It’s official — Gannon University has a new president.

Walter Iwanenko was inaugurated Friday as the university’s eighth president. A familiar face on campus, Iwanenko has been with the university since 2016, first serving as vice president of academic affairs, then as provost and vice president of student experience.

Bishop Persico of the Erie Diocese presided over the ceremony. In an interview, Iwanenko said there are some hurdles ahead for the university.

“Higher education is facing some challenges. Recruiting students is going to be difficult as we’re looking at changing demographics. Quite frankly, there’s less high school students and we’re seeing a drop, a 12 to 15% drop in high school students. On top of that, you have another 7 to 10% students, they’re just deciding not to go to college or university,” Gannon president Iwanenko said.

Iwanenko said he hopes to continue the university’s momentum with its current projects while introducing new programs for its students.