Gannon continues zealous fundraising march


Madeline Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

Gannon University is in the midst of its most ambitious fundraising campaign, with a goal of generating $100 million.

The university announced its goal on Sept. 25, ahead of its centennial anniversary in 2025.

The campaign, titled “Believe. Inspire. Transform. Gannon’s Next Century,” has quietly been gaining momentum, as $60 million has already been raised toward the goal.

According to Barbara Beuscher, vice president for university advancement, the goal of the campaign is fourfold: to enrich student experience, foster academic excellence, enhance campus landscape and leverage the Gannon fund.

“We seek to secure resources to enhance the educational experiences for our students – both in and out of the classroom,” she said.

Donors to the campaign will help ensure that students can achieve personal and professional aspirations no matter their socioeconomic status or background. They will also provide support for faculty to engage with students through learning experiences, contribute to an effective learning environment and provide students with immediate access to financial and educational resources, Beuscher said.

“I can’t think of a better way to both commemorate Gannon’s 100th anniversary and also benefit Gannon students on their educational journey,” she said.

The main goal of the campaign is to make a Gannon education affordable and accessible through the four goals Beuscher outlined.

The campaign raised $60.1 million before it was announced, which is due to its launch on July 1, 2016. All philanthropic gifts, federal and state grants, gifts and contracts received since that date have been counted toward the campaign.

So far, these funds have supported I-HACK, study abroad scholarships, emergency funds for students in need and the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel renovation, Beuscher said.

And the funds raised from the campaign won’t stop there. Looking ahead, Gannon will benefit from the “Believe. Inspire. Transform. Gannon’s Next Century” campaign for years to come.

“Gannon is on the move; we have shown incredible momentum over the past decades since our founding,” Beuscher said. “Donors will help to create lasting support for this special place.”

This support will be seen through financial aid for students, opportunities for experiential learning, enhanced faculty-student collaboration and support for Gannon’s mission to help it continue to serve its students and community.

Beuscher said that it’s the support from external partners that gives Gannon the edge it needs to make investments in its students. Growing this support, she said, ensures that faculty, staff, coaches and other leadership have what they need to offer students opportunities in and out of the classroom.

One example of this is alumni support, which contributes to the quality of education students receive.

“We have seen our number of donors, particularly alumni donors, growing over this past year, and this is a strong vote of confidence in the education our students receive here and their desire to see it continue for future generations,” Beuscher said.

Support from these donors will ensure that quality of education continues into the next century and ensure that Gannon continues to live by its mission and vision.

“Our centennial campaign will provide the resources we need to continue fully living out our mission of transforming students’ lives through high-quality, affordable learning experiences,” Robert Barker, chair of the University Advancement committee, said in a statement. Barker gifted $500,000 to the Inspiration Scholarship Challenge.

Not only will the campaign help Gannon transform students’ lives, but it will also help the communities surrounding Gannon’s campuses.

“A strong Gannon is a strong Erie and a strong Ruskin,” Beuscher said. “Gannon is an economic driver in both communities, and by continuing to stay fiscally strong and true to our mission, we can support our local communities.”

With the university’s long-standing history in the community, this success is an impetus for support.

“We believe that Gannon is worthy of support,” Beuscher said. “We have a compelling case to ask others to support us in our vision and mission and make sure that Gannon can continue to serve our students and community.”



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