Gannon University, a private 4-year Catholic university, is located in Erie, PA. Gannon was founded in 1933 as the two-year Cathedral College by the Roman Catholic 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 school went co-educational in 1964 and achieved university status in 1979. The campus is located in downtown Erie, blocks away from the Presque Isle Bay (a portion of Lake Erie). Erie is Pennsylvania’s access point to the Great Lakes and had been an industrial center in years past. Now the city is host to smaller, more agile steel and plastics manufacturing companies. Among the notable alumni are many local and state political figures.