Mercyhurst University unveils new Brad McGarry Neurodiversity Center

Mercyhurst University paid tribute to one of their own on Monday night.

Since 2014, Brad McGarry has had a profound impact on the university and the autism community.

On June 13, Mercyhurst University unveiled the Brad McGarry Neurodiversity Center.

The dedication was a way to continue McGarry’s legacy on campus. It also served as a reminder of the countless lives he touched.

For families with college kids on the autism spectrum, the Autism Initiative at Mercyhurst University has been life changing.

“I don’t know where he would be if Mercyhurst didn’t have this program,” said Patrick Rooney Jr., a former member of the House of Representatives.

Former Florida State Rep. Patrick Rooney Jr, whose family owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, has a son who attends Mercyhurst University.

“He entered the AIM program. It just flourished here. He loves it,” Rooney said.

Rooney and countless other families credit their children’s success to AIM Program Director Brad McGarry. McGarry battles Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“There are other colleges starting to do it, but not the way Brad works. It’s so much further than the jumps in any other place I’ve been able to study,” Rooney said.

Mercyhurst University wanted to ensure that McGarry’s legacy and dedication to students was never forgotten.

The university did just that by unveiling the Brad McGarry Neurodiversity Center on Monday.

Former Pennsylvania governor and leading disability advocate Tom Ridge said naming the center after McGarry was a fitting tribute.

“To celebrate his service to his community and to the families who have encountered unique challenges with this autism initiative and to ensure that the program is one of the most recognized in the country,” said Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania.

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Rooney Jr. also contributed by donating $250,000 towards the $1 million goal for the center.

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