From 1933 to 1956, Msgr. Joseph J. “Doc” Wehrle served as Gannon’s first president. He played an integral role in the university’s advancement, putting in hard work and overcoming immense challenges to make Gannon the place it is today.
During his time as president, the school acquired the Strong Mansion, now known as Old Main. It also received its own charter – separate from the one it originally shared with Villa Maria – as a four-year men’s institution and changed its name from Cathedral College to Gannon College.
Wehrle Hall, the freshman residence located on West Sixth Street, is named in honor of Doc Wehrle, whose devotion to Gannon and love for the students is fondly remembered.