When life presents unique encounters with unique people and experiences different from our own daily lives, we often find that the paths we take forward from them and purposes we embrace are profoundly impacted. Gannon University’s Alternative Break Service Trips (ABST) have been vivid examples of this for many of our students, employees, alumni and also for myself.
This spring, I had the pleasure of joining several students and colleagues on a trip to Navajo Nation in Arizona, where we were embraced by a loving and humble community who left a lasting impression. Beyond the truly awe-inspiring views of the red rock and privilege of working side-by-side in the vineyard and irrigation trenches with individuals who knew the meaning of sowing where one will reap, I was changed forever by the time spent learning and seeking to understand the ways and wisdom of people with such strong tradition and inner peace and acceptance.
Each of us has a story of similar, memorable experiences during our time at Gannon University. They represent who we are and show the world what a quality education from Gannon can do to make a difference in the lives of others. Many students form lifelong connections and leverage their education through such experiences, so that as they transition from students to alumni, they are propelled into successful and rewarding careers.
These life-changing opportunities would not be possible without the generosity of our Gannon family and friends, especially our faithful alumni network. Many Gannon alumni are inspired to support their alma mater by memories of making friends, sharing new experiences, learning from faculty experts and serving in the communities around them. But most of all, they are moved by the desire to make possible a transformational experience for current and future students like that which transformed their lives.
This edition of the Gannon Magazine recognizes the people and experiences at Gannon University that bond and connect us and makes us proud to be Golden Knights. I hope you enjoy these stories of some of the many ways our alumni and Gannon family have given the gifts of their service, expertise, financial support and compassion to nurture transformational experiences for our students.
Keith Taylor, Ph.D.
President, Gannon University