Volume VIII, Issue 2                                                                                              February 3, 2009
Welcome, , to your GU eNEWS!

In This Issue

Knights in the Know
Gannon University is home to an active campus with dynamic faculty and staff and motivated students. Want to know more about current happenings? Follow the links below for recent press releases, the current issue of the Gannon Magazine and more.

Mark Your Calendars!
2009 Alumni Homecoming & Reunion Weekend is scheduled for
Oct. 23-25, 2009
Mark your calendars for a weekend of reminiscing with friends and visiting campus. Stay tuned as many events and activities are planned for this fun-filled weekend.

Contacting Joe Luckey '55
Joe loves to hear from Gannon alumni!

To contact Joe, please visit or send mail to:
Joe Luckey
Room 352
St. Mary's East
607 East 26th St.
Erie, PA 16504

GU eNEWS Wants Your Views!
Click HERE to take our new monthly poll and be an active part of your alumni office. For February, the question of the month is, "Have  you visited the new alumni Web site?" We welcome your comments and suggestions, so log in and tell us your thoughts.

Gannon Career Opportunities
Gannon University's Human Resources Department invites you to browse its Web site to view current career opportunities available on campus. Alumni may wish to be considered for these positions or to nominate candidates they believe would be an asset to the University. For more information, visit

Quick Links

Classmate Connections
New job? Just married? We want to know! Click here to submit your class notes information and update your fellow alumni on what you've been up to. Updates appear on the Online Alumni Community Web site at
www.gannonalumni.org as well as in the Gannon Magazine, published three times a year.

New Class Notes

Brian Domitrovich
Added: 1/18/2010 3:17 PM
Engagements and Marriages
Carolyn Moncrief ('05) married Brian Dom...

Leigh-Anne Williams
Added: 12/22/2009 8:54 AM
Births and Adoptions
Madolyn Elizabeth Williams born 1/28/08 ...

Leigh-Anne Williams
Added: 12/22/2009 8:52 AM
Engagements and Marriages
Leigh-Anne Persing married to Matthew Wi...

Welcome to GU eNEWS, an electronic newsletter from Gannon University's Office of Alumni Services meant to keep you informed and updated on all that is happening at Gannon. There is always a lot going on and much to read, and you can follow the underlined links for more information.

Please forward this newsletter to your alumni friends and share your feedback with Cathy Fresch, director of Alumni Services, at
fresch001@gannon.edu. We want this to be of interest to you, and we welcome your comments and suggestions. If you have been forwarded this e-mail and would like to be added to our mailing list, please e-mail Cathy. If you have received this via multiple e-mail accounts, please let us know which one to designate as your primary address.

Thank you for believing in the possibilities at Gannon University!
Gannon Welcomes New Vice President for University Advancement

Gannon University President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. has named Jack H. Sims as Gannon's Vice President for University Advancement, ending a national search to fill the position. An advisory committee comprised of Gannon faculty, staff, trustees and alumni assisted with the search.

Sims has more than 14 years of experience in fundraising in higher education, as well as several years of experience in other non-profit fundraising. He comes to Gannon after spending nearly five years at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Va., where, as Vice President of College Advancement, he led a comprehensive campaign that raised $40 million while also increasing substantially the college's number of donors. Sims will succeed Susan Black-Keim, who retired in December after nine years at Gannon. His appointment is effective Feb. 12.

"Mr. Sims was very warmly received when he came to campus to meet with our faculty and staff members, and he clearly emerged as the best candidate," Dr. Garibaldi said. "We are very confident that with his impressive background and breadth of experience, he will continue Gannon University's success in fundraising and connecting with alumni locally, regionally and nationally."

Mr. Sims is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He graduated from Morehead State University in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in political science and earned a master's degree in public service/administration from Western Kentucky University.

"Gannon has a rich history, outstanding teaching and research, active and involved alumni and aspiring students," Sims said. "Gannon is very clearly moving forward, and it is my goal to help the University realize the future vision of Dr. Garibaldi."
Have You Visited the Online Alumni Community?

