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GLIAC Champions

Editor’sInklings Volume XX, Issue 3 • Spring 2007 Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. President Ron J. Kerman Executive Director of University Marketing Jennifer A. Mailey ’95, ’05M Director of Public Affairs and Communications Catherine E. Carlson ’05M Publications Officer and Editor advisory committee

Britt Dyer Daehnke ’98, ’05M Cathy Fresch Frank Garland Mary Carol Gensheimer Melanie Karsak Carol Perry ’06M Catherine Oakley ’05M Rev. Nicholas J. Rouch, STD, ’83 Steven Ropski, Ph.D., ’78 Dick Sukitsch contributors

Paul DeSante, Ph.D. Cathy Fresch Jana Hunt Jeannie Kloecker Nick Pronko Dan Teliski ’97 photography

Ed Bernik Mike Gallagher Tim Rohrbach design

Tungsten Creative Group Gannon Magazine is published three times annually (Summer, Winter, and Spring) by the Office of Communications at Gannon University and is mailed free to alumni, friends of the University, graduate students, and parents of current undergraduate students. Contributions: Gannon Magazine welcomes letters to the editor, class notes information, comments, and suggestions. Please send class notes information to Jana Hunt, Coordinator of Gifts and Records, at All other information should be sent to Catherine Carlson, Editor, at or the University’s mailing address as seen below. Gannon University 109 University Square Erie, Pennsylvania 16541 (814) 871.7000

As Gannon’s Lady Knights took the GLIAC championship, the cheering audience rushed to their feet many times in the excitement of the team’s success. The same emotion permeated campus for weeks as the basketball season alighted to its end. The extended enthusiasm reminded me of the overwhelming feeling of a standing ovation at a theatre or concert, when an audience is inspired and in tune with emotions and humanness that sometimes is lost in everyday life. “Is there a word for that?” I began to ask. Is there a world for the gestalt of teamwork and community? With a little research and help from a friend, I found that there was— ubuntu. Although ubuntu’s linguistic heritage is in sub-Saharan Africa, where it has become an ideology and way of life, the word has come to be something that every culture feels at some point. It means that a person is a person because of other persons—that we are all connected through our relationships to one another. In the United States—a country that sometimes suffers as a fractured culture made up of many—artistic performances, athletic dedication, teamwork, and the misfortune of tragedies are the times when we feel ubuntu the most. On Gannon’s campus, because we are a Catholic university, an appreciation of humanness and helping one another is very present. When the women’s basketball team rose far above expectations (page 6), the campus was elated. When the Schuster Theatre produced Dead Man Walking (page 2), discussion and an appreciation for life swelled in the student body. And while the country mourned the tragedy of the Virginia Tech shooting, Gannon held a service simultaneously with Virginia Tech to be united with them in prayer. In addition to the currents that run through campus, the concept of ubuntu appears in everyday actions within Gannon’s community. Steven Frezza, Ph.D., C.S.D.P., Chairperson of Computer and Information Sciences, (page 19) often stresses the important connection between one’s discipline and worldview to his students, noting how the human connection applies, even in fields such as engineering. Dennis McConnell ’70 is who he is today partly because of his parents’ investment in him, and he has taken that investment and transformed it to help students such as Eric Anderson (page 14), influencing the lives of others. Gannon University is an institution of higher education that grows because of people’s support of each other and connection to the greater good. As our physical campus and our minds continue to transform, we can enjoy the unified feeling of knowing that our teamwork results in something greater than the sum of its parts—the feeling of ubuntu. As you read this spring issue, may you too feel a connection to Gannon’s community.

Catherine Carlson, Editor (814) 871.5817

6 Written on the Heart

Gannon’s women’s basketball team follows a mission close to their hearts and takes the team further than ever against all odds.

10 Greening It Up

Students devise a plan to help the environment and enter the mtvU/GE ecomagination challenge.

14 A Memory Transformed Dennis McConnell ’70 transforms his parents investment in him into a scholarship that benefits today’s students.



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NewsNotes AlumniFocus FacultyFocus SportsScan AlumNotes EndNotes

On the Cover: The women’s basketball team joins hands before

playing in the GLIAC Championship game. Photo right: Maroon and gold tulips bloom in the garden of

Old Main.

Gannon Recognizes Black History and Women’s Rights Beginning in January with recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Gannon Alumnus Joseph Curlett ’70, ’86M community recognized and speaks at Gannon’s Martin celebrated Black History Luther King Jr. Memorial Mass Month throughout Februon Sunday, January 14. ary. The weekend before and week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day was filled with events such as memorial services, the annual Memorial March, a nonviolence training seminar, discussion groups, and a tribute performance by the Gannon University Erie Chamber Orchestra. On January 31, Ernest G. Green, a member of the Little Rock Nine, spoke to the University about the importance of civil rights. The University also hosted a Gathering in Praise with the theme “Celebration of Diversity” and a Soul Food Dinner, organized by Minority Cultures United, during the month of February. In recognition of Women’s History Month in March, Gannon’s Women’s Leadership Group and GUSSA (Gannon University Support Staff Association) hosted the Annual Women’s Leadership Tea for faculty, staff, and administrators. The University also held a Gathering in Praise themed “Generations of Women Recording History,” and hosted Senator Jane Earll for a luncheon at which she presented a speech, “Generations of Women Moving History Forward.”

Senator Jane Earll visits campus in recognition of Women’s History Month.


Schuster Theatre Engages Audiences Gannon’s Schuster Theatre engaged the community throughout the spring semester, offering performances and discussion. The semester’s performance began with sold-out showings of Molière’s Tartuffe by Ranjit Bolt and directed by Paula Barrett, Instructor of Communication Arts. It continued in March with Plaza Suite, by Neil Simon and directed by David Matthews, retired managing director of the Erie Playhouse, as the annual Alex Clemente Fundraiser, before moving on to heavier subjects. After the theatre offered audiences a chuckle with Molière’s comical investigation of hypocrisy and Simon’s humorous look at marriage, it began discussion among students, faculty, and staff on the implications of capital punishment. The Schuster Theatre initiated a school theatre project centered on the play Dead Man Walking, by Tim Robbins and adapted from the book by Sister Helen Prejean. The project not only offered a theater production, directed by Ed Helenski, Technical Director of the Schuster Theatre, but encouraged analysis focused on the nature of pro-life perspective with discussion groups and prayer vigils throughout March and April. Students Ryan Dawley and Alaina Manchester perform on stage as Tartuffe and Elmire.

Students Benefit from The Power To Tranform Students at Gannon have recently gained advantages from new sources of funding that the University has received through The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign. Students from Cathedral President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D., Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy will receives a check from John Paganie ’69 on behalf of the FirstEnergy Foundation. benefit from the newly established JMJ Foundation Endowed Scholarship. A graduate of Cathedral Prep and a graduate of Villa Maria together established the scholarship with a gift of $250,000. The money will be invested, as with all endowments, and the interest accrued will be awarded to qualified students on a yearly basis. To benefit business students, Douglas T. Kingston ’57 his wife, Susan, of Campaign Tennessee recently established The Douglas and Susan Kingston Endowed Scholarship with a gift of $10,000. The scholarship will benefit academically qualified Gannon students (with a preference to business majors) who have a demonstrated financial need.

All science students and faculty will benefit from the newly gifted FirstEnergy Foundation Conference Room and A.J. Palumbo Conference Room to be incorporated into the Zurn Science Center Renovations. The FirstEnergy Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant in February for the Conference Room, which will be located near the mechanical engineering and computer laboratories. The grant was awarded by John Paganie ’69, Penelec Regional President and Gannon Trustee. The A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust also awarded $25,000 in March for the naming of the Conference Room, which will be located adjacent to the newly created Continuing Education Center and the main entrance to Zurn. The Conference Room is named in remembrance of Mr. Antonio J. Palumbo, whose generous contributions to Gannon have totaled more than $1.8 million that has helped to greatly transform Gannon’s campus with A.J.’s Way, the Waldron Campus Center, and the Palumbo Academic Center. Additionally, two foundations awarded donations that will benefit students in the area of health sciences. The Orris C. & Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation of North East has given a $44,494 grant to Gannon that will allow the University to purchase a PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems) server for use by students in its Radiologic Sciences program. Gannon also has been chosen for a $50,000 grant from the Dr. & Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust of Oil City, which will allow Gannon to establish the Dr. & Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Nursing Scholarship. The scholarship will benefit students in Gannon’s Villa Maria School of Nursing, with a preference given to academically qualified students from Venango, Clarion, Crawford, Butler, and Mercer counties.


Richard L. Pfingstler ’72 of DuBois, Pennsylvania, also recently established an endowed scholarship with a $10,000 gift to the University honoring his parents. The Pfingstler Family Endowed Scholarship Honoring Regis and Dolores Pfingstler is designed for academically qualified Gannon students with a demonstrated financial need and will be specifically awarded to Gannon students graduating from Elk County Catholic High School as well as those from St. Marys, Pennsylvania. In addition to scholarship endowments, Gannon has also received funding from several foundations.

Campaign Update

President of Catholic University Offers Keynote As the May 2007 Gannon graduates commenced their futures, Very Reverend David M. O’Connell C.M., President of Catholic University of America, offered advice and inspiration through his keynote address. Father O’Connell has been a nationally recognized spokesperson for and supporter of Ex Corde Ecclesiae and its full implementation within the Catholic academy, and he has much experience in higher education. His

presence at Gannon’s Commencement exemplified the value of the foundation that a Catholic education provides as students become responsible citizens and leaders. The Commencement ceremony celebrated the awarding of 632 degrees—32 associate’s degrees, 369 bachelor’s degrees, 205 master’s degrees, and 26 doctoral degrees. During the ceremony, the University also awarded the Gannon University Medal of Honor to Ian McGinnity ’07.


