Page 1

trans forma tions 2008

Annual Report of the President


01

Table of Contents 02

Message from the President

04

Year in Review

06 Spiritual Transformations 10 Campus Transformations 14 Educational Transformations 18

Community Transformations

22

Personal Transformations

26 The Power To Transform 30 Financials 33

Board of Trustees

The Mission of Gannon University Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan, student-centered University which provides for the holistic development of undergraduate and graduate students in the Judeo-Christian tradition. As such, it offers each student outstanding teaching and a value-centered education in both liberal arts and professional specializations, in order to prepare students for leadership roles in their careers, society and church. The University faculty and staff are committed to excellence and continuous improvement in teaching, learning, scholarship, research and service. The University’s environment is to be one of inclusiveness and cultural diversity. A.J.’s Way


03

Message from the President The 2007-08 Academic Year has truly been transformative for Gannon University. From changes in the physical landscape of campus to academic growth, the University is in a state of transformation. Extensive building renovations will offer students state-of-the-art facilities, while record enrollment has led to the establishment of a third academic College. A strong commitment to academics is an integral part of Gannon’s Mission. In 2007, the University was ranked as a “Top-Tier” university for the fourth consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2008. Gannon also maintained a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1 and a first-year retention rate of 81 percent, which is above the national average. Additionally, Gannon celebrated its largest total fall enrollment in 15 years with 4,134 students, including a freshman class with a record 36 high school valedictorians and an average high school grade point average of 3.43. Graduate student enrollment was also a record 1,405 students.

The Class of 2012 assembles in front of Gitnik Manse to make the P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Pledge.

As a result of Gannon’s steady enrollment growth, the University has created a new three-College structure for the 2008-09 Academic Year: the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences; the College of Engineering and Business; and the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.This new structure will allow for the development of unique identities within individual programs while encouraging collaboration between and among each of the different disciplines. In addition to all of these accomplishments, the University has received an unprecedented level of financial support this year.Thanks to the generosity of the Board of Trustees,

alumni, friends and other members of the Gannon community, The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign surpassed $30 million in August.The Campaign, which has raised $30.1 million to date, concludes on Dec. 31. Moreover, alumni helped make the 2007-08 Annual Fund the largest yet by contributing nearly $769,000. Alumnus and Trustee Robert H. Morosky ’63 became the University’s largest donor ever with a major gift to name Gannon’s most recent building acquisition as the Robert H. Morosky Academic Center.This new building will house the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences as well as the new 5,800-square-foot Patient Simulation Center, which will utilize high-fidelity human patient simulators to allow students to connect classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. As a Catholic, Diocesan university, Gannon remains committed to strengthening its Catholic Identity.The Catholic House, a faith-based student residence, began its first year of operation, and nearly 500 students received more than $686,000 in Diocesan scholarships. Encouraging diversity and embracing all cultures are equally important at Gannon. During 2007-08, our students came from across the United States and almost 20 countries on five continents. A new position, Director of International Admissions, was created to help broaden the University’s global reach. Gannon has been transformed by all of these achievements, and your support, involvement and belief in this University will continue to influence its future direction for years to come.Thank you for believing in the possibilities at Gannon University.

President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.


04

Year in Review

2007-08 Accomplishments Much has happened on Gannon’s campus since the start of the 200708 Academic Year. From triumphs in athletics to recognition in academics and community service, the past year offered many significant highlights.

Russell V. Combs Sr. was named executive director of the new Erie Technology Incubator (ETI), which underwent extensive renovations prior to its October 2008 opening.

July 2007

October 2007

• Gannon was named a “Best Value” university for the third consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report and was ranked in the “Top-Tier” for the fourth year in a row in the 2008 edition of America’s Best Colleges, standing 45th in the “Universities – Master’s” category for the northern region.

• Alumnus and Board of Trustees member Robert H. Morosky ’63 became the University’s largest donor ever with a major gift to name Gannon’s latest building acquisition as the Robert H. Morosky Academic Center.

August 2007

Collegiate Challenge competition. The station sponsors a fall pledge drive to raise money to support local public broadcasting; in 2007, Gannon raised $11,786 for WQLN, a 33 percent increase over the 2006 total. Gannon won the competition by raising the largest increase in funds compared to the previous year’s total.

• The University saw its largest total enrollment in 15 years with 4,134 students, including a record number (284) of new graduate international students. For the third consecutive year, the 2007 freshman class topped 600 students, which included a record number of high school valedictorians (36).

• Gannon University won the sixth annual WQLN

• Nearly 500 students received $686,500 in Diocesan scholarships and, combined with $3.3 million in Gannon funding, a total of almost $4 million was awarded to Diocesan students. Overall, approximately $20.4 million in financial aid was awarded to full-time undergraduate students.

September 2007 • Gannon was awarded an $11,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, allowing the University to conduct a Social Norms Marketing Campaign that addressed students’ misperceptions about drinking behaviors on campus and encouraged positive behavioral changes.

November 2007 • The Gannon Men’s Soccer team captured the 2007 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) championship, ending the season with an impressive record of 16 wins, three losses and one tie.


2007-08 accomplishments

December 2007 • Gannon’s Center for Teaching Excellence received a $250,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to help fund continued promotion and support of National Board Certification for K-12 teachers and school counselors in northwestern Pennsylvania.

• Nearly $9,000 was raised in support of local breast cancer research and awareness during the first-ever Think Pink basketball game, hosted by Gannon Women’s Basketball. An estimated 1,185 people attended the game, marking a season attendance high for the team.

March 2008

January 2008 • President Garibaldi announced plans to move from a two-College to a three-College academic organizational structure, effective in the 200809 Academic Year. The new structure includes the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Business and the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.

February 2008 • More than 80 faculty and staff members were recognized for milestone years of service to the University during the annual Service Recognition Ceremony. Ten individuals were honored for more than 25 years of service, including R. Joseph “Joe” Luckey ’55, who has been a member of Gannon’s Physical Plant for 55 years.

• The 20th Annual International Night—the University’s largest event celebrating multicultural diversity—saw its largest turnout to date with more than 500 attendees.

• The Gannon Men’s Basketball team boasted a record season, including a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time under coach John Reilly ’89M and a 26-5 record to give the program its most wins in a single season in more than 20 years. • Gannon’s Small Business Development Center presented the first W.I.L.D. (Women in Leadership Development) Conference, which had an attendance of approximately 300.

April 2008 • Gannon announced an exciting component of the new Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences: a fully staffed, 5,800-square-foot state-of-the-art Patient Simulation Center. The education and training facility will utilize high-fidelity human patient simulators to provide students an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. It is scheduled to open in 2009.

May 2008 • President Garibaldi awarded more than 650 degrees during Spring Commencement, at which His Eminence Theodore McCarrick, Ph.D., D.D., Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, served as keynote speaker. At the 2007 Winter Commencement ceremony, more than 300 degrees were awarded.

June 2008 • Gannon’s Center for Experiential Education reported that for the 2006-07 Academic Year, 194 students participated in internships and co-ops, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. Also, the number of sites (104) where students interned was up 12 percent, with the number of students (108) securing internships for the Spring 2007 semester setting a record for that time period. • Alumni generously contributed to the 2007-08 Annual Fund, with more than 3,300 donors giving nearly $769,000. The University received more than $1.2 million total over the course of the year, marking Gannon’s most successful Annual Fund to date.

05


07

SpiritualTransformations “A Catholic university is a community united in the pursuit of truth. We prepare students to become engaged citizens who will exercise their freedoms responsibly and base their decisions on moral values consistent with the Church’s teaching,” wrote Dr. Mark Jubulis, director of Gannon’s Political Science Program, in his commentary, “Substantially Catholic.” This statement reflects one of the foundations of Gannon University: its Catholic Identity. By promoting and strengthening the Catholic Tradition while recognizing the diversity of faiths represented across campus, Gannon provides a strong foundation for students to learn, connect and mature.

