The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


TIE-d Together: Gannon Welcomes 8th President

Friday, September 22, the formal inauguration of Dr. Iwanenko as Gannon’s 8th president was well attended by students, faculty, alumni and more at the Warner Theatre.

Before the event, the new president answered some questions in an interview about his goals for the university.

Short term, Dr. Iwanenko would like to see an increase in first year enrollment for next fall, finalize the plans for IHACK’s fourth floor, complete the Highmark Events Center renovations along with plans for a Greenhouse and Water Research Center for the NePTWNE (Nano & Polymer Technology for Water and Neural-networks in Erie) project.

In his own words, Dr. Iwanenko said in his interview that the roll of president for our university is to “provide vision…and continuous leadership and direction for the planning and operation of all aspects of the University’s programs and services while following our Board of Trustee policies, state laws, and the Catholic Church.”

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Which in turn brought about the question “what are Dr. Iwanenko’s long term goals?” His response was focused on the well-being of the students, faculty, and staff of Gannon.

Dr. Iwanenko said he would like to see an increase in enrollment with a focus on “retention and recruitment in emerging and evolving markets…[and] invest[ing] in the development of our employees to recruit and retain the talent needed for success.”

Other long-term ambitions include decreasing university tuition dependency through an increase in auxiliary revenue, completing the current 100-million-dollar capital campaign, and ranking in the top 250 school in the US News World report.

On the day of Inauguration Dr. Iwanenko was accompanied by fifteen leaders of Gannon University, including the last president Dr. Taylor, as he graciously accepted his new position.

Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico—Bishop in the Diocese of Erie and Chairperson for the Board of Trustees—said in his speech at the inauguration “Walter you have earned this moment.” This set the stage for a series of acceptances from the heads of the university.

In his own speech, Dr. Iwanenko dedicated a special thank you to his parents who were immigrants from Poland and Ukraine for gifting him the opportunities that have brought him to this position in his life. “To my parents, thank you for your guidance, your love, your support, I couldn’t do it without you.” Inviting them to stand Dr. Iwanenko allowed his parents a moment to take in the fact that their tenacity has bred success as they received a round of applause from those in attendance.

Dr. Iwanenko later addressed the student body saying that, “Our students you are the lifeblood of Gannon University, you are the center of what we do. Your passion, curiosity and enthusiasm drive us to continually improve and innovate. I encourage you to seize every opportunity that comes your way, to challenge yourselves, and to contribute to the betterment of our community and beyond.”

His advice to his students could all be summed up by his introduction to T.I.E. Known for his signature bowtie Dr. Iwanenko promised students to always bring his best techniques, his balanced intensity, and succeed in execution when coming to work.

Dr. Iwanenko emphasized the importance of these aspects being balanced and approached with patience for a properly tied bowtie. This was also true for the acronym as well.

“Sometimes the bowties not balanced. Sometimes one side is bigger than the other. That happens when you’re leading an organization. When you’re not balanced you may be planning too much, and you never get to execution. Sometimes you plan too little, and you try to execute without being prepared. Intensity is in the middle. Too little and you’re perceived as not caring, too big, too intense, may be perceived as you’re difficult to work with. When patient the bowtie allows you to adjust, it allows you to adapt. Plan to perform and execute while maintaining intensity… I come to work to win, I come to work with my T.I.E. on.”

-Dr. Iwanenko

With those inspiring words, Gannon University welcomes our eighth president, Dr. Walter Iwanenko.

Congratulations Dr. Iwanenko!!

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About the Contributor
Jillian Wells, News Editor
Hello, this year's News editor for the 2023 academic school year is Jillian Wells. She has written for the Gannon Knight as a staff writer periodically for the last two years and is looking forward to adding a third as an editor. She is also a co-editor for Gannon’s Literary Art Magazine the Totem, and a member of the English Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta. She is an easy-going person and tends to open up the more you get to know her. A good book and a cup of tea (or coffee) are all she needs for a free afternoon, and she is most definitely a dog (and cat) person. Jillian says that The Knight is a way for students and faculty to stay connected to the happenings around campus and to be a part of that is a great privilege. She hopes to do the best by you all.

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