NewsNotes Renowned Archaeologist Visits Campus The Collins Institute for Archaeological Research at Gannon University Annual Lecture featured William G. Dever, Ph.D., professor emeritus, department of anthropology and Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Arizona, in March. His lecture, titled “Archaeology of Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus,” provided a fascinating look into the extensive and well-preserved remains of Herod the Great’s Jerusalem and the early New Testament period.

Dr. Dever specializes in Near Eastern archeology and is the author of 20 books, 350 scholarly articles, and 60 reviews.

Dever has directed 30 seasons of excavations in Israel, and his early excavations at the site of Tel Gezer became the paradigm for succeeding generations of Americans excavating in Israel and Jordan. He is well known to viewers of the Discovery Channel, A&E, and other shows that highlight new and sometimes controversial discoveries in the Biblical Lands. Recently, Dever participated in a panel, chaired by Ted Koppel, that followed the Discovery Channel’s presentation of “The Tomb of Jesus.” He has been the leading consultant on the controversy and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including Anderson Cooper’s 360, BBC, Canadian Broadcast Company, and others.

Faculty News

Pamela Reynolds, PT, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Physi-

cal Therapy, served as the Guest Special Issue Editor for the Journal of Physical Therapy Education (JPTE), winter 2006, titled “Service Learning and Community Engaged Scholarship.” As the issue editor, Reynolds was responsible for identifying the content, authors, peer-review editors, and editing the journal. Carolynn Masters, Ph.D, RN, CARN, after serving as interim since July 2006, was selected as the Dean of the College of Sciences, Engineering and Health Sciences. Dr. Masters has been with the University since 2000 and previously served as the Director of the Villa Maria School of Nursing. Dr. Masters was selected as Dean based on her exceptional administrative skills, strong educational background, and proven experience in the health sciences, as well as her demonstrated commitment to Gannon’s Mission. The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) recently honored Chris Dubbs, University Grants Writer, with a District II Accolades Gold Award for Proposal Writing. Dubbs’ first-place submission featured a successful proposal asking for the support of renovations to Gannon’s Zurn Science Center. Dubbs also recently had a book, Animals in Space: From Research Rockets to the Space Shuttle, published by Springer Praxis Books. The book details the use of animals in space flight as a precursor to manned flights. Colin Burgess, an Australian space historian, co-authored the book with Dubbs, and the forward is written by Joseph Bielitzki, former chief veterinarian with NASA. Chris Dubbs displays his recent accomplishments.

Student Body Continues to Grow and Diversify Recruitment efforts on the international scale have more than paid off, with Gannon’s international student body reaching more than 280 students for the spring semester. As the campus becomes diversified, local and national students gain benefits and experiences.


Most recently, the international student body hosted the annual International Night, featuring an “International Food Bazaar” with culinary delights from more than 20 countries including Hong Kong, Sweden, Bahamas, France, Poland, Spain, Greece, Panama, Peru, India, Turkey, Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The night also included a variety of entertainment with numerous cultural performances including Filipino folk dancing, Indian dancing, Greek dancing, Polish dancing, Celtic soft shoe and tap

dancing, and traditional Turkish dancing. Music was also performed, including performances with the South Korean violin and Bosnian flute. As of May 1, Gannon had received 2814 applications and 520 deposits from incoming students for Fall of 2007, and more than 950 applications from new international students, a number that has quadrupled over the past two years.

Sinai Tatagirin ’06 is one of Gannon’s many previous international students.

Student News


Freshmen Join Honors Society

More than 160 Gannon freshmen joined Phi Eta Sigma, the oldest honors society in the country, on March 25, 2007. The new class of inductees joined nearly 200 Gannon upperclassmen who actively participate in social and service activities around campus and in the Erie community. During the 2006-07 school year, Phi Eta Sigma participated in service activities such as blood drives, Christmas caroling at the Erie Center on Health and Aging, GIVE day, Golden Harvest Food Drive, the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament, Mass on the Grass, and Relay for Life. Additionally, three members attended the National Conference in Austin, Texas, during the Fall semester.

Students Michelle Owcarczak (back) and Kim Urbanowicz (center) along with Director of the Center for Social Concerns Arlene Montevecchio tear up a destroyed floor in New Orleans.

Spring Break Filled with Service

More than 20 students actively embraced the University’s Mission through traveling to New York City, New Orleans, and Aqua Prieta, Mexico, for voluntary participation in community service. In New York, students spent the week working at Part of the Solution (POTS), a soup kitchen in the Bronx.

The 2006-07 Phi Eta Sigma officers welcome the new class of officers for the year 2007-08.

Students Fast for 30 Hours Nearly 50 students went hungry on March 9-10 in efforts to raise both money and awareness of worldwide hunger. In addition to fasting, participants raised more than $1,500 in support of Catholic Relief Services and volunteered their time with local service organizations. On Friday, students assisted with the St. Jude’s Hospital phonathon at the Millcreek Mall, visited residents at Sunrise Assisted Living, and lent hands to Mary the Apostle Catholic Worker House. Continuing their efforts, the participants spent the day on Saturday with the Special Olympics during their basketball tournament. The fast ended with a dinner during which the participants could reflect on the experience with each other.

Another group visited New Orleans to work with homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina so that the homes could eventually be rebuilt. The students also participated in a panel discussion related to Hurricane Katrina, poverty, and race. Farther south, students helped young Mexican children learn English while raising their awareness of immigration laws, the faith and cultures in Aqua Prieta, and how its residents cope with extreme poverty and substandard living conditions. All three trips were designed to instill in the participants four key values: service, simplicity, community, and reflection. Resident Campus Minister/Resident Director Adam Anderson, who traveled with students to New York City over spring break, works in a soup kitchen.


Sophomore guard Carrie Nolan was one of five players to be named to the GLIAC All-Academic Team.


Written on the by John Chacona


“We must be consistent, focused, hard-working, relentless, and have desire every day, so our full potential will be reached and proven.” This mission statement has hung above the desk of Gannon University women’s basketball coach Cleve Wright since last fall. Composed by his players, it was an aspiration for the season. With words like “focused,” “hard-working,” “desire,” and “potential,” it reads almost like a sports cliché. Look closer, though,

and you notice words that you expect to find and don’t, words like “winners” and “champions.” Yet, as winter melts into hopeful spring on the Gannon campus, “winners” and “champions” are the words on the lips of all who were moved by the improbable and inspiring saga of the 2006-07 Lady Knights.


It was a season of impressive team and personal achievements. The Lady Knights won their first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference (GLIAC) Championship with an 88-77 Hammermill Center victory over Hillsdale. The team returned to the NCAA Division II Tournament after a five-year absence and did so as a nationally ranked team in the USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll, the first national ranking for Gannon since the 2001-02 season. On the way to a final record of 25-6, Gannon won ten consecutive games, the third-longest streak in school history and the longest winning streak since the 1987-88 season. And the Lady Knights did it all, despite losing two key players before the first game was played. But while Gannon may have been without starting point guard Abby Bunstine and frontcourt player Brittany Tabron, they were never without an unshakable confidence in one other. That confidence was mirrored in the Lady Knights’ coaching staff. Head coach Cleve Wright recalls from the beginning of the season, “I thought we’d make the conference tournament, which we’d done every year since I’ve been with Gannon, and with no more injuries, I knew we could become the South Division champion.” Then, five games into the season, Julie Kleber, the first guard off the bench, went down with a season-ending injury. Three key players lost before December could have spelled the end of a dream for the Lady Knights. Instead it was the beginning of a remarkable run characterized by leadership and commitment. “Seniors Casey England and Christina Jackson and junior Ashley Lowdermilk were picked as captains, and from


that point on, we were teaching leadership,” Wright said. Wright’s coaching pedigree is impeccable, with dual citizenship in two of the most basketball-mad states of the union. A self-described “Indiana hillbilly” whose family moved to Kentucky when he was a boy, Wright was an assistant coach at Indianapolis’ Butler University with Thad Matta, the head coach of the 2007 national runner-up Ohio State Buckeyes. “I met with all the juniors and seniors before the season and went through a captain’s manual,” Wright recalled. “They led by example, by words, by demeanor, on and off the floor, and that gave the team confidence. The cool thing was to see Christina and Casey buy into our freshmen—our guard Kristina Freeman, especially.” For Wright, the turning point of the season came during a January homestand against the top three teams in the rugged GLIAC North. “I thought this would have been the hardest week we had­­—three games in five days against the toughest teams in the North. We beat Lake Superior State on Thursday. We’d never beaten them in my five years here, so the players were confident and excited. Then we lost by 13 to Ferris on Saturday. But, we had a meeting on Sunday, came out on Monday, and beat a Grand Valley team that had only lost two games at the time. At that point, the team recognized then that it could be quite a year.” Casey England, senior guard and co-captain from Van Buren, Ohio, agreed. “We hadn’t beat Lake Superior in quite a while, and we went out there and played great together. Once we did that, I knew we could beat Grand Valley and the other teams.”

She, too, cited confidence as an important factor in the Lady Knights’ Coach Cleve Wright, after leading the team to be the success, but she also mentioned the host of the GLIAC Championship game and beyond, team’s conditioning. “When the was named GLIAC Coach of the Year.

Senior guard and team captain Casey England, along with other accolades, was named to the AllGLIAC first team, and she also finished second all-time at Gannon in career three-pointers. season started, I knew we could achieve anything due to our work ethic. Running-wise, we worked harder preseason than any other team.”

come to. Casey and I both hate losing, so we were the example we expected our teammates to follow.”