Celebrating Catholic Identity After dipping its collective toes into the 2007 observance of National Catholic Colleges Week, Gannon jumped in with both feet during 2008. Rev. Nicholas Rouch, S.T.D. ’83, vice president for Mission and Ministry, said the University wanted to involve all students, faculty and staff—as well as prospective students—in a meaningful way. “We wanted to convey that we’re proud of who we are, so let’s celebrate it and present it in a manner that’s attractive and substantial and shows off our best features. We were very pleased,” Fr. Rouch said. Gannon used a mix of guest speakers and activities to deliver this message. Speakers included Dr. Michael Galligan-Stierle, vice president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), and Judy McDonald, a Catholic comedian, who performed for Catholic House

current students as well as prospective students visiting campus as part of the Office of Admissions’ Knight with Scholars program. Later in the week, the University hosted a number of juniors and seniors from local and regional Catholic high schools. Also, Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L., Bishop of Erie, visited for an Evening of Recollection and took part in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which was open to students from Gannon and nearby Mercyhurst College. Finally, prior to Gannon squaring off with Mercyhurst on the basketball court, Rev. Jason Glover ’98 of Gannon and Rev. James Piszker of Mercyhurst prayed together on behalf of the two schools. Deacon Stephen Washek, director of Campus Ministry and a member of the committee that helped develop the week’s activities, said the University did a phenomenal job of putting a program together. He noted that speakers provided a breath of fresh air and likened Bishop Trautman’s visit to a mini-retreat. “It was a chance for him to come to campus not as chairman of the Board of Trustees, but as shepherd of our Diocese, during Lent, and to step back and do a little reflecting,” he explained. Speaking of his involvement, Bishop Trautman especially enjoyed his interaction with students. “They’re very grateful they go to a faith-based university. We are to be different, and hopefully we reflect that in the way we present our teaching and all of our academic and intercultural activities,” he said. National Catholic Colleges Week is an essential component in representing Gannon’s Catholic Mission, he added.


08

The Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel welcomes students, faculty and staff from diverse faith traditions.

Supporting Spiritual Growth On the northwest corner of West Sixth and Myrtle streets, an old apartment building has undergone quite the metamorphosis. Walls have come down. New windows have gone up. Bathrooms have been replaced. New paint has covered the walls, and old carpeting has made way for new. The renovations transformed what had been a gardenvariety apartment building into something completely different—a new living space for nine undergraduate students in an innovative concept known as the Catholic House.

“Everyone in Erie knows that Gannon is a Catholic university and we have a Catholic mission, but our purpose is to spell that out and make it specific—to convey a deeper understanding of the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition. I think that’s been accomplished,” Bishop Trautman said. Bishop Trautman said he believes there is greater awareness of Gannon’s Catholic Tradition among students on campus thanks to efforts made by faculty, staff and members of the Board of Trustees to foster more student involvement. For example, the practice of having students pray prior to sporting events and public functions is a simple gesture that goes a long way in fostering a spirit of faith. “It is a subtle—but important—way to reinforce who we are and why we exist,” he said.

In many ways, the Catholic House is similar to other Gannon-owned housing, and the residence is governed by the same rules and regulations as traditional campus housing. But in other ways, it is most unique—and it is that uniqueness that attracts students and staff alike. Students who choose to live in the Catholic House do so knowing their experience will be different from those living elsewhere.

“You have people living together and coming together during the week to check in with each other, to see how things are going,” he said. “They’ll do a service project together, maybe study together.You have people surrounding you who care about you and support you.” Last year was the first full year of operation for the Catholic House at its current location. The year prior, a smaller-scale Catholic House operated on Walnut Street, but zoning restrictions limited the population to three. When the current property became available, the University purchased it and designated it as the new Catholic House, triggering the massive transformation both inside and out.

Beyond physical renovations, bringing nine undergraduate students together under one roof created challenges of a different variety. Matthew Durney ’08, a recent social work graduate and current graduate student in community Student residents of Gannon’s Catholic House share counseling, served as their faith as well as their living space. “They want to live in an intentional the House’s full-time community where they can hold coordinator and was assisted by Fr. Glover. Durney said each other accountable in trying to become who God some of the challenges that surfaced were similar to those destined them to be,” said Deacon Washek, who added that arise in any living community. that Catholic House residents are guided by five pillars “Issues like who’s doing the dishes, who’s cleaning up in their life of faith together: prayer, community, service, after themselves and roommate conflicts are natural,” he chastity and study.


spiritual transformations

said. “But in a Christian house, it is a little different in that everything we do here is within that context. So if we have roommate mediation, it’s done biblically. When we have conflicts, they are always handled gracefully, and that has been rewarding.”

“It is a good personal growth experience. Having the same community around you is very comforting, because you know that no matter what goes on, these people living with you are going to support you,” she said.

Mandatory weekly get-togethers often help clear the air, and residents, who also meet regularly for prayer time, Mass and community meals, use the meetings as a chance to share the happenings of their lives.

Studying and working at a Catholic university gave Katie Trapp ’08 an opportunity to cultivate one of the most important aspects of her life: her faith. She made the most of that opportunity during her four years at Gannon, serving as a work-study student for the Campus Ministry office.

“They talk about what is going on in a spiritual sense or their academic life or relationships. It is a chance to catch up,” Durney explained. “It is also an opportunity for students to give their peers feedback, advice or encouragement.” Not surprisingly, support is a critical element of the Catholic House. “If you’re having troubles, there is a group there to listen to you and support you with those issues,” Durney said. “I think that’s what attracts students—they see other students with like-minded interests and values coming together and holding each other accountable.” Junior Jen Ramp, a physician assistant major who lived in the original House and then made the move to West Sixth Street, said living among a group of nine certainly is different from living with two other roommates. “It makes for an interesting dynamic. We’ve learned a lot about each other and ourselves, and I think we’re all better people for having gone through the experience. We made a lot of friends,” she said. Sophomore marketing major Jackie Oesmann, another Catholic House resident, agreed.

Embodying Catholic Mission

“Faith is such a big part of my life,” she said. “I was able to incorporate my faith into my education as well as into the work I do. To go from class to an office where I could talk about my faith, be it social justice issues or some other aspect, was a great experience.” Trapp helped with various types of programming and also lent a hand to the Chaplain’s Office and the Center for Social Concerns. She worked on publicity for a number of events, creating brochures, posters and bulletin boards to spread the word. She said she felt right at home with her work responsibilities. “I grew up in St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Lyndora, Pa. and helped out with all kinds of events like youth rallies and Sunday school,” Trapp said. “I have always had faith at the center of my life, and growing up, our faith was something special in our lives.” Trapp received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication arts—with minors in theology and fine arts—during Spring Commencement. She said she appreciated the opportunity to live her faith on a daily basis both inside and outside the classroom.

Katie Trapp ’08 (far right) represented the Catholic Mission during her time at Gannon, as with this Campus Ministry service trip to Kentucky. “The greatest thing about going to Gannon is being able to talk about faith. Elsewhere, it’s not as common for people to talk about that, which is why I found it really beneficial coming to Gannon,” she said. “You can talk to your peers, your teachers and even the administrators, and you can talk to people of other faiths.” Trapp spent the summer working at Camp Shamrock, a summer camp for mentally disabled children operated by the Dr. Gertrude A. Barber National Institute. She said her involvement at Gannon—particularly activities during which she could help others—aided in her personal growth, while the support she received from those in the Campus Ministry office enhanced her experience. “I could relate to people there, and I considered them my role models,” she said, referring to resident campus ministers Maria Candelaria and Adam Anderson. “They helped me grow in my faith and talk about the issues I was facing. Even if it was just for a few minutes, I could talk with them, and having that opportunity was very special.”

09


11

CampusTransformations At Gannon, activity is everywhere, from students participating in co-curricular organizations and community service to faculty members advancing scholarship and research. Even the physical landscape of campus is changing, with established buildings receiving updates and new buildings being acquired. As the University embarks on Strategic Plan II: 2008-13, the coming years will build on these successes.

Change allows for new possibilities, and an exciting component of the new College is a fully staffed, 5,800-square-foot state-of-the-art Patient Simulation Center. The education and training facility, located on the courtyard level of the Morosky Academic Center and scheduled to open in 2009, will utilize high-fidelity human patient simulators to help students combine classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. Training sessions will be recorded, allowing faculty and students to review their work and discuss strengths and areas for improvement.

