Lakeland University Blog

Lakeland honors retired Board of Trustees chairperson

Lakeland honors retired Board of Trustees chairperson


Lakeland honors retired Board of Trustees chairperson

Lakeland University recently honored former Board of Trustees member Barbara Gannon on being unanimously awarded trustee emerita status.

In approving the honor, the board recognized Gannon’s 19 years of service as a Lakeland trustee from 2003-2021 including six years as board chairperson from 2015 until her retirement. She also was recognized for her commitment to the success of Lakeland University’s Foundation and longtime dedication toward the institution’s betterment.

Gannon’s tenure as board chairperson saw significant changes, including David Black’s return as Lakeland’s president in 2017 and the search that led to current LU President Beth Borgen’s hiring in 2021.

Other highlights of her tenure included:

  • Establishment of LU’s Cooperative Education program, which has netted several of the largest incoming freshman classes in Lakeland’s history.
  • Securing a $35.4 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division, which resulted in a $26 million investment in its main campus, the largest in Lakeland history, including new versions of Grosshuesch and Muehlmeier Halls.
  • Leading the Board of Trustees through Lakeland’s very successful $12 million campaign – one of the largest in the institution’s history – that funded a dramatic overhaul of the Younger Family Campus Center, the region’s first outdoor turf athletic field and funding to launch the Co-Op program.
  • Helping lead the board through the evolution of Lakeland University-Japan into a campus offering four-year degrees.

Gannon served in numerous leadership roles during her time as a Lakeland trustee, including chair for the marketing and development committee and a member of the task force that developed the vision for the institution that served as the foundation for Lakeland’s 2020 strategic plan.

She is retired following a long tenure as vice president of corporate communications at Sargento Foods. She remains actively involved in several causes in Sheboygan County.

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