Senior forward and co-captain Christina Jackson from Lorraine, Ohio, also never doubted her team’s potential. “We always set goals. You don’t want to set anything lower than conference champs. As the season went forward, we proved ourselves right.” Jackson had a lot to do with it. The six-foot forward led the conference in rebounds per game (10.0), finished third in scoring (17.7 points per game), and was sixth in field goal percentage (.517). She became only the second Gannon player —male or female—to compile at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 200 steals, and 100 blocks during a career. Jackson’s statistics may have been the reason she was named to the Kodak/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American honorablemention team following the season and the AllECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) first team, but her heart may have been a bigger factor. “When Casey and I were elected captains, we knew we were going to be the people that the team members would

And follow them they did, right into the Great Lakes Regional of the NCAA Division II Tournament and a first-round rematch with the defending national champion Grand Valley State Lakers, a team the Knights had beaten once before during the year. Beating any team twice in a season—let alone a defending national champion—is difficult, but Gannon swept the series with a 66-59 win before again bowing to Ferris State the following day. Still, the season was an enormous success for the team and for Cleve Wright, who was named GLIAC Coach of the Year. A man of faith, Wright spoke in emotional terms about the meaning of the season. “It has been my desire, my prayer, to have Christina Jackson and Casey graduate and to be champions. I wanted that so badly for them because they were the two of the five in my first recruiting class to stay at Gannon, and I know how hard they worked. I’m sure they would have been fine without the conference championship, but for those kids to know what they’ve been through and be a champion . . . ,” he said, his voice trailing off in emotion. He thought back to that mission statement that hangs over his desk. “Our team didn’t sit down and write a new mission statement before the season started as we’ve done in the past,” he said. “This year, I sat down with the leaders and asked them how many times we have looked at that mission statement. They said not all that often. They didn’t need to—it was a mission statement written on their hearts.” And, for the Gannon community, the Lady Knights gave us a season that is written on ours.

Senior forward and team captain Christina Jackson received many honors and accolades throughout the season, including earning AllAmerican honors for the third time in her career.


Greening It Up by Holly Arndt ’07

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Remember your mom telling you to put bacon grease and cooking oil in a jar, not down the drain? The toxic lubricant was too much for the drain, and for the environment. With the amount of cooking oil used by the eateries on campus, a glass jar is not enough. So, students stepped up to the greasy plate and put in motion a project that would recycle used cooking oil and make Gannon’s campus—and the community—a little greener.

This project would go beyond its positive environmental impact and would affect the University in an economic way as well. Instead of using glass jars, the campus eateries store all of their used cooking oil in a large dumpster-like container. Twice a year, the container is filled to the brim and the University has to pay for a company out of Cleveland to come and dispose of it. Students and faculty have been researching a way to convert this used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel, which could be used in the University’s utility vehicles to green up the campus and community. What does that mean, exactly? According to the mtvU/GE ecoimagination challenge, “greening up” a campus is accomplished by taking steps towards being more environmentally friendly. Biodiesel fuel is nontoxic and biodegradable, and is nearly free of sulfur and carcinogenic benzene (two harmful emissions of regular fuel). In today’s world, filled with gas guzzling cars, wasted boxes and bags, and ill-disposed of products, Gannon strives towards changing the environment, starting on campus. Steven J. Ropski, Ph.D., Director of the Science Program and Professor of Biology, was the first to hear of the mtvU/ GE ecoimagination challenge. The University offers an excellent variety of Junior class SGA representative Scott Vascik (left) and Professor of Biology Steven J. Ropski, Ph.D., served as team leaders for Gannon’s involvement in the mtvU/GE ecomagination challenge.

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majors in the field of science, and between the biology students and the environmental science students, Dr. Ropski believed that Gannon had the ability and the need to set an example and “green up” the campus. The project was to be submitted by students, so Dr. Ropski immediately contacted as many students as possible. Junior Class Representatives from the Student Government Association were the first to step up to the plate­—a group that included students Scott Vascik, Levi Warvel, Becky Fresch, Molly Lewis, Richelle Felicitas, and Andrew Deerhake. The group became very involved with the project, and work was divided between these students and those from the different departments involved.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

The mtvU/GE ecoimagination challenge was available to any university willing to devise new, innovative ways to “green up” its campus. Students were to develop an idea that would have a positive impact locally and/or globally, and the project would be judged in three areas: Ecology, Imagination, and Economics. The reward served as a great incentive to participate: a grant of up to $25,000 to help implement the idea. The students and faculty involved chose to bring to life their idea of converting cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. Michelle Homan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental Science, was in charge of completing the actual conversion. Surprisingly, the task took just a few Bunsen Burners and some flasks. Dr. Homan reported that the science is actually quite simple; the hard part would be applying the knowledge so that it works economically.


The end product would prove to be very environmentally friendly, but the conversion process could potentially be dangerous. Luckily,

the only real danger of making biodiesel fuel is in the use of ethanol, a flammable chemical. Other problems can also arise with the biodiesel fuel itself. If the fuel is subjected to cold temperatures, the fat may congeal, resulting in a clogged fuel system. For this difficult stage, Karinna Vernaza, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, brought in mechanical engineers Andrew Voytko, Steve Meisner, and John Pichette. These students used their knowledge and skills to research the bottom line of the project: how this fuel would actually work in campus tools such as snowplows, Gators, and even Gannon’s Environaut. It turns out that, with funding and support of the project, this new fuel would be an improvement both economically and environmentally.

Working Together for a Greater Good

The project began to benefit the campus immediately by offering an opportunity for team work. At any university, students are grouped by various majors and can go most of their college career without ever interacting with students in other majors. The group responsible for Gannon’s mtvU project grew to include faculty, staff, and students from all parts of the University, such as the engineering, environmental sciences, and communications departments; the Student Government Association; and campus services. Students realized the need and importance of working cross-functionally with other departments, which will be a great help to them in their careers after college. This project taught students not only how to use their ideas in creative and beneficial ways, but also how much work it takes to bring an impactful project to life. The University works hard to instill an attitude of service in students, and students were able to see how they could serve both the campus and the community in the development of this biodiesel fuel. By helping one another, students and faculty realized the importance of treating each other as equals. Associate Professor of Environmental Science Michelle Homan, Ph.D., (left) worked with students (left to right) Becky Fresch, Andrew Deerhake, and Emily Venesky to help them understand the process of making biofuel while they worked on the grant proposal.

Scott Vascik became the team leader. For this role, Vascik acted as the contact person with mtvU. He kept his team on task, and followed the necessary guidelines to ensure an on-time submission. Andrew Deerhake, on the other hand, handled the financial aspect. Deerhake spent a significant amount of time coming up with a budget for the project. He had to decide how the $25,000 would be spent, if won, and needed to ensure mtvU that the benefits would far outweigh the costs. The project also required a submission of “something extra,” which could consist of a video, (From left to right) Mechanical engineering students John Pichette, Steve photos, or a game. Mary Carol Meisner, and Andrew Voytko worked with Assistant Professor of MechaniGensheimer, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts, worked cal Engineering Karinna Vernaza, Ph.D., (center right) on researching how engines could run on biofuel. with her communications students to create animations to One of those partners would be Lake Erie Biofuels, one of the be submitted with the project proposal. To accomplish this, largest biodiesel plants in the country. The company would Gensheimer’s students created a movie entitled “GU Renew,” have everything the group would need to complete the project which demonstrated the conversion process. on site, and the plant agreed to aide the group with the onset of any problems and to let Gannon use their facilities. Research and publicity also played a large part of the project. Becky Fresch worked closely with Jennifer Mailey ’95, ’05M, The team of students also felt their work could help GECAC’s Director of Public Affairs and Communications, to notify the Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels is a local initiamedia of the students’ project. Dr. Vernaza and her mechanical tive dedicated to delivering meals to citizens in need. Meals engineering students spent time together researching the actual are made at many sites, and volunteers drive to nearby citizens use of the biodiesel fuel, and of course, Dr. Homan demondelivering the meals. The mtvU project would convert the used strated the chemistry behind the conversion. cooking oil from Meals on Wheels’ kitchens into fuel, and give the new biodiesel back to them so they can save on fuel costs. One of the most important parts of the entire project would be drafting a proposal. The proposal had to be submitted to mtvU Additionally, the group looked into a trade agreement with and would need to convince judges that the project would EMTA, Erie’s local bus transportation service. The negotiamake the best use of the $25,000 at stake. After Scott Vascik tion would allow for a trade of biodiesel fuel developed by the had initially drafted a proposal that included the research from project for bus passes to be used by Gannon students. the group, Emily Veneski and Christopher Dubbs took over. The project had to be submitted by December 1, 2006, with Veneski, with Dubbs’ guidance and suggestions, spent grueling the winning idea to be selected in early March. The task at months over the proposal, writing and rewriting the draft hand taught students to not only work together, but to be conto perfection. cerned about the environment and learn how to apply knowledge gained in their academic careers. Although the students did not receive the $25,000 grant from mtvU, both students In addition to improving the Gannon Campus, the group also and faculty continue to look for ways to impact the Gannon had plans to improve the community through the building Campus and beyond, both economically and environmentally. of relationships.

Benefit Beyond Campus



A Cycle of Giving As a first-generation college student, Dennis McConnell ’70 benefited from his parents’ foresight and investment—in him and in a house that they purchased to help support his education. That investment has now grown and branched out to help others through Dennis’ success, home-grown integrity, and philanthropic nature.

