Denver Area Couple’s Gift to Benefit Communication Arts Program at Gannon

Posted: June 30, 2017

Meg and John VanderLaan's gift will establish a merit scholarship for communication arts majors at Gannon University. Meg is a 1989 Gannon graduate with a bachelor's degree in communication arts and a proficiency certificate in German. She was recently named chief marketing officer of Encore Electric, Inc., a privately held, employee-owned supplier of electrical construction solutions and maintenance services based in Lakewood, Colorado. She had previously served as chief communications officer and senior vice president of MWH Global, a global project delivery company with a focus on water and energy that is now part of Stantec Inc., an international professional services company in the design and consulting industry.

VanderLaan serves as a member of Gannon's Board of Trustees, a post she has held since 2012. In January 2016, she was named one of Colorado's 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce.

"We have chosen to establish a scholarship at a place that has given much to us. By creating an endowed scholarship in communications, we are providing students a start on their journey toward a Gannon education, the value of which increases over time, VanderLaan said. "In addition to a liberal arts foundation in the Catholic tradition, the Gannon experience creates space for critical thinking, engaging student learning and community service. We have built lifelong friendships in the Gannon community and hope to see the Gannon family continue to grow."

The scholarship will be awarded to those communication arts majors who maintain a 3.5 grade-point average.

John VanderLaan earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his master's degree from the University of Denver. He is a licensed architect who develops and manages residential real estate in Denver and the Colorado mountains.

Meg VanderLaan has this advice for today's students: "Find a place that taps your talents, cultivates who you are and supports what you believe. It is critical to work hard at what you are doing, but don't let your job completely define the person you are. Be sure to foster your faith, your friendships and your life experiences."

The Margaret A. and John R. VanderLaan endowed scholarship in Communication Arts is among the 246 endowed scholarships at Gannon providing more than $1.3 million in scholarship support annually to 413 deserving students from diverse locations, backgrounds and financial circumstances.

Endowed gifts to Gannon can also help fund faculty professional development, student and faculty research, speaker series, study-abroad programs, mission trips, academic departments, athletics or the library. More than 94 percent of undergraduate students received some type of Gannon grant or scholarship. Endowed gifts to Gannon can also help fund faculty positions, professorships, chairmanships, faculty excellence and study abroad programs at the University.

For more information on the scholarship contact Tony Fulgenzio, executive director of philanthropy and communications at (814) 871-7786.