Commencement 2013

Canisius Announces 2013 Commencement Speakers

BUFFALO, NY – Canisius College will commemorate Commencement 2013 with a week of events in May. The series of celebrations begins with graduate commencement ceremonies on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center. The graduate class is comprised of 758 Canisius students. Buffalo native Laura Pedersen will deliver the commencement address.

Pedersen is a best-selling author, journalist and former television host, who left the University of Michigan at age 18, after just one semester, to clerk on the trading floor of the American Stock Exchange. By age 25, she traded the frantic pace of the stock exchange for the solitude of a writer. Pedersen penned Play Money, a memoir of her brief but brilliant career on Wall Street. The book became a best-seller and she followed it up with Street-Smart Career Guide. Both books served as the basis for Pedersen’s weekly column in The New York Times and her former talk show, “Your Money & Your Life” on the Oxygen Network.

During Spring Honors Convocation on Friday, May 17 at 2:00 p.m. in the Montante Cultural Center, the Canisius College Alumni Association will present Bruce J. Dierenfield, PhD, with its 2013 Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award. The award is presented annually, and recognizes one faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world.

Dierenfield is a professor of history and renowned among students for his rich academic knowledge on U.S. history, particularly the Civil Rights Movement.  As a Peter Canisius Distinguished Teaching Professor, Dierenfield established and coordinated the college’s Program in the African American Experience. The program examined the contributions of African Americans through coursework, a lecture series, on-site field trips and cultural encounters tied to African American history.  Dierenfield is also the dynamic director of the All-College Honors Program, which offers extraordinary educational experiences to a select group of students who excelled academically in high school and in college entrance exams.

Spring Honors Convocation will be followed by Baccalaureate Mass, which is being celebrated at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17 in the Koessler Athletic Center.  Students, faculty and families are all invited to attend. 

Commencement week 2013 culminates with undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. in the University at Buffalo’s Alumni Arena (North Campus). The undergraduate class is comprised of 726 students.  Bishop Richard J. Malone will deliver the commencement address.  Jonathan C. Beck ’13 will give the student address.

Installed in August 2012, Bishop Malone is the 14th bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo and shepherd to more than 700,000 Western New York Catholics. Prior to coming to Buffalo, Bishop Malone served eight years as bishop of Portland, Maine. During his tenure, he undertook an ambitious consolidation of the state’s parishes, from 135 to 60. The clustering of parishes, while a difficult decision, was essential to improve the functioning of the diocese in a rural state such as Maine, which has seen dramatic population shifts. In addition to the restructuring, Bishop Malone led the Diocese of Portland in a successful $40 million capital campaign, which took place in the midst of a nationwide economic depression.

Jonathan Beck is a political science, German and European studies major in the All-College Honors Program.  He recently was awarded a J. William Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research in Geramny at Eberhard Karls Universität Tubingen.  During his undergraduate years at Canisius, Beck served as editor of the student newspaper The Griffin and as a resident assistant for the Office of Residence Life.  He also introduced prospective students and their parents to campus as an admissions tour guide, and served on the All-College Honors Student Board and Advisory Committee. 

Undergraduate ceremonies will include the conferral of honorary doctorate degrees upon Bishop Malone, Donald L. Trump, MD, president and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Walter Sharrow, PhD, emeritus professor of history at Canisius College.

For more information about Canisius Commencement ceremonies, contact the Office of Public Relations at 716-888-2790.The Canisius College Alumni Association will confer its LaSalle Medal upon John B. (JB) Walsh, from the Canisius Class of 1950. The LaSalle Medal is presented to outstanding alumni who have made substantial contributions to advance the interests of Canisius College.

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York.