April 2016 - Canisius Online

Thank you, Canisius, we made history!  

The college’s inaugural Giving Day on Wednesday, April 27 surpassed all expectations garnering an impressive $223,038 from 1,093 alumni, friends, parents, faculty and staff.

“I am inspired by and grateful for the outpouring of support on Giving Day,” said President John J. Hurley. “While our results are an impressive accomplishment on their own, the true value of Giving Day will extend far beyond April 27 and continue to impact our nearly 4,000 Canisius students.  Thank you to our Board of Trustees for its leadership in establishing the Trustees Challenge Grant, and to all of our Canisius community members who supported the college and our students on Giving Day.  You truly demonstrated the power of what we can accomplish together.”
As a result of Giving Day:

  • We made history at Canisius for the highest number of donors making a gift to the college in one day.
  • The college received $223,038 in essential funding for scholarships and tuition assistance, academic and athletic excellence, and programs that strengthen our Jesuit educational mission.
  • The Board of Trustees Challenge Grant and bonus Giving Day Challenges were unlocked.
  • Even after participation and matching challenge grant goals were met, Golden Griffins kept giving.
  • Students took social media by storm expressing their gratitude for Giving Day donors and what they love about their Canisius experience.
  • The Giving Day video featuring Vance Stinson ’16 was viewed more than 12,000 times. 
  • Alumni from the undergraduate classes of 2008 & 2013, DiGamma Honor Society members, graduates of the College Student Personnel Administration Program and Men’s Lacrosse boosters having the highest number of donors on the Giving Day leaderboard in their respective categories!

It's not too late to participate in Giving Day!  To make a gift, see all of the Giving Day results, including the final leaderboards and the #CanisiusGivingDay conversation, visit  

Thank you again Canisius donors and social media ambassadors.  We said we can.  Together we did – with you!

Always a Griffin: Homecoming 2016

Make plans now to attend this year's Homecoming Weekend celebration. Join the festivities from Thursday, September 22 – Sunday, September 25 and reconnect with classmates, share memories and see what’s happening on campus.  There’s something for everyone during this fun-filled weekend.  

New this year, the Favorite Professor event kicks off Homecoming Weekend on Thursday night in the Chester HON ’01 & Diane Stranczek Science Hall Commons. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up with your former professors and tour beautiful Science Hall.

Reunions are the hallmark of Homecoming Weekend.  On Friday, join celebrations for the classes of 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2011 in Science Hall.  The following affinity groups will also gather: International Students, UNITY, All-College Honors, Club Football, Counseling and Human Services and College Student Personnel.  After, head over to the Quad for the popular Tent Party and enjoy food, music and dancing.

On Saturday, the events continue including Java with the Jesuits, campus tours, Fall Fest for children of all ages, and Family and Alumni Mass. Cap off the day and celebrate the accomplishments of your fellow Griffins at the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner in the Montante Cultural Center.

Wrap up the weekend on Sunday with an Architectural Pedal Tour of Buffalo, which showcases the city’s amazing architectural gems, or catch volleyball against Rider at the KAC.

Not a part of a reunion class or affinity group?  No worries.  ALL Canisius College alumni are invited to attend Homecoming Weekend!  

Find more information and register here.

“Artists for Autism” Raises $25,000 for the IAR

From left to right: Robby Takac, Goo Goo Dolls; President John Hurley; singer-songwriter Cassandra Kubinski; Chis Lopata, PsyD, and Marcus Thomeer, PhD, co-directors of the IAR; Armand Petri, music producer; Mary Ramsey, 10,000 Maniacs and John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls. Photo by Chuck Pustelnik ’91, MS ’04

The multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls headlined a concert to benefit the college’s Institute for Autism Research (IAR) on Saturday April 16. The concert, “Artists for Autism,” raised $25,000 for the IAR.  The show also included performances by Mary Ramsey, vocalist for 10,000 Maniacs and singer-songwriter Cassandra Kubinski.

A highlight of the concert was the debut of the newly-recorded version of Kubinski’s song “Not So Different.”  The uplifting performance included all of the musicians who participated in the concert and lively audience participation.  President John Hurley and Marcus Thomeer, PhD, co-director of the IAR, were on stage for the performance.

The concert was the vision of famed music producer Armand Petri, who wanted to create greater awareness of the Institute for Autism Research. Petri’s son, AJ, is autistic and benefited from participation in the IAR’s programs.