Providing Unique Opportunities

“One interdisciplinary goal of the Simulation Center is to utilize learning groups made up of students from all disciplines in the health professions and sciences, and it’s a team approach that will help them when they practice in the community,” Masters said.

During the 2007-08 Academic Year, the University transformed itself in many ways. Beyer Hall received new windows and an updated curtain wall, while extensive renovations to the Zurn Science Center began in May, including updates to faculty offices, lecture halls and labs. One of the most significant changes was the acquisition of a new building, formerly owned by Verizon Communications, on the corner of West 10th and Sassafras streets. Robert H. Morosky ’63, a member of the Board of Trustees, became the University’s largest donor ever with the donation of a major gift to name the building, which will house the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences. The building will provide about 100,000 square feet of space for classrooms, offices and labs, many of which opened for use this fall.

Erie Technology Incubator

“The health professions programs have really grown over the past five years, and it is an important focus. It is poised to truly be set apart, and this gives the College an identity and recognition,” said Dr. Carolynn Masters, dean of the College.

The Simulation Center will include several realistic, programmable mannequins that demonstrate complex symptoms to help train students. These highly technical simulators are equipped with pulse points, heartbeats, simulated breathing and realistic skin so students can practice administering intravenous medications. In addition to the major gift from Morosky, Gannon also received a $237,000 gift from the Orris C. and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation and a $75,000 gift from the A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust to help build the Patient Simulation Center. In July, the University received a $68,780 grant from the Dr. and Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust to fund a Pediatric Simulation Theater within the Center. The Theater will include a maternal and neonatal birthing simulator as well as emergency room medical equipment


12

Major renovations began on the Zurn Science Center this year to provide students and faculty with the latest in technological resources. for training students in childbirth procedures and infant trauma. Gannon remains one of only a few colleges and universities nationally to offer such a breadth of health professional degrees. The University maintains affiliation contracts with every major medical center in the region, more than 40 healthcare institutions in northwestern Pennsylvania and more than 500 across the United States.

Empowering Local Businesses Nearly seven years of planning were required to make the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) a reality, but the new endeavor needed little time to attract clients seeking help to jump-start their businesses. The not-for-profit Incubator already has one service provider on board—the Technology Council of Northwest Pennsylvania, a trade association of companies that support the local technology industry—as well as two affiliate companies: Comfort Care Resources and MAKTEAM Software, started by Gannon’s chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Dr. Fong K. Mak. Those affiliate companies reside elsewhere but will utilize the Incubator methodology. Three resident clients have also received approval to become a part of the Incubator.

The ETI is housed in the former Boys and Girls Club of Erie on West Eighth Street. It took about $5.3 million to transform the 33,000-square-foot building into a facility aimed at helping businesses establish themselves during the first critical years of operation. In addition to as many as two dozen individual business spaces, the building includes a hightech conference room and rooftop networking area.

funding for the project seven years ago along with President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., and Mark Jordano ’86, ’94M, director of Information Technology Services.

Russell Combs Sr., ETI executive director, has helped restructure or create Although the building’s more than a interior lent itself nicely half-dozen to its new incarnation, the incubator project was not without projects, and Many details original to the building, formerly the Boys and Girls Club of Erie, were retained when renovating the ETI, like this swimming pool that challenges. Specifically, a said that while was converted into office space. second level needed to be clients certainly created above both a gymnasium and a swimming pool. In benefit from having quality facilities, it is the approach— the end, the building—portions of which are more than more than the building—that makes an incubator. 110 years old—boasted many attributes that make it a “It’s a methodology of assisting an entrepreneur to perfect incubator. become a successful business owner,” he said. “That Linda Wagner ’81, ’84M, vice president for Finance and methodology surrounds the basic principle of creating Administration, said those involved in the project tried a solid administrative company being able to bring a to retain some of the building’s personality. For example, product or service to the commercial market in a viable portions of the gymnasium floor were reused as surface and profitable manner.” counters, wall coverings and cabinets. The original light The ETI will assist companies that are less than three years fixtures above the staircase were left in place, as was the old or going through a significant expansion. They will staircase railing. have five years to achieve sustainability and success before “There are a lot of unique aspects of seeing both the old graduating into their own facilities. and new,” said Wagner, who began working to obtain


campus transformations

“Gannon is proud to play a major role in the new endeavor. We want to make a positive economic and educational impact,” he said. Incubators have a proven track record over the past 40 years, Combs pointed out; 87 percent of businesses that have gone through the incubator process have achieved success in terms of a positive cash flow. At the ETI, each business will receive the amount of assistance that its circumstances dictate. Some might need virtually everything, including furnishings and equipment, while others might simply need space. All, however, will have access to expertise provided by Gannon’s Small Business Development Center, a major Incubator partner. Wagner said the University should benefit from its association with the Incubator in several respects. “It’s going to provide opportunities for internships for students and cooperation between faculty and Incubator tenants; we’re going to see a lot of interaction. It’s great for the region and great that it’s housed at Gannon,” she explained. Combs agreed, saying the collaborative opportunities will be intense and beneficial, and the region will be enhanced by the Incubator’s presence. “If we do what we anticipate this doing for the region, with new companies, jobs and capital investment, the ETI will assist in creating a strong local and regional economy, and Gannon will benefit from that,” he said.

Enriching Cultural Diversity While physical changes occurred outside, many Gannon offices and departments strove to create change inside with more diversity. Additional faculty members were hired to help support an expanded international studies curriculum. The International Student Office increased

its services to include new programs, information sessions and technological resources. And new positions, such as Director of International Admissions and Multicultural Enrollment Advisor, were created to help strengthen global recruitment efforts. “Faculty and staff have been very supportive and open to our growing internationalism,” said Thomas Hassett, director of international admissions. “My office joins the efforts of others on campus to attract and support Gannon’s growing internationalism, programmatically and in the number of students and countries represented.”

Among the 70 clubs and organizations on campus is Minority Cultures United, which has been in existence for nearly four decades. Shaundra Curtis, vice president of the club during the 2007-08 Academic Year and its current president, said a key facet of the group is that its events are open to anyone on campus, not just club members. “What I like best about the organization is that it is not an exclusive one; we are open to members who are not minorities. Our programming is not directed to minorities but to anyone who is interested in participating,” she said.

Curtis, a junior sport and exercise During 2007-08, the science major from Nassau, Bahamas, Gannon community has seen the University increase its represented nearly 20 outreach toward minority students countries from five since she arrived on campus three continents. Between years ago. 2004 and 2007, “From the day that I arrived at Gannon’s first-year Gannon, there has been a tremendous minority students leap in improving diversity, which increased by 90 percent, I believe is important because it Gannon is home to 300 international students, like and last fall, a record Shweta Jadhav (left), from India, and Shaundra Curtis makes the University well-rounded,” number (284) of new (right), from the Bahamas. she said. graduate international Hassett said international students are drawn to Gannon students arrived on campus. for several reasons, including strong academic programs “By encouraging and promoting diversity, students of all and a friendly environment. “Gannon is well-received backgrounds benefit,” Hassett said. “Education should and will continue to be pursued by a growing and transform a student to the degree that the student is not more diverse population. We need to embrace that the same as when he or she began, while providing a diversity with all of the depth and breadth of support global understanding that is both relevant and grounded and acclimation that will allow our campus to transform in real-world experiences.” students and the broader community.”

13


15

EducationalTransformations As demonstrated by Gannon’s dynamic faculty, education can take many forms. Recent graduate Scott Vascik ’08 vividly recalls a trip to the Bahamas, where he was able to study tropical marine biology in its natural environment. “We snorkeled, explored caves and studied the history of the island. Just getting to travel to another country was exciting, but being able to learn something that usually can be taught only in books was an incredible experience,” he said.

Renewing Academic Commitment It took five years, countless meetings and a great deal of cooperation to revise Gannon’s Liberal Studies Core of Discovery, but the faculty member charged with shepherding the revision believes it was a most successful endeavor. “At a global level, transformation is most meaningful when the process is inclusive,” said Dr. Penelope Smith ’84M, Liberal Studies director and chair of the English Department. “One of the things I’m proudest of in helping to revise the Core is the nature of the process itself, which has been and will continue to be inclusive and transparent. Faculty, staff and students have been involved from the start.”

