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Cathy Fresch Announces Retirement after 22 Years of Service

Published: 04/21/2021

Cathy Fresh, Retired, University Advancement

Cathy Fresh, Retired, University Advancement

After 22 years of service to Gannon, Cathy Fresch, Director of Development for University Advancement is retiring. A devoted advocate for the alumni experience, Cathy was integral in shaping the department of University Advancement that we know today.  

As the Director of Alumni Services, Cathy focused on Gannon and Villa’s shared history to create a unified alumni office. She was central in revitalizing the National Alumni Board to better reflect the demographics of the merged colleges. The Alumni Legacy Scholarship, an award for academically deserving children of Gannon alumni, was also created under her tutelage and has been awarded to 12 students, totaling over $35,000 in financial aid. Under Cathy’s leadership, and working in partnership with the National Alumni Board, the Alumni Legacy Scholarship has a grown to a market value of over $150,000. 

To facilitate ongoing conversation between alumni and the University, Cathy oversaw the development of the alumni website, directories, magazines, and a monthly e-newsletter. She coordinated numerous commencement ceremonies, Distinguished Alumni dinners and awards, and almost 20 Homecoming weekends. 

Cathy’s accomplishments likewise extend beyond the walls of her office. She was key in establishing the mobility garden, a multi-surfaced space on the Ruskin Campus that allows students to work closely with patients. She travelled twice with the women’s soccer team to South Africa. She was even known to don a red cap alongside Joe Luckey as Mr. and Mrs. Claus for Cookies and Cocoa with Santa.  

But what colleagues will remember most about Cathy is her incredible sense of humor and warm demeanor; she has a way of making everyone feel welcome. Whether at student events, alumni dinners, or service opportunities, Cathy has embodied what it means to be a Gannon Knight. Her care, leadership, and grace will continue to inspire the University to come.  

Join us as we celebrate Cathy and her legacy on Tuesday, April 27 at 7:30PM (EDT). Register to attend at:

All media inquiries can be made by contacting Doug Oathout, Chief of Staff and Director of Marketing and Communications, at (814) 871-7470 or