I’ve come to find the promise of growth and new life that comes with the spring season particularly rejuvenating this year as I reflect on our lives as a Gannon community. The growth and renewal we are experiencing on our campuses this spring are the result of prior seasons of hard work, dedication and resilience.
This year marks my 16th year with Gannon University, and with each passing day I am reminded of how truly special it is to be a part of a community that comes together to overcome challenges, celebrate joys, make good on our promises to each other, and share the fruits of our work for the betterment of the world around us.
Our continuously changing campus landscape is a revealing picture of our University’s progress. We celebrated the transformation of our Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel after two years of renovations. The new powerful aesthetic of our Chapel draws the attention it deserves as it brings us deeper into our commitment to our Catholic faith tradition. It reminds us that, even amid challenging times, faith carries us forward.
The opening of the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge this spring ignited an exciting venture into intelligent system design. Our students and faculty have already begun using this stunning facility as we prepare a new generation of professionals to tackle the ever-growing challenges of cybersecurity. Without missing a beat, the team has begun renovating the 40,000-square-foot South Hall into a 100-bed niche residence hall that will open in Fall 2022 to accommodate our growing student enrollment.
In many ways, this has been a year unlike any other in our lives and at Gannon. When many institutions decided to remain virtual due to the pandemic, we believed that being on campus and in our classrooms was the most powerful way for us to foster learning and transform the lives of our students. And that is what we did, creating our own systems and path to staying open and safe throughout the entire year.
In the classroom, our students have harnessed innovation and creativity to complete projects like developing novel prosthetic legs for a dog and designing an interactive helicopter simulator. In our communities, alumni are reminding us of the incredible people our graduates become by bringing health to our nation through their careers and leading a movement to break plastic dependency. Teaching our students to view life through the lens of this untapped potential and seeing how effectively they apply their found knowledge and skills will always be such a gratifying and meaningful part of our work here at Gannon University.
We are grateful to have celebrated this incredible year together in person at our recent commencement ceremonies both in Erie and in Ruskin. I think we would all agree our students have overcome unprecedented obstacles to achieve the milestone of their graduation. What a wonderful opportunity it was to witness as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas and begin new journeys, fully confident and capable in their abilities.
Much of what you read in the coming pages will reflect these and other positive moments of growth, transformation and learning. They are stories we are only able tell because of our incredible students, faculty and staff who made them happen and who inspired the transformation that we’re called to promote. I pray that we each hold fast to the perspective of renewal this spring as we reflect on these stories and our own lives. I am so honored to share with you this issue of the Gannon Magazine.