As we celebrate the holiday season and the conclusion of the Fall 2016 semester, our Gannon Family has much to be thankful for in all of the blessings upon our University. In September, we gathered with many alumni, faculty, staff, family and friends in recognition of the culmination of the Vision 2020 Campaign—the largest fundraising campaign in the history of our University.
For us, the joy in the success of this campaign is not as much about the $67.5 million raised, but why we support our beloved Gannon—to change lives. That generous support provides our students opportunities today and for generations to come. Nearly 80 new scholarships were created so that students may engage in a transformative Gannon experience. This life-changing experience has been enhanced by funding for initiatives like new and expanded travel programs, providing global exposure for every student who wants to travel the world and learn through global exchange, cultural immersion or service wherever they are called to do so.
We are equally thankful for the dedicated Gannon faculty and staff who have helped secure grant funding for research opportunities that are immersing our students in practical experiences that better prepare them for their careers and life journeys. The visible improvements in the living and learning environments across our expanding campus during the campaign have also been many, punctuated by the eight Dedication and Blessing Ceremonies, including the establishment of a second Gannon campus in Ruskin, Florida.
These celebrations and the transformations of our Gannon Family and our University have not come about by chance. The success of this campaign and the wonderful opportunities its harvest reaps have resulted from enormous effort by many and a strong Strategic Plan 2013-17 to guide that work. That plan, and the next, continuing this momentum in 2017, carry forward our Mission and our Catholic Identity, reinforcing the centrality of faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social justice in driving the University’s actions toward desired outcomes, much like the success of the Vision 2020 Campaign.
The commitment to family at Gannon is something that has been shown not only by the generosity throughout this campaign, but is something that is lived out through daily, steadfast commitment to our students’ development of mind, body and spirit. It is a testament to the responsibility we have as a Catholic University and as individuals to live our faith and our Mission, and to give back to and be more concerned about others than we are about ourselves.
As we hold fast to our tradition and why we are here, we celebrate what Gannon is and has been for so many and look forward to how Gannon can continue to provide a transformative educational experience that is accessible to all.
With the most sincere gratitude, I thank all of our generous benefactors who contributed to the Vision 2020 Campaign. Every gift has created new possibilities for our students, and will leave a lasting impression on them as they go out and change the world.