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


Taylor to take oath

Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will be inaugurated as the seventh president of Gannon University on Friday, Nov. 4.

Phillip Kelly, Ph.D., an English Department professor, who served as interim president between the departure of Antoine Garibaldi, Ph.D., and the appointment of Taylor, said he has been to many presidential inaugurations, including that of Garibaldi. He said inaugurations tend to reflect the plans and initiatives of the new president.

The theme of Taylor’s inauguration is “Tradition of Service – Strengthening our Community.”

Kelly said he knows service is going to be a central mission of the Taylor presidency. He said he thinks Taylor sees service to the Erie neighborhood as critical to the mission of a Catholic university.

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Kelly said globalization is another important initiative to Taylor, and he said he is sure it will be an important focus of the inauguration. He said this initiative is two-fold: Taylor wants to enroll more international students at Gannon, but he also wants to provide opportunities for Gannon students to have international learning experiences, like study abroad programs.

Cathy Fresch, the director of alumni services, said four events are being held during the week that might be particularly interesting to students. On Thursday, she said students might want to attend the speakers at the Erie-GAINS and Symposium: Living the Catholic Tradition of Service around the World presentations, and the Special Celebration with Students. She also encourages students to attend the actual inauguration celebration being held Friday.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, from 1-3:30 p.m. Richard Knopf will be speaking at the Erie-GAINS: Engaging in Partnerships through Service session in the Waldron Campus Center’s Yehl Alumni Room.

Knopf is the director of the Partnership for Community Development at Arizona State University. Arizona State has been working to transforms itself into a “New American University,” meaning it wishes to more meaningfully serve the local community.

Knopf has been instrumental in creating partnerships with groups in the local community such as the government, schools and businesses.

These partnerships are intended to better serve the needs of the community.

Sister Arlene Flaherty will be speaking from 4-6 p.m. at the Symposium: Living the Catholic Tradition of Service around the World in Waldron’s Yehl Alumni Room.

Flaherty, a Dominican Sister from the Blauvelt congregation in New York, has been promoting justice and peace for 25 years in several ways.

These include her work for Catholic Relief Services and the 11 years she spent teaching at the University of the West Indies’ school of theology and doing community organizing among the poor of West Kingston.

Fresch said these speakers will be valuable to students, because they provide a chance to learn about future opportunities and engage with community leaders.

On the lighter side, the Special Celebration with Students will be held at the One Green World Café, where students will be able to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate with the president.

It will also feature a bit of pyrotechnics, in the form of small fireworks to be shot off at the Gannon University Field, on Fifth and Sassafras streets.

Fresch said these lighter elements were all part of Taylor’s wish to make the celebration enjoyable. “Dr. Taylor’s idea of this is that this is a very important time, but he wants it to be fun,” she said. “He wants it to be engaging.”

She said he also wants to take this time share his vision for the university with members of the Gannon community, such as students and teachers.

Members of these groups are encouraged to attend the actual inauguration from 2-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, in the Hammermill Center, and events surrounding it.

These include the Inaugural Mass from 10:30 a.m. to noon at St. Peter’s Cathedral, at 230 W. 10th St., and the Public Reception from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Yehl Ballroom, in the Waldron Campus Center.

During the Inaugural ceremony, members from different factions related to Gannon will speak to honor Taylor.

These speakers include, Mayor Joe Sinnott, who will be speaking on behalf of the community, and Parris Baker, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the social work program, who will represent the faculty.

Bishop Donald Trautman will be presiding over the ceremony. In addition to speaking about Taylor, he will place a medal around his neck, confirming him as president of Gannon.

Fresch said this ceremony is like a wedding, marrying Taylor to the university. She said it’s important because it acknowledges and celebrates who he is and his new role.

However, she encourages students to not let the “grandness” of the ceremony deter them from coming.

Interested students are asked to register online at or at the Waldron Campus Center front desk.

However, she wants people to do this for a head count, and those who want to attend but were not able to register will not be turned away.

“We will find a seat for everyone,” she said.

She said students should come to the event if they have time between classes. There is no dress code, although students are encouraged to wear Gannon attire.

As part of Taylor’s drive to get students interested, every student is getting a personalized email invitation from him.

Fresch also said the event coordinates well with the weekend’s Homecoming activities, though that wasn’t planned. She said she hopes that students already participating in Gannon activities might make them more likely to be interested in the inauguration proceedings.

“It’s just a very exciting time, for all of us,” she said. “The more students we can engage in this to celebrate with us, the better.

“It’s going to be informative and a very good experience for everybody.”

Kelly was also excited about the activities, but he wanted to make sure people didn’t forget to honor the man at the center of the hubbub.

“I’m very pleased that Dr. Taylor is our new president,” Kelly said.

“I think he is a man of substantial energy, as well as remarkable vision for the university and the future of the university.”


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