Proceeds from the download of “Not So Different,” available on iTunes and Google Play, also benefit the IAR.  The recording is in collaboration with the Music Industry Program at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Download “Not So Different” from Google Play here.

Download “Not So Different” From iTunes here.

Morris to Receive Distinguished Faculty Award

The Canisius College Alumni Association will confer its Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award upon Sara R. Morris, PhD, during Spring Honors Convocation on Friday, May 20. The award, presented annually, recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world.

As a professor of biology, Morris is beloved by fellow faculty and students. Morris’ passion for her discipline is apparent in her classroom. Whether she is teaching introductory biology or upper-level classes such as ornithology and field ecology, Morris effectively combines her lectures with engaging images, videos and demonstrations to convey the subject matter.  As a result, she energizes students with her infectious enthusiasm.

Morris also provides unique field experiences and research opportunities for her students and is a dedicated mentor to graduates of the Biology Program. She maintains an active research team of Canisius undergraduate students who study bird migration.  Many of her former research students have been accepted into top graduate programs and are working in a variety of fields.

Click here to read more about Morris’ accomplishments and contributions to the college.

Canisius Accounting Grads Rank First in New York State

The Canisius College Accounting Program continues its long legacy of excellence. Kudos to Canisius alumni who once again ranked first, overall, in New York State during the 2015 New York State CPA exam cycle, with a 75 percent pass rate among medium programs (institutions with between 21 – 60 candidates). The 2015 exam is the most recent to be published by the National Association of the State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA). The results include graduates of bachelor and master programs who are first-time candidates sitting for the CPA exam within one year of graduation.

Read more here.

CFA Team Competes in Americas Finals

The Canisius team from left to right: Richard Kubiak ’16 (team captain), Alexander Vienne ’16, Mallory Murdie MBA ’17, Daniel Suarez ’16 and Lee Huber ’16.

Congratulations to the Golden Griffin Fund (GGF) team, which advanced to the Americas Finals in the 2016 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge. The competition was held in Chicago, earlier this month.

Competing in the Americas Finals narrowed the field to 21 from the nearly 1,000 universities around the globe that participated in the challenge, putting the Canisius team among the top two percent in the world.

Read more about competition and the team’s win here.

Canisius is a Top Catholic College

Three new rankings place Canisius among the best Catholic colleges and universities in the nation.

College Choice ranked Canisius among the Top 75 Catholic Colleges and Universities for 2016. Criteria used to compile the list included factors that freshmen indicated are most important in their college search: college reputation, net cost, financial aid packages and average graduate salaries. The ranking aims to find the nexus between the best of academic prestige and return on investment.

The 2016-17 Catholic Colleges of Distinction guidebook recognized Canisius for its strong focus on teaching undergraduates, successful outcomes, vibrant campus community and engaged student body.

BestCollege’ placed Canisius at number 13 on the list of best online Catholic colleges and universities.  The ranking highlights Canisius for its “innovative online graduate degree options” and “small class sizes, which encourage engagement and group discussion.”

Assemblyman Schimminger ’69, HON ’07 Secures $100,000 for Canisius

New York State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger ’69, HON ’07 secured a $100,000 grant for Canisius in the 2016-17 state budget.  The grant will support and advance the Women’s Business Center (WBC) and the Center for Professional Development (CPD).

The WBC provides women entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge and skills to succeed through education, connections and community. The CPD offers educational programs and services directed at workforce development, talent management and business planning.  

"Both the WBC and CPD are important resources for Western New York residents,” said Assemblyman Schimminger, in announcing the grant.  Schimminger is chair of the Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry.

Business School Earns Reaccreditation

The Richard J. Wehle School of Business upheld a nearly 40-year distinction receiving reaccreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.  AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence for business schools that offer undergraduate, master and doctoral degrees.  It is earned by less than five percent of the world’s business programs.

Magis Medals Awarded

From left to right: Robert Greene ’66 and Frederick Attea ’61, long-time partners in the law firm of Phillips Lytle LLP; Sr. Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, CSSF, founder and executive director of Response to Love Center; Christopher Urban '07, Buffalo Alpha Sigma Nu alumni chapter president; Rev. Patrick Lynch, SJ, professor of religious studies and theology at Canisius and Alpha Sigma Nu faculty adviser; Megan Brenner-Zwara ’10, recruitment coordinator for AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education (ABLE); and Amy O’Neil, Alpha Sigma Nu development director.  