The new, redesigned, alumni Web site was launched in January, and by now you should have received a postcard announcing the change. Please take a moment to visit the site at www.gannonalumni.org and log in as a member. This is an exciting time for Gannon and Villa Maria alumni, as the site provides a way to reconnect with classmates and friends.

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the site, please email Cathy Fresch, director of Alumni Services, at fresch001@gannon.edu. We hope to provide you with your own special site and would appreciate your input.

Become a Fan of Gannon

Gannon University recently launched an official page on the social networking Web site, Facebook.com. To date, more than 700 people have become "fans" of Gannon through the site, which features news, photos, admissions information and more about the University. In addition, a new student blog HERE allows readers to follow the life of sophomore theater and communication arts major Nicole Dohoda as she enjoys her college experience at Gannon. 

“The possibilities that result from social networking are endless. Some parents will find it’s a great way to stay in touch with their children and become a part of Gannon’s extended family, while alumni can reconnect and stay involved with the University. They’re all a part of our community, and we want to keep them all in the loop," said Zachary Flock '05, e-marketing coordinator at Gannon.

Facebook is not the only place Gannon can be found on the Web. For more information on Gannon's YouTube.com page and more, be sure to read the Winter 2009 issue of Gannon Magazine (available online
HERE) later this week.

Annual Fall Phonathon Wraps Up

To those of you who participated in the annual fall phonathon, thank you! It is great that you took the time to reconnect with your alma mater. Calling has ended and we are grateful that 2,546 alumni and parents pledged a total of $271,686 to this year’s effort. If you did not yet make a gift to the 2008-09 Annual Fund but would like to, click below to give today.

Get Ready for the First-Ever Lacrosse Alumni Game

Lace up your turfs, run that extra mile, visit your family doctor--whatever you have to do to get ready for the first-ever Gannon Lacrosse Alumni Game! The date is set for Sat., May 2, 2009. There is not a definite time yet, but the game is tentatively scheduled for noon. You only need to bring a stick, some goggles, a mouth guard and your desire to show those "young ones" how the veterans do things! This will be a great day to get together, share memories and reconnect with your fellow teammates who you haven't seen in a while. A reception is also planned following the game. If you have any questions, contact Head Lacrosse Coach Alicia Groveston at (814) 871-5625 or grovesto001@gannon.edu.
Are You a Past Science Fair Participant?

The Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair is celebrating 70 years of competition in 2009 and is looking to reconnect with past Science Fair participants. Past participants will be invited to a special tour of the 2009 competition on April 3 & 4 at Heinz Field, attend the Science Fair awards ceremony for recognition as a past competitor and other special opportunities and events at Carnegie Science Center. If you are a past participant and would like more information, visit

Jeanette Bennett is a 1997 graduate of Villa Maria Academy in Erie and is a 2002 graduate of Gannon University, where she was a double major in biology and psychology. Jeanette is currently a doctoral student at Penn State, majoring in biobehavioral health. She is married to Jason Bennett; the couple has a six-year-old son, William.

What did your Gannon experience mean to you?
I think the biggest thing I learned at Gannon is that everything is possible if I put the effort into it. While at Gannon, I studied, I partied, I had fun, but I also became a responsible adult and fell in love when I found my soul mate.

What kinds of campus activities were you involved in?
I was very active on campus. I was involved in the Honors Program and developed the “Last Words Lecture Series.” This lecture series for faculty posed the questions, “If this was the last time for you to speak, what would your last words be? What is the most important thing you learned in life?” I was fortunate to run and participate in the Honors' Mentoring Program at St. Joseph's and the GECAC Head Start Program, where we served as big sisters and big brothers to children every week.

I was also a member of Alpha Phi Omega (co-ed service fraternity), Tri Beta (biology honors society) and Psi Chi (psychology honors society). I participated in various service projects, including Day of Caring and the 30-Hour Famine.

