Becky Perry was an active Honors Program student during her time at Gannon. While on campus, she participated in Model United Nations, ABST trips to both Guatemala and New Orleans, two Khirbet Iskander digs (Jordan), and a semester abroad with St. Edmund Hall University of Oxford (England). As a student leader, the Honors Center became her second home on campus and she recalls those days with fondness.
GIVE Day was also one of Perry’s favorite Gannon traditions. She loved this humbling invitation to serve our neighbors, hand in hand with students, faculty, staff and family. It is no surprise that Perry is now the Director for the Center for Social Concerns and TRAVEL Program at Gannon. Her previous experiences as a student and professionally led her to a rewarding career in higher education at her alma mater.
As Director, Perry leads a team that engages with Gannon’s communities, both local and global, through purposeful service, exploration and action for the common good. Some signature programs out of the Center for Social Concerns include GIVE Day, Day of Caring, the ABST Program, the TRAVEL Program and leadership of dialogue around key social and global issues.
Perry is originally from Rochester, New York. Her parents are both Air Force veterans who served in the Vietnam War and were first generation college students who went to school with the help of the GI Bill. She has one brother, two nieces, and one nephew. In her free time, Perry enjoys traveling, running, and reading.
Reflecting on her Gannon education, Perry highlighted the transformative experiences that happened outside of the classroom, particularly the travel experiences she was fortunate to have. She notes, “the opportunities I had to step outside my comfort zone, to humbly encounter and learn from other faiths and cultures, to grow and define my confidence and independence while traveling around the world, and to invest in and develop my leadership abilities have served me in innumerable ways since my graduation. It is true that travel is one of the greatest educators, especially when grounded in a holistic, humanities education.”
Perry also shared that she almost transferred during her first year at Gannon. Instead, she decided to stick it out, which led to a variety of opportunities for involvement and “a slew of incredible experiences.” She advises current students to always have an open mind and to be willing to take risks, adding, “there are so many opportunities (and wonderful people) at Gannon to learn and grow from!”
(published April 2020)