The Most Successful Fundraising Campaign in Gannon University History Concludes

Posted: September 22, 2016

The most successful fundraising effort in Gannon University history culminated in the conclusion of the Vision 2020 Campaign.

During the record-breaking campaign, more than 13,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends of the University gave $67.5 million in support of priorities across campus that will enhance the educational experience of students and strengthen the University for the future.

Among the significant gifts made since the campaign's inception in 2009 are 10 of $1 million or more, including a gift of $5 million, the campaign's largest. Gifts totaling $3.1 million were made by 528 members of Gannon University faculty and staff, while 399 Campaign Partners made gifts of $10,000 or more.

"We are truly blessed by the incredible support and passion for the University as evidenced by the Vision 2020 Campaign," said Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. "As our enrollment grows and our call to service is heard, these remarkable gifts and grants shine a light forward for our students and for our faculty and staff who embrace our Mission of preparing students to be global citizens through a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility."

One of the many students helped by the generosity of donors is Angela Jeffery, a graduate assistant in the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Jeffery, a mother of six, had been out of school for nearly 20 years before coming to Gannon. "From the very start, the fact that Gannon offered me financial assistance was what made my journey possible," Jeffery said. "It is extremely validating to know that there are people who care that you are making an effort and succeeding at something that, to some, may seem like an easy task, but for me was something I had to fit in along with work and family.

It was certainly a motivating factor that led to my summa cum laude graduation and I am sure it contributed to the fact that I received The Inspiration for the Next Generation award. My entire Gannon journey has empowered me to become my best, while not fearing the mistakes that I will make along the way, and I am so grateful for that."

 Enrollment at Gannon University has grown by 10.2 percent over the past four years. During that same time the University has celebrated the blessing and dedication ceremonies of a new campus in Ruskin, Florida and of eight facilities on the flagship Erie campus, including North Hall, the Center for Communication and the Arts, the Forensic Investigation Center, the Center for Business Ingenuity, West Hall, the modernized Recreation and Wellness Center, the Center for Advanced Engineering and this week, the remodeled Beyer Hall. Additionally, funds supported McConnell Family Stadium and the modernization of Nash Library, which is expected to open in 2018.

One of the most effective forms of support is the generous gift made by Tom Power, a 1963 Gannon University alumnus and retired railroad executive, and his wife, Loretta to create the "Power" Scholarship Challenge. Gannon has matched that gift to create the "Power" Challenge Fund, which has leveraged more than 50 new scholarship gifts that were matched dollar-for-dollar through the "Power" Challenge. Gifts from $25,000 to $100,000 for new scholarships that have been established by alumni, parents, faculty, staff, priests, friends, fraternities and businesses were enhanced by funds provided through the Powers' generosity.

Grant funds supported programs and projects benefitting students, faculty, and community and regional partners including the GO College program for City of Erie high school students, Science in Motion, the Student Success Center, STEM scholarships and programs supporting women faculty in STEM fields, the Small Business Development Center at Gannon and Upward Bound.

Support from the campaign facilitated opportunities for students and faculty to work and learn while utilizing advanced technology in the Patient Simulation Center and Human Performance Lab, and in fields such as nanotechnology and Lake Erie water analysis research. Donors also supported the new Golden Knight statue at McConnell Family Stadium, the murals on campus by noted area artist Joseph Plavcan, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, athletic boosters and the Annual Fund.

Fast facts:

  • The Vision 2020 Campaign created 133 new estate plan gifts and 79 new scholarships to ensure access to an exceptional Gannon University education to students from a wide range of financial backgrounds.

  • Charitable gifts to the campaign totaled $50.2 million, far surpassing the goal of $40 million. An additional $17.3 million of the funds (26 percent of the total) were government grants and sponsored faculty research.

  • Gannon University alumni were responsible for 64 percent of the charitable gifts raised. Of these, 65 percent came from outside Erie County, Pennsylvania, creating a significant economic impact on the local community.

  • The years 2014-15 and 2015-16 were the largest fundraising years in Gannon University history with $12.1 and $17.1 million raised respectively.

  • The Vision 2020 campaign surpassed the $39.2 million raised by the previous Power to Transform Campaign.¬†