What was your favorite class and who was your favorite instructor?
When I think of my favorite classes and instructors at Gannon, three faculty come to mind. Fr. Joseph Gregorek’s Histology class in the biology track, which helped with my first job after graduation, and in psychology, Dr. Robin Powers’ Psychology of Women class, which empowered me. However, it was in Dr. Ken Gamble’s Psychology of Learning class is where I realized that I was a behavioralist.

Jeanette (Penquite) Bennett '02 with her son, William, and husband, Jason. Jeanette is currently completing doctoral courses at Penn State.
How did Gannon prepare you for life after college?
It did two major things: Gannon provided an environment for me to develop life skills, leadership skills and learn the importance of service to the community, and it helped me determine the type of career I wanted to pursue. I started on a pre-med track and then decided I wanted to go into a career as a bio-medical health researcher, combining both biology and psychology.

Tell us about the type of work that you are doing.
As a graduate student, I am studying the effects of psychological and pharmacological stress on the neuroendocrine and immune systems using both human and animal models. I also teach and mentor undergraduate students. I travel to international conferences to present my research findings in places like Denver, Colo. and Dublin, Ireland.

 Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I should be in a tenure-track position at a research Level 1 institution and teaching, doing research and mentoring future scientists.

What hobbies and activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
I enjoy being a mom, a wife and a student. I enjoy being with my family and friends (especially playing Wii games), physical exercise, watching movies, baking and service through my church.

Have you stayed in touch with any of your college classmates?
I had lost contact with many of my classmates, but have subsequently met a college classmate who I didn’t know while attending Gannon and we have developed a great friendship.

What advice do you have for current and future Gannon students?
Expect the unexpected! The chances of life going according to your plans are slim; a person must be able to adjust.

Looking for a way to reconnect with fellow classmates? Visit the Online Alumni Community to post Class Notes information, stay in touch with other alumni, register for upcoming alumni events and more!

Upcoming Alumni Events

Gannon Hosts Business After Hours
1/21/2010 5:00 PM to 1/21/2010 7:00 PM

Gannon University hosts the Business After Hours networking event on Thursday, January 21, 2010 in the Morosky Academic Center, 150 W 10th Street.

Basketball Pre-Game Receptions
1/27/2010 to 2/24/2010

Join the Gannon Alumni Association for two pre-game receptions in the Baldauf Lounge of the Waldron Campus Center before the women and men Knights take on Edinboro on January 27th and Mercyhurst on February 24th.

There's always something happening on Gannon's campus. For a full listing of University events, including those scheduled as part of the Schuster Program for the Arts, click HERE for dates, event descriptions and more.

Helping to Carry the Cross
A Lenten Message from the Chaplain’s Office

Let’s begin our Lenten season with a great act of determination: To come close to Jesus on his terms, as he invites us in Matthew 16: 24: “ If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

It is the humble Jesus, the vulnerable Jesus, who says to Peter, “Will you follow me?” “Do you love me?” “Will you be my friend?” He looks deeply into our eyes as he asks us to come close to him this Lent. This is the passionate Jesus, desiring to be in union with us and begging us to follow him, to be there with him, to die with him and to come to life with him. Will you follow me to the end? Will you love one another as I love you?

The cross is heavy, with the weight of a world of people longing for relief, for peace, for joy, for fullness of life. The cross is wide, to embrace the desolation, abandonment and despair of those who suffer the impossible. The cross is finally mounted high over our heads so that we may lift Christ up and permit him to draw us intimately into his heart.

The cross of Jesus always will be our sign of salvation and an opportunity for love, a sign of the selfless surrender of Christ Jesus which releases the force and energy of his unconditional love that will overcome all fear and worry, drive out all demons and heal all that is broken and in need of mercy in you, in me and in all of us.

So this Lent, carry the cross and help others carry the cross. Glorify God by giving yourself to the power of love, the fullness of love. Be grateful for life in all its circumstances. Your life, exactly as it is, is a wondrous expression of the beauty and goodness of life. Pick up your cross daily, the very cross, the true cross of Christ. Become disciples of unconditional love, forgive, celebrate, give thanks in all circumstances and be with Christ!

May your Lenten journey give glory to God and unite your heart with the heart of Christ!

