Let Us Introduce You: Matthew Gannon

Junior Matt Gannon can be seen (or heard) all across campus. If you haven’t seen him giving tours to prospective students as a SLU Ambassador, you may have seen him enthusiastically sporting his orange Oriflamme shirt. Or you may have heard him on his own KSLU radio show, “MG²,” which airs every Monday at 6 p.m.

Because of this involvement, as he walks down West Pine there are seemingly no strangers. But it was not always this way.

Gannon arrived at SLU as the only person from his all-boys Jesuit high school in Washington D.C. He came to SLU originally because he was interested in the engineering program at SLU as well as his firm commitment to the Jesuit mission.

SLU allowed him the opportunity to experience a new beginning in an unfamiliar place. He had an interesting campus visit that lead to his decision to attend SLU.

“I flew out with my dad. I had a 101-degree fever when I went on my tour. I was very sick. I figured that if when I felt basically like death I still enjoyed the school that that’s probably a good sign.”

He has since been extremely satisfied with his decision to attend SLU even though his plans have deviated. Instead of studying engineering, Gannon is pursuing a major in computer science and a minor in music. His experiences and unique perspective have shaped his involvement on campus.

Gannon expressed his appreciation of SLU 101 and Oriflamme. He believed these fostered a close-knit community that allowed him to feel comfortable in a place where he was essentially a stranger. He knew the positive impact that these first-year experiences had.

This led Gannon to get involved with both SLU 101 and Oriflamme. His summer after sophomore year was his first time as a SLU 101 leader.

Gannon has been involved with Oriflamme for two years, and he is going to be doing it for his third year. In his first year he was the floor leader for 4C of the Griesedieck complex. The next year he was a team leader. Now he is one of the coordinators. His current role is to help new leaders be successful and to organize and try to make Oriflamme even better.

“I get a lot out of [the First-Year Experiences]. It is still service, but a different kind. That is how I rationalize it. It is a service that is very tangible to me and personal since I have background being on the other side of things. I know how much it helps.”

His other major involvement is KSLU. This all began with a simple declaration from his father. Gannon’s father informed him that he would be tossing out the Steinway piano that was getting no use in their home. As an act of defiance, Gannon decided to enroll in piano lessons at SLU. That experience combined with a “History of Jazz” class that he thoroughly enjoyed caused him to wish to pursue a music minor.

In these classes he was introduced to friend and co-host of “MG²”, Matt Gottsacker. This hour-long show comprises an eclectic variety of music compositions from both Gannon and Gottsacker’s extensive vinyl collections.

What started as a hobby for Gannon may turn in to his future. He intends on combining computer science and music to possibly work with computer music software or even to perhaps teach music to high schoolers in the future.

Q&A with Matthew Gannon:

Q. What is your favorite spot on campus?

In my hammock in between the campus ministry building and the clock tower.

Q. Do you have any advice to future and current students?

Take advantage of the older people who are reaching out to you. It baffled me how close I got to the seniors when I was a freshman … They were still willing to take me under my wing. You can make genuine connections and really learn a lot from those who have already been through it all.

Q. What band would you see at any venue?

The concert would be Bon Iver at Red Rocks, or honestly anyone there. That venue is unreal.