Eighth President of Gannon University Chosen

Charlize Harding , News Editor

Walter Iwanenko Jr. Ph.D. will succeed President Keith Taylor Ph.D. as the eighth president of Gannon University effective June 30th, 2023.

His appointment as president follows a near six-month search for a new president.

Iwanenko is an occupational therapist and epidemiologist with a six-year tenure as a provost and vice-president.

With him becoming president, the university will be searching for a new provost and vice-president for student connections.

The vote for Iwanenko to become president was decided on Monday Oct. 31st by the board of trustees.

From the Gannon Universities Leadership Transition Committee, there were more than 800 responses from students, faculty, and staff. These responses helped in the decision-making process for the eight president.

Elizabeth Principie, junior occupational therapy major, is excited about Iwanenko stepping in.

“As an Occupational Therapy student, it is incredible to say that I go to a university where the president has a background in the degree I am pursuing,” she said. “I am hoping he continues the communication between administration and students as that was something I really enjoyed and also that he is already has built a connection with both the students and organizations on campus as he steps into the role of president best year.”

Aubree Etling, sophomore physician’s assistant major also mentioned herhopes with Iwanenko being president.

“I am glad that the university picked a well-known and respected person from the university to serve as the next president” she said. “Although Dr. Taylor will be missed, it is clear that Dr. Iwanenko is passionate about the future of Gannon. Thus, I hope as President he continues to encourage the growth of the university by investing in new projects to benefit the education and experience of current students and prospective students.”

Iwanenko worked at Hilbert and D’Youville college before working at Gannon University in 2016.

He was a first-generation college student, where he received his degree in occupational therapy from D’Youville College in Buffalo. He received his Ph.D. in epidemiology and community health from the University of Buffalo.

When he was working as an occupational therapist, he also ran two businesses in Buffalo; Monarch Little Learners Academy and ChildPro. During this time, he worked at D’Youville college where he went from a clinical instructor to a tenured associate professor.

In 2011, he was named Dean of Hilbert college, but it was cut short when he became chief academic officer at Gannon University, where he was then pronounced provost and vice-president in 2020.

Though campus is sad to see President Taylor step down, the new chapter with President Iwanenko is certainly something campus is looking forward too.