Gannon University is a private Catholic university in Erie, Pennsylvania. Gannon University has approximately 4,500 students and 46,000 alumni. Its intercollegiate athletics include 18 athletic programs for men and women competing at the NCAA Division II level.
Gannon University was first established in 1933 as the two-year Cathedral College by the Diocese of Erie. In 1944, the school became the four-year men's school Gannon College of Arts and Sciences, named in honor of the then-Bishop of Erie, John Mark Gannon, the driving force behind its opening and development. The college became coeducational in 1964 and gained university status in 1979.
The all-girls school Villa Maria College, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1925, merged with the university in 1989. Its Villa Maria School of Nursing retains the name of the original institution.
Gannon University's campus is located in downtown Erie, primarily concentrated between Peach and Myrtle Streets and 3rd and 10th Streets. In summer 2015, a doctoral branch campus opened in Ruskin, Florida focusing on healthcare majors.