McConnell used the education and experience he received at Gannon to manage an incredibly successful career in international business. Now, a few decades later, McConnell has transformed the memory of his college days and his parents’ real estate investment into a scholarship, giving back to today’s students the opportunity that was once given to him. McConnell grew up in a rural area outside of Cochranton, Pennsylvania. His parents, Harry and Betty McConnell, owned a family restaurant, and Dennis—as an only child—worked hard at the restaurant at a young age, building a strong work ethic that he carried with him his entire career. He learned a great deal from his parents and has always held them in the highest respect for their investment in him. “My father was a very intelligent man—without being afforded a college education,” McConnell said. “He was an entrepreneur at heart, and he used that spirit and his cleverness to run the family restaurant and also build a successful career in realty.” McConnell attributes much of his success to his parents’ cunning business sense because their foresight affected the affordability of McConnell’s college education and beyond. And while his

parents instilled a strong work ethic within him and provided an education for him, they also offered Dennis the opportunity to learn about integrity through practice (working at the family restaurant) and example. He carried that sense of integrity with him always, and it made a big difference in his life and in the person he is today.

Dennis McConnell ’70 (center) was afforded a college education at Gannon because of Betty (left) and Harry (right) McConnell’s support and foresight as parents.

His humble and hard-working beginnings gave McConnell the strength and insight to succeed throughout his career while maintaining integrity. After graduating from Gannon with a degree in Finance, McConnell started as a sales specialist for Xerox Corporation in New York before moving on to several international managerial positions for Abbott Laboratories. During his time with Abbott, McConnell lived and worked in places such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sydney,

Campaign Update


Dennis McConnell ’70 donated the house he lived in as an upperclassman at Gannon to the University, turning its value into The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship Endowment Fund.

and Frankfurt, starting up and managing new international sites for Abbott. At one point, when McConnell served as the general manager for Southeast Asia, he reflected back on his life and wondered why he was where he was. There were many challenges that came along with establishing new divisions—challenges that were both complex and far away from home. They were challenges that tested his integrity at times, as some of his foreign competitors were concerned more with the bottom line than with ethics. McConnell met all of these challenges head-on with perseverance and the integrity with which he was raised. From 1985-87, McConnell connected with Quidel, a startup biotech company in La Jolla, California, and served as its Vice President of International Operations. In 1987, he moved on to join Amgen, another corporation in the biotechnology industry. With Amgen, McConnell continued his career overseas, eventually leading him to be the President of Amgen Greater China, from which he retired in 1995. In his retirement, he founded Bell Hill International, and he now works as a private investor, focusing on start-up opportunities in the biotechnology and health care industries.


In addition to building a successful career from the foundation his parents gave him, McConnell also continued to benefit from the house in Erie that his parents had purchased when he was a junior at Gannon. The house helped to generate revenue for McConnell’s education while he finished school (Dennis lived there his last two college years with three of his best friends), and well into the rest of his

life. McConnell rented the house to a couple for about 30 years at a generous and static rent payment that he purposely kept affordable for them. When the couple passed away, he decided to donate the house to Gannon and establish a scholarship in his parents’ name—The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship Endowment Fund. “I have so many great memories from that house,” McConnell said; “It was a really wonderful place to spend the last two years of my college education along with my friends. Instead of continuing to rent the house, it really made sense to take the investment that my parents made and continue the investment so that it benefits today’s students.” Harry McConnell, born June 15, 1925, passed away this past November, evoking even more remembrance of his deeds for Dennis. His memory will live on through Dennis and his philanthropy that carries the family’s name.

An Opportunity Taken

The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship specifically benefits students from the Cochranton area, where Dennis grew up. The Scholarship has benefited several students, but for senior criminal justice major Eric Anderson, it very notably transformed his opportunities. It enabled Eric to attend his first-choice for a college—Gannon University, a place where he could grow and flourish. Eric’s older brother, James Anderson ’05, had attended Gannon, and so Eric was familiar with the quality education that Gannon offered. The Program for Students with Learning Disabilities (PSLD) also provided Eric with a resource that his second choice did not. But because Eric would be paying his way through college, working much of the time, he was sensitive to the cost-difference between Gannon and his second choice.

Senior criminal justice major Eric Anderson was able to attend Gannon, his first-choice for college, partially because The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship made a Gannon education affordable for him. The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship along with other financial aid, made it possible for Eric to afford the college education that he wanted—the experience from Gannon. “Financial aid was a deciding factor for me,” Eric said. “Gannon offered a superior education to my second choice, and financial aid brought the price of a Gannon education down to the same level, making a quality private education affordable for me. I really appreciate the generosity that made this financial aid available.” This year alone, more than 1,988 undergraduate students benefited from more than $14.1 million of Gannon need-based financial aid. In addition, Gannon provided further funding in excess of $2 million to students based solely on merit. Endowed scholarships, such as The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship, fuel Gannon’s ability to award aid to a wide variety of students. Gifted funds are held in trust and invested by the officers of Gannon University as part of the general endowment fund of the University. Donors may define awarding criteria guidelines for specific or general student eligibility. In the case of The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship, the resource is allocated specifically for full-time, undergraduate students from the Cochranton area who have demonstrated financial need. Eric was thankful for that criterion. Although he wasn’t a poor student in high school, he wasn’t an academic prodigy either, making it difficult for him to apply for scholarships that were based solely on grades. Part of the reason for his only-average grades is that Eric learns differently than most students. He was diagnosed with a learning disability when he was in the sixth grade. While he can remember clearly and can apply what he has learned from an oral presentation (exceptionally so), he sometimes struggles

with reading and math. Gannon’s PSLD offers Eric a resource for test-taking and learning that is more attuned with his learning style for when he needs something more than what is in the classroom. Sometimes, it also just offers him a comfortable place to go to discuss his frustrations. That is a resource that he might not have had at a different college or university. Gannon has also offered Eric other beneficial opportunities to grow, such as being part of the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity. Like every college student, Eric has learned a great deal about himself and his identity through extra-curricular activities and the ups and downs that come with social dynamics. He is very glad to be a brother in ZBT, and as a senior, he finds himself reaching out to his younger brothers who are struggling as he once did. He has become a counselor and a friend. He applies those same skills when on the job as an intern at correction facilities, where he works with juvenile delinquents in the Cochranton/Franklin area. The well-rounded education that he has received at Gannon—inside and outside the classroom—has prepared him well for his career. As he looked back, he noted, “Undoubtedly, Gannon has the best faculty. I was always treated as their number one priority, and they pushed me harder, knowing that I could accomplish more.” Without The Harry, Betty and Dennis McConnell Family Scholarship Fund, Eric’s life and career path would undoubtedly have been different. Because Dennis McConnell ’70 transformed the memory of his father and of his college days and continued the cycle of giving, Eric Anderson is on the path to success.



Thomas M. Li ’55 by Holly Arndt ’07

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” In accordance with this statement, Thomas M. Li ’55 has made quite a life for himself. For Li, giving is not restricted to one recipient, nor does it need to be strictly monetary. Giving is a trait that has been handed down from generation to generation in Li’s family. Li’s grandfather,Yuan-hung Li (18641928), contributed greatly to society with his leadership. After ten years in the Tianjin Naval Academy,Yuan-Hung served as a high-ranking military officer in the court of the Qing Dynasty. He helped overthrow the dynasty during the revolutionary war, and later became the only man to hold the position of President of the Chinese Republic in Beijing twice (1916-1917 and 1922-1923).

“Without Bishop Gannon’s help, I would not have had the financial means to attend a university in the Unites States.” Name

Thomas M. Li ’55


Retired past President, Treasurer, and CEO of Biotech Research Laboratories

University Affiliations

Member, Universitas Society Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award, 1985


Late wife, Christine, daughters Pamela and Deborah, sons Kenneth and Patrick


Although Li was never able to meet his grandfather, he still gained a great deal of knowledge about him through his father, Edward Li (1901-1981). Li’s grandfather was a very generous person, and his life of service and good deeds had a profound influence on Li’s life. In addition to collecting art,Yuan-Hung was also an artist himself. Li greatly admired his abilities, and in regards to his grandfather’s artwork, Li said that “the art of China is 75 percent painting and 25 percent calligraphy, and he could do both very well.” Artwork has been one of Li’s most significant gifts. His grandfather began a collection of artwork during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) that even included pieces from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Li’s father also added a significant number of pieces in the 1930s and 1940s. Li was able to bring more than 30 pieces to the U.S., and he and his wife donated most of the pieces to various recipients. Another one of Li’s great contributions targeted the general public, in the area of scientific research. In 1973, Li co-founded Biotech Research Laboratories, Inc., which led to the development of a test that allowed blood banks to more properly identify AIDS-positive blood samples. Although there are now more updated versions of the test, this kit was among the first to be developed in an effort to prevent the transfusion of AIDS-infected blood and the subsequent spread of HIV. The giving does not stop there; Thomas Li has contributed a significant amount to Gannon. As a member of the elite Universitas Society (a group of individuals who have given more than $100,000 to Gannon in their lifetime), Li attributes his desire of contributing to Gannon to the fact that the University helped him immigrate to America. In 1952, Archbishop John Mark Gannon offered Li a full four-year scholarship, directly impacting his future. Li said, “Without Bishop Gannon’s help, I would not have had the financial means to attend a university in the Unites States.” After his arrival, Gannon continued to have a significant influence on Li’s life. Li recalls Father Levis, whom he first met in the registrar’s office upon his arrival at Gannon, as one of the many who influenced him by showing him the compassion typical of family members. Gannon not only gave Li the opportunity to come to the United States, but also a set of relationships Li could use as a model to build his life upon. In return for this generosity, Li hopes to continue to assist Gannon in whatever way he can.


