Sept 2016 - Canisius Online

Canisius Scores High in Numerous College Rankings

Canisius climbed to the 23rd spot in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 rankings for America’s Best Colleges, Regional Universities – North.  Canisius moved up four spots from its U.S. News ranking of 27th in 2015.  

The college was recognized for its first-year student retention rate, average graduation rate, small class sizes and student-faculty ratio (11:1).  U.S. News separately ranks comprehensive colleges and universities by region of the country.  There are 137 schools in the Regional Universities – North category.

Canisius is also in the top 10 named to U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 Great Schools, Great Prices ranking.

Canisius ranked 8th out of 15 regional universities in the North, and was recognized for the percent of students who receive grant-based need (76 percent) and the average discount from the total cost of the school (46 percent).

The Great Schools, Great Prices ranking takes into account a school’s academic quality (based on U.S. News’  Best Colleges ranking) and the net cost of attendance for a student who received the average level of need-based financial aid.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are one resource that students and parents use to evaluate their college choices. The results are based on several key measures of quality that include (but are not limited to) graduation and retention rates, assessment of excellence, faculty resources, financial resources and student selectivity.  Each indicator is assigned a weight and expressed as a percentage. Colleges are then ranked based on their composite scores. The categories in which schools are listed are based on the classifications created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Based on peer rankings,US News and World Report also ranked Canisius in the following for 2017:

  • The Richard J. Wehle School of Business ranked 12th out of 48 undergraduate business programs at small, private institutions nationally. (At the program level of the survey, Canisius was ranked 28th in accounting and 27th in finance, out of all 488 institutions that participated in Best Undergraduate Business Programs.)
  • Canisius ranked 5th out of 62 small, private regional universities – North, with a business management program.
  • Canisius ranked 5th out of 72 small, private, regional universities – North, with an education program.
  • Canisius ranked 12th among 52 regional universities – North in Best Colleges for Veterans.  

Click here to view additional rankings. 

1000+ Griffs Return for Homecoming 2016

Photo: Griffin statue (Tom Wolf)

Homecoming 2016: Always a Griffin is now a treasured memory for the more than 1,000 Canisius alumni, family and friends who returned to alma mater  to recharge their Golden Griffin batteries and rekindle friendships formed as many as five decades ago.

A highlight of this year’s Homecoming included the formal dedication of the new Griffin statue perched magestically in front of Science Hall on Main Street.  Members of the Canisius community gathered to celebrate the Griffin sculpture and take part in its blessing.

The king of birds and beasts, the Griffin trekked more than 1,200 miles from its creator, sculptor Mark Palmerton, owner of Crucible Foundry in Norman, OK.

The 1,500-pound Griffin’s lifelike form stands six-feet high and eight-feet long.  The sculpture is constructed of oil-based clay, and cast in bronze which can endure for upwards of 12,000 years – an appropriate alloy for a mythological creature that sprang from the human imagination more than 5,000 years ago!  

The Griffin sculpture is a gift from the Undergraduate Student Association (USA) and serves as a permanent symbol of Canisius pride for generations of students and alumni.  

Can’t get enough of our majestic mascot? Look for a cover story about the Griffin, written by alumnus Erik Brady ’76, in the upcoming fall issue of Canisius Magazine.

 (l-r) Canisius President John J. Hurley, Vice President for Student Affairs Terri Mangione, PhD, former USA President Rich Kubiak ’16, who spearheaded the Griffin statue project, and current USA President Elias Ayoub ’17, unveil the new plaque on the Griffin statue. The plaque signifies the statue is a gift from the students of Canisius.

Click here to watch the Griffin statue dedication.

Hundreds of alumni posed with the Griffin during Homecoming Weekend, including college student personnel administration (CSPA) alums who celebrated the 20th anniversary of the master’s program.  CSPA alumni from the Classes of 1998 through 2016 returned to Canisius from as far away as California, the Carolinas and Massachusetts.

More than 40 alumni, students and faculty members from the master’s program in college student personnel administration (CSPA) gathered for a group photo near the newly-dedicated Griffin statue.

Additional weekend activities included the Favorite Professors event.  More than 50 alumni and faculty gathered to catch up and reminisce.  The always crowd-pleasing Tent Party received rave reviews from those in attendance. Events also included the Distinguished Alumni Dinner (read more below), Fall Fest, Griffs’ athletic events, Java with the Jesuits and the Homecoming Mass for alumni, family, students, parents and friends.

Enjoy photos from all Homecoming 2016 events.

President Hurley Presents 7th Convocation Address

Canisius College President John J. Hurley updates the campus community and unveils the college’s new strategic plan during his annual President’s Convocation.

Canisius College President John J. Hurley addressed members of the campus community at the President’s Convocation on Wednesday, September 7. This traditional event brought together the campus community at the onset of the fall semester.  In his address, President Hurley outlined the college’s new strategic plan - Canisius 150: Excellence, Leadership, Jesuit - and discussed the strategies the college will undertake in the months and years ahead.  

President Hurley thanked the college’s stakeholders − faculty, staff, students and alumni – for their participation in the planning process.