Robert H. Morosky Academic Center

As a result, there have been multiple opportunities for people to discuss the issues and come up with solutions. The Core, the foundation and framework of a Gannon education, is a 39-credit curriculum designed to prepare students for what awaits them in life.

Although the revision process is complete, annual assessments of the Core are part of the package. Smith said departments and individual faculty members will be involved in collecting, interpreting and reporting the data as well as deciding what additional revisions need to be made. That is a key element, said Miles McFall ’08, a recent graduate who followed the revision process closely during his time at Gannon. “They started from scratch,” he said. “They looked at the Mission and worked down, which was a great way to do it. They asked, ‘What do we want our students to be? What kind of people do we want to send into the world? What kind of professionals do we want to develop here?’ I thought it was impressive.” The new curriculum is designed to be more flexible than the previous one. Smith, in her seventh year as Liberal Studies director, said the revised Core boasts significant changes in requirements. Most notably, the new Core includes a three-seminar sequence: a first-year seminar, a leadership seminar that most students will take during their sophomore year and a senior capstone. The senior capstone has been part of the Core for years. Now, Smith said, the expectation is that there will be linkages—and thus, coherence—among the three seminars. The new Core will also feature a speech requirement and a math requirement. The new seminar classes will help the University further its Mission, Smith said. In addition, it is hoped that the first-year seminar will help students better establish connections to faculty members, other students and University life.


16

Nine students and two faculty members, aided by The Benedictine Sisters of Erie, traveled to El Salvador to utilize the physical therapy skills they learned in class. “A first-year seminar that helps a student feel like they are home is likely to increase the student’s desire to stay at the University,” Smith said.

develop and live an experience in El Salvador. Led by two physical therapy faculty—Dr. Pamela Reynolds, PT and Dr. Jeanette Lee, PT—students learned about El Salvador’s history, social and economic climate, culture, environmental health and the healthcare system before embarking on a two-week trip to the country.

In addition to helping with retention the first-year seminar is also geared to help students understand the importance of service-learning as well as the relevance of the liberal arts to prepare them for philosophy, theology and English courses.

“This trip took about 16 months in planning and fundraising. The highlight of the course for the students was the two weeks they spent with 11 physical therapy students from the University of El Salvador. Together, they provided a one-day training session for health promoters and a collaborative two-day physical therapy clinic,” Reynolds explained.

“Plus, it’s a way to extend the work that the student development professionals do into the academic realm— to help students adjust to college life, to help them in a supportive environment come to understand what University expectations are,” Smith said. Jerry Miele ’73, ’85M, director of New Student Services and a participant in the revision process, said he’s pleased with the end result of the first-year seminar concept. “It’s a very good thing that emerged,” he said. “The fact that it is going to have an academic focus is certainly beneficial to the students. We’ll be trying to assist students in their transition from high school to university life

and helping them to develop holistically—academically, socially, personally and spiritually.”

Connecting Knowledge with Experience For many students, studying a subject only comes alive when they get to experience it outside the classroom. In March, Dr. Elisa Konieczko ’84, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Karinna Vernaza, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, led a group of students and alumni to study engineering perspectives of the Panama Canal while gaining a better understanding of the country’s history and wildlife. Similarly, during the spring semester, nine students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program enrolled in an independent study to Upgraded seating in the Zurn Science Center helps foster a positive educational atmosphere.

Being in an unfamiliar environment with a language barrier posed unique challenges as well. “The group that I was in, none of them spoke a single word of English, so the first day I had a lot of trouble. But the second day, I realized that all I had to do was just start a treatment and they knew exactly what I was doing. Instead of our mouths doing the talking, it was our hands and our physical therapy skills,” said Julie Ling ’05, ’08DPT. “They overcame linguistic barriers to learn about their different cultures and exchanged approaches,” Reynolds explained. “The common language was physical therapy.” The experience provided students with innumerable benefits, both educational and emotional. “One of the things I learned was about putting other people’s needs above and beyond your own. Being able to see how you can help people who are a lot less fortunate definitely carries over to how you’re going to treat everybody, not just your patients,” said Kristen Groot ’08DPT.


educational transformations

Fellow student Matthew Undzius ’08DPT agreed. “The people we treated, it was amazing to see how thankful they were afterwards. Even if it was something simple or a minor injury, they treated us like kings because we helped them and just took the time to listen,” he said. Crystal Basich ’08DPT credits one of the group’s guides with motivating her throughout the trip. “He said people come here and they think that they’re going to help these people and they’re really going to change their lives, but ultimately, these people are going to give you more than you can give them; and they really did,” she said. “They shared so much with us, and I learned so much from them.”

Striving for Success Recognizing outstanding academic achievement allows the University to congratulate and honor those students who go above and beyond—many while balancing work commitments, extracurricular activities and other obligations. The University’s Archbishop John Mark Gannon Award is presented for academic excellence in memory of Gannon’s founder and goes to undergraduates who have attained the highest grade point average upon graduation. In 2008, 12 students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages received this honor. Scott Vascik ’08, a recent biology graduate now pursuing a medical degree at West Virginia University, described his Gannon education as multifaceted. “Gannon has given me much more than just a degree. My professors have exposed me to so many topics that I’ve become interested in subjects I didn’t even know existed before I started college,” Vascik said. “Gannon has

instilled in me the desire to continue to learn and explore the world.” Vascik, who served as chair of the 2007-08 Volunteer/ Service Committee of Gannon’s Honors Program, said he was drawn to the University for its academic programs, involvement opportunities and affordability. “I chose Gannon for several reasons. I was looking for a school with a great pre-optometry program, and after visiting Gannon, I saw that it offered many opportunities to grow as an individual. Erie itself has a variety of volunteer organizations that welcome student involvement and a wonderful state park that provides for out-ofclassroom study experiences,” Vascik said. While students are motivated to do their best, the University always strives to provide a superior education. Record growth and successful academic programs provided a catalyst for a new three-College structure. Consisting of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Business and the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, it took effect at the start of the 2008-09 Academic Year and promises to benefit students in numerous ways. “Our graduates will be even more successful, and the resources for our students will be even greater,” said President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. “The new three-College structure allows deans to focus on fewer academic programs at one time and enables them to identify more opportunities for collaborations between disciplines.” For Kimberly Varela ’08, another Archbishop John Mark Gannon Award recipient, this combination of academic

emphasis and interdisciplinary experience was key. “The liberal arts education I received at Gannon has made me a better all-around person by enriching my general knowledge. The classes in my major of Spanish taught me about culture, history and literature as well as more of the language, and I got to know my professors very well thanks to Gannon’s small student-to-faculty ratio,” she said. Varela, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in foreign language with a concentration in government, currently serves as bilingual membership services coordinator at the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers in Washington, D.C. While some may see balancing coursework with outside activities as a challenge,Varela took advantage of her busy schedule. “Being involved Kimberly Varela ’08 was one of 12 graduates who received the Archbishop in many activities John Mark Gannon Award during while taking a full Spring Commencement. course load helped me create structure by developing a daily routine and learning to most efficiently use my time,” she said. “By being active on campus, I made lifelong friends and have many cherished memories.”

17


19

CommunityTransformations Gannon University represents service in many forms. Last year, the University was recognized for its continued commitment to community service and volunteerism by being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The award, presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service, was given for the 2006-07 Academic Year. In 2007-08, faculty, staff and students increased their volunteer efforts from the previous year by nearly 24 percent with 72,553 hours of community service performed. As Gretchen Fairley, director of the Office of ServiceLearning, put it, “This award is a reflection of Gannon’s commitment both to its institutional mission of excellence and continuous improvement in service as well as its commitment to the local community.”

Strengthening the Body Each year, students and staff join together to reach out to those in need during fall, spring and summer breaks, forgoing the more traditional vacation for a selfless alternative: community service. In March, more than 30 Gannon students spent their spring break volunteering in New York City, Mexico and New Orleans, returning to Erie with a broader worldview and a deeper understanding of what it really means to serve. More than 650 students volunteered during G.I.V.E. Day 2007.

