November 2016 - Canisius Online

Thank You Canisius Fund Donors

Thanks to an outpouring of support from our alumni, friends and volunteers, Canisius increased its number of donors and fundraising dollars during its 2015-16 fiscal year..  Your philanthropy helped to fuel tuition and scholarship assistance, endow scholars and programs, strengthen our Jesuit mission and enhance the college’s living and learning spaces for students.  

Our donors make a difference in the lives of our students and for that we are grateful. Read the Annual Report of Donors in its entirety here including profiles of some of our alumni donors.

Join President Hurley on a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

President John Hurley invites alumni to join him and his wife, Maureen, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from April 4-13, 2017.  The trip will be led by Rev. Brendan Lally, SJ, rector of the Jesuit community at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and will include stops in Bethlehem, as well as other important sites in Jerusalem. The number of participants in the once-in-a-lifetime trip is limited to 24.

Last year, the Hurleys traveled to the Holy Land on a pilgrimage led by renowned author and writer Rev. Jim Martin, SJ. President Hurley chronicled his experiences in a daily blog.

Click here for a full itinerary and reservation form.

Students are Enriched Through the Burrito Project

Canisius students assemble burritos in the basement of Christ the King Chapel.

The Burrito Project at Canisius College is a ministry of hospitality and provides homemade burritos to the marginalized and homeless population in downtown Buffalo.

Through service programs like the Burrito Project, run through the Office of Campus Ministry, Canisius students learn the value of being “men and women for and with others.” Canisius faculty, staff and alumni also participate in the Burrito Project.

Click here to view a video about the Burrito Project.

Give To What You Love The Most This Christmas Season

As you think about giving to what you love the most this Christmas season, please remember our nearly 4,000 students by making a gift to the Canisius Fund.  Gifts of all sizes come together to make a difference in shaping the college and supporting our students, the majority of whom (98%) receive some form of financial aid.  By making a gift to the Canisius Fund, you help make a Canisius education possible and, in turn, inspire our students to Go forth and set the world on fire, just as St. Ignatius Loyola encouraged his followers to do more than 450 years ago.    

You may make automatic monthly contributions over the next 12 months or pay your gift in full by December 31 to take advantage of the 2016 tax deduction.  If you prefer to wait until 2017 to make your gift, consider pledging now to receive a bill at a later date.

Your participation in the Canisius Fund – at any level – influences Canisius’ ranking in key recruitment publications such as U.S. News and World Report.  Most importantly, your gift helps provide essential funding for scholarships, academic and athletic excellence and programs that strengthen our Jesuit educational mission.

Thank you in advance for your investment in Canisius College and our students, and best wishes to you and your loved ones for a blessed and joyful Christmas season.  


Canisius in the News

Whether they are giving children with autism hope, putting the fear of the Zika virus into context or explaining why Beluga whales blow bubbles, our award-winning faculty experts put Canisius in the news.  The college secures an average of 260 media placements in local and national media outlets each year.

Click here to view a sampling of our media placements.

Discover the Benefits of a Canisius Graduate Degree

Find out how YOU CAN take the next step in your career with a Canisius graduate degree. The college offers more than 35 graduate degree and certificate programs through the Richard J. Wehle School of Business, the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Education & Human Services and the Office of Professional Studies. With a growing number of online programs, and many programs that can be completed in as little as one year, Canisius students receive an exceptional education from the premier private institution in Western New York without missing a step in their careers.

Classes resume January 17 and it’s not too late to apply. 

Find out more about Canisius’ graduate programs and how to appy here. To speak to a counselor, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 716-888-2545 or at 

Canisius Magazine to Feature Griffs Under 40

Do you know an innovative and inspiring young graduate who is using his or her Canisius education to make a difference in the world? If so, Canisius Magazine wants to know.

The editors are compiling the college’s first Griffs Under 40 list of alumni who demonstrate success in their professions and/or through their community advocacy.

Help us identify our best and brightest.  Click here to nominate someone impressive (or your amazing self!).

We Value Your Opinion

Canisius Online wants to hear from you! What do you like? What don’t you like? What would you like to see more of in your monthly alumni newsletter? Take our first-ever readership survey. Results will be compiled so that we can present you with a new version of Canisius Online that is fresh, easy to read and offers you the content that interests you most. The new Canisius Online will debut in spring 2017.

Take our Canisius Online Readership Survey here. Thank you for you participation!

Donor of the Month

Larry Lawler ’70 is chair of the board for Lawler & Witkowski, CPAs PC in Buffalo, and the national director and founder of the American Society of Tax Problem Solvers (ASTPS).  

“I was positively impacted not only by my accounting professors but the Jesuits at Canisius and their mission of service to others.  I was able to balance a full-time job, a growing family and obtain my degree because of the flexible night classes that the college offered.”

Giving Back to Alma Mater

“Canisius provided a strong education and the foundation for principles and values that I still benefit from today. I want others to have the same opportunity.”

Advice to Students

“Professionals in the business community have tremendous respect for a Canisius education and the college’s reputation alone will help you get started in your career.  However, once you get a job, be sure to practice the work ethic you learned at Canisius each day at your place of employment.”

If you would like to join Larry Lawler ’70 as a member of the Leadership Society or make a gift of any size, visit

Big 4 Pre-Game Reception

Join alumni, family and friends to cheer on the Golden Griffins at the Big 4 Pre-Game Reception on Saturday, December 17 from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. at Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, 76 Pearl Street in Buffalo. Admission includes a buffet of Buffalo favorites, along with a cash bar. Tickets are $20 per person and do not include admission to the game. Tickets for the basketball game are available here.

Click here to register for the Big 4 Pre-Game reception.

Serve Those in Need

St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy and Campus Ministry invite alumni to serve those most in need this holiday season.

