On-Campus Productions

1st Annual Canisius College Writers Series

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On Monday, November 7, 2005, members of the Canisius College English Department, including Mick Cochrane, PhD, Sandra P. Cookson, PhD, and Amy Wolf, PhD, read both favorite and original selections of fiction and poetry. The Canisius College Writers Series is supported by the College of Arts & Sciences and the Lowery Fund, in cooperation with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Western New York Writing Project.

Native American Storytellers – Dovie Thomason

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On Wednesday, February 22, 2006, internationally known storyteller, recording artist and author, Dovie Thomason, spoke in the Marie Maday Theater in Lyons Hall.

Thomason, of the Lakota Sioux and Kiowa Apache Nations, has traveled throughout the world for more than 20 years sharing the wisdom of her heritage through traditional and original stories. Thomason’s performance incorporated traditional stories, untold histories and memories that inspire and entertain in the spoken word, as well as teach respect for values passed on through the generations.

This lecture was co-sponsored by the Canisius College Native American Experience Program and Delaware North Companies.

2nd Annual Canisius College Writers Series

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On Thursday, October 12, 2006, members of the Canisius College English Department, including Mick Cochrane, PhD, Sandra P. Cookson, PhD, Janet McNally, along with Barbara Porter, PhD, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, read both favorite and original selections of fiction and poetry. The Canisius College Writers Series is supported by the College of Arts & Sciences and the Lowery Fund, in cooperation with the Office of Academic Affairs and the Western New York Writing Project.

A Poetry Reading by Carl Dennis

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On Tuesday, November 14, 2006 Pulitzer-Prize winner Carl Dennis visited Canisius College for a poetry reading in the Grupp Fireside Lounge. Dennis, who is a professor of English at SUNY Buffalo, is the author of nine books of poetry and a book-length essay, Poetry as Persuasion. He read from his latest collection of poetry, New and Selected Poems 1974-2004. This reading was made possible by a gift from Canisius College English alumni John Kolaga ’82 and Judy Kubiniec ’83.

Greg Maday: Trends in the Entertainment Industry

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On Friday, November 17, 2006, Canisius College alum and English major Gregg Maday ‘70 spoke before an intimate audience in the Marie Maday Theatre. He arrived in Buffalo to receive a distinguished alumni award from the College. Maday, Executive Vice President of Warner Brothers Theatre Ventures, obtained his M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and has worked for HBO and CBS. He has the distinction as the longest reigning creative executive at Warner Brothers. With stories of his own personal endeavors, he displayed the importance and value of failure in both his personal and professional lives. 

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series – George Saunders

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On February 8, 2007, the Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series presented acclaimed fiction writer George Saunders in the Montante Cultural Center. Saunders read from a variety of his works, and followed with a question and answer session with the audience.

Winner of a prestigious 2006 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Saunders is the author of three collections of short fiction: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for First Fiction in 1997; Pastoralia, a New York Times Notable Book for 2000; and the recently published In Persuasion Nation.

Gary Goldstein: How to Determine and Evaluate Career Alternatives

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On February 13, 2007, Gary Goldstein ’76, founder, President and CEO of the Whitney Group – an international executive search firm – spoke in the Grupp Fireside Lounge about “How to Determine and Evaluate Career Alternatives.” His company has offices in North America, Europe and Asia, and in a recent poll was ranked as the number one executive search firm for financial services.

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Luke Timothy Johnson

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On February 22, 2007, Luke Timothy Johnson, Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, spoke as part of the Conversations in Christ & Culture Series. His presentation was entitled “Can We Know the Historical Jesus?”

A former Benedictine monk, Johnson is the author of more than 20 books and the recipient of many awards, including the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Indiana University.

Presented by the Canisius College Center for the Global Study of Religion, Conversations in Christ & Culture is an ecumenical lecture, workshop and conference series designed to expose the local Christian community to internationally known speakers. 

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Tony Campolo

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On Wednesday April 25, 2007, Tony Campolo, PhD, professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, gave a lecture entitled “Righteous Discontent,” as part of the Conversations in Christ and Culture Series.

A media commentator on religious, social and political matters, Campolo has been a guest on Nightline, Crossfire, Politically Incorrect, The Charlie Rose Show, Larry King Live, and CNN News. He is the author of 32 books, including the recently published Speaking My Mind and Which Jesus.

