Gannon READS event to be held Monday


Madeline Bruce, Editor-in-Chief

Gannon University will hold its annual Gannon READS (Reading to Enhance Awareness of a Diverse society)  event Monday.

The event will feature Craig Grossi, author of “Craig and Fred: A Marine, A Stray Dog, and How They Rescued Each Other.”

The book, which is compulsory for all first-year students to read in the first-year seminar courses, details the story of Grossi’s relationship with his dog, Fred.

Grossi was doing intelligence work for the Marine Force Reconnaissance, a Marine Corps special operations capable force that supplies military intelligence to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, when he found a young stray dog. The dog was covered in dirt and bugs in a bomb-ridden area, and even though Marines have a rule against approaching strays, Grossi couldn’t help but approach the dog.

The name “Fred” stuck, and Grossi smuggled the dog in a duffel bag, risking jail time if he was caught. Fred eventually made it back to Grossi’s family in the U.S., and the two were reunited upon Grossi’s return to the U.S.

Fred helped Grossi with post-traumatic stress inflicted from his time in Afghanistan, mental health issues that will be highlighted in Grossi’s visit to Gannon on Monday.

The Gannon READS will include two events: “Mental Well-Being with Craig and Fred” and “An Evening with Craig Grossi.”

“Mental Well-Being with Craig and Fred” will take place at 2 p.m. Monday in the Yehl Ballroom.

In this event, Grossi will have a formal meet-and-greet with Gannon students, faculty and staff, in which they will have the opportunity to talk with the author and meet his dog.

Grossi will also share his own struggle with mental health and the importance of getting needed support in times of crisis.

Students, faculty and staff will also have the opportunity to ask Grossi questions, as well as find out about mental health services on campus, including the Mental Well-Being Initiative, University Wellness, Active Minds and the Counseling Center.

“An Evening with Craig Grossi” will take place at 7 p.m. in the Erie Insurance Arena.

The event, Gannon’s signature READS lecture, will include Grossi and Fred addressing Gannon’s first-year class and other members of the Gannon community at the arena.

All members of the Gannon community are welcome to attend, but the event is mandatory for all first-year students.

Those interested in attending can RSVP on EngageU at


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