Donor Profile

Gerald Zon '67: A heart for Canisius

BUFFALO, NY - It could easily be said that Gerald Zon ’67, PhD, has a head for science and a heart for Canisius. Zon is currently the director of business development for TriLink BioTechnologies. He’s worked in the field of cancer research since graduating from Princeton, published more than 250 research articles and is named on close to 30 patents. Certainly, Zon has seen his fair share of accomplishments. However, his path to success almost never was.

Originally an engineering major at Canisius, Zon discovered his passion for science the summer before his sophomore year. While working for the Canisius cleaning crew, Zon observed a research student in the organic chemistry lab. He asked the student to explain the work and felt an instant affinity.

“That event is what I refer to as the ‘magic moment,’” says Zon. “I ended up taking organic chemistry and it was amazingly easy for me to grasp the principles.”

In honor of the summer research that forever changed his path, Zon established an endowed fund, which will provide permanent support for undergraduate research in the Chemistry Department. Zon also continues to return to campus to work with the program’s students and faculty, and is an important contributor to the new home of the sciences at Canisius, Science Hall. He served on the Canisius College Science Advisory Council and was the 2009 recipient of The James H. Crowdle Award for Distinction in Chemistry.

Zon has been extraordinarily generous to Canisius, in a multitude of ways, but feels it is only appropriate, given that Canisius is the root of his success.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the students who leave Canisius really take with them a great education that influences their lives in positive ways. It’s very reasonable for them to want to give back in one way or another. And that’s what I’m doing. I get a lot of satisfaction from this.”

To learn more about how you can establish an endowed fund, contact Dianna Civello, interim vice president for advancement, at 716-888-8220.

 Photo provided by Charles Barry