The event was presented by the Canisius College Center for the Global Study of Religion, Conversations in Christ & Culture.

Conversations in Christ and Culture: George Weigel

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On September 27, 2007, George Weigel, a senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C. spoke in the Montante Cultural Center. His lecture was entitled, “The Achievement of John Paul the Great.”

Weigel is one of America’s leading commentators on issues of religion and public life. The author of 18 books, he has appeared on numerous network television and radio programs and is a consultant on Vatican Affairs for NBC News. Weigel’s weekly column, “The Catholic Difference,” is syndicated to 60 newspapers within the United States. In 1999, he published Witness to Hope, considered to be the major study of the life and thoughts of Pope John Paul II. A documentary film based on the book was released in the fall of 2001.
The event was presented by the Canisius College Center for the Global Study of Religion, Conversations in Christ & Culture.

The Greatest Generation Memorial Dedication at Canisius College

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On Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2007, Canisius College held the dedication ceremony for The Greatest Generation Memorial. The memorial, created by William Koch of Stone Art Memorial, is a visual representation of the hardships and successes of the students and the Canisius College community during WWII and the post-war era. The memorial was dedicated by the alumni and friends of the Canisius College Classes of 1941-1953.

Fitzpatrick Lecture: Carl Cannon

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On Wednesday, January 23, 2008, Washington bureau chief for Reader’s Digest and contributing editor for National Journal, Carl Cannon, spoke in the Grupp Fireside Lounge. Cannon’s lecture, entitled “Tribulations of the First MBA President and What Americans Want in Their Next Chief Executive,” was presented under the auspices of the William H. Fitzpatrick Chair of Political Science Lecture Series.

International Fest 2008

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On February 29, 2008, the Canisius College Office of International Student Programs hosted its 19th annual “International Fest” in the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center. The event, which celebrates ethnic diversity, featured a series of family-oriented activities including, origami, West African dance lessons, Japanese calligraphy, and Henna painting. The evening’s entertainment included a variety of ethnic music and families were invited to enjoy an international buffet.

John Stossel - America: The Home of the Free and the Prosperous

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On April 3, 2008, John Stossel, co-anchor and correspondent for ABC Television Network’s “20/20,” spoke in Montante Cultural Center. The event was presented by the Canisius College Republicans’ Speaker Series and sponsored by the Young America’s Foundation.

Stossel has received 19 Emmy Awards and has been honored five times for excellence in consumer reporting by the National Press Club. In addition to longer in-depth reports for “20/20,” Stossel is featured in a weekly segment entitled “Give Me a Break.” These short commentaries take a skeptical look at a wide array of issues, from pop culture controversies to censorship and government regulations.

The Terezin Mirror: Reflections from the Music Makers

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On May 3, 2008, Canisius College hosted a Holocaust panel discussion entitled, “The Terezin Mirror: Reflections of the Music Makers.” The panelists included Murray Sidlin, conductor of the May 4, 2008 Buffalo Philharmonic performance of Guiseppe Verdi’s Requiem at Kleinhans Music Hall, as well as three survivors of the Terezin concentration camp. The three survivors were members of the Terezin choir, which rehearsed and performed Verdi’s Requiem in 1944 in defiance of the Nazi terror.

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Uwem Akpan

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On September 18, 2008, Canisius College welcomed Jesuit priest and author, Uwem Akpan to speak of his experiences and writings. Akpan received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. His story “An Ex-Mas Feast” first appeared in the New Yorker Debut Fiction issue in 2005: “My Parents’ Bedroom” was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalist for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Akpan’s first book, Say You’re One of Them, is a collection of five short stories, each set in a different African country. Akpan currently teaches at a seminary in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Ann Patchett

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On October 2, 2008, Canisius College welcomed New York Times best-selling author, Ann Patchett to Montante Cultural Center to read an excerpt from her latest novel. Patchett published her first story in The Paris Review while still a student at Sarah Lawrence College and went onto attend the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Both her nonfiction book Truth & Beauty and her novel Run were New York Times bestsellers and her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and adapted into a 1998 movie.

