Gannon University
Latin: Universitas Gannonensis
Former name
Villa Maria College (1925–1989)
Cathedral College (1933–1944)
Gannon College of Arts and Sciences (1944–1964)
Gannon College (1964–1979)
MottoSanitas, Scientia, Sanctitas
Motto in English
Health, Knowledge, Holiness
TypePrivate university
Established1925; 99 years ago (1925)
Religious affiliation
Catholic Church
Academic affiliations
Endowment$83.5 million (2022)[1]
PresidentDr. Walter Iwanenko Jr.
Academic staff
200 full-time, 147 adjunct
Colors    Maroon and gold
NicknameGolden Knights
Sporting affiliations
MascotVictor E. Knight

Gannon University is a private Catholic university with campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Ruskin, Florida. Established in 1925, Gannon University enrolls approximately 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students annually and has over 47,000 alumni. Its intercollegiate athletics include 18 athletic programs for men and women competing at the NCAA Division II level.


Gannon University was first established in 1933 as the two-year Cathedral College by the Diocese of Erie. In 1944, the school became the four-year men's school Gannon College of Arts and Sciences, named in honor of the then-Bishop of Erie, John Mark Gannon, the driving force behind its opening and development. The college became coeducational in 1964 and gained university status in 1979.[2][3]

The all-girls school Villa Maria College, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1925,[4] merged with the university in 1989.[5] Its Villa Maria School of Nursing retains the name of the original institution.


The university is organized into three main colleges: the College of Engineering and Business, which includes the Dahlkemper School of Business Administration; the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences; and the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.


Gannon University's campus is located in downtown Erie, primarily concentrated between Peach and Myrtle Streets and 3rd and 10th Streets. In summer 2015, a doctoral branch campus opened in Ruskin, Florida focusing on healthcare majors.[6]


In 2024 Gannon University was ranked No. 260 in National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.[7]


Gannon is a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in NCAA Division II. Gannon offers 19 Division II scholarship-granting varsity sports, that includes nine men's and women's teams. The men participate in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming, water polo, wrestling, competitive cheer. The women participate in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball, water polo, wrestling, acrobatics and tumbling, and competitive cheer and dance.

In June 2007, Gannon University, along with cross-town rival Mercyhurst College, was accepted into the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, where area schools Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania are members. Along with Gannon and Mercyhurst as full members, LIU Post also was accepted into the conference as an affiliate member.[8]

Greek life



Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of Aug 26, 2022. Gannon president stepping down; search initiated (Report).
  2. ^ "A Brief History of Gannon University". Gannon University. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2007.
  3. ^ "About the Diocese: 1918–1966 Golden Era". Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie. Archived from the original on May 18, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2007.
  4. ^ Note that Gannon University has adopted as its own the Villa Maria College's 1925 founding date.
  5. ^ "Gannon University". Peterson's. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2007.
  6. ^ "Gannon University | 2014-10-30 Ruskin Campus Announcement". Gannon University. October 30, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Axelrod, Phil (June 20, 2007). "Mercyhurst, C. W. Post, Gannon to enter PSAC". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 24, 2007.
  9. ^ "Kevin Benson: WPXI, weekend morning co-anchor, weekend evening weathercaster". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 9, 2003. Archived from the original on July 8, 2019. Retrieved August 25, 2012.
  10. ^ Palattella, Ed. "For Erie's Diehl-Armstrong, pizza bomber case is 'sad epitaph'". Retrieved July 3, 2019.

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