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Sisters of Mercy Exec, Strategic Planner Joins GCU Leadership Team

Sister Suzanne M. Elliott to Help Shape Mission and Finances at Georgian Court

Lakewood, N.J., Jan. 6, 2010—Suzanne Elliott, RSM, a former president of the Sisters of Mercy New York Regional Community with expertise in education, finance, and administration, is the new vice president of mission and business affairs at Georgian Court University.

Sister Suzanne brings to the newly created post more than 30 years of experience in educational, religious, and nonprofit settings. Most recently, she was program manager and coordinator of special projects for Mercy Center in the South Bronx—an empowerment center for women and children—where she reigned in construction costs, reassessed fund-raising potential, and strengthened the center’s financial infrastructure.

“As a member of the GCU leadership team, Sister Suzanne will help the university achieve aggressive goals outlined in the school’s strategic plan,” says GCU President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D. “The new position also crafts a closer connection between GCU’s mission and planning, and budgeting—two areas key to the university’s ongoing success.”

Sister Suzanne, who earned a master’s degree in theology from St. Michael’s College and holds education and history degrees from SUNY at Potsdam and Mater Dei College, will also focus on institutional effectiveness, planning, research, and assessment.


“She brings to Georgian Court vast experiences in finance and administration, much of it from her work with institutions during times of significant change and transition,” says President Jeffries. “It is the blend of these experiences, as well as Sister Suzanne’s commitment to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, that gives us confidence that she is the right choice at the right time.”

During her tenure as president of the Sisters of Mercy New York Regional Community, Sister Suzanne worked to turn financial crisis into opportunity. She tightened budgets, established a finance committee, shored up strategic planning, and explored ways to care for aging and sick members of the community.

During that time that she also chaired the board of Marion Woods, a licensed adult home where she resolved difficult issues related to cost overruns, poor workmanship, and debt. At the same time, she also worked on the audit and compliance committee for Catholic Health East, a cosponsored Catholic health system serving the entire East Coast.

The former classroom educator, diocese administrator, and campus minister has also worked to cultivate leadership. In recent years, she served on the finance committee of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, and on search committees charged with filling two critical posts: the institute’s chief financial officer and chief investment officer. She currently chairs the board of directors for Mercy Investment Services, a newly created investment vehicle for the institute. The new entity begins operations in February 2010.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.


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