Canisius Online – December 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

For all you do on behalf of our students, the Canisius Fund sends you the gift of music this Christmas and wishes you many blessings in the New Year.
Please enjoy a special Christmas carol video featuring the beautiful voices of our Canisius Chorale. We hope you truly have the very best time of year.

Gifts to Canisius make all year, the very best time of year for our students.
If you have already made your 2014-15 gift, we sincerely thank you for your support. If not, we ask you to remember our students as you make your list and check it twice this Christmas by making a gift today.

Dr. Riga Shares the Origins of Santa Claus

Image of Santa

According to Frank Riga, PhD, emeritus professor of English,some of the early images of St. Nicholas hardly resemble the American version Santa Claus -- a plump, jolly figure in a red suit with a white beard.

Read more about the origins of Santa Claus HERE.

Father Dugan Sends Christmas Wishes

Rev. Paul J. Dugan, S.J., ’45 sends Christmas wishes and an update from Murray-Weigel Hall. 

Alumni Association Helps Bring Holiday Joy to St. Luke’s

Photo: to come from Sharon/Glenn after the event

XX members of the Buffalo Chapter of the Canisius Alumni Association served as “Santa’s helpers” when they delivered toys and clothing to St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy on Thursday, December 18.  One of Canisius’ community partners, St. Luke’s makes Christmas brighter for more than 2,600 families in need in the city of Buffalo.

John and Maureen Hurley Commit $250,000 to Science Hall

Photo – Yes from inauguration

Canisius College President John J. Hurley and his wife, Maureen, have committed a $250,000 gift to the college to be used toward the completion of Science Hall, Canisius’ interdisciplinary science center.

“We are truly grateful for the leadership and generosity of John and Maureen Hurley,” said William M. Collins, vice president for advancement. “This is an extraordinary gift and it underscores how committed President Hurley is to completing Science Hall and we hope others will follow their lead.”  Read more about the Hurleys’ gift and Science Hall HERE.

Estanek to Receive ACCU Award for Service

Headshot of Dr. Estanek

Sandra M. Estanek, PhD, professor of graduate education and leadership at Canisius and director of the College Student Personnel Administration Program, is the recipient of the President’s Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). 

The President’s Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual whose personal service is of exceptional quality to Catholic higher education, someone who has significantly promoted Catholic higher education through public advocacy, and has advanced Catholic higher education through philanthropy or voluntary development activities.

Estanek will accept her award at the annual meeting of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities on January 31, 2015 in Washington, D.C., when the organization will present awards to three distinguished Catholic scholars and educators.

Read more about Estanek’s work in Catholic education HERE.

Dr. Noonan, ABEC and CAC Featured on 2TheOutdoors Show

WGRZ’s 2TheOutdoors program featured a story on the various milestones reached this year by Michael Noonan, PhD, chair of animal behavior, ecology and conservation, as well as the ways in which his students “pay it forward” to help preserve our planet. Watch the story in its entirety HERE.  

Sports Hall of Fame Rededication

Group shot of 2013 Hall of Fame inductees and guests

Canisius’ rich athletic history is now on full display at its newly-renovated home in the Koessler Athletic Center.  The college rededicated its Sports Hall of Fame in November, following a 12-month, $200,000 upgrade. 

ghot of renovated Sports Hall of Fame

“When we started this project, we decided that our Sports Hall of Fame needed to be a destination point for visitors, fans, alumni, and current and prospective student-athletes,” says Athletics Director Bill Maher.  “I think we accomplished that.”

New display cases house artifacts from key moments in Canisius’ athletic history, along with championship rings presented to Canisius teams that won conference titles.  Inductee plaques all received a facelift and are now on display by induction year.  There is also a new photo mural that faces the Koessler’s Main Street entrance and features Canisius’ championship teams and photographs of Sports Hall of Fame inductees. 

The Sports Hall of Fame renovation was made possible through generous contributions to the Canisius Blue & Gold Fund. 

Alums Gather to Celebrate, Cheer on Griffs at Big 4 Classic

Image of Canisius Alumni at Big 4 Classic

From left to right: Brian Almendinger ’13 MBA ’14, Anthony Kroese ’14, Joseph Modica ’13, Evan Morgan ’13 and Dan Radwan ’13 enjoy the alumni reception at 716 Food and Sport before the game.

Big 4 basketball returned to Buffalo’s First Niagara Center in November and proved to be a must-see event for sports fans across Western New York.  Nearly 100 Canisius alumni and friends gathered at HarborCenter’s (716) Food and Sport for a post-game party on Saturday, November 29 following the Griffs’ tilt with UB and then many stayed in the building  to cheer on the Golden Griffins ice hockey team versus Air Force. Check out photos from the event HERE.

Bieler to Receive Distinguished Citizen Award at Regents Ball          

Beiler headshot

Tickets to the 49th annual Regents Scholarship Ball are now available for purchase.  The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 9 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo and includes the presentation of the Board of Regents Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award to Scott Bieler, CEO of West Herr Automotive Group in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the economic, civic and cultural welfare of Western New York.  

The Board of Regents Scholarship Ball is the principal fundraiser for the Canisius College Board of Regents Scholarship Fund, which provides financial support to promising young students.  Tables of 10 are available at the Leadership Level ($5,000); the Gold Level ($3,000); and the Griffin Level ($2,000). Young alumni pricing (classes of 2005-2014) and individual tickets are also available.

To purchase tickets or learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit Ball or contact Cece Gotham ’13, assistant director of stewardship and events, at 716-888-8228 or at


Canisius Alumnus’ Triumphs over Adversity 

Despite being blind, Patrick Engasser ’09 has found many innovative ways to adapt and work with his employer to become a highly-successful sales agent for AFLAC Insurance.