Stephen T. Frezza, Ph.D., C.S.D.P. by LeAnn Prisarcik ’09

“God gives us each talents that we should not waste,” said Stephen T. Frezza, Ph.D., C.S.D.P. “He has many things in store for all of us; my family keeps me focused and reminds me that my job is only one aspect of God’s plan for me.” Dr. Frezza, Chair and Associate Professor of Software Engineering and Chair of the Computer and Information Science (CIS) Department, teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses at Gannon. He has learned the skills necessary to balance the demands of teaching courses at different levels, chairing a program, and also raising five children —finding much of his strength to do this in his deep Catholic faith. As the chair and driving force behind the creation of CIS at Gannon, Dr. Frezza experiences new challenges as often as every year with the developing technology that emerges in his field. Dr. Frezza learns about and embraces those changes so that he can continue to provide stimulating coursework for his students. As a Gannon professor since 1995, he has become quite adept at meeting this challenge. He also meets the challenge of connecting engineering and CIS philosophies and coursework with the foundation of a Catholic education. “Faith affects your world-view—how you look at everything,” Dr. Frezza said. “John Paul II stated that we exist to make a sincere gift of ourselves, and so faith affects how you look at everything—people, the University, and everything in between. As an engineer and a professor, that means that I need to take ethics significantly more seriously. The human element is very valuable, and although that can be easy to forget while engineering, we need to push ourselves not to forget.” Dr. Frezza strives to pass that fundamental understanding on to his students so that they, too, are called to be the best engineers that they can be, and that they can realize how faith affects their world-view, even as logicdriven engineers. Because of his passion for engineering and his deep faith, Dr. Frezza has been an important person in building new programs on campus. He led the effort to create the Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering, and he had a key role in establishing the Master’s programs in CIS and embedded software engineering. Dr. Frezza also helped build the processes used for the recent accreditation of the Computer Science and Management Information Systems degree programs and the continued accreditation of the Electrical Engineering degree program. In addition to creating programs, Dr. Frezza serves the University as a member of the Strategic Planning and University Outcomes committees, as well as a member of the Mission and Identity Council, a committee he has served on since it began in the fall 2003 semester. In the classroom, Dr. Frezza spends much of his time actively engaging and motivating his students because he realizes that much of the coursework may look tedious and dull. “Engineers think differently from other people,” he advises his students. “Don’t expect others to think like you do, but remember that in this world we need people who think in diverse ways.” Dr. Frezza’s success in his many and diverse endeavors confirms that he heeds his own advice as one of Gannon’s many dynamic faculty.


Stephen T. Frezza, Ph.D., C.S.D.P.


Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh (1995) M.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh (1991) B.S in Electrical Engineering from University of Pittsburgh (1985)

Professional Certification

Certified Software Development Professional (C.S.D.P) #0088

Most Recent Publications and Presentations

“Revisualizing the Catholic Mission,” presented at A City on a Hill: A Symposium on the Purpose and Identity of Catholic Higher Education, April 2007 with Mary Anne Rivera and Andrew Getz “‘Real World Problems’ as Assessment of Software Engineering,” Work-inprogress paper accepted for publication in Proceedings of the Frontiers in Engineering Education Conference, October 2007 “Creating an Accreditable Software Engineering Bachelor’s Program,” in IEEE Software 23(6), November 2006, with Mei-Huei Tang and Barry J. Brinkman

“Faith affects your worldview— how you look at everything.” 19

by Dan Teliski ’97, Gannon Sports Information Director

Unbelievable. That describes the Gannon winter sports season to a tee. From start to finish, the winter teams provided Gannon fans with quite a thrill during the 2006-07 campaign. The women’s basketball program coasted through one of the best seasons ever, the wrestling team qualified two student-athletes for the NCAA Division II National Championships, and the swimming and diving teams shattered record after record during their fabulous campaigns.

Women’s Basketball It was quite a ride for fifth-year head coach Cleve Wright and the Gannon women’s basketball team. Picked to finish third in the GLIAC South Division during the preseason, the Lady Knights proved their critics wrong week after week. For full details, see page 6.

Men’s Basketball It was a rebuilding season for the Gannon men’s basketball team, who entered the 2006-07 campaign with only four returning players. The season had a promising start as Gannon won its seventh Gary Miller Classic Championship in the last eight years. The Golden Knights impressively defeated C.W. Post (76-69) and Pitt-Johnstown (73-68) to claim the title. Gannon defeated GLIAC Tournament participant Ashland twice during the regular season, including an impressive 86-83 victory on the road in the second-to-last week of the regular season that cost the Eagles a postseason home game. The Golden Knights ended the season on high note, winning three of their last six games. The squad held a second-half lead in five of those contests.


The 2006-07 season was one of patience, learning, and development. Young student-athletes matured as the

season wore on. Freshmen Robert Buckner and Marcus Lemon turned into starters down the stretch and excelled. Redshirt sophomore Tyler Stoczynski became Gannon’s leading scorer and fellow redshirt sophomore Pat Washington’s inside game became one of the GLIAC’s best.

Men’s Swimming It was a banner season for the men’s swimming and divTodd Gibson ing team. Senior diver Todd Gibson capped off a tremendous campaign by earning All-American honors at the NCAA Division II National Championships, finishing 13th in both the one-meter and three-meter diving events. Numerous school and pool records fell during the season. Junior Paul Musille, Senior Chris Conway, and Gibson set school records. In the classroom, Gannon was recognized as an Academic All-America team by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). The squad produced the eighth-highest team grade-point average in the country.

Women’s Swimming Much like the men’s team, the Gannon women’s swimming and diving team had one of its best seasons ever. The Lady Knights fell one dual victory shy of the school’s first-ever undefeated regular season. The squad entered the final tri-meet of the season with a perfect 11-0 record before finishing 12-1. Gannon finished fifth at the 2007 GLIAC Swimming and Diving Championships. Brenna Pease broke three individual school records. The junior set new marks in

Crystal Du

AthleteFocus Patrick Kloecker chose to attend Gannon University after the 200 freestyle (1:57.23), 500 freestyle (5:12.08), and 1000 freestyle (10:47.37). Rachel Rzymek posted a new high in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.56). The women also snapped three school records with their relay teams. The 200-freestyle relay team of Rzymek, Ashlee Calandra, Shannon Bonsmann, and Crystal Du posted a school-best. The team of Rzymek, Pease, Calandra, and Du set the new mark in the 400-freestyle relay while the combination of Rzymek, Bonsmann, Du, and Pease broke the 200-medley relay record. In the classroom, Gannon was recognized as an Academic All-American team by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). The squad produced the ninth-highest team grade-point average in the country.

Wrestling Despite redshirting numerous wrestlers with AllAmerican potential, longtime head coach Don Henry was still able to guide the Golden Knights to a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Division II East Regionals and a 26th-place showing at the NCAA Division II National Championships. It marked Gannon’s eighth top-26 finish in the last nine seasons. Pino Scavella and Zach McKendree qualified for the national championships with top-four finishes at the NCAA regionals. The wrestling team continued to uphold its tradition of excellence on and off the mat. Gannon recorded the 10th-highest team gradepoint average among NCAA Division II programs in 2006-07.

Pino Scavella

much thought and comparison of schools. Now, as he prepares for his senior year, he reflects back—knowing that he made the right choice.

“I’m much further ahead than I planned to be at this point in my life,” he commented two days after completing a tax-season internship with Schaffner, Knight & Minnaugh Company. The experiences and opportunities that being a Gannon accounting major and student-athlete have afforded Patrick are a large part of his success. Gannon offered him a local private education with excellent academics at an affordable price and a place where he could grow and further develop relationships he had started earlier in life. Many of those relationships evolved on the golf course. For Patrick, golf is a sport that enriches one’s life, challenging players to better understand and respect both themselves and others. This appreciation for the game began on his first birthday when, as a one-year-old toddler, he began handling miniature golf clubs that his parents and their friends had trimmed down for him from real clubs. He is part of a long heritage of family golfers, so it was no surprise that clubs stayed in his hands for years to come. Golf stayed with him throughout his younger years at Our Lady’s Christian School, his high school years at Cathedral Preparatory School, and now his college years at Gannon University—all of which are diocesan schools. “Many people might view a solely Catholic education as sheltering,” he said, “but I view it as the complete opposite. I’ve met students from all over the world while at Gannon, and continuing my education at a private school has given me a focused, wellrounded education along with the opportunity to play golf.” Patrick’s academic and social experiences at Gannon have mirrored his development on the course, supporting him in his development as an experienced golfer and a Dean’s List student with a GPA of 3.714.



FRANK E. HAGAN, Ph.D. recently attended the American Society of Criminology meetings in Los Angeles. HOWARD E. ROSE, ESQ. was sworn in as an immigration judge for the Houston Immigration Court during an investiture ceremony on January 26, 2007. RICHARD A. SOUTHWORTH and Jack Freeman ’76, senior vice president and CFO of Spectrum Control, Inc. will be presenting at the Needham & Company 9th Annual Growth Conference, which is one of the largest growthstock conferences. Richard is president and CEO of Spectrum Control, Inc.


