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Gannon Magazine: A Leadership Moment

Published: 11/29/2022

Dr. Walter Iwanenko addresses the Gannon community in the Yehl Alumni Ballroom.

Dr. Walter Iwanenko addresses the Gannon community in the Yehl Alumni Ballroom.

A glimpse of the future arrived on Nov. 2 when the Most. Rev. Lawrence Persico, J.C.L., Bishop of the Diocese of Erie and chairman of Gannon’s Board of Trustees, announced that Walter Iwanenko Jr., Ph.D., will become Gannon University’s eighth president.

Iwanenko, 52, an occupational therapist and epidemiologist who is Gannon University’s provost and vice president for student experience, will succeed President Keith Taylor, Ph.D.

Read the full story online in the new edition of Gannon Magazine.

Taylor announced in August that he will step down as president effective June 30, 2023. Following his announcement, the university conducted a campus-wide process that included evaluating and ultimately recommending Iwanenko for this role, which he will begin July 1, 2023. 

“We are delighted to announce Dr. Iwanenko will be our next president,” Persico said to nearly 200 students and employees gathered in the Yehl Ballroom. “He has contributed much to the university in his role as a vice president and provost, and we have even higher expectations for him and the university when he assumes his new role next year.”

Tina Donikowski ’85, a Gannon trustee and chairwoman of the Leadership Search Committee, said Iwanenko distinguished himself throughout the process. 

“Dr. Iwanenko proved to us he is ready for this role,” she said. “He has the institutional knowledge, the aptitude and a commitment to both the university and to its Catholic traditions to advance Gannon’s positive momentum.”

Iwanenko, who worked at Hilbert and D’Youville colleges prior to joining Gannon in 2016, shared his gratitude to family, colleagues and mentors, along with his experience and drive that made him the best fit to become Gannon’s eighth president. 

“I am the son of immigrants and a first-generation college graduate. I know what a college degree can do for someone’s life – because it happened to me,” Iwanenko said. “I want to do my part to ensure the window of opportunity is open for others.” 

“I will do my very best to bring my unique blend of experiences and skills to leading Gannon University toward a brighter future as we seek to transform lives and elevate the fortunes of those pursuing a better, greater life for themselves.”

Read the full story online in the new edition of Gannon Magazine.

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