“Founded on the four pillars of community, service, simplicity and reflection and rooted in Catholic Social Teaching, the Alternative Break Service Trip program offers students a chance to explore diverse cultures, volunteer for the common good and deepen their

commitment to service during academic calendar breaks,” explained Arlene Montevecchio, director of Gannon’s Center for Social Concerns. During the 2007-08 Academic Year, four students and eight staff members worked diligently to plan these opportunities, in which 35 students and seven staff members took part. In New York City, participants served food at Part of the Solution (POTS), a soup kitchen in the Bronx. Eight participants traveled to El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, to work with the Women’s Intercultural Center and volunteer in a low-income community. In New Orleans, the group worked with Catholic Charities’ Operation Helping Hands, completing exterior painting projects on homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to a generous donation from Gannon alumnus George Schillinger ’75, five additional students were able to participate in this trip. “One of the things I enjoyed most was to see the ways students are challenged and transformed by their service experiences,” said Fairley, who led the New Orleans trip. “This program offers an opportunity for experiential learning, which happens at a very different level from classroom learning. It is more impressionistic and sensory.” This marked the second visit to New Orleans for Anne Masilunas, a junior in Gannon’s Physician Assistant program, who helped rebuild damaged homes in 2007. “We are naturally kind beings and should bestow that on this world so we may brighten this earth for our children,” Masilunas said. “A woman whose house we painted is a single mother with such determination to help her neighborhood rebuild. She had such an inspirational story,


20

Alumnus George Schillinger ’75 helped students paint stormravaged homes in New Orleans as part of Gannon’s Alternative Break Service Trip program. the field while helping organize the annual Community Health Fair at the Gannon University Nursing Center.

and she inspired me to live up to my potential as a human being.” After participating in an Alternative Break Service Trip, many students call it “the trip of a lifetime,” Fairley said. “Students return with a larger sense of themselves as adults, as citizens and as people of faith. Their reflection doesn’t stop when the trip is over; Gannon’s Alternative Break Service Trip program brings back students who will spend a lifetime asking themselves deeper questions about the way the world is and the way it should be.”

Inspiring the Mind Giving back to the Erie community is an equally important component of service at Gannon. In the fall, more than 650 students performed community service for nearly 40 local agencies and organizations as part of G.I.V.E. (Gannon’s Invitation to Volunteer Everywhere) Day. The University’s Small Business Development Center encouraged local women with its first-ever Women in Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) Conference, and it continued to recognize outstanding local businesses by hosting the 18th annual Small Business Awards. Although these events allow participants to give of themselves, learning opportunities abound as well. For example, nursing students increased their knowledge of

The Center, located at the Horan Garden Apartments on Erie’s east side, provides basic health care for apartment residents, many of whom fall below the poverty line. The fair, entitled “What’s the Buzz? Bee Your Best!”, focused on areas like fire and bicycle safety, stress management and nutrition. “It was nice to get out in the community and interact with people of all different types of backgrounds,” said Sarah Heberlein ’08, a recent nursing graduate who participated in the fair. “It was a good experience for us because it allowed us to really get a feel for what community health nursing is all about.” As an educational institution, many of Gannon’s service opportunities focus on empowering members of the

community to further their knowledge and broaden their minds. When the University hosted the Hooked on Books! program’s first-ever Reading Wonderland read-a-thon in November, even the youngest members of the Erie community benefited. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends of the University and members of the local community joined together to read to children, stress the importance of literacy and encourage a love of reading. The event, under the direction of Dr. Dolores Sarafinski ’50, professor emerita in the English Department, netted more than $5,000 to directly benefit Hooked on Books!. Founded in 1991 by Sarafinski, the volunteer literacy program established a physical office on the Gannon campus in 2000 and now offers three reading terms during the year at The Inner-City Neighborhood Art House, St. John-Holy Rosary School and McKinley Elementary School. “The total number of readers to date is 2,650, and I think that’s fantastic. These readers have to be prepared, and they have to be dedicated,” Sarafinski said. Most recently, the Hooked on Books! program expanded to include parents, grandparents and other adult family More than 1,185 people attended the Think Pink breast cancer awareness event sponsored by Gannon’s Women’s Basketball, helping raise nearly $9,000 for research and support.


community transformations

members through Hooked on Families!. “From Hooked on Books! came the idea that we need to reach children at an earlier age in regard to literacy, and we can do that through the adults in their lives,” Sarafinski explained. The program serves low-income adults by offering classes structured to encourage increased involvement in interactive literacy activities with their child and to become more active in their child’s education. “It convinces marginally literate adults that yes, they really can learn to be better readers and break the intergenerational cycle of low literacy,” Sarafinski said. “The whole program is really wonderful. It started under Gannon, and with Gannon’s blessing, we’ve been able to do all of this.”

Uplifting the Soul Strengthening the community through advocacy and understanding is another foundation of service and an integral part of a Gannon education. By hosting events intended to raise funds for and increase awareness of important global concerns like cancer, hunger and homelessness, Gannon strives to do its part in helping to make the world a better place. The University’s Center for Social Concerns helps students find numerous ways to give back and serve others, and they need not leave campus to make an impact. Each fall, the Social Concerns Club hosts Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to raise awareness of and help fight hunger and poverty. This week-long series of events raised $1,400 in 2007 to benefit the Erie City Mission, Community of Caring, Community Shelter Services and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Activities included: a fair trade coffee house night featuring fair trade coffee and chocolate; an informational presentation and musical and poetry performances; a global banquet; and student meal donations to Oxfam America, an international relief organization. “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week 2007 was a great experience. We really took the events to a new level: we added a fair trade café, spiced up the Global Banquet and made T-shirts to show our awareness. It was a successful week, and we did a lot of good,” said Cara Campbell, a sophomore occupational therapy major and the club’s treasurer last year. The majority of the funds raised came from Box City. To experience homelessness, more than 180 students, faculty and staff took up temporary residence in cardboard boxes and collected donations from passersby in A.J.’s Way. Connecting with others and realizing the importance of current societal issues are just a few reasons students volunteer. “I also work at the Erie City Soup Kitchen and really enjoy getting to know these people and helping them on a regular basis. The Center for Social Concerns can help anyone find somewhere to volunteer their time so that they can better the community,” Campbell said. “For me, this helped enrich the college experience because I am able to become a more well-rounded person who can appreciate what it means to get that one hot meal a day.” Later in the year, Gannon held its annual Relay for Life event, an American Cancer Society fundraiser. More than 200 faculty, staff and students participated in this year’s event, during which people walked continuously for 12 hours. Junior biology major Kortney Marszalek served

Nursing students Christine Orzehowski (left) and Steve Kuligowski (middle) educated Erie residents at the Gannon University Nursing Center’s annual Community Health Fair. as president of this and last year’s Relay for Life and cites personal experience as a motivator. “I came to be a part of Relay after my mother passed away from cancer. Seeing the pain and suffering a loved one went through made me strive to help others in the same situation. It made me want to make a difference,” Marszalek said. The support of the Gannon community made the event’s success possible, she added. “This year we raised $15,000, and I was very proud of our achievement. We had about 20 teams and got positive feedback. Even though the weather did not cooperate, it did not stop the fun and energy throughout the day,” Marszalek said. “I am very proud and honored to be part of such a special event. I had a lot of support from family, friends and especially Gannon students, faculty and staff. If not for these people, we could never have achieved such success.”

21


23

PersonalTransformations Although the primary function of higher education is just that—an education—what students do outside of the classroom is equally important. As the University’s Mission states, a Gannon education provides for the holistic development of students with a commitment to preparing them for all facets of life. Through athletics, students learn the value of teamwork, healthy competition and dedication, and extracurricular activities allow students to focus on individual interests while developing leadership skills. From the court to the classroom and beyond, graduates leave Gannon as wellrounded alumni prepared to think, act and lead.

