Celebrating a Year of Notable Contributions

In the year since Gannon announced its ambitious $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign in September 2021, Believe. Inspire. Transform. Gannon’s Next Century has garnered remarkable achievements for the university as it approaches its centennial anniversary in 2025.

Founded on four strategic funding priorities, the campaign complements Gannon’s Mission to believe in, inspire and transform our students to have significant impact as global citizens within the communities where they live and serve. 

“It is a humbling experience to see the generosity of so many people. Thanks to the continued support, this campaign will have profound impact on students for years to come.” 

- Barbara Beuscher

The university is grateful to the alumni, community partners and many benefactors who’ve contributed to the campaign.

“Our progress towards achieving these bold goals is a direct result of the investments the Gannon community is making in the transformation of our students,” said Barbara Beuscher, vice president for University Advancement. 

“New donors, volunteers and engaged alumni are giving their time to mentor and share their expertise with our students,” said Beuscher. “It is a humbling experience to see the generosity of so many people. Thanks to the continued support, this campaign will have profound impact on students for years to come.”

Student Transition Guides

Several examples of gifts that supported the campaign goals and invested in the transformation of our students, making notable contributions including:

Investments toward the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge to support regional workforce development and pave the way for more students to pursue STEM-related fields.   

Scholarships and endowments are being created to offer affordable, high-quality educational experiences that are affordable and accessible for all.  

Meaningful partnerships were formed, including a 10-year leadership investment with Highmark to rename the home for several of Gannon’s athletic teams, becoming the Highmark Events Center.
The university looks forward to continuing the momentum of these notable contributions. As we enter the second year of the campaign we will emphasize focus on enhancing the student experience through scholarships and endowments. 

Join us at campaign.gannon.edu.

Dr. Douglas King, Dr. Russell Minton and Dr. Saeed Tiari

The recipients of this year’s Cooney-Jackman Endowed Professorship (L-R) Russell Minton, Ph.D., Saeed Tiari, Ph.D. and Douglas King, Ph.D.


The recipients of this year’s Cooney-Jackman Endowed Professorship award are Dr. Douglas King, Dr. Russell Minton and Dr. Saeed Tiari.

The Cooney-Jackman Endowed Professorship was established in 2011 by Gannon alumni Christopher Cooney '63 and Brian Jackman '63. Funds like these from donors provide the awarded faculty the necessary time and resources to start or continue significant research projects and other scholarly activities to benefit students, instruction and the national reputation of the university.

Cooney and Jackman both enjoyed long and successful careers with Tellabs, a designer and developer of telecommunications networking products for communications service providers globally. Cooney was one of the company’s co-founders.

As this year’s recipients, King, Minton and Tiari began their professorship in August and will complete a three-year period of research, ending in June 2025. Through the endowment there are approximately $22,500 available annually for each professor. These funds are used for purposes such as to offset research activity expenses; purchase specialized equipment; hire a graduate assistant; and/or fund research-related travel.

The endowed professorships provide faculty the opportunity to connect their scholarly work in a formal and meaningful way to the learning environment for our students both during and after the project completion. Drs. King, Minton and Tiari are proud to share more on the research and projects they are currently developing.



Performance enhancement of latent heat thermal energy storage systems used in concentrated solar power generation systems using fins and porous media.
- Saeed Tiari, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Biomedical, Industrial and Systems Engineering Department

My project takes an integrated approach to understanding freshwater snails from the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas and the bacterial communities they host.
- Russell Minton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biology

I am working to raise awareness of Native American history, culture and present-day life. This will include bringing to Gannon various speakers, scholars and artists to share their work and experiences. I will also be creating scholarship and enhancing courses along these lines. For example, the newly created Native American Literature and Culture course, which will become part of our new Liberal Studies core, will also feature a trip to the Seneca/Iroquois Reservation in New York, where students will engage in scholarly discussion, service work and cultural immersion.
- Douglas King, Ph.D., Professor of English



I hope that anyone who interacts with any facet of my project will better understand Native peoples as a living, vibrant force in present-day U.S. societies rather than as forgotten historical artifacts. Despite all our focus on multi-cultural awareness, it's often the case that Native Americans are the 'forgotten minority' group. I hope my project will shed light on both the challenges and opportunities faced by Native peoples today. We have a wonderful Alternative Break Service Trip that goes to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and I hope students will learn that Native peoples are here, there and everywhere. – King



The project is significant generally because it increases our understanding of a fragile ecosystem. Freshwater habitats and the species they support are highly threatened in the Chihuahuan Desert. Urbanization, groundwater withdrawal and other human activities have led to habitat loss. Along with these changes is an overall decline in the number and diversity of organisms. It is important to understand the components of these desert water systems so that efforts can be made to manage and conserve water resources while still maintaining the unique biodiversity found within them.

As someone who has studied freshwater snail diversity and conservation for over 20 years, the project is significant to my students and I because it gives us a chance to generate data that can make a difference in a threatened system. The project also reinforces Gannon’s commitment to high-quality research and undergraduate experiences. –Minton



Opportunities such as the Cooney-Jackman are important because they provide financial support for faculty-led scholarly activities. Our students will be involved in these activities, which will be a great practical and hands-on experience for them, which directly improves their career readiness. Also, the outcomes of these activities can be used to serve our community. -Tiari

Endowed funds like this are made possible by our many friends and alumni contributing gifts to the university. It is because of these gifts that we can continue to enhance future educational opportunities for our students.

$75.3 million raised towards $100 million campaign goal. As of Oct. 31, 2022

Gannon University
109 University Square
Erie, Pa 16541
(814) 871-7000

Gannon Magazine is published bi-annually by University Marketing and Communications.

We value your input; please direct any comments, questions or feature ideas to magazine@gannon.edu.


Doug Oathout
Chief of Staff and Director of Marketing and Communications

Mallory (Hedlund) Bottoni ’14
Assistant Director for Marketing, Communications and Content


  • Laura Giannelli
  • Andrew Lapiska ’09M

contributing writers

  • Meagan M. Gania
  • Jeff Kirik
  • Nicole (Dohoda) Lossie ’11
  • Kristine Rilling

editorial contributors

  • Haley Figurski


  • student, staff and alumni contributors

exclusive video content

  • Matthew King

online edition

  • Michael Gorski ’11M
  • Nikki Luoma

To submit a class note, please contact:
Office of Constituent Engagement