The Rev. James M. Demske '47, S.J. Society

Established in 1982, the Rev. James M. Demske ’47, S.J. Society honors all those who include the college in their estate plans. Through their foresight and generosity, members of the Demske Society help ensure the strength of Canisius College for generations to come by supporting scholarships, developing programs, enhancing campus buildings and increasing student opportunities.

The society was named for the college’s 22nd president, Rev. James M. Demske, S.J., who led the college from 1966-1993. Father Demske’s steady leadership was vital to the growth and development experienced by the college during that time and helped lay the foundation for the tremendous success the college experiences today. Father Demske’s foresight and commitment to Canisius College make him a fitting namesake to the society of alumni and friends who include the college in their estate plans. Like Father Demske, members of the Demske Society help to secure an even brighter future for Canisius College, and at the same time, forever tie their legacy to the college.

As a Demske Society Member, you will enjoy:

  • Special invitations to Demske Society functions and other events on campus and regionally.
  • A distinguished gold trombone pin, signifying your membership in the society.
  • Satisfaction in knowing that your planned gift will benefit many generations of Canisius College students. Your planned gift will be your legacy.

Planned gifts also provide a multitude of benefits to donors. Please see "The Importance of Planned Gifts" and “Benefits of Planned Giving” below for more information.

The Importance of Planned Gifts

Canisius alumni appreciate the value of the education they received, remain loyal to the success of the college and work to carry on the tradition of supporting future Griffs. Past generations of alumni demonstrated their leadership and loyalty with planned gifts - legacies that make a Canisius education engaging and affordable. Now, you have the opportunity to continue this legacy of support with your own planned gift to Canisius.

By making a planned gift, no matter the size, you will have a significant impact on Canisius' ability to provide an affordable education to students, regardless of their financial situation.  Planned gifts can provide a permanent source of revenue for scholarships, academic programs and research and provide the transformative experiences that make a Canisius education distinctive.  It is an opportunity to endow your annual gift to the college and make a lasting impact on the future success of Canisius students.  Your planned gift will be your legacy.

Benefits of Planned Giving

Planned giving is a smart, structured way to endow your annual gift for generations to come, meet your philanthropic goals, and provide support to Canisius students for years beyond your lifetime. Through a variety of planned giving options, you can support Canisius’ success – while establishing a legacy, becoming an integral part of the Canisius community and providing more opportunities to continue the distinctive Canisius educational experience.

Gift planning allows you to maximize your personal, financial, and philanthropic objectives, as well as minimize the after-tax cost. Depending on the type of gift, you may:

  • Reduce your income tax through a charitable gift deduction
  • Avoid capital gains tax on gifts of long-term appreciated assets
  • Retain a stream of income for yourself and/or designated beneficiaries
  • Increase your spendable income
  • Eliminate potential federal estate tax on property passing to charity upon your passing
  • Reduce costs and time in estate settlement
  • Become a distinguished member of the Rev. James M. Demske '47, S.J. Society

The Significance of the Trombone  Demske Trombone

An avid trombonist, Father Demske often delighted the Canisius College and Western New York communities with his performances. For this reason, the trombone is used as the symbol of the Rev. James M. Demske ’47, S.J. Society and distinguishes our alumni and friends who have included Canisius in their estate plans.

How to Become a Member of the Rev. James M. Demske '47, S.J. Society

If you are interested in learning more about planned giving at Canisius College, please contact our Office of Advancement at (716) 888-8200. We would be happy to meet individually with you to discuss your options and ensure your philanthropic goals are met.

If you have already included Canisius in your estate plans, please be sure to let us know. Knowing your plans helps us to prepare for the future and, more importantly, allows us to express our gratitude.  We will send you a membership welcome letter and your gold-plated trombone pin, as well as collect your preference for your name listing on our Demske Society membership roll.


We encourage you to provide documentation, such as a copy of the pertinent provisions of your will or trust, a copy of the life insurance policy that names the college as a beneficiary, or a letter from your attorney that states that Canisius has been included in your estate plans. The specifics of your arrangements for the college will remain confidential.


Should you have any questions or to discuss your gift options
with one of our gift officers, please contact:
Canisius College
Office of Advancement
(716) 888-8200 | 2001 Main Street | Buffalo, NY 14208