Loyola University Chicago

Gannon Center for Women and Leadership

Message from the Director

Greetings from the Director of the Gannon Center: Gabrielle M. Buckley

Welcome to our new, temporary reality! Like all of you, we are abiding by our state and local governments’ “Stay Home – Stay Safe!” recommendations. Our Gannon Scholars’ classes were transferred to on-line learning as of March 23, 2020, along with all other Loyola University classes. We had many events planned to celebrate Women's History Month during March at the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership. Unfortunately, all have been cancelled or postponed until a safer time. We are awed by the skill and bravery of the healthcare teams working to save all of our lives. As usual, many women are at the forefront of these efforts, both directly and indirectly. 

The Mundelein College Alumnae Mass and Brunch scheduled for May 3, 2020, has been postponed to a date not yet determined. However, we are planning our Mundelein/Gannon Reunion for September 2020, when we will celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Mundelein College. We are actively looking for volunteers to help plan the Reunion—we need your help, wherever you are!

Almost twenty-seven years ago, the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership began as an idea among Loyola’s women leaders and the BVM sisters to extend Mundelein College’s legacy of academics and service after it affiliated with Loyola University Chicago in 1991. Named for Sister Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, the longest serving president of Mundelein and a pioneer in women’s education and leadership, the Gannon Center supports scholarships, cutting edge programs, research, and events that celebrate, encourage, support, and grow the leadership potential of women. The Gannon Center is one of Loyola's five Centers of Excellence and is proud to be included amongst the University's Research Centers. 

As many of you know, the Center includes our four-year Gannon Scholars Program, research Fellowships for Loyola faculty, the Carolyn Farrell Professorship, space and resources for visiting scholars, mentoring programs for undergraduate women students, and summer research grants for STEM students. The Gannon Center also includes the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA), which focuses on the records of women leaders, including those affiliated with Mundelein College.

All thirty-seven of our Gannon Scholars are hard at work completing this semester under difficult conditions. We continue to meet on-line each Monday evening as usual, happy to see each other’s faces on Zoom. We will have nine Scholars who will graduate and receive their diplomas in May, although Commencement has been rescheduled to August. 

Thanks to our Gannon Scholars and Program Coordinator extraordinaire, Sarah Hallett, we were able to hold our annual Gannon Scholar Selection Day on March 28th. We interviewed some 40 semi-finalists via Zoom, and met on-line to finalize the selection of next year's 10 new wonderful Gannon Scholars. The Gannon Scholars Program is so well respected that over 1500 applicants applied for our 10 Gannon Scholar openings. Although we would love to increase the number of Gannon Scholars we can accept, our current goal is to increase the amount of scholarship funds to equal 50% of their tuition needs first.

The diverse array of Gannon Center scholarships, research, and programming is made possible by the loyalty of Mundelein, Loyola, and Gannon alumni and friends, whose generous gifts established and continue to add to the Center's endowment fund. We welcome your suggestions and questions, and look forward to your support as we strengthen and expand the Gannon Center’s capabilities and outreach. Together we will move forward through these difficult times, and continue to prepare women to lead extraordinary lives!

Gabrielle M. Buckley

Director, Gannon Center for Women and Leadership

“Love is shown more in deeds than in words.” ― Ignatius of Loyola