Donor Profile

Vital Support

BUFFALO, NY - Mark J. Lema ’71, MD, PhD, Buffalo’s eminent anesthesiologist, plays a vital role in cultivating Canisius’ next generation of medical professionals.

Lema is a founding member and chair of the college’s Medical Advisory Board, a group of more than 40 medical professionals (nearly all of whom are Canisius alumni) who engage pre-med students in a myriad of medical experiences and specialties. Lema, along with vice chair James Budny ‘70, MD, also initiated the board’s Medical Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund, which alleviates students’ financial obligations so they may focus solely on their studies.

“Our goal is to ensure that Canisius students are among the most attractive and relevant applicants to medical admissions committees,” Lema says. He proudly notes that nearly 90 percent of Canisius’ pre-med students are accepted into the medical schools of their choice.*

Lema is now challenging alma mater’s nearly 1,000 physicians and healthcare providers to support the future of science and medicine at Canisius with a gift to Science Hall. The college seeks to raise $35 million to complete the second and third floors of the college’s interdisciplinary science building.

“Today’s medical field is not just anatomy and physiology; it is biologists, chemists, computer scientists and mathematicians all working together to prevent disease and contribute to the care of patients,” adds Lema. “A gift to Science Hall is a rare opportunity for medical alumni to support an initiative that is sure to pay dividends for Canisius students, just as Buffalo’s medical corridor begins to take shape.”

*Five-year average for students recommended by the college who applied to allopathic or osteopathic programs.

Photography: Sandra Kieman, Jordan Lema