Rev. George Strohmeyer, University Chaplain

Lady Knights Raising Funds for Breast Cancer Research

The Lady Knights huddle before the 2008 "Think Pink" game, now known as "Pink Zone."
The Gannon women's basketball team is asking the community to join them for the second year in a row as they shoot hoops for a cause on Sat., Feb. 21 in the Hammermill Center during their "Pink Zone" game. That day, the Lady Knights' home game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which tips off at 1 p.m., will serve as a special fundraiser for cancer research.

Pink Zone (formerly Think Pink) is an initiative started by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to raise breast cancer awareness in women's basketball, on campuses and in communities. The game will feature informational tables, celebration and recognition of survivors, raffles and more.

There is no admission charge for this special game, and attendees are asked to wear pink in support. You can purchase your official Pink Zone T-shirt for $10 at the game or in advance by contacting Nancy Kujawinski at (814) 871-7657 or
kujawins004@gannon.edu. All proceeds benefit the local Erie chapter of the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer."

Breast cancer survivors will be recognized during the game and are asked to register on game day in the lobby of the Hammermill Center. "We would also like to include 'virtual' survivors. Alumni can send their name, or the name of their loved one who is a breast cancer survivor, and we will announce these names at the game as well," Kujawinski said. To send a name if you cannot attend in person, e-mail Kujawinski at the above address.

Whether or not you have been touched by cancer, Gannon's basketball program encourages you to help "Fill the 'Mill" and support those who have by wearing pink and attending the games. The Hammermill Center is located on the corner of 6th and Peach streets.
Catholic Education to be Celebrated

Gannon University will celebrate National Catholic Colleges Week, Feb. 22-26 and is inviting both students and administrators from more than 70 high schools within a 150-mile radius of Erie to join the party.

Gannon will host a series of events for the students and administrators, who include principals and guidance counselors, as well as some for the general public. The week is designed to highlight the accomplishments of Catholic colleges and celebrate their role in society. Catholic Colleges Week is also intended to encourage high school students and families to consider Catholic higher education. Click
HERE for a complete schedule of the week's events.

The week prior, Gannon will host the third of four financial aid workshops. The workshop is designed to help high school students and their parents better navigate the sometimes complex financial aid process. It is free and open to the public and will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Room 1200 of the Palumbo Academic Center, 824 Peach St. Click HERE for more information.

Want to Help a Gannon Applicant?
If you know a high school junior or senior who would be a good fit for Gannon University, there's something else you need to know.

As a Gannon graduate, your signature on that student's admissions application means that we'll waive the application fee.

The Office of Admissions would like to thank you for your continued support in identifying and referring quality prospective students to Gannon. If you have any questions or would like additional information about this program, call (814) 871-7240 or 1-800-GANNON-U.

Gannon to Host Black History Month Lecture

Many members of the Gannon community braved chilly temperatures to participate in Erie's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial March, held Jan. 19.
Gannon University will host a guest lecture on Wed., Feb. 4 in observance of Black History Month. The lecture, featuring comedian Preacher Moss, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Yehl Room of the University's Waldron Campus Center, 124 West 7th St. It is free and open to the public.

Moss, who frequently speaks to college students nationally, is noted for his insight on racial understanding versus racial interaction, and has become one of the funniest social commentators on the college scene. His visit is sponsored by the Gannon University Activities Programming Board. For more information, call (814) 871-7766.
The women's basketball team traveled to Arizona during the winter break to compete in the Grand Canyon Classic. The Lady Knights competed against the 15th ranked team at the time, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, defeating the team 72-45. Pictured here are team members during a hike through the Red Rock Mountains in Sedona, Az.

Happy Valentine's Day from the Office of Alumni Services!

What great Valentine's memories do YOU have from your days at Gannon/Villa Maria? We want to hear your stories. Log on to the Online Alumni Community at www.gannonalumni.org and post your stories and memories on the alumni message board or e-mail them to Cathy Fresch, Director of Alumni Services.

Forward this e-mail to a friend!