Watch the video of President Hurley's address. Read the transcript here.

Outstanding Graduates Honored at Distinguished Alumni Dinner

(l-r): Canisius President John J. Hurley; Nora McGuire MBA '08, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Independent Health; Michael N. Coppola '70, retired president, chief executive officer and chair, Advance Auto Parts; Ronald A. Raccuia '90, president, ADPRO Sports; Mary V. Travers Murphy '80, executive director, Family Justice Center of Erie County and Kenneth M. Sroka '65, PhD, emeritus professor of English, Canisius College.

The Canisius College Alumni Association presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to five outstanding graduates during the Distinguished Alumni Dinner on Saturday, September 24 in the Montante Cultural Center. Almost 200 family members, alumni, friends and members of the Canisius community enjoyed the event, which was part of Homecoming Weekend. The Distinguished Alumni Award is conferred upon graduates whose lives and careers are marked by extraordinary achievement and service to their communities.

2016 honorees include:

  • Michael N. Coppola '70, retired president, chief executive officer and chair, Advance Auto Parts
  • Nora McGuire MBA '08, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Independent Health
  • Mary V. Travers Murphy '80, executive director, Family Justice Center of Erie County
  • Ronald A. Raccuia '90, president, ADPRO Sports
  • Kenneth M. Sroka '65, PhD, emeritus professor of English, Canisius College

Enjoy more photos from the Distinguished Alumni Dinner here.

Inspire students to “Go forth and set the world on fire.”

“Each summer the Institute for the Global Study of Religion sponsors the Ignatian Seminar Program, a month-long summer immersion course taught in Third World locations. Last summer, through this program, I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania. It was a life-enhancing experience. While there I engaged with Tanzanian children, learned about their culture, daily lives and official language. I visited local hospitals, schools, churches and family homes.  This experience molded me into an interconnected individual, and greatly expanded my cultural, social, and spiritual knowledge of East Africa. To the donors whose support made this possible – thank you. I will be forever appreciative.” Sheanell Cutts ’17, sociology (pictured above with a group of Tanzanian children during the Ignatian Summer Program).

By supporting the Canisius Fund, you help make distinctive learning opportunities possible for students like Sheanell Cutts.  As a result, Canisius students are prepared to “Go forth and set the world on fire, just as St. Ignatius Loyola called his fellow Jesuits to do more than 460 years ago.

Be a spark of inspiration for our students by participating in the college’s 2016-17 annual campaign and make a gift today.
Annual gifts to the college provide essential funding for scholarships, academic and athletic excellence, and innovative learning experiences which are central to Canisius’ Jesuit educational mission. You will truly be amazed by the impact your generosity can have on our students!  

Thank you in advance for your support of Canisius and its students!

Alumnae Named to Business First’s Women of Influence List

Congratulations to three Canisius alumnae who are among 26 women named to Business First’s Women of Influence list. Honorees are women from a multitude of professional areas who are being recognized for their contributions to the community. They include:
• Rosanna Berardi ’94, managing partner/attorney, Berardi Immigration Law
• Kimberley Minkel MBA ’96, executive director, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority
• Jill Szczesek MS ’98, chief operating officer, Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
View the complete Women of Influence list here.

Giving Back to Alma Mater

“I give back because I believe the college is making a significant, positive difference in the lives of students and in the Buffalo community.  It is an honor to be in a position to support Canisius and to help future fellow alumni achieve their educational and personal goals.”  
Advice to Students
“Identify a mentor on campus and establish a positive rapport with that mentor.  Before accepting any position after graduation, learn as much as you can about the company, its mission and its culture. Make sure it is a good fit for you.”
If you would like to join Jacqueline Hollins MSED ’97 and make a gift, visit

Alumni to be Honored at Business Awards Dinner

The Richard J. Wehle School of Business honors Mark J. Czarnecki MBA ’91, president and chief operating officer of M&T Bank and a Canisius trustee, with the Business Executive of the Year Award at the annual Canisius College Business Awards Dinner on Tuesday, October 11 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.
The awards ceremony also includes the presentation of the Dr. Bernard L. Martin Award to Lawrence T. McGowan ’70, MBA ’85, president and chief executive officer for Arbor Capital Management.

The Business Awards Dinner is co-sponsored by the Business Advisory Council to the Richard J. Wehle School of Business. For more information and tickets, contact the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at (716) 888-2160 or click here.

Alumni Sunday Masses

All alumni and friends of Jesuit schools are invited to share their common bonds through the celebration of liturgy at the Jesuit Friends and Alumni Sunday Masses being celebrated in 12 cities on Sunday, October 23. Canisius President John J. Hurley will do a reading and serve as a Eucharistic Minister at the Mass in Buffalo at St. Michael’s church at noon.  Rev. Benjamin Fiore, SJ, pastor at St. Michael’s and professor, religious studies and theology at Canisius, will preside and Rev. Fred Betti, SJ, parochial vicar at St. Michael’s, will provide the homily at the Mass which will be followed by a reception.  The Mass highlights opportunities for continued spiritual growth and service to the community.  
Click here to view a schedule and to register to attend a Mass.

