BUFFALO, NY - Each year, Canisius College presents Distinguished Alumni Awards to graduates who demonstrate leadership and have made significant contributions to their chosen professions. This year’s recipients come from diverse backgrounds – medicine, civic service, business and development. All, however, have enriched society and humanity through their chosen careers. The Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are:
James L. Budny ’70, MD / Neurosurgeon / Gates Vascular Institute/UB Neurosurgery
James Budny strives for excellence in every endeavor. A physician, teacher, researcher and member of the U.S. Army Reserve, he earned his BA in biology from Canisius and went on to become a neurovascular surgeon.
Budny is a clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery and radiology at UB, and a neurosurgeon affiliated with Gates Vascular Institute, Buffalo General Hospital and Women and Children’s Hospital. He served as investigator for numerous groundbreaking trials on surgical treatment of cerebrovascular disease. He also voluntarily traveled throughout the world to treat wounded soldiers and civilians, and to train surgeons.
Hon. Mary Grace Diehl ’74 / United States Bankruptcy Judge / Northern District of Georgia
The Honorable Mary Grace Diehl is a judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia and an adjunct professor of law at Emory University. Her discernment and service are an inspiration to others.
Diehl received her undergraduate degree in history summa cum laude from Canisius and her law degree cum laude from Harvard. She serves numerous professional organizations including the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Of alma mater, Diehl says, “Canisius helped me become who I am; it helped me develop the confidence to undertake and succeed at challenges.”
Robert M. Glaser ‘68 / Director, Chair of the Board / Freed Maxick & Battaglia CPAs
Robert Glaser graduated with a degree in accounting and went on to become director and chair of the board for Freed Maxick & Battaglia, one of the largest CPA firms in the nation.
His drive to serve led him to such roles as treasurer of Buffalo Place Inc. and past chair of the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority. Glaser also served on the audit committees of Kaleida Health and the Canisius College Board of Regents.
He is a recipient of the Canisius College Accountant of the Year Award, a member of DiGamma Honor Society and established an endowed scholarship in his name.
Kathleen T. Grimm ’77, MD / Supportive Medical Partner / Center for Hospice & Palliative Care
Katie Grimm’s career began at Canisius, where she received a BS in medical technology. Her restless pursuit of excellence led her to become board certified in internal medicine, pediatrics and palliative medicine. Grimm is currently the supportive medical partner for the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care, and a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and family medicine at UB.
As co-chair of the Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo, Grimm is devoted to bolstering community health. The organization provides opportunities for residents of vulnerable neighborhoods to realize their full potential for health and well-being.
Richard M. Peer ’65, MD / Medical Director, Vascular Lab / Buffalo Medical Group and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital
A cum laude graduate of Canisius, Dick Peer earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester. He is medical director of the vascular lab at Buffalo Medical Group and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, and a member of the Canisius Medical Advisory Board.
Though many, Peer’s most notable accomplishments are in leadership and strategic planning for the Medical Society of the State of New York, which represents the interests of physicians and patients to ensure quality health care for all. Peer served on the society’s Commission on Terrorism’s Bio-Terrorism Task Force, touring the country and training health care providers on bioterrorism preparedness.
George C. Robinson ‘73 / Former Secret Service Agent/Asst. Federal Security Director / Homeland Security
George Robinson has had a noble career of service and leadership. The former U.S. Secret Service special agent is now assistant federal security director for law enforcement at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport.
In the secret service, Robinson was special agent in charge of the Johnson Protective Division, and assistant to the special agent in charge for the Liaison Division, Presidential Protective Division, and the New York Field Office, among other posts.
While his career is distinguished, he is most proud of “being a husband to my wife and father to my children.”
Rocco R. Termini ‘72 / Chief Executive Officer / Signature Development LLC
Rocco R. Termini believes his Canisius degree in accounting provided him with the foundation for his success. Termini is chief executive officer of Signature Development LLC, which has invested more than $1 million in Buffalo since 2002, successfully converting vacant downtown properties into mixed-use buildings. He considers the recent renovation of the Hotel Lafayette his greatest accomplishment.
Termini is currently working with the Buffalo City Mission, pro bono, to help with its move and renovation. He also serves as a board member to various professional groups and has won numerous awards for his innovative and progressive work in Western New York.