A New Chapel


Building Hope | A Capital Campaign To ReBuild 

The Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel has been a long standing place of worship and gathering for the Gannon University family and community. Located at 520 Peach St., the Chapel has been closed since May 2019, when a gas leak was discovered. The source of that leak was an abandoned gas well located below the chapel. 

That gas well has been re-drilled and capped, but only after a significant amount of work to the area around the chapel. Two buildings – the Student Services building and the Pontifical Center – were demolished to make way for drilling equipment. Both of those buildings had been identified in the school’s 2009 master plan as needing to be taken down. 

A capital campaign was established in late summer 2019 to raise funds for the repairs and renovation to this University landmark.

Make your pledge today: CLICK HERE to download the pledge card. 


Gifts of $2,500 and over will be matched by a generous anonymous donor.

Opportunities to support the chapel renovations for our second century are welcome in all denominations.

The 2020 donors will be recognized alongside the 1989 donors whose gracious gifts remain a part of the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel. These gifts include the stained-glass windows, the St. Joseph Icon given by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Msgr. Sullivan’s courtyard fountain, the altar and more.

For more information contact Almitra Clerkin ’85, ’17M, Associate Vice President of University Advancement.


Leading the Way

Renovations to Gannon University’s Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel are underway, thanks in large part to a lead gift by a longtime priest in the Catholic Diocese of Erie and trustee of the University. 

Monsignor Robert L. Brugger ’62 was the pastor at St. Jude Catholic Church and St. George Catholic Church among other parishes. He privately presented his transformative gift to the University in December 2019. His generous gift will fuel a campaign to complete renovations to the chapel with a total projected cost of $2 million. 

“I’ve been a part of Gannon for a long time,” he said, explaining his reason for the gift. “I was a student here. I’ve been a board member for many years. … and I’ve always been impressed with the students and leadership here.”

“It was always at the top of my list to do something for Gannon if I had the chance,” he said. “The impact of this gift will transform the chapel and the Gannon experience for generations to come.”


A History

As for the chapel, the beginnings of a Christian church on the site go back to 1860, when the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church dedicated a brick edifice with a towering steeple. That original building was partially destroyed by a fire in 1920 and not fully restored until 1940. A second fire in 1944 completely destroyed the building. 

The present church was built in 1950. Its congregation merged with the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in January 1981 and is now the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant on West Sixth Street. Gannon University purchased the property that year with a view to continue the church as the University Chapel. The chapel was dedicated on Oct. 8, 1989. 

After the re-imagined chapel is completed, new stories will unfold as a Dedication and Blessing Ceremony takes place in fall 2020. Please join us and be a part of this new chapter in the history of Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.


Stay Connected
Our Mission

Gannon is a Catholic, Diocesan University dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Our faculty and staff prepare students to be global citizens through programs grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and professional specializations. Inspired by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, we offer a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.