GERALD J. MALYS has been elected to the board of directors of National Coal Corp. Gerald is senior vice president, finance and chief


financial officer of Apex Silver JOHN R. HORNAMAN Mines Limited. was sworn in as the state representative in the 3rd Legislative District of Erie County. ROBERT P. DUCATO, C.L.U. was recently elected to New York Life Insurance Co.’s Agents Advisory Council. DENNIS C. CUNEO, ESQ. has joined the Automotive DUANE A. DULIN Group of Arent Fox as has been inducted into counsel in the Washington, the National Honor Roll’s D.C., office. Outstanding American Teachers. Duane is the science LT GEN JAMES M. department chairman and a biology teacher at Mercyhurst DUBIK, USA has been reassigned as Preparatory School. commander, MultiNational Security ROBERT L. PAGNI ‘71M Transition Command is the director of - Iraq (MNSTC-I), administration for Isdaner & Operation Iraqi Freedom. Company, LLC. The MNSTC-I is MICHAEL J. PANZA, PH.D. responsible for assisting the ‘74M Iraqi government to train, had a peer-reviewed mentor and equip its armed technical paper published in forces and police forces. the November-December 2006 issue of the Noise RUSSELL J. FORQUER Control Engineering Journal. has been selected to Dr. Panza is a professor of serve on the board of mechanical engineering at the American Heart Gannon University. Association-Erie Division,



Commitment to Bettering the Region

Jacob A. Rouch ’89 serves the community and inspires economic development as the President and CEO of The Erie Regional


Chamber and Growth Partnership. The following Gannon alumni recently joined him as members of the board of directors for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, strengthening our community with their leadership: Michael Weber ’71 James E. Gehrlein ’72

John C. Bloomstine ’82 James J. Rutkowski, Jr. ’83 Thomas J. Wedzik They join other Gannon community members who are continuing their service on the board: President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. James A. Schaffner ’68 John Paganie ’69

and The Nonprofit Partnership, a capacity-building project of The Erie Community Foundation. JAMES E. MILLER, CPA ‘96M was recently recognized for five years of service as faculty advisor to the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in business administration. Jim is an assistant professor and director of Gannon’s accounting program.


JOHN A. MONOCELLO, JR. has taken on additional responsibilities at Hamot Health Foundation as the executive director, Hamot Orthopaedic Institute.


ROBERT E. CANNON, C.M.C. ‘76M has published a new book, Taking Aim for Better DecisionMaking. Bob also has been awarded the internationally recognized designation of Certified Management Consultant (CMC), which less than one percent of all active professional management consultants in the U.S. have received. JOHN P. FREEMAN, CPA and Richard A. Southworth ’66, president and CEO of Spectrum Control, Inc., will be presenting at the Needham & Company 9th Annual Growth Conference, which is one of the largest growthstock conferences.


PATRICIA (PASKY) MCMAHON (VMC) is currently working on completing her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing and her postmasters certificate in forensic nursing at Duquesne University. Patty is the director of the Health Center at Penn State Behrend and an adjunct

faculty member for the Villa Maria School of Nursing at Gannon. MARY “Connie” (STEPHENS) OMELIAN (VMC) is the principal/director of The Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Gulf Breeze, Florida. FRANK M. PLASHA, RYT published an article in the winter issue of Integral Yoga magazine which discusses how to root out the causes of stress instead of treating its symptoms.


DEBBIE (HUFFMAN) BURBULES has been promoted to vice president, outpatient services at Hamot Health Foundation.


DENNIS J. DONOHUE ‘79M was sworn in as the new mayor of Salinas, California, on December 5, 2006. JAMES T. RYAN ‘79M recently joined the staff at Decision Associates, a North East-based consulting firm that offers strategic planning, executive searches, organizational development, marketing and human resource consulting. PAMELA (HORNAMAN) TRONETTI, D.O. had her essay “A Place in the Sun” published in the “A Piece of My Mind” column in the January 3, 2007, issue of JAMA. Dr. Tronetti is the medical director for Parrish Senior Consultation Center in Titusville, Florida.


DANIEL J. DURISHAN has joined the staff at the Bernstein Law Firm as manager of the firm’s creditors’ rights practice area.


JEAN (MCCARTHY) EWELL ‘81M has been named as the 2006 recipient of the Trina Ripley Excellence in Education Award, which is presented by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Institute of Residential Marketing. Jean is the director of sales and marketing for CF Vatterott Construction Company in St. Louis, Missouri. KATHLEEN (BELCZYK) BURIK ‘88M has been promoted to Department Manager, Business Systems Integration, for Erie Insurance Group. WILLIAM M. HILBERT, JR. was awarded the Silver Leadership Circle Award for his support of the Junior Achievement of Erie County, where he serves as the chairman of the board. William is the president of Reddog Industries of Erie. PEARL M. JEFFRIES has been elected as the NLA representative at Gamaliel President’s Table for the Congregational Action to Lift with Love (C.A.L.L.) organization. VALERIE NOVACCO has been promoted to sales center manager for the Elyria Coca-Cola Bottling Company, in addition to her current leadership role as the sales center manager in Willoughby, Ohio. DEBRA (SKURCENSKI) THOMPSON (VMC) ‘90M recently presented at the 20th Annual Basic Economic Development Conference for the fourth time.


MARYANNE ALBAUGH, M.D. was presented with the Perseus House “Spirit of Goldstein” Humanitarian Award.

Sustaining the Momentum As the new President of the National Alumni Association, I am excited about the continuing growth and recognition of Gannon University. I look forward to working with the alumni community to support the University as it defines ways to sustain and enhance its progress. It is also important that we, as an alumni community, learn more about the resources and capabilities the University has to offer each of us as we look, for example, to sources of continuing education or seek support for career change. We have a powerful resource in the more than 31,000 alumni from Gannon University and Villa Maria College and should work together as active members of this network. Joining me on the leadership team will be Dana Fallon, Esq., ’91 (Washington, D.C.) as Vice President and overseer of the Strategic Plan, and Deanna (Leskovec) Macioce, ’00/’01 (Cincinnati, Ohio) as Secretary. We have worked closely over the past three years with our outgoing President Russell Forquer ’71 and have seen significant progress. The focus has been on advancing key segments of the Strategic Plan and expanding the National Alumni Board to represent all aspects of the University alumni community. We now have an 18-member National Alumni Board, one that mirrors the demographics of the alumni community. This team brings a commitment, skill set and energy level that will enable us to move forward on a number of the opportunities defined in the Strategic Plan. There have been positive accomplishments over the past three years. The alumni community has actively supported the Admissions Office, helping to identify potential students and participating in information nights and recruitment sessions across the country. The Online Community is now a reality, providing a tool that keeps alumni connected to the University, and the Alumni Association now has a leadership role in the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner. Support for the educational mission is also increasing through on-campus visits/discussions with students and identification of internship opportunities, an area where much more can be accomplished. Career Services at Gannon is a resource of value not only to students but to alumni as well. As a Board team, we can best represent your interests and provide information, resources and support if we hear from you. Let us know your concerns. Help us identify appropriate vehicles to link you to the University and the alumni communities and the resources they offer. Let us know about opportunities and needs that you see; share your thoughts on how to address them. It is your Alumni Association. Work with your Board to make it work for you.




Joe Burkhart ’53 (left) chats with Tom Benedik ’56 and his wife, Kathleen, at the regional campaign event in Naples, Florida, this past February.

May 21

12th Annual Pittsburgh Scholarship Golf Tournament Sewickley Heights Golf Club, Sewickley, PA

May 24

20th Annual Erie Scholarship Golf Tournament Lake Shore Country Club, Erie, PA

October 19-21

Alumni/ae Homecoming/Reunion Weekend Gannon University, Erie, PA If you would like to register for these events, please contact Michele Potter in the Office of Alumni Services at 877-GUAlums, ext. 1 or

DOUGLAS B. GRISIER, D.O. has been appointed as medical director and a lead attending physician for HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Erie.


EMILY M. BECK was recently elected president of the Route 6 Tourist Association. Emily is the director of tourism development for the Erie Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.


CPT GREGORY M. HUET, MSC, U.S.N. ‘84M recently relocated to Camp Pendleton, California, where he is serving as the commanding officer for the Field Medical Service School. ALEJANDRO J. ALVARADO is a professor of electrical engineering at the UNEFA University in Caracas, and is also a system administrator for Cluster of Advance Calculus using Linux at the UCV University in Caracas.


PATRICK M. CAREY, ESQ. was recently named as a shareholder of the regional defense litigation firm Marshall, Dennehey,

Warner, Coleman & Goggin. Attorney Carey is a member of the firm’s Casualty Department in their Erie office.


JOSEPH G. CACCHIONE, M.D. was recently appointed to Edinboro University’s Council of Trustees. TINA (CICCHETTI) DONIKOWSKI is the 2006 recipient of the Erie Athena Award, which is given by National City Bank and the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. Tina is the general manager of propulsion and specialty services at GE Transportation. MARJORIE (STYER) KLEIN has been named as the vice president for development and alumni affairs at Allegheny College. BRIAN P. MCLAUGHLIN, MS ‘87M was recently named director of advocacy and recovery for Erie County Care Management, Erie County’s newest mental health agency. He was among the first graduating class of the Institute for Recovery and Integration’s CPSs (Certified Peer Specialists) training which was held at Gannon this past spring.

DR. GREGORY F. REED has joined KEMA Inc., a utility industry business and technical consulting firm, as the senior vice president of its power system planning and management practice. STEPHEN VENTRELLO was promoted to vice president and senior portfolio manager for PNC Wealth Management.



KAROLY J. DOBAY, III,D.O. currently is a civilian contractor practicing emergency medicine through his company, MediSource International, Inc., at the Reynolds Army Community Hospital at Fort Sill, Kentucky. He also works globally as a ship physician for Holland America Line, Inc. and will visit ports in 25 different countries throughout 2007.

DAVID H. PEACE was recently named as vice president of engineering for Swagelok Company in Solon, Ohio.

MONICA L. LEWIS has had one of her plays, Oh, Baby produced by a production company in Hollywood, California.


LT COL CHRISTOPHER J. LOREI has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Army. Colonel Lorei is currently stationed in Belgium.