Breaking the Mold Head Coach John Reilly ’89M knew he had the makings of something special when he met with his Men’s Basketball team prior to the start of last season; Head Coach Rob van Rheenen had a similar inkling when the Men’s Soccer team reported for duty late last summer. As it turned out, both teams experienced nearly unparalleled success. Reilly’s team managed the largest single-season turnaround in University history, going from 9-17 in 2006-07 to a 26-5 mark in 2007-08. The Knights climbed as high as eighth in the NCAA Division II rankings before settling in at No. 18 in the final poll after being eliminated by The University of Findlay (Ohio), 88-82, in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional semifinals.

Waldron Campus Center

Van Rheenen’s crew won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) soccer championship in its final run through the league, and—with a 16-3-1

record—posted the fourth-highest victory total in school history while reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1993. Despite coming off a sub-par season the year before, Reilly believed his players had the potential to turn things around after they began practices prior to the start of the season. “We knew we had talented players. With the way they connected, worked hard and took care of business in the classroom, I knew we had the chance to be good,” he said. “But a lot of things had to fall into place for that to happen. This group just got better as we went along.” Even the players got the sense that they might be in for a spectacular ride. Senior guard Pierre Howard said team members spent plenty of time together on and off the court. “It’s important to learn as much as you can about each other,” he said. “We came together quickly, and that’s from being together. It seemed like we’d been on the same team together for a long time.” That cohesiveness translated into an unforgettable season, and both Reilly and Howard are aware of the role that intercollegiate athletics plays in raising the spirits of the Gannon community. “Gannon has had a wonderful Men’s Basketball tradition over the years,” said Reilly, who served as an assistant coach at Gannon in the late 1980s and early 1990s before returning as head coach with the 2005-06 season. The Men’s Soccer team’s success united the Gannon community in the fall, said Chad Wynter, a senior defender from Mississauga, Ontario.


24

Athletics is just one of many extracurricular activities available for students to get involved on campus. and all the knowledge that comes from spending hours and hours inside the classroom, but the Nanty Glo, Pa. native said her experience outside the classroom played a major role in shaping the person she became.

“We had a lot of people coming to our games, and on campus, even people who weren’t that into soccer would congratulate us on a good game. It’s a great feeling—we’re going to try to have it again this year,” he said. The soccer team put together one of the most successful seasons in school history despite battling a major injury jinx. The team lost numerous key players along the way, including its starting goalie and its top scorer from the previous season. “When we started the GLIAC tournament, we had six of our projected starters out,” said van Rheenen, who played for Gannon in the mid-1980s and is in his 12th season as head coach. “If you told me at the beginning of the season that these players would not be playing and we’d go to the NCAA tournament, I’d have called you crazy.” So how did the team regroup from the injuries and enjoy so much success? “They just worked hard as a team,” van Rheenen said. “Things clicked for us, and it was just one of those years.”

Learning to Lead Lauren Stefanick ’08 graduated from Gannon last spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing

Stefanick was involved in a number of clubs and organizations, including Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, Panhellenic Council, Order of Omega, Rho Lambda and Gannon’s Marketing Club. She had plenty of company. More than 1,600 students last spring were involved in at least one of the 70 clubs and organizations that fall under the purview of Gannon’s Office of Student Organizations and Leadership Development (SOLD). In addition, nearly 300 more belonged to one of the University’s 10 fraternities and sororities. Those who participate in Greek life reap the benefits not only of social connections but also of giving back. Last year, the 10 groups produced more than 2,500 service hours and raised more than $5,100 for various philanthropic causes. Likewise, the SOLD Office complements the University’s mission by creating opportunities and environments that inspire students to become involved on campus and in the community at large. “Learning how to get along with people,

learning how to run a meeting or facilitate and organize an event—those attributes are really important for student development and growth,” said Beth Shick ’92, SOLD director. “Our co-curricular activities supplement what our students learn in the classroom.” Stefanick was involved in a number of major activities during her final year, including the Prom Project, a joint venture between Gannon’s Panhellenic Council and Family Services of Northwest Pennsylvania that enabled nearly 100 area high school students to obtain donated clothing and accessory items suitable for their respective proms. She believes prospective employers value the learning opportunities that co-curricular involvement provides. “Students who can balance those club and organization commitments with their academic commitments come out of college more well-rounded and able to handle different types of situations,” she said. Stefanick’s connection with a number of groups on campus gave her ample As an active member of Gannon’s Panhellenic Council, Lauren Stefanick ’08 (back row, second from left) helped with many events, including this spring’s Prom Project.


personal transformations

opportunities to meet people and develop her social skills, all of which are vital in the world beyond graduation. “I had all these little families because I spent so much time with them,” she said. “It made me feel like Gannon was my second home.”

Securing the Future The University’s Career Development and Employment Services staff certainly keeps tabs on prospective employers in hopes of helping current and former students find their niche in the job market, but the primary emphasis remains on the student. It’s been that way for years, said James Finegan ’81, ’90M, the Office’s director, and it’s not about to change now, even as the job market tightens in many sectors. “We have no control over the economy or who’s going to be sitting in the human resources chair this week, next week or next year,” he said. “But I do have the students here for four years, so if I can teach them how to prepare their résumés, their job searches and their interviewing, then they will have more control and more responsibility for their own placement. They will adapt within a difficult or a positive economy because of the skills and abilities they’ve developed at Gannon.” Although the approach remains the same, the tools have changed over time. Finegan and his staff make ample use of the latest technology and, in turn, encourage students to do the same when it comes to accessing information. “As a tool, the Internet and the personal computer have been our greatest advances,” Finegan said. “Our Web site keeps up-to-date listings of resources, jobs and connections. Being a fluid site helps students connect to

timely information, whether they’re looking for a job regionally or globally.” To help even more with the process, the office conducts mock interviews for students. Staff members are available to serve as interviewers at any time, and the office also brings in several employers each year so students can experience what it is like to go through a true job interview. For some students, it’s the first time they’ve had such an experience, said Cheryl Rink ’92, ’95M, assistant director of Gannon’s Center for Experiential Education. Students not only learn what it’s like to go through an interview, but the interviewers also provide feedback, pointing out the student’s strengths and weaknesses.

The Center has seen an increase in the number of students participating in internships and co-ops. During the 2006-07 Academic Year, 194 students participated in internships, an increase of 8 percent from the previous year. The number of sites where students interned, 104, marked a 12 percent increase from the year prior. Additionally, 108 students secured internships for the spring, a record number for that time period.

Nathaniel Coon ’08, who graduated last spring with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and returned this fall to complete the Master of Business “They’re starting to build their own Administration networks because we try to connect program, used the them with individuals who are Center to help him appropriate for their fields,” Rink said. hone his résumé Nathaniel Coon ’08, a former McGowan Scholar, is and cover letter. Molly Lewis ’08, who received grateful for the help of Gannon’s Career Development and Those two tools, a Bachelor of Science degree in Employment Services staff in securing a summer internship. he said, helped accounting in May and began working him land a summer internship at Giant Eagle’s corporate with financial firm Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Pittsburgh offices in Pittsburgh. shortly after graduation, credits Rink with helping her arrange an interview at Malin, Bergquist & Co., LLP in Erie, resulting in an internship that enabled her to gain valuable auditing experience during her senior year.

Coon said Rink provided solid advice as to how he could improve his résumé and add to it as he gained experience. “She helped me make it much stronger,” he said.

“Having an auditing class at the same time as an internship gave me a real-life perspective that a lot of students didn’t have,” she said.

Rink and Finegan said it takes a collaborative effort. “It’s a cooperative effort between the faculty, the academic departments and our office to prepare students for life after graduation,” he said.

25


27

The Power ToTransform The University will experience another milestone in 2008: the conclusion of its most successful campaign in history. Since 2001, The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign has netted more than $30.1 million. Additionally, another $7.7 million in government funds from contracts and grants has been raised, bringing the total amount to more than $37.8 million thus far.

Unprecedented support has been the hallmark of the Campaign. Its initial goal of $30 million was exceeded with more than four months remaining, and the goal was then increased by $1 million. So far, Gannon and Villa Maria alumni have pledged more than $20.4 million to the Campaign, which represents approximately 68 percent of the total funds raised to date. Members of the Board of Trustees alone have given nearly $11.9 million, or 40 percent.

