Mary Gehris, Director of Alumni Relations at Mount Mercy University, said they are offering a special campsite (which is typically off-limits to staff and students) for MMU alumni who contact her. “The alumni actually get to swim in the pool in the convent!” said Mary. ”It’s on the property of the Sisters of Mercy, and it’s all fenced in, with a pool house and a shower.”
RAGBRAI will be coming through Cedar Rapids so close to the start of the 2012-2013 academic year that the college was unable to offer dormitory space for riders. However, MMU will open its cafeteria to serve a hot breakfast to campers on July 27.
“We can accommodate alumni and other Iowa private colleges to come and camp,” Mary said. “Alumni will camp around the pool, and they will get to swim, shower, camp and have a hot breakfast.” While the pool will only be available to Mount Mercy alumni, other Iowa private college alumni are welcome to camp, shower and eat with the Mount Mercy team.
Mary said Mount Mercy University is currently making plans and mapping out the shadiest, flattest places for RAGBRAI riders to camp. Mount Mercy is also planning to create a map to direct riders from campus to the downtown Cedar Rapids festivities. She hopes for a great turnout for the 40th RAGBRAI event. “I think this is a big deal!” Mary said. “I think it’s a time when we can really show the hospitality of Cedar Rapids.”
The Mount Mercy University RAGBRAI team is riding the course for 3 days. The team consists of MMU president Dr. Christopher Blake, MMU staff and faculty, and alumni. The team is making jerseys that say “Ride Sally Ride,” a musical homage to the Mustang, MMU’s mascot. Mary wants MMU alumni to know they are more than welcome to join the Mount Mercy team. “You can ride a day, or even a few hours with the team,” said Mary.
If you are an MMU alumni interested in camping and/or riding with the Mount Mercy team, contact Mary at 319-368-6468, or email her at MGehris@mtmercy.edu. Other Iowa private college alumni are also welcome to contact Mary for camping accommodation availability.
Check back for blog reviews of the RAGBRAI contributions of more local colleges.