Former Michigan Governor Speaks as Part of Fitzpatrick Series

Former two-term governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm speaks at Canisius College on Tuesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center.  Her lecture, entitled “The Mother of All Markets: Creating Clean Energy Jobs in America,” is free and open the public. The event is presented by The William H. Fitzpatrick Chair of Political Science Lecture Series.
Granholm is credited with leading Michigan through a period of unprecedented economic challenge and change, and is an authority on leadership, politics, economic diversification, clean energy policy, advanced manufacturing and industrial clusters. She became the first woman to be elected governor of Michigan in 2002 and in 2006, Granholm was re-elected with the largest number of votes ever cast for governor in the state.
Read more about Granholm and the Fitzpatrick lecture here.  

Rev. Paul Dugan, SJ, Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Ordination

(l-r) Carl Montante ’64, HON ’04, Rev. Paul Dugan, SJ and Carol Montante.
Rev. Paul Dugan, SJ, celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a Jesuit priest earlier this month at Murray-Weigel Hall on the Fordham University campus.  Among those in attendance were Carl ’64, HON ’04 and Carol Montante (pictured) and James McNicholas Jr. ’68, MS ’97, who snapped the photo.

Baseball Alums Score Visit from President Hurley

(l-r): Canisius’ First Lady Maureen Hurley, Connor Panas ’15, President John Hurley, Devon Stewart ’15 and Jon Fitzsimmons ’13.

Peter and Rita Carfagna recently hosted President John J. Hurley and his wife, Maureen, for some Griff-influenced minor league baseball action in Willowick, OH.  The Carfagnas, whom the Hurleys met on their Holy Land pilgrimmage in 2015, own the Lake County Captains, the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, for whom former Griffins Devon Stewart ’15 and Jon Fitzsimmons ’13 play.

The Captains took on the Lansing Lugnuts, the Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Griff's star and two-time MAAC student athlete of the year Connor Panas ’15 plays for the Lugnuts.  Prior to the first pitch, the three former Griffs joined President and Maureen Hurley on the field for a pre-game photo.

Click here to read more.

Bosch 3 Reunion

(l-r) Dan Schuller ’07 with son, Ari; Andrew Kowalewski ’07 with son, Max; Tom Kallenbach ’07 with daughter, Cece; and John Graves ’07 with son, Aaron.

Four members of the Class of 2007, reunited in town for a recent wedding, returned to the third floor of Bosch Hall, their former Canisius residence.  The young dads, pictured above and clad in custom t-shirts, brought along their baby Griffs to show them their former stomping grounds!

Brady ’76 reflects on Jesuit education  

Erik Brady ’76, writer and reporter for USA Today, shared his perspective about what it means to be Jesuit educated in a feature for the award-winning newspaper.  
Read the article in its entirety here.

Suchak ’07 Investigates Cooperation Among Chimpanzees

Nearly 120 national and international media outlets reported research by Malini Suchak ’07, PhD, assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation (ABEC) that shows chimpanzees reward cooperation and discourage competition. Media outlets included,, (Christian Science Monitor),, and (UK).

Read the article here.

Read the article here.

Manhertz Makes NFL’s New Orleans Saints

Chris Manhertz '14, MS ’14 made final cuts and now plays tight end for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. As a former basketball star for the Griffs, Manhertz played in 116 career games from 2010-14. A three-time team captain, he ranks fourth in school history with 789 career rebounds, and is just one of three players since 1951 to lead the Blue and Gold in rebounding in three consecutive seasons.

Manhertz earned a bachelor’s degree in health and wellness in May 2014 and a master’s degree in sport administration in September 2014.

Read more about Manhertz here.

Zirnheld ’82 appointed CEO of Society of St. Vincent de Paul

The Board of Directors of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Buffalo named Mark Zirnheld ’82 as the society’s chief executive officer.  Zirnheld served as executive director of the society since 1989.

The society’s scope encompasses all of Western New York, and it is the oldest continuing charitable organization active in the region, with more than 1,100 active members.
Learn more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul here.

Alan Pietruszewski ’84 Brings Hollywood to Buffalo

A decorated Navy veteran, Alan Pietruszewski ’84 served for 20 years, including as a pilot.  Upon retirement, Pietruszewski turned in his wings for the big screen in Hollywood.  He is a full-time actor, producer and voice-over artist.
Pietruszewski recently spent time here in Western New York to shoot an independent film tentatively entitled “Curtains.”
Learn more about Pietruszewski’s career in a WIVB-TV story here.

Alumnus’ Local Business Experiences Significant Growth

Bootleg Bucha, a company co-founded by Todd Salansky ’00, MBA ’04, experienced phenomenal growth. Started in a home kitchen, the company is now headquartered on Niagara Street.
Brewing kombucha, a fermented and usually sweetened black or green tea, started as a hobby for Salansky but as demand for the product grew exponentially around the city, it’s become his full-time job.
Read more about Bootleg Bucha here.

WBFO 88.7 FM also recently aired a story about Bootleg Bucha. Click here to listen.