LAURA (CZULEWICZ) REESE, D.O. has been inducted into the Marshall University Medical Hall of Fame and is a clinical professor at a Kentucky Medical School. MICHAEL J. SAMPSON, D.O. was awarded the 2007 Young Physician of the Year award by the American College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Sampson is Department Chair of Family Medicine and Team Physician at Virginia Tech, and is the Faculty Advisor for the VCOM ACOFP Chapter.


JOHN B. BOWEN is an assistant coach with Gannon University’s Men’s Basketball program. EDWARD R. KIGHTLINGER has been promoted to sergeant with the Meadville Police Department. DAVID S. RZEPECKI, ESQ. has joined the board at Mercyhurst Preparatory School. David is the board chair of Harborcreek Youth Services, and is a member of the board of the YMCA of Greater Erie and the Community National Bank of NWPA.


CHRISTINE (BANISZEWSKI) BUCHLEITNER is the office manager at General Teamsters Local 397 in Erie. KIRK M. MILES, ESQ. was recently named to the 2007 Management Committee of The Webb Law Firm. Kirk is a patent attorney with the firm. BRADLEY T. ROAE was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving the 6th District which includes the central and eastern portions of Crawford County.


TIMOTHY J. LEDONNE has been appointed as the commissioner of the Department of Public Protection (DPP) for Kentucky, an agency of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC). RANDALL Z. TAFT recently accepted the position of Global Logistics Finance Manager with Rio Tinto Minerals in Denver, Colorado.


THOMAS M. BOYD, D.C. is the director of injury management and prevention and team chiropractor for the Erie Freeze football team.



CANDACE D. BATTLES has been elected as vice president for publicity for the Congregational Action to Lift with Love (C.A.L.L.) organization. JOSEPH J. MOLINERO is now the first vice president for Morgan Stanley, Pittsburgh office.


TIMOTHY G. MILLER is a general assignment reporter for WTOL News 11 in Toledo, Ohio.


ELIZABETH A. SHARP ‘95M was recently named secretary of the Junior League of Erie’s board of directors. JOHNNY C. WHITE received his Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Edinboro University.


LISA (MOZUR) GRASSI was recently named the vice president of fundraising for the Junior League of Erie’s board of directors.


BRAD BANE has been promoted to the rank of major in the U.S.

our condolences Most Reverend Michael J. Murphy, D.D., S.T.L, retired bishop of the Diocese of Erie, passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2007 after having received Holy Communion. Bishop Murphy was a Trustee Emeritus of Gannon University and previous recipient of the Archbishop Gannon Medal of Distinction.

births marriages

Army. Following his return from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Major Bane is pursuing a master’s degree in military logistics at North Dakota State University. GREGG M. COSTANZO ‘04M is the new art and entertainment coordinator for the office of Campus Life at Eastern Michigan University. CARL R. HOEGERL, D.O. recently started as a staff physician in the neurology department at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania.


BRIAN KENNEDY has been promoted to the position of vice president of government relations for the Pittsburgh Technology Council. JOHN F. KROTO recently graduated from Ohio Northern’s Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University with a Juris Doctor degree. KIRA L. MISKIMMIN received her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Edinboro University.

Joseph C.P. Wang ’52 passed away on April 1, 2007, just four months after offering a keynote address at the University’s Winter Commencement ceremony. Gannon had awarded Wang an honorary doctoral of humane letters in December and felt a great loss at receiving the notice of his passing. Mr. Wang’s distinguished career in international affairs, public service and higher education exemplified many of Gannon University’s core Catholic values of leadership, integrity and public service.

Rebecca L. Bailey ’98 married Paul W. Johnson on December 29, 2006. Kristen L. Ballant ’99,’03M married Christopher Stimmell on July 22, 2006.

Christine Ann Baniszewski ’90 married Thomas C. Buchleitner III on April 22, 2006. Nicole R. Brink ’04 married Andrew Clements on October 7, 2006. Denise A. Cox ’04, ’05M married Joshua L. Campbell on July 1, 2006. Daniel Mark Dudenhoefer ’94 married Katherine Anne Sexsmith on September 16, 2006. Amy Marie Kreitzbender ’04, ’04C married Daniel Thomas Merryman on September 2, 2006. Amanda E. Lambert ’01 married Adam Higgins on October 21, 2006. Jennifer M. Makuch ’93 married Lee Ralph on July 1, 2006. Margaret Mary “Meg” Nalley ’05 married Ashley Rye Goodin on September 2, 2006. Stacy Jo Ross ’05 married Daniel Wayne Green ’05 on May 20, 2006. David W. Scaff, D.O., ’92 married Laurie L. Strockoz on September 15, 2006. Leah Renee Staaf ’06 married Allen Joseph Lombardozzi ’05 on August 11, 2006. Jennifer M. Tomecsko ’01, ’03M married Brian L. Leichliter on October 21, 2006.


AlumNotes ERIC M. PACZEWSKI has been promoted to clinical manager of the PRO Rehabilitation Services Plains, Pennsylvania, facility. Eric received his postprofessional clinical doctorate degree from the University of St. Augustine, specializing in manual physical therapy. MICHAEL L. RUDOLPH is currently a fulltime Hawker Jet Captain with Luftladder Air Charter, based in New York.

ALEASHA (DERK) STAINBROOK received her Master of Education degree in Special Education from Edinboro University.

Golden Apple Award from WJET-TV and Edinboro University. Sandra is a math teacher at Northwestern Senior High School in Albion, Pennsylvania.

KRISTEN (BALLANT) STIMMELL ‘03M is the senior high guidance counselor at Fort Cherry High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania.

PAULA J. BRAENDEL is a G.I. Specialty Sales Representative for Schwarz Pharma.

member and production editor of Law Review and recipient of the CALI Excellence Award for Advocacy and Adjudication. RACHAEL A. SMITH received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Edinboro University.


KEVIN D. DUNLAVEY, D.M.D., M.S. SARA E. BROWN has joined the orthodontic JENNIFER (HAUN) WEETER practice of Dr. Willis Cardot. is an account supervisor for has been named executive an advertising agency in director of the state Pittsburgh. TORRI J. FAIR, D.C. House’s Gaming Oversight has been chosen as a 2006 Committee. CAROL (WEBER) HAGER Congressional Medal of received her Master of Science Distinction winner. Dr. Fair RAJNEESH K. AHUJA ‘01M holds a position on President in Nursing degree from is the national sales Edinboro University. Bush’s Physicians Advisory manager of Canada for a CHARLES M. FONTANA, JR. Board for the state of pharmaceutical company. RICHARD J. SCHNEIDER ‘00M North Carolina. received his Master of CPT LUCIA L. LOMBARDI, USA has been appointed as the Education degree in athletic director for the Penn AARON M. PONZO is an intelligence officer Educational Leadership Trafford School District. received his Juris Doctor serving with the U.S. Army from Edinboro University. degree from Duquesne in Bagram, Afghanistan, SANDRA (PYLE) THROOP ‘00M University School of Law currently serving her third was the recipient of the in 2006 where he was a tour of duty.


births a daughter, Blake Marie (November 24, 2006) to Dana M. Accordino ’01. a son, Henry St. John James (December 14, 2006) to Eric A. Ballinger, Esq., ’89 and his wife, Mandi. a daughter, Maisee Renee Carrier (February 6, 2006) to Megan R. Zinkhann ’05 and her fiance, Evan A. Carrier ’05. a son, Jalen Thomas (February 13, 2007) to Cheryl L. (Dorrion) Benford ’96 and her husband, Kim.


twin daughters, Regan Lee and Quinlyn Jane (December 25, 2006) to Britt (Dyer) Daehnke ’98, ’05M and her husband Kevin.


a daughter, Paige Donna (October 12, 2006) to Randy E. Dovichow ’94 and his wife, Darlene.

a son, Nicholas Michael (March 7, 2006) to Kelly (Feketi) Kalkhof ’97 and her husband, Mitch.

a son, Joshua Aaron (January 23, 2006) to Gail (Mosbacher) Pennock ’91 and her husband, Greg.

a son, Braden Robert (August 25, 2006) to Kristen MillerEdmonds ’98 and her husband, Robert.

a daughter, Rachel Paige (May 16, 2006) to Ronald J. Kunco, Jr. ’91 and his wife, Jessica.

a daughter, Cameron Marie (October 5, 2006) to Meghan (Heil) Plaxe ’00 and her husband, Brian.

a son, Ryan Luke (April 24, 2006) to Michelle L. (Balogh) Fingerman ’99M and her husband, Bob.

a daughter, Ava Corinne (November 7, 2006) to James E. Means, Esq., ’95 and his wife, Lisa.

a son, Logan Andrew (November 27, 2006) to Laurie (Graham) Skelly ’98 and her husband, Larry.

a daughter, Faith Anne (January 26, 2007) to Rev. Robert M. ’00 and Tina (Hanks) Giannamore ’00.

a son, Dylan Thomas (August 19, 2006) to Jason T. ’00 and Danelle (Panko) Milk ’01.

a son, Joseph E. (April 4, 2006) to Duncan M. Gildersleeve ’79 and his wife, Josephine.

a son, Santino Sebastian (July 21, 2006) to Mark A. Musone ’78 and his wife, Elizabeth.

a daughter, Mackenzie Mae (August 11, 2006) to Kimberly (Jablonski) ’99 and Mark A. Spence ’98, ’02M.

a son, Matthew Jacob Alan (October 31, 2006) to William B. Hollenbeck ’98 and his wife, Therese. a daughter, Emma Grace (December 23, 2005) to Harry P. Izbicki, Jr. ’97 and his wife, Amy.

a daughter, Ainsley Claire (October 24, 2006) to Martin A. ’93 and Brodie (Stuart) Owens, D.V.M. ’94.

a daughter, Olivia Grace (June 16, 2006) to Nick P. Stefanovski, M.D., ’82 and his wife, Laura. a son, Logan Michael (August 29, 2006) to Lorrie (Zeiler) ’97 and Michael R. Watts ’97.



