Photography by Laurier Archives
Reflecting on the stories of engagement and selflessness in this edition of Laurier Campus, one particular name stands out for its ubiquity in the story of our university. That name is Eileen Mercier (BA ’68, Hon LLD ’16), Laurier’s current chancellor, who has continued to make selfless contributions to Laurier for more than a half century.
There are few individuals in Laurier history who have served the institution for more than five decades in any capacity. Mercier stands out in this select group for the fact she was never a faculty member, or employed in a traditional sense by the institution at all. She truly represents a model of alumni engagement.
Mercier, whose last name was Falconer at the time, began studies at Laurier’s predecessor, Waterloo Lutheran University, in the fall of 1964. It’s probably safe to go out on an archival limb and presume that as a first-year student Mercier had no idea she would be named chancellor of the institution 51 years later.
Mercier was an engaged student and later an exemplary alumna who continued to give her time to Laurier even as she embarked on a successful business career. Mercier was and is always there, devoting her time, energy, skills and resources to the institution. The photos on this page are proof of that.
Should we be surprised that Mercier continues to foster a sense of community and giving back at Laurier, even during a time of pronounced disconnect caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? Of course not. Her efforts continue a lasting legacy that began a half century ago.
Andre Furlong is an archives assistant at the Laurier Archives on the university's Waterloo campus.
Mercier attending the opening of the John Aird Centre in 1989. Pictured are former minister of colleges and universities Lyn McLeod, Laurier chancellor Maureen Forrester, Mercier, chancellor emeritus John Aird and Laurier president John Weir.
Image at top of page: Mercier, seated at right, as a member of the 1967-1968 WLU student council.