On Sunday, December 18 from 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., the agency needs thousands of wrapped toys moved from a secret location to St. Luke’s Mission Mall. St. Luke's provides gifts for 2,600 families.

Transportation to St. Luke’s will be provided by van.  Please meet in front of the college’s Tower Lot at 6:15 p.m. or meet the group at St. Luke’s, 325 Walden Avenue, Buffalo. 

St. Luke’s will provide pizza for volunteers. All Canisius alumni, faculty, students, families and friends of the college are welcome to participate!

Click here to register.

Canisius is Proud Sponsor of ’40 Under 40’ Celebration

President John Hurley congratulates Michael Lewis ’01, PhD, director of special education, city of Niagara Falls School District, a 2016 Business First ’40 Under 40’ honoree.

Canisius College was a proud sponsor of Business First’s 25th annual ‘40 Under 40’ anniversary celebration on Thursday, November 17 at the Buffalo Convention Center.  We congratulate the 2016 class, which includes four distinguished Griffin alumni and one of our valued staff members.   

The ‘40 Under 40’ list features Buffalo-area leaders who have made an impact at an early age. Since 1992, 125 Canisius alumni have been named to Business First’s ‘40 Under 40.’

Click here to view the complete list.

Click here to view photos of the five Canisius 2016 honorees.

Join the Canisius College Sodality

Share in the spiritual and social advantages of having a Catholic, Jesuit education by joining the Canisius College Sodality of Our Lady.

The religious aim of the Sodality remains the same as when it was founded 120 years ago: to foster in its members an ardent devotion, reverence and love towards the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Open to men, women and students of lifelong liberal learning, the Canisius College Sodality meets on campus the first Sunday of each month, from October through May. The meetings consist of Sunday Mass, devotions, brunch and a guest speaker.

The next Sodality of Our Lady meeting will take place on Sunday, December 4. Rev. Gary R. Kibler, retired pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Hamburg, will serve as the guest speaker.

Trip to Africa

Timothy Wadkins, PhD, professor of religious studies and director of the Institute for the Global Study of Religion (IGSOR), invites alumni to “Explore Religion and Nature on the Slopes of Kilimanjaro,” a pilgrimage from July 5-15, 2017. The trip includes exploration of the religion and culture of the Chagga people of Kilimanjaro, visits to important cultural programs/agencies, on-site presentations by experts, and a two-day wildlife safari in two national parks.

An informational meeting about the trip will be held on January 8, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at University Presbyterian Church, 3330 Main Street in Buffalo. For more information about the trip or IGSOR, contact Wadkins at (716) 888-2824 or

DePerro ’81, MSED ’88, EdD, Named 21st President of St. Bonaventure

Dennis DePerro ’81, MSED ’88, EdD, has been named the 21st president of St. Bonaventure University, effective June 1, 2017. DePerro, who currently serves as dean of the Purcell School of Professional Studies at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, has 35 years of experience in higher education administration. The St. Bonaventure Board of Trustees unanimously selected DePerro after an eight-month search process. Previously, DePerro was vice president for enrollment management at LeMoyne and worked in the Departments of Alumni Relations and Admissions at alma mater.

Read more about DePerro here.

Alumna Participated in Vatican Youth Symposium

As a delegate for the Vatican Youth Symposium, Molly Burhans ’14 (center) had the honor of meeting Pope Francis.

Molly Burhans ’14 was one of 50 young leaders from around the world brought together for the Vatican Youth Symposium. Held in Vatican City from October 30-31, the event was organized to devise sustainability solutions.  

Burhans is executive director of the Goodland Project, an initiative she founded to increase the Catholic Church’s understanding and ecological planning of its landholdings, in order to demonstrate how these lands can be a means for positive global environmental and social change.

As part of the symposium, Burhans presented about the many ways the Goodlands Project will benefit the Catholic Church, specifically how it lays the foundation for mapping the Church and creates a platform that helps Catholic organizations, research institutes and leadership share information.

Burhans holds a philosophy degree (Hypatian Scholar) from Canisius.

Click here for more information about the Vatican Youth Symposium.

Huber MSED ’06, EdD, Named Superintendent of Alexander Schools

Catherine Huber MSED ’06, EdD, is the new superintendent of schools for the Alexander Central School District, effective January 3. Huber is currently the assistant superintendent of human resources for Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District and previously served as its director of secondary education.
Huber holds a dual master’s degree in educational leadership and English education from Canisius College and previously served as an adjunct professor in the college’s Graduate Education Program.

Read more about Huber here.

Alumnus to Head Mental Health Agency

Howard Hitzel MS ’97, president of Lake Shore Behavior Health, will become president of the new non-profit organization, which will result from the merger of Lake Shore and Child & Adolescent Treatment Services (CATS).

Hitzel, a Town of Tonawanda native, received his master of public administration degree from Canisius in 1997. He has served as president of Lake Shore since 1998. The merger of the two companies, which should be completed by early next year, is designed to bring a broader, more efficient approach for those touched by mental illness.

To read more on Hitzel and the merger, click here.

Rupp MS ’08, MSED ’09 Named All-Bee Coach of the Year

Eric Rupp MS ’08, MSED ’09, head football coach of the Lancaster Legends, the varsity football team at Lancaster High School, was named the All-Bee Publications Coach of the Year. Rupp coached Lancaster to a perfect 7-0 regular season before winning the Class AA Sectional Title. The Legends won the average game by more than three touchdowns before their season-ending loss in the Far West Regional Game.

Prior to Rupp taking the helm in February, the Legends went 15-20 over the previous four seasons.   He holds master’s degrees in sport administration and adolescence education (grades 7-12) from Canisius.

To read more about Rupp, click here.