Family and friends gathered to celebrate with Frederick G. Attea ’61, Robert Greene ’66 and Megan Brenner-Zwara ’10 when they received Magis Medals during Alpha Sigma Nu’s annual brunch in the college’s Grupp Fireside Lounge on Sunday, April 17.

Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society, awarded the medals in celebration of the society’s centennial anniversary. Sr. Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, CSSF, also received a Magis Medal at the event.

Alpha Sigma Nu recognizes individuals who distinguish themselves in scholarship, loyalty and service. The only honor society permitted to bear the name Jesuit, Αlpha Sigma Nu encourages its members to a lifetime pursuit of intellectual development, deepening Ignatian spirituality, service to others and a commitment to the core principles of Jesuit education.

Read more about the Canisius Magis Medal recipients here.

18th Annual Shoes for the Shelter

Runners line up at the start of the 18th annual Canisius College Shoes for the Shelter 5K.
Nearly 300 runners participated in the 18th annual Canisius College Shoes for the Shelter 5K presented by Independent Health on Sunday, April 10.
Top alumni finishers were Michael Moore ’02, who completed the course in 18:53, and Mary Lawrence ’04, who posted a time of 20:27.

This year, more than 3,400 shoes were collected for the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The Canisius Department of Athletics has collected more than 35,000 pairs of shoes since the race’s inception in 2002.

Canisius Community Day

A big thank you goes out to the more than 40 Canisius alumni who participated in Canisius Community Day on Saturday, April 9. Each semester, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the college collaborate and serve with several dozen non-profit organizations in the city of Buffalo.

View photos of spring Community Day here.

Milestone Class Reunions Planned

Members of the Canisius Classes of 1951, 1956 and 1961 are invited to celebrate milestones reunions with fellow classmates during commencement weekend, May 21 – 22, 2016. Activities include a tour of Science Hall, followed by dinner in the Chester HON ’01 & Diane Stranczek Science Hall Commons on Saturday.

Reunion events for the Class of 1966 are planned for May 20 – 22, 2016. The 50-year reunion celebration kicks off Friday with campus tours and a reunion class social.  Enjoy an elegant evening at the Montante Cultural Center during the reunion dinner dance on Saturday night.  

The weekend culminates with the popular Golden Plus Mass and Brunch on Sunday morning.
For more information, contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at (716) 888-2700 or 800-201-4952 or online at

Canisius Over Cocktails NYC

From left to right: Leslie Young Zarra, Canisius President John Hurley, Chris Zarra ’90 and Joshua Colema ’10, co-chair of the New York City Canisius Alumni Chapter at Canisius Over Cocktails NYC.
More than 70 alumni and friends enjoyed the second Canisius Over Cocktails event in New York City. The reception was hosted by Chris Zarra ’90 and Leslie Young Zarra at the showroom for Cliff Young Ltd., contemporary furniture and custom design services.

President John Hurley shared an update about the the college with the group.

See more photos from the event here.

Curtin ’46 Retires After Nearly Five Decades on the Bench

After 48 years on the bench, Hon. John T. Curtin ’46, United States District Court Judge for the Western District of New York, retired.  During his storied career, Judge Curtin oversaw such landmark cases as the 1972 Buffalo Schools desegregation suit and the 1994 ruling that found Hooker Chemical illegally dumped chemicals into Love Canal. Nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967, Judge Curtin was one of the most respected jurists in Western New York.

Read more about Judge Curtin here.

Expat Returns from D.C. for Dream Job

John Schaller ’97 left Buffalo after graduation to pursue a career in politics in Washington, D.C. He recently returned to the city he loves to accept his “dream job.”  Now director of fundraising and development for Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Schaller says “My wife and I both grew up in Buffalo. We wanted to explore how to get back to Buffalo, because to us it was the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Read more here.

O’Sullivan ’04 Receives Women Who Move City Award

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County honored Susan O’ Sullivan ’04 with its Women Who Move the City Award for her volunteer work throughout the Western New York region. The annual award recognizes women for their positive impact on the lives of others and the community. O’Sullivan is executive director of Advanced Solutions, Cisco business unit, and the executive overseeing the Buffalo offices of Ingram Micro.

Read more about O’Sullivan’s award here.

Alumnus Named to Top Post at Starpoint Schools

Sean M. Croft ’96, EdD, is the new superintendent of the Starpoint School District. Croft was assistant superintendent for instruction, assessment and staff development.

Read more about Croft’s appointment here.