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Anonymous gift pushes Gannon’s Cyber Innovation Fund to $1 million

Published: 09/23/2019



An anonymous gift made Friday to Gannon University’s Cyber Innovation Fund is leveraging Stacy Juchno’s recent gift of $100,000 into a $1 million endowment that will be used to recruit high-demand faculty and support faculty and student industry-driven research within the Institute for Health and Cyber Knowledge, or I-HACK.

Two weeks ago, 1998 alumna Stacy Juchno and her husband, Scott Dibble, made the first major gift by an individual to the university’s I-HACK initiative.

Friday’s anonymous gift continues the momentum of giving toward Gannon’s cybersecurity and cyber engineering programs. The new gift joins Juchno’s donation in leading private contributions of $250,000 to seed the Cyber Innovation Fund.

Gannon’s Board of Trustees voted Friday to match those funds to create a $500,000 endowed Juchno Cyber Innovation Fund.

The University’s gift matching campaign will build the fund to $1 million to drive a one-of-a-kind industry-academic innovation environment in downtown Erie. To contribute to advancing cyber education and training at Gannon and drive Erie’s innovation efforts, visit or call Almitra Clerkin, associate vice president for University Advancement, at (814) 871-7786.

The Juchno Cyber Innovation Fund will be used to support the I-HACK project’s launch and to aid immediate faculty and staff recruitment and development. The matching gift funds and Gannon-matched funds will build the endowment for ongoing faculty and student support.

The creation of the Cyber Innovation Fund follows two other recent announcements for Gannon’s cyber engineering and cybersecurity programs and for I-HACK, which will be housed in Knight Tower and which is designed to educate and train a premiere workforce while recruiting businesses and facilitating industry-academic interaction. In early summer, the Orris C. & Beatrice Dewey Hirtzel Memorial Foundation awarded it a $402,500 grant, and last month Gannon received a $2 million grant through the state’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.

Gannon’s I-HACK initiative was announced in November and facility design work began shortly thereafter to transform the former Verizon call center building. Those architectural plans continue to be refined but work inside the building will begin in next few weeks.

Student recruiting efforts for two new majors – cybersecurity and cyber engineering – were simultaneously launched early this year and a talented group of pioneer students enrolled in the program’s first class this fall.