The holidays are a time for family and for reflection. This has been a significant year for me, and I will be counting my blessings at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am both humbled and deeply grateful as I reflect on my first few months as Gannon University’s eighth president. Your warm welcome, your support and your shared commitment to our institution’s mission have been reassuring and inspiring. Thank you.
Together, we have continued Gannon University’s momentum. Enrollment this year is the third highest ever for the school. We welcomed a record number of global students, continuing a three-year trend. In Ruskin, we are expanding our relationships and elevating our presence. We signed an agreement with the University of Tampa that will give their graduates preferred access to our programs, and we were voted “Best Graduate School” by Tampa Bay Times’ readers for the second year in a row. In Erie, Project NePTWNE – our water sustainability initiative – took a couple of major strides forward. The first greenhouse is about to go up at West Fourth and Myrtle streets; and Erie County Council approved a lease that will allow for the Great Lakes Research and Education Center to be built inside the Blasco Library.
We also celebrated the official opening of the MakerSpace and Center for Manufacturing and Technology on the sixth floor of I-HACK in October. This space will propel Gannon students and faculty into a new era of technology and innovative production. It will be open to all students and will engage businesses in research and development opportunities for their companies.
It was nice to see so many of you at Homecoming and Family Weekend. We all enjoyed the Groove on the Green block party celebration that closed off West Seventh Street for an unforgettable, picturesque evening that kicked off the weekend. I’m pleased to share that plans are already being discussed to continue this new tradition in 2024.
As a university, we have many blessings to count this holiday season.
I encourage you to immerse yourself in the pages of this magazine. Get to know our incredible students who are making a difference in their communities and across the country. Learn about the groundbreaking research and academic accomplishments of our faculty, staff and alumni. As you read these stories, I hope you will be as inspired as I am by the remarkable individuals who make up our Gannon family.
In the spirit of gratitude,
Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D.
President, Gannon University