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Gannon College of Arts and Sciences, founded as Cathedral College under the 1925 charter of Villa Maria College, was established by then-Archbishop John Mark Gannon, who in 1941 purchased one of the most elegant buildings in downtown Erie—the Strong Mansion (now known as Gannon’s "Old Main")—as the current campus’ central site. Renamed Gannon College in 1944, it received its own charter as a four-year men’s college. In 1964, Gannon became co-educational and established a graduate school. In 1979, the college attained University status.
A private, Catholic, comprehensive co-educational institution, Gannon has emerged as Northwestern Pennsylvania’s premier Catholic university and is a valuable community and regional resource.
Key to Gannon’s mission is the personal and professional development of students. Leadership is fostered through a range of campus organizations and activities which enhance academic interests as well as volunteerism and community service, and which provide opportunities for intellectual, moral and spiritual growth.
Today, Gannon University is committed to building on its successful history of preparing leaders by focusing on a dynamic future of change and new opportunities. Gannon is focused on a total commitment to academic excellence, to its Catholic identity, its future financial growth from external sources, its strengthened development of the faculty’s teaching and scholarship, its involvement in and service to the local and regional community, its undergraduate and graduate enrollment, and its enhancement of technology.