Celebrating the Success of Vision 2020

Cover Story

The culmination of the Vision 2020 Campaign marked a milestone in Gannon history, becoming its largest fundraising campaign.

There is much to celebrate following the culmination of Vision 2020, Gannon’s highly successful comprehensive campaign. The effort raised $67.5 million in charitable giving, government grants and sponsored research. The seven-year campaign was highlighted by the more than 13,000 alumni, friends, faculty and staff members’ generous gifts and was a milestone in Gannon University’s effort to enhance academic, research, scholarship, global and service opportunities for students. Since its inception in 2009, this campaign has been a far-seeing initiative that has shown far-reaching results on the vitality of the University and the endless possibilities for Gannon students for years to come.

“We are truly blessed by the incredible support and passion for the University as evidenced by the Vision 2020 Campaign,” said Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. “As our enrollment grows and our call-to-service is heard, these remarkable gifts and grants shine a light forward for our students and for our faculty and staff who embrace our Mission of preparing students to be global citizens through a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.”

Securing Futures Through Endowments

Gannon University was established on the notion of providing a quality, Catholic education for all students. Our founder, Archbishop John Mark Gannon, would be proud to see the dedication of those who contributed to and created scholarship opportunities through this campaign.

Not only did the Vision 2020 Campaign establish nearly 80 new scholarships for students, but new global and travel opportunities were created as well, emphasizing Gannon’s strategic approach to develop students’ worldview. The hard work of faculty and staff also created new hands-on opportunities for students through grant-funded and sponsored research. 

The Power Scholarship Challenge

One of the most successful initiatives of Vision 2020 was the “Power” Scholarship Challenge. Thanks to the generous support of Board of Trustees member Tom Power, a 1963 alumnus, and his wife, Loretta, the Challenge leveraged more than 50 new endowed scholarship gifts that were matched dollar-for-dollar. Gifts from $25,000 to $100,000 for new scholarships established by alumni, parents, faculty and friends were enhanced by the funds provided through the Powers’ generosity.

“My wife and I can think of no greater gift than the gift of an education and the Challenge is really quite simple. We have created a pool of funds from which Gannon can double a donor’s endowed scholarship gift,” Power said. 

Robert and Suzanne Barker Globalization Institute

Gifts such as the one made by Robert ’71 and Suzanne Barker aligned with the University’s Strategic Goal of “Developing a Worldview” by establishing the Barker Globalization Institute. Barker is a retired executive from Parker Aerospace and current Trustee at Gannon.

“I see students and faculty that are routinely engaged in world travel, an Erie campus where international students help enrich a diverse interchange of cultures and where students build their resumes through global experiences, making them competitive and highly sought after in the world marketplace.” 

Improving the Places Where We Live and Learn

By living our Mission, Gannon prepares students to become leaders in the classroom, in their chosen profession, in their community and around the world. “Our West Bayfront” is just one example of a collaborative relationship between the University, our campus neighborhoods and local businesses to help improve the quality of life in Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhoods. The result is a safer place to live, learn and raise a family. 

The generous contributions made toward the Vision 2020 Campaign have allowed the University to expand resources, technology and facilities that aid in the academic experience and engaged learning for students.

Vision 2020 was also highlighted by the dedication of a new campus in Ruskin, Florida and many new facilities including a modernized Recreation and Wellness Center, North Hall, the Center for Communication and the Arts, a Forensics Investigation Center and a remodeled Beyer Hall. Generous support from alumnus Dennis McConnell from the Class of 1970 resulted in the renaming of Gannon’s athletic field to McConnell Family Stadium. 

Support from the campaign facilitated opportunities for students and faculty to work and learn while utilizing advanced technology in exceptional learning environments such as the Patient Simulation Center and Human Performance Lab, and in fields such as nanotechnology and Lake Erie water analysis research.

Grant funds supported programs and projects benefitting students, faculty, community and regional partners including the GO College program for City of Erie high school students, Science in Motion, the Student Success Center, STEM scholarships and programs supporting women faculty in STEM fields, the Small Business Development Center at Gannon and Upward Bound.

Thanking our Generous Donors

With the conclusion of this campaign, Gannon’s alumni, faculty, staff, friends, family and community partners have once again proven that they believe in the possibilities at Gannon. It is their generosity that helped make Vision 2020 the most successful campaign in Gannon University’s history, and is more importantly helping to transform the educational experience the University provides to students.