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Hindus & Catholics: Why We Have Much to Learn from One Another

On October 16, 2008, Rev. Francis X. Clooney, S.J., professor at Harvard Divinity School, addressed key religious issues involving Hindus and Catholics as part of the “Conversations in Christ and Culture” lecture workshop and conference series at Canisius College. Father Clooney earned his doctorate in South Asian languages and civilizations from the University and Chicago and taught Comparative Theology at Boston College until 2005, before joining the faculty at Harvard. He was the first president of the International Society for Hindu-Christian Studies and was coordinator for interreligious dialogue for the Society of Jesus from 1998–2004.

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Calvin Trillin

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On October 21, 2008, the Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series presented Calvin Trillin, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of more than 20 books. Trillin grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and graduated from Yale. He is the author of many books including The Timothy Trilogy (American Fried; Alice, Let’s Eat; and Third Helpings), Killings, Remembering Denny, Family Man, Messages from My Father and Tepper Isn’t Going Out. He has been a columnist for Time and The Nation, and in 2008, he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent book is About Alice, a memoir to his late wife.

Canisius College William H. Fitzpatrick Lecture Series: Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY)

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On November 10, 2008, Canisius College welcomed Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY) to present a lecture entitled Moving the National and Local Economy Forward. Congressman Higgins is a second term member of the United States House of Representatives. He serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee for National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations.

Congressman Higgins has been a champion of waterfront development in Buffalo and led the fight for a $279 million settlement from the New York Power Authority that is now financing major transformation of Buffalo’s long-neglected Inner and Outer Harbors.

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Rishi Reddi

On November 13, 2008, the Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series presented Rishi Reddi, award-winning story and book author. Reddi was born in Hyderabad, India and grew up in Great Britain and the United States. Her first book, Karma and Other Stories (2007), was named a finalist in Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Competition and was awarded the 2008 L.L. Winship Award.

Rishi Reddi’s stories have appeared in the Harvard Review, Louisville Review, Prairie Schooner, and The Best American Short Stories 2005 and were featured on NPR’s “Selected Shorts” program.  She graduated from Swarthmore College and Northeastern University School of Law.  She is an environmental attorney for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and serves on the Board of Directors for South Asian Americans Leading Together.

Conversations in Christ and Culture: The Afro-Semitic Experience

On January 17, 2009, the Afro-Semitic Experience, a band of African American and Jewish American musicians performed in the Montante Cultural Center. 

The Afro-Semitic Experience is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and expansion of the rich cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African Diasporas.  They present interpretations of music from the genres of Gospel, Spirituals, Bebop and Swing while also framing their music by telling stories about what the pieces mean, how they relate to us as individual members of the community and how they reflect upon the relations between African Americans and Jews. 

This concert was presented by the Canisius College Institute for the Global Study of Religion as part of its Conversations in Christ and Culture lecture and performance series.  

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Rabbi David Novak
On February 1, 2009, Rabbi David Novak presented his lecture on Jewish-Catholic Dialogue and the Legacy of John Paul II in the Regis Room of the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center. 
 
Rabbi Novak is a founder, vice president and coordinator of the Jewish Law Panel of the Union for Traditional Judaism, and Judaism in Teaneck, NJ.  He also serves as secretary treasurer of the Institute of Religion and Public Life in New York City and is on the editorial board of the journal First Things. 

Author of thirteen books, his book, Covenantal Rights: A Study in Jewish Political Theory (Princeton University Press 2000) won the award of the American Academy of Religion for “best book in constructive religious thought in 2000.” 

This lecture was sponsored by the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture and the Joseph J. Naples Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series. 

20th Annual International Fest

On February 27, 2009, the 20th annual “International Fest” took place in the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center.  The event, which celebrates ethnic diversity, featured a series of family-oriented activities including origami, West African dance lessons, Japanese calligraphy and Henna painting.  The evening’s entertainment included a variety of ethnic music and attendees were invited to enjoy an international buffet. 

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Lawrence Cunningham

On March 10, 2009, Lawrence Cunningham, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at Notre Dame University presented his lecture entitled, “ Is Catholicism a Monolith: The Catholicity of Catholicism” in the Grupp Fireside Lounge.   

Cunningham is a versatile scholar who is widely sought after as a speaker and commentator on issues related to faith.  He has edited or written seventeen books, his recent being, A Brief History of Saints (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005).  Cunningham is co-editor of the academic monograph series “Studies in Theology and Spirituality.”  Cunningham is the author of over fifty articles in peer reviