President's Message

As the 2017 fiscal year came to a close, the sun also set on Gannon University’s 2013-2017 Strategic Plan. Our plans continue as we transition into the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan. The 2016-17 Academic Year and 2013-17 Strategic Plan included some historic milestones; you will find highlights of both in this Annual Report. We have much to be proud of as we reflect on the good works of our faculty, staff and students on behalf of the University and the communities we serve.

Higher education institutions across the nation faced a year of uncertainty, as did the entire nation and world. Transitions in leadership and ongoing social, economic and political turmoil led to challenges for many of our global family members. However, Gannon remained –and remains– dedicated to our students, committed to inclusiveness and social responsibility, and inspired to provide accessible high-quality education. Through innovation and strategic action, guided by our Mission, the University was not only able to remain steadfast to these promises, but was also able to expand our programs and footprint in Erie, Pa. and Ruskin, Fla. while heightening our global awareness and impact through collaborations and institutional partnerships across the Erie region, the nation and across the Americas, to Europe and to Asia.

It is this tenacity and understanding of the importance of being responsible citizens that has inspired transformation in our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and enhanced Gannon’s delivery of an innovative, holistic education as the region’s premier Catholic University. We broadened our awareness and extended our reach with record numbers of students, faculty and staff traveling the world to serve, explore and learn.

This mindset of helping our brothers and sisters on other continents was born in the care and responsibility we feel and act on for our neighbors within our Erie community. A signature achievement of Gannon's goal to engage in the community is reflected in the University’s work alongside community members and local organizations to establish Our West Bayfront. The nascent effort will drive revitalization of Erie’s west Bayfront neighborhoods to enhance the quality of life for its residents for years to come.

The success of this goal and those to foster innovation and develop a worldview, will remain an integral part of the University’s focus as we continue our momentum into the next strategic plan.

The 2017-2021 Strategic Plan builds from the previous plan with new strategic goals that focus on promoting learning by engagement, advancing organizational health and creating public impact to meet the evolving needs of current and future students, our employees and the communities we serve.

Our University, its members and the community have benefitted from the educational outcomes and servant leadership of this past fiscal year. As we progress into the next year and Strategic Plan, Gannon University will continue to lead in the ever-changing environment of higher education while being guided by our Mission and Catholic Identity to create and deliver educational experiences that transform the lives of our students and all of us engaged in the learning process.

May God bless you and keep you healthy and safe.

Keith Taylor