond all obstacles, still manages to be successful and will persevere in the end. Here at Merrimack College, being a warrior very much represents this idea and serves to fulfill our Augustinian values.
According to Merrimack’s website, we pride ourselves on, “serving others, while providing students with myriad opportunities to develop intellectually, spiritually, socially and ethically.” Sense of community is an extremely important value at Merrimack. It takes us all working together and caring about each other to be successful here. Faculty and students all play a role in making Merrimack feel like home, enabling both an enriching and life-changing college experience.
Being a Merrimack College Warrior means embodying the spirit and mindset our community believes in. But where did this title come from and how did Merrimack become warriors?
A small number of Augustinian friars eventually became the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. In 1947, that same Province, established what was then called “The Augustinian College of Merrimack Valley,” catering to the needs of servicemen returning home from World War II. A native Lawrencian, Reverend McQuade, initially led the college, where he focused on relating to and serving the inhabitants of that valley.
Merrimack takes it a step further with instilling this vision by using prominent figures on campus such as athletes. Athletes are strong role models on campus, highly recognized, representing Merrimack College on and off the field. Junior’s Bianca Palughi and Kelly Hartlage, both soccer players, have first-hand experience with defining what it means to be a warrior. Throughout their season they were constantly reminded and asked what it means to be a warrior and how they personify a warrior while wearing the Merrimack logo on their uniform. Athletes are always expected to work hard and keep improving themselves and inspiring the ones around them which is very much how most envision being a warrior.
Father Ray Dlugos, Vice President for Mission and Student Affairs, had a very insightful perspective on what it means to him to be a warrior.
“I have frequently been asked if being ‘warriors’ is contrary to our Catholic, Augustinian Identity as it seems to favor and glorify violence and war, which is the ultimate failure of the human race,” he said. “However, the last things real warriors ever want to do is violence to others. Rather, true Warriors are all about protecting the weak, the vulnerable, and fragile.”
“Real warriors are strong for the sake of those who are not, and speak and fight for those unable to speak and fight for themselves. Real warriors are noble and loyal, especially to one another, and seek not their own glory and victories but the glory of God and victory of justice,” he said. “I am therefore very proud, and very humble, to be a warrior at Merrimack College.”