Gannon University

Walter Iwanenko

This inauguration was a significant milestone in the nearly 100-year history of Gannon University. To commemorate the momentous tradition together, we held a series of signature events to celebrate alongside members of the Gannon family and communities surrounding our Erie, Pa. and Ruskin, Fla. Campuses.

View Live Stream of Ceremony

Upcoming Events

Ruskin Campus Inauguration Celebration with Dr. Iwanenko

Student Luncheon
1 – 3 p.m. | Friday, September 29, 2023
Academic Building, 3rd Floor
103 Commercial Center Dr.
Ruskin, Florida 33573

RSVP to Student Luncheon

Community Reception
3 - 5 p.m. | Friday, September 29, 2023
Administration Building, Center Gathering Space
103 Commercial Center Dr.
Ruskin, Florida 33573

RSVP to Community Reception


Walter Iwanenko

Iwanenko grew up in Buffalo, the oldest of three children to immigrants. His father is from Ukraine and his mother is from Poland. His parents came to the U.S. as children and met in Buffalo in high school. He was the first in his family to receive a college degree and his career is the product of that education. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy from D’Youville College in Buffalo and a Ph.D. in epidemiology and community health from the State University of New York at Buffalo. “I understand and appreciate first-hand the opportunities that higher education can create. I want others to have those same opportunities,” he said. 

Working as a staff occupational therapist at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, N.Y., Iwanenko launched and managed two businesses in the Buffalo region – Monarch Little Learners Academy and ChildPro, which he and his wife eventually sold. At the same time, he was an instructor and later associate professor at D’Youville College in the Occupational Therapy Department. In 2011, he was hired as the dean of Adult Graduate Studies and a professor of public administration at Hilbert College, a role he would have until he was hired as the chief academic officer at Gannon University.

From 2016 to 2020, Iwanenko was the vice president for academic affairs at Gannon, responsible for the faculty and all undergraduate and graduate programs. He was also a key member of the president’s leadership team, helping guide the growth of the university. He was named provost and vice president of student experience in September 2020 following a realignment of the university’s leadership.

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About Gannon University

Gannon University is a Catholic, diocesan university with campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Ruskin, Florida, offering online and traditional associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs to more than 4,700 academically talented and diverse students.

Gannon University is dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the University offers a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.