Every trip with students is an amazing adventure, and traveling to Ecuador on a recent Alternative Break Service Trip added to my list of precious Gannon memories. It moved me deeply to be welcomed into another culture by our Ecuadorian hosts and to serve our global neighbors alongside students. I, like others who’ve engaged on these trips, have found them to challenge our worldviews, remind us of the blessings in our lives, and enrich our global understanding of others.
This trip felt symbolic of how we as a Gannon community have expanded our own horizons over the past year through many new and meaningful efforts to explore the beauty of our differences in Erie, Ruskin and well beyond.
For some of us, this meant encountering new people and cultures and delving into new research and technologies. For others, it was bringing together a diverse set of ideas and talents to achieve goals we could never accomplish on our own. For our recent graduates, it was taking their educational experiences and a newly earned diploma to go and make a difference in the world.
This issue of the Gannon Magazine celebrates how we are expanding our horizons and perspectives – engaging and seeing the world through a variety of lenses.
This year, we welcomed more new global students than ever, and our campuses continue to become even more rich and diverse as a result. Students came from more than 70 countries and territories around the globe, each bringing their own ideas, traditions and experiences that help us see the world and each other in different and better ways.
Change is happening all around us. Here in Erie, our health professions faculty and students celebrated the opening of a new pro bono clinic that provides essential medical equipment to underinsured members in our community. In Ruskin, health professions faculty and students worked to support cognitive health in older patients.
We are honoring our roots while writing new chapters. In February, we celebrated a new partnership with Highmark Health that will transform the former Hammermill Center – now the Highmark Events Center – into a state-of-the-art facility that will take athletics to the next level while bringing visible change to our downtown Erie landscape. The Gannon Knight – our award-winning student-produced news organization – is celebrating 75 years of publication while looking ahead to its next edition as a thriving digital news organization.
This issue of the Gannon Magazine embraces our changing landscape and reflects our strides in meeting today’s challenges and creating meaningful impact. I am deeply grateful for our Gannon community of alumni, students and my colleagues who lean into new experiences with a heart of curiosity, a desire to grow, and a determination to transform the lives of those around them.
I hope you will enjoy and be inspired by the stories shared in this issue of the Gannon Magazine.
Keith Taylor, Ph.D.
President, Gannon University