It has been a rough couple of weeks for my alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s, in the news. I don’t think the adage “all press is good press” applies to what’s been happening lately.
The most recent news of the firings of even more Mount professors is especially troubling. One of the professors fired this week was Ed Egan, whom I came to know when he became the pre-law director at the Mount in 2009 and who I now consider, along with his wife, Teri, a very good friend. I know Ed to be a kind man (except toward basketball referees), generous with both his time and resources, and someone with the utmost integrity.
He is a graduate of the Mount and cares for the Mount in a way that only other graduates can truly appreciate. I know he holds the Mount in high esteem and wishes only the best for its future. Ed, along with David Rehm, and the other professors recently fired, whom I don’t know on a personal level, are what has always made the Mount what it is. They are irreplaceable, and the president will learn this the hard way.
It saddens me deeply that he was not only fired for resisting the new president’s tactics and overseeing the student newspaper, the Mountain Echo, during this tumultuous time, but that they would feel the need to escort him off campus and ban him from attending events on campus. This is someone who has literally been a Mountie his entire life, as he was born into a Mount family, and given back to the school in countless ways, that is now banned from campus.
The Mountain Echo article did not paint the president in a very good light, but he hasn’t denied the accusations. In fact, he’s all but admitted to them, simply saying they were taken out of context or “misrepresented.” I’m not sure how exactly his words could be so misrepresentative of his intentions. I think we are all aware he wasn’t actually going to drown underperforming students, but the implication of the metaphor he chose is clear. As an alumnus, I am glad the Echo brought these comments to light and revealed the true character of the president. Unfortunately, it appears they are now shooting the messenger.
I truly worry about the future of the Mount. Even if there is a future, I wonder if it will resemble the place us Mounties all love. I don’t know why anyone would want to work there right now, and I’m certain this cannot have a positive effect on student retention or new admissions.
I’ll always love the Mount because it played a large role in shaping who I am today, and I’ve made countless relationships through the Mount that remain some of the most important to me today. I even got married at the Mount to a fellow Mount grad. But it’s getting harder to feel proud of the Mount by the day.
writes from Frederick.