Gannon University to Host Author and Activist for Surviving and Thriving in Uncertain Times Series

Posted: October 23, 2017

Gannon University will host author and activist Jerry McGill to discuss his book "Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me," on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in Gannon's Hammermill Center, 620 Peach St., as part of the University's yearlong Surviving and Thriving in Uncertain Times series.

McGill wrote his book as a letter to the man who shot him in a powerful, honest, gritty and challenging communication between the victim of a violent crime and his unknown assailant. Based on his actual life experience, McGill explores multiple subjects stemming from the event that instantly changed his life, wrestling with his anger, frustration, fear and ultimately finds the importance of optimism and forgiveness.

"Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me" was the inaugural book for Gannon READS (Gannon Reading to Enhance the Awareness of a Diverse Society), a new program through which students shared a common read together as part of their first-year experience.

"Gannon READS is an innovative, new component of the first-year experience designed to grow and build bonds between the students and lead them to explore diversity of 'the other' on campus and in our community," said Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs. "We are honored and excited to welcome Jerry McGill to share in person his experience that we've read about in his book, and to have him be part of our inaugural Gannon READS program."

The book and new program were introduced to incoming students and the Gannon community at the University's Convocation Ceremony at the start of the semester in August. All were invited to share in the experience of reading the book along with the students, while many faculty members incorporated and designed classes around the book.

"I really enjoyed reading the book and can't wait for him to talk to us about it," said Cameron Lyons-Anderson, first-year student at Gannon.

 Copies of "Dear Marcus: A Letter to the Man Who Shot Me" will be available for purchase at the event; McGill will also be available for book signings.