About Canisius

About Canisius

President John J. Hurley

John J. Hurley became president of Canisius College on July 1, 2010. He is the first lay president in the College’s 142-year history.

A 1978 alumnus of Canisius, President Hurley served from 1997-2010 as executive vice president of the college and vice president for college relations. In these positions, he oversaw the college’s advancement operations, which included development, public relations, alumni relations, government relations and community relations. He also managed institutional strategic planning, integrated marketing, and legal and compliance issues. In addition, he served as secretary to the Canisius College Board of Trustees.

Throughout his tenure in these roles, President Hurley led the advancement team during the college’s Imagine Canisius capital campaign (1997-2000), which surpassed its $30 million goal by $8.8 million. He also directed A Legacy of Leadership: The Campaign for Canisius College. The $90 million campaign, the largest fund-raising initiative in the college’s history, finished May 31, 2012, and surpassed its goal by $5.5 million.

President Hurley played a significant leadership role in the college’s $142 million capital investment in the campus and also negotiated the college’s acquisition of the HealthNow building on Main Street, which has been converted into the newly opened Science Hall.  He is the architect of the college’s innovative Employer Assisted Housing program, which offers employees grants in the form of forgivable loans to assist them with the purchase of homes near the college’s central Buffalo campus. 

A native of Buffalo, President Hurley is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Kenmore; Canisius College (BA 1978 summa cum laude, English/history); and the University of Notre Dame Law School (JD 1981). He practiced law for 16 years, including 13 years at the Buffalo firm of Phillips, Lytle, Hitchcock, Blaine & Huber, where he concentrated his practice in the areas of secured lending, bankruptcy and insolvency, creditors’ rights and acquisitions of troubled companies.

Bishop Edward U. Kmiec appointed President Hurley to serve on the Fidelis Care New York Board of Directors, a health maintenance organization that serves the poor in New York State. He and his wife, Maureen, are chairs of the Bishop’s Council of the Laity for the Diocese of Buffalo. President Hurley is also a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Board of Trustees, and past national chair of the Jesuit Advancement Administrators, a professional association of advancement professionals serving Jesuit higher education in the United States. He served on the city of Buffalo’s Charter Revision Commission and is past president of the St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Board of Trustees.

Inducted as a Distinguished Alumnus of Canisius College in 2002, President Hurley is also a recipient of the college’s LaSalle Medal (1996), which is the highest honor conferred upon an alumna/us for service to alma mater.  St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute inducted him into its Signum Fidei Society (1998) and the University of Notre Dame presented President Hurley with its Exemplar Award (1997).  In 1990, and again in 1997, President Hurley received the HOME’s (Housing Opportunities Made Equal) James Crawford and Director’s Awards for outstanding service to the cause of fair housing.