KATINA N. OAKS ‘02M is a professor in the psychology program at Wingate University in North Carolina. CHRISTOPHER M. PAYNE ‘02M recently joined Advanced Rehabilitation in Erie as a physical therapist. DAVID J. CAGE, O.D. is an optometrist with Scott Griffith, M.D., in Erie. ELLIOTT J. EHRENREICH, ESQ. has joined the law firm of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. in Erie. LAUREN (SIMEK) THEISEN received her Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Edinboro University.


ERIN J. CHAPIN received her PharmD degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and is employed as a pharmacist at Wal-Mart in Meadville. MARK T. SMITH II has been promoted to manager of the Northwest Savings Bank Harborcreek office. JUSTIN W. WILLIAMS finished the season with the Sacramento Kings after signing two 10-day contracts with them in January. Williams had previously been with the Dakota Wizards, a member of the NBA Development League.


KAREN R. STARCHER ‘04M has been promoted to lean coordinator with Meadville Forging Company. DENISE (COX) CAMPBELL ‘05M currently works at the Miami Valley Regional Center. STEPHEN J. CROWE is the Guatemalan Project Manager for Appropriate

Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG), which works to provide rural villages in developing countries with affordable and environmentally sound technologies. ANDREW K. KOHL received his Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Edinboro University. AMY (KREITZBENDER) MERRYMAN ‘04C is a juvenile probation counselor in Florida. LANCE CPL MATTHEW A. PALERMO, USMC has completed Amphibious Assault Battalion School at Camp Pendleton in California. Matthew has been assigned to 1st Platoon of Delta Company, 2nd AA Battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.


WILLIAM J. MESSNER ‘05M is co-founder and owner of Community Capital Group, LLC, a fee-only registered investment advising company. DANIELLE N. CARNES has joined the staff at Burton Funeral Homes in Erie. JESSIE M. CHAMPLIN ‘06M has joined Bassett Healthcare’s Division of Orthopedics as a certified physician assistant. Jessie is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. 1LT THOMAS J. CIESLAK has been promoted to 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. 1LT Cieslak serves with the 2nd Brigade of

the 10th Mountain Division, currently serving in Iraq. MARGARET (NALLEY) GOODIN is employed by Morrison Management Specialists as the clinical nutrition manager, manager of patient services at Sumter Regional Hospital in Americus, Georgia. DANIEL W. GREEN is a financial analyst with UPS in Pittsburgh.

GEOFFREY W. HUSTED has re-signed with the NBA Development League Dakota Wizards for the 2006-07 season. KRISTEN (SHAY) MANUEL ‘06M is a physician assistant in permissions testing at Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Massachusetts.


MARY S. GELNETT STACY JO (ROSS) GREEN is currently attending Penn is a registered nurse at UPMC State College of Medicine. Passavant in Pittsburgh.


in memorium

Sister Joan Acker, H.M. ’47 Robert W. Breene ’60 Margaret Anderson Carlisle ’77 Jon A. Ciotti ’60 Anna Molnar Cook ’61,’76M Rev. Robert G. Craig ’66 Edward J. Cross ’75 Walter J. Curry ’57 Sister Mary O. Dembowski ’44 Kenneth B. Dixon ’58 Dimitri T. Dominik ’70 Rev. Joseph F. Finucane ’59 John L. Gore, Jr. ’97 Norbert Hakel ’56 Wilfred J. Harter ’61 Patrick M. Hayes ’65 Rev. John J. Hilbert ’54 Richard H. Hubbell ’75 Vincent C. Izzi ’61 David R. Keverline, Sr. ’61 Vanessa M. Kisamore ’03 Sister Mary L. Kott ’43 Theodore W. Lorei ’54 Lillian Grygier Lynch ’46 Daniel T. Malee ’76 Gregory G. Mashank ’69

Rev. Mr. George E. McMahon ’58 Paul A. Messina ’60 Edward R. Miles ’55 Michael Nowakowski ’61 Mary Kelsch O’Brien ’49 Donald A. Redman ’52 Randall C. Semancik ’04M Robert P. Sigler, Jr. ’64 Louis P. Stefan ’54 Norbert J. Walczak ’54 John W. Walkiewicz ’65 Andrew Warholak, Jr. ’78 Frances Scalise Whitmore ’61 Frederick S. Wilson ’49 Robert G. Wood ’57

Parents and Friends Donald M. Alstadt Louanne Barton, Ph.D Kathryn Barber Durkin Richard P. Ferko Joseph Haywood Carol Spiller Magenau Harold J. McLaren, Jr., M.D.

Have you recently married, changed careers, published a book, or had a child? If so, let us know! You can post your information and see what your friends are up to in the online alumni community at www.gannonalumni. org, or you can send your information to Jana Hunt at or call (814) 871-7469.



Believe in the Power to Transform Gannon During my six years at Gannon University, I have witnessed many transformations that have occurred because of the generosity and support of Gannon’s Board of Trustees, the productivity and dedication of Gannon’s dynamic faculty and staff, the motivation of our students, and the support of involved alumni and friends. Gannon’s faculty, administrators and staff are committed to the University’s continued growth and transformation as a top-tier institution of higher education. As we move into the final eighteen months of The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign, I want to personally thank the many alumni and friends who have thus far contributed to the Campaign. And, I want to take this opportunity to encourage other alumni who are planning to make a contribution to do so as soon as possible. Having attended many alumni receptions around the country, I am convinced that alumni truly believe in Gannon and want to become a part of our continued transformation. At the Board of Trustees meeting in February, the Board approved the administration’s recommendation to begin renovations to the Zurn Science Center and Beyer Hall this summer. In addition to their support of these important projects, the Board of Trustees has collectively contributed more than 40 percent of the $19.3 million raised as of May 1 in The Power To Transform Comprehensive Campaign. This significant amount from the Trustees has also made it possible for private foundations and corporations to make or consider making gifts to the Campaign. We have obtained substantial donations from 21 foundations thus far, and we expect to receive even more before the Campaign concludes in 2008. The Power to Transform Campaign is the largest fundraising campaign in Gannon’s history, and it has primarily been supported by our generous alumni. Eighty alumni and friends, with graduating years ranging from the 1930s to the 1990s, have individually donated $25,000 or more to Gannon during this Campaign. In addition, 35 alumni and friends have been inducted to the Universitas Society, which consists of individuals who have given $100,000 or more to the University over their lifetime.


The generosity of donors at all levels­—trustees, alumni, friends, parents, or employees—has benefited the University in many ways. Most importantly, it benefits our students. Since the beginning of the Campaign in 2002, a total of 39 new scholarships have been established, directly benefiting the students by helping to make a private, quality Catholic education affordable.

Additionally, 54 scholarships that had previously been established were increased through donations given during the Campaign time period, bringing the total of actively growing scholarships to 93, which are valued at nearly $3.6 million dollars. The majority of the donations to the Campaign is used to provide scholarships to students, support faculty research and scholarship, increase our endowment and renovate campus facilities. However, these gifts also help to strengthen Gannon’s reputation and position among higher education institutions in the nation. Our overall top-tier U.S. News & World Report ranking, 40th among 165 universities in the northern section of the country, and our top-ten “best value” ranking are positively influenced by the percentage of alumni who give annually to the University. And, the more alumni and friends who give to the University, the stronger the likelihood will be that additional foundations will also invest in Gannon’s future. In addition to and not included in the Campaign total, Gannon has also received more than $6.5 million in state and federal funds since 2001, which continue to transform Gannon’s campus and the greater Erie community. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) was established in 2005 as a result of a five-year $1.824 million Title III federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Gannon’s CETL has transformed faculty instruction through the use of technology, strengthening Gannon as a teaching university. The University also received a $4 million state capital grant in August, 2006 from Gov. Ed Rendell to be used to renovate and open the Erie Technology Incubator (ETI) on campus. Last month, Gannon received an additional $119,000 Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) grant to benefit the ETI. The ETI is a project that will not only transform Gannon’s campus, but it will also serve as an economic catalyst for the Erie community and northwestern Pennsylvania by providing support for new technology-based businesses that will bring more employment opportunities to the region. Clearly, Gannon University will continue to strive toward academic excellence and will work diligently to improve our region and our world through leadership, scholarship, economic development and service. I am hoping that you too will show that you believe in Gannon by making a gift to The Power To Transform Campaign.Your donation will transform students’ lives in the same way that your life was transformed as a result of the personal attention you received from the dedicated faculty and staff of Villa Maria College, Gannon College and Gannon University.

You’ve matured nicely over the years...

Bernie Nagle ’73

Annual Fund Donor Since 1977

And so have we. Giving to Gannon University gives you the power to transform the value of your alma mater. Add a donation to Gannon University’s Annual Fund to the many investments you’ve made in life, and know that the value of your Gannon or Villa Maria degree continues to mature. Thanks to technology, there are many ways to support Gannon University’s Annual Fund. You can make your credit card gift by dialing 1 (877) 482-5867 and press option 3. You can also visit and follow the giving link to our secure giving site. If you’re feeling really nostalgic, then simply drop your gift payable to Gannon University in the mail. Send it to: Gannon University, Attn: Annual Fund, 109 University Square, Erie, PA 16541.

Gannon University 109 University Square Erie, PA 16541-0001

Believe in Teamwork

Head Coach Cleve Wright gives the Lady Knights a pep talk before the team takes the court during the GLIAC Championship game, Coach Wright was named GLIAC Coach of the Year.

Spring 2007