Students visiting Mercy College of Health Sciences may start to recognize a new face on the College’s downtown Des Moines campus. After nearly a year of waiting, Mercy College has taken on an official school mascot to represent the College community: the Mercy College Guardian.

According to Mercy College of Health Sciences President Adreain Henry, OD, EdD, mascots serve as tangible, unifying symbols for schools. “Mascots ignite a sense of pride in the institution and confidence in its future. Mercy College has much to take pride in, from its Catholic heritage to its exceptional healthcare education rooted in compassion. The mascot not only embodies this rich history but also motivates students and the community to rally behind the institution’s vision. In Des Moines, Mercy College has found its place and identity, and it aims to share this sense of belonging with everyone.”

A guardian, by nature, is one who protects something precious. Mercy College students are guardians of their patients, advocates for the improvement of healthcare delivery, and champions of the standards of excellence that drive them. A good guardian is knowledgeable of the current practices and threats, demonstrates reverence for those for whom they provide, displays integrity and commitment to their cause, and shows the compassion inherent in caring for others. A true embodiment of all of Mercy College’s Core Values, the Mercy College Guardians are fierce defenders for those groups – the poor, sick, and underprivileged – Mother McAuley sought to protect in Dublin when she originally founded the Sisters of Mercy.

As a representative of the student body, the Guardian wears a crowned helmet featuring the iconic Mercy College “M” – a symbol which itself represents a window and the cross of the Sisters of Mercy, the College’s founding religious organization. Holding a caduceus staff, which simultaneously calls to mind the healthcare industry and a lighted lamp casting its rays, the Guardian assumes a powerful defensive stance, ready to support and lead those in its care. In full color, the Guardian also wears a purple and green cowl, the official colors of Mercy College of Health Sciences.

The Guardian first began making subtle appearances at Mercy College events this past spring. Individuals who attended President Henry’s inauguration or the Spring Commencement ceremony in April would have found the mascot featured on backdrops and flags at both events. Most recently, the Guardian began touring Des Moines, taking in the sights of the city from the vantage point of a DART bus.

“We take immense pride in our identity,” President Henry affirmed. “The Guardian is an integral element of Mercy College’s narrative, symbolizing our commitment to transparency and authenticity in representing who we are and our mission. We are resolute in our mission to communicate our desire to safeguarding and supporting one another to the world. We proudly declare ourselves the Mercy College Guardians!”

Have you spotted the Guardian traveling around downtown Des Moines?
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About Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercy College of Health Sciences is a health sciences specialty school rooted in the Catholic heritage of the Sisters of Mercy. Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Mercy College offers master’sbachelor’s, and associate degreescertificates, and continuing education courses. Through our unique hands-on learning, unparalleled clinical rotations, and accelerated education offerings, our students are prepared to enter the workforce quickly with the critical skills necessary to make an immediate impact in their chosen healthcare careers. Guided by our Core Values of Knowledge, Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence, Mercy College has been transforming students into successful healthcare professionals for over 120 years.