“We are very grateful to our Trustees, local and regional alumni and other donors who have helped us achieve this record-breaking total,” said President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Campaign Update Ph.D. “Their generosity helps to financially support the education of our students and to advance the Mission and national recognition of the University.” As the University moves forward with initiatives like Vice President for University Advancement Susan Black-Keim attributes a great deal of the Campaign’s success to alumni. “This campaign was really alumni-driven, and it speaks to how exemplary our alumni are. Our alumni all across the country provided great support for this effort,” she said.

the Strategic Plan II: 2008-13 and the Campus Master Planning Project, the generous support of alumni, Trustees and the entire Gannon community will ensure a positive and successful future.

Laying the Foundation

Renovations to the Robert H. Morosky Academic Center began in late 2007.

The foundations of Gannon University can be seen in the generous support of The Power To Transform Campaign by the Erie community. “Gannon was supported by local leaders from its inception,” Black-Keim said. “Today, Erie continues to support the University, and we value our strong community relationships. We are grateful for their generosity and know that it makes a lasting impact on our region.”

Several major gifts have been received as the Campaign has progressed. Last year, a $237,000 gift from the Orris C. and Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation enabled the creation of a high-tech Patient Simulation Center, while a major gift from alumnus and Trustee Robert H. Morosky ’63 allowed for the purchase and naming of the Robert H. Morosky Academic Center. In January, the University received a $1 million gift from James E. Winner Jr. on behalf of the Winner Foundation, and the Winner Foundation Endowed Scholarship Fund was awarded this fall. Erie Insurance Group supported the Campaign with a gift of $250,000 to name the Erie Insurance Learning Center, located in the Zurn Science Center.

Campaign Update


28

In recognition of such commitment, in September, Gannon inducted several new members into the Universitas Society (Rev. Msgr. Robert L. Brugger; Atty. Charles W. Deaner ’48; Thomas C. Guelcher ’62, ’76M; R. Joseph Luckey ’55; Donald J. Pfingstler; Mary K. Quinn ’64; Kirk W. Steehler ’73 and Robert Tidmore), an elite group of donors who have donated $100,000 or more to the University during their lifetime.

funds and faculty research and development; and improve campus facilities.

The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign is a crucial component in helping build the University, support its students and represent its Catholic Identity, and has three primary goals: strengthen Gannon’s Annual Fund and endowment; increase support for student scholarship

As a work-study student for University Advancement, Nicolette Critelli had the unique opportunity to provide alumni with a current student’s perspective while learning more about the lives of Gannon graduates. In doing so, Critelli was able to give back to those who supported her education.

“Gannon’s alumni and Board of Trustees have contributed the most to this campaign. Their gifts help to support student scholarships, endowed professorships and faculty research, and allow us to improve and update our facilities,” Black-Keim said.

Understanding the Impact

“The support of alumni played a vital role in my education by giving me the opportunity to attend Gannon through scholarships. If it weren’t for scholarships, I would have missed out on the wonderful personal attention I received from faculty and staff at Gannon,” Critelli said. A junior in Gannon’s Physician Assistant program and current president of the Student The Strong Mansion, known today as Old Main, was purchased in 1941 by Archbishop John Mark Gannon to serve as the center of the recentlyfounded college. It now houses the University’s administrative offices.

Government Association, she completed a variety of tasks for the Advancement office, including filing survey results, helping organize alumni events and personally thanking donors. “Nicolette focused a lot of her time on making thankyou calls to alumni donors. Having a student call alumni to personally thank them for their gifts and share with them the importance of their gift to all Gannon students is a critical component of our fundraising efforts, and Nicolette was a great asset in the process,” said Britt Daehnke ’98, ’05M, Campaign coordinator and associate director of the Annual Fund. Critelli said having the opportunity to talk to alumni and discuss her Gannon experience was one of the highlights of her work-study experience. “Donors were always warm and welcoming as soon as I said I was from Gannon, and I think they appreciated hearing a current perspective of the University and all of the positive changes it is experiencing,” Critelli said. The support of alumni and others can be seen in this year’s record-breaking Annual Fund. Alumni generously contributed to the 2007-08 Annual Fund, with more than 3,300 donors giving nearly $769,000. The University received more than $1.2 million total over the course of the year, marking the largest amount raised in Gannon’s history. “You can see excitement from alumni during events like Alumni/Homecoming Reunion Weekend. I love seeing how excited they are to come back and share their stories and memories; you can tell they were transformed by their Gannon education,” Critelli said. “These interactions with alumni help me recognize the importance of the


the power to transform

Junior Nicolette Critelli has seen firsthand how the University’s success is intrinsically connected to the generosity and support of its community. total Gannon experience and how it will change your life. As an alumna, I plan on giving back so that other students can receive the same opportunity that I had extended to me.”

Expanding Alumni Connections With more than 31,000 successful alumni residing in every state and in 46 countries, regional alumni events have played an equally important role in connecting alumni and updating them on the progress of the University. Since The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign celebrated its public launch, numerous regional Campaign receptions have been held across the country from the East to the West Coast and everywhere in between. In 2007-08, alumni events were held in several cities like Erie, Buffalo, Rochester, Columbus, Cleveland, Chicago and Atlanta. Regional events were also held in Florida, southern California and Washington, D.C. From these events, a new program was born during the 2007-08 Academic Year: the Alumni Partners Program. Organized and directed by the Alumni Services Office, the program is meant to help connect alumni and emphasizes their own personal strengths and skills in giving back to the University.

“We want alumni to reach out to their fellow alumni and get them engaged with the University. It is just one way to branch out and is important in fostering connections among alumni and between alumni and Gannon,” explained Cathy Fresch, director of Alumni Services.

“We help focus the program, and our regional directors are really using this to focus on the National Alumni Board’s Strategic Plan,” Fresch said. As with many other initiatives, the National Alumni Board has embraced this new program. “It is critical for the University’s continued growth and success to have an active and involved alumni community. As a group, we have much to contribute, not only to the University but also to its students and our fellow alumni,” said James Scozzie, Ph.D. ’65, current National Alumni Board president.

With the program, groups of alumni—representing more than 20 different regions across the country—will have the opportunity to host events and plan initiatives that correspond with Gannon offices, thus creating partnerships. For example, alumni can partner with the Office of Admissions to help with student recruitment in their As The Power To President Garibaldi visited with alumni all across the country areas, or with Career and Transform Comprehensive at The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign Employment Services to regional events. Campaign comes to an help connect students with end at the close of this internships and careers at companies in their region. year, the strong leadership of Gannon alumni and Trustees “Each area decides what initiative they want to pursue and the support of a generous community ensures that the future of Gannon University will be bright. based on their own skills and interests, and we’ll help them connect with the appropriate office,” Fresch said. “Gannon prides itself on producing graduates that “We want to promote an open dialogue and get other have the professional skills necessary to compete in and departments actively involved as well.” contribute to their profession, but what distinguishes Fresch’s office oversees the program by providing Gannon is that its graduates understand the full meaning of community and the need to give back, be it in the necessary resources, helping with logistical matters and professional, social, religious or charitable sectors,” encouraging networking. Scozzie said.

29


31

UniversityFinancials The University completed the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008 with a very strong fiscal performance. Overall, net assets increased by $12.7 million compared with an increase of $12.5 million for Fiscal Year 2007. Of the $12.7 million increase, $8.5 million was in unrestricted net assets, with $7.5 million of that total being generated from operating activities. Revenue increased by 9 percent to $72.8 million. Net tuition and fees increased by 13 percent, or approximately $5.4 million, and auxiliary enterprise revenue increased by an additional $800,000. Total enrollment grew to 4,134 students, which is an increase of 8.4 percent over the prior year. The financial aid discount rate percentage declined slightly, adding to the positive increase in net tuition and fees. Federal and state grants increased by $2.8 million, primarily due to grants supporting the renovation of the former Boys and Girls Club of Erie building into the home of the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI). An executive director of the Incubator was hired this year, building renovations were completed and the ETI opened its doors this summer. The ETI already has three client companies in place. As of June 30, the endowment totaled $36 million, and the investment return on the endowment was negative 4.5 percent for the fiscal year. The return, although negative, exceeded the balanced index return of negative 7.3 percent. Gannon’s Annual Fund exceeded $1 million, and $1.6 million in new gifts for the endowment were received during the year. Overall, contributions increased by $2.6 million over the previous year. Beyer Hall

Operating expenses increased by $5.7 million from the prior fiscal year. Compensation increased approximately $3.9 million, which included merit increases for faculty and staff as well as a number of new positions to support the increases in enrollment. A strong focus of the administration has been to increase salaries for faculty and staff, allowing the University to become competitive with peer institutions and attract and retain the most qualified individuals. Operating expenses increased by approximately $500,000, and interest expense increased by $1 million. Tax exempt bonds were issued in June 2007 with a par value of $22 million. The borrowed funds are being used to renovate the Zurn Science Center. The first phase of the 15-month renovation project was completed this summer, and the entire project is expected to be completed by August 2009. The remainder of the bond funds were used during Fiscal Year 2008 to replace the exterior curtain wall and windows in Beyer Hall, which houses the Dahlkemper School of Business and the cafeteria. Gannon continues to enhance its range of technological capabilities to ensure that the learning process is more engaging, stimulating and comprehensive. Approximately 85 percent of the University’s classrooms are equipped with digital daises and ceiling-mounted projectors to accommodate a variety of technological needs. Numerous campus improvements were made this past year, such as the first phase of renovations to the former Verizon Communications building on the corner of West 10th and Sassafras streets, which now houses the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences. The building has been named the Robert H. Morosky Academic Center and will contain a state-of-the-art


32

Patient Simulation Center. The building is scheduled to be completely renovated by the Fall 2009 semester. The University continues to make annual renovations and upgrades to its residence halls and apartments. During the past year, updates were made to Crispo Hall, including installation of a fire protection system, upgraded kitchens, carpet, flooring and other furnishings. Security camera systems have been installed in University Apartments and in Freeman and Lubiak Halls. Student lounges were created in Lubiak, Crispo and Freeman Halls and Kenilworth Apartments to provide more social gathering space. Additional equipment for the Carneval Athletic Pavilion was purchased and installed. In the Hammermill Center, seating for season ticket holders was replaced. Additionally, the Campus Master Planning Project is currently under way and will be completed in February 2009. This comprehensive and integrated plan will guide the University in defining and visualizing its future physical form and image of the campus over both the near and long-term future. As Gannon progresses through the 2008-09 Academic Year and beyond, the University will continue to exercise prudent fiscal management and allocate financial resources to support the instructional and educational mission that is Gannon.

2007-08 Revenue

65% Tuition and Fees, Net of Scholarships 12% Auxiliary Enterprises 10% Federal, State and Private Grants 10% Contributions 3% Other

Revenue Tuition and Fees, Net of Scholarships Auxiliary Enterprises Contributions Federal, State and Private Grants Other Total

2007-08 $46.9

2006-07 $41.5

8.8 7.5 7.3

8.0 4.9 4.5

2.3 $72.8

8.0 $66.9

Expenses 2007-08 2006-07 Compensation $40.4 $36.5 Operating Expenses 13.0 12.5 Depreciation 3.1 2.9 Interest 1.8 0.8 Auxiliary Enterprises 1.8 1.7 Total $60.1 $54.4

2007-08 Expenses

67% 22% 5% 3% 3%

Compensation Operating Expenses Depreciation Interest Auxiliary Enterprises

2007-08 Expenses by Function

47% 23% 17% 10% 3%

Instruction and Research Institutional Support Student Services Auxiliary Enterprises Public Service

Expenses by Function 2007-08 Instruction and Research $28.3 Institutional Support 14.1 Student Services 10.3 Auxiliary Enterprises 5.7 Public Service 1.7 Plant Operations - Total $60.1

2006-07 $26.0 12.2 9.5 5.3 1.4 $ 54.4

Use of Funds Student Scholarships Capital Spending Debt Retirement Endowment Additions Total

2006-07 $19.1 9.4 1.7 1.6 $31.8

2007-08 $19.1 6.9 3.7 1.8 $31.5

(All figures in millions of dollars.)


33

Board of Trustees 2007-08 Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L. ♦ Chairperson Bishop of Erie Joseph T. Messina, Esquire ’63 Vice Chairperson Partner Elderkin, Martin, Kelly and Messina Thomas L. Doolin ’61 Secretary New Age Business Solutions, LLC Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. ♦ President Gannon University William I. Alford II ’65 Executive Director Head Start Akron, Ohio James A. Baldauf ’62 Retired Business Executive L. Scott Barnard ’65 Managing Senior Partner Programmix, LLC Norwalk, Conn. George J. Behringer III ’66 Retired Partner PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP Omaha, Neb. Arnold E. Bergquist, CPA ’58 Retired Partner Malin, Bergquist & Co., LLP Rev. Msgr. Robert L. Brugger Pastor St. Jude the Apostle Church Honorable Stephanie Domitrovich Judge Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Tina M. Donikowski ’85 General Manager GE Transportation Systems Barry T. Drew, Esquire ’76 Deputy Secretary for Administration Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Mechanicsburg, Pa. James J. Duratz Consultant Barco-Duratz Foundation Meadville, Pa. Sister Mary Ellen Dwyer, S.S.J. ‘64VMC ♦ President Sisters of Saint Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania

Sister Mary Rita Kuhn, S.S.J. ’60VMC, ’68M Vicar for Religious Diocese of Erie Brian M. Kurtz President Gannon University Student Government Association Urban J. LaRiccia ’59 President Datascript International Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Thomas J. Loftus ‘56, ’74M Retired Business Executive Cary, N.C.

James E. Gehrlein ’72 Area President National City Bank of Pennsylvania

Mark J. Minnaugh ’81 CFO and Executive Vice President Giant Eagle, Inc. Allison Park, Pa.

Mary Carol Gensheimer ♦ President Gannon University Faculty Senate

Robert H. Morosky ’63 Private Investor Columbus, Ohio

Thomas C. Guelcher ’62, ’76M Treasurer Sisters of Mercy

Mark L. Nelson, Ph.D. ’83 Senior Director of Chemistry Paratek Pharmaceuticals Norfolk, Mass.

Brian J. Jackman ’63 President The Jackman Group Barrington Hills, Ill. Rev. Msgr. Andrew H. Karg Pastor St. Michael Church Greenville, Pa. James W. Keim Jr. Senior Vice President RBC Dain Rauscher

John E. Paganie ’69 President, Pennsylvania Operations Penelec, First Energy Company Thomas F. Power Jr. ’63 Retired Business Executive Green Oaks, Ill. James J. Rutkowski Jr. ’83 General Manager/Treasurer Industrial Sales and Manufacturing, Inc.

James J. Schaffner ’68 Managing Principal Schaffner, Knight, Minnaugh & Co., P.C. Helen M. Schilling, M.D., D.D.S. ’77 Physician Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Houston, Texas Rev. John M. Schultz ’78 Pastor St. Boniface Church James A. Scozzie, Ph.D. ‘65 Senior Vice President BioEnterprise Cleveland, Ohio Timothy G. Shuttleworth President and CEO Eriez Magnetics Rev. Msgr. Robert J. Smith, J.C.L. Vicar General Diocese of Erie Rev. Msgr. Lawrence Speice ’55 Pastor St. Anthony Church William C. Springer ’63 Partner Dawar Associates Tucson, Ariz. Rev. Msgr. Richard J. Sullivan Pastor St. Andrew Church James F. Toohey, Esquire ’56 Partner Quinn, Buseck, Leemhuis, Toohey & Kroto, Inc.

♦ Ex-officio Members


Gannon University 109 University Square Erie, PA 16541

Profile for Gannon University

Annual Report of the President 2008  

Read all about the amazing changes taking place throughout the year at Gannon! The Annual Report of the President is a year-in-review docume...

Annual Report of the President 2008  

Read all about the amazing changes taking place throughout the year at Gannon! The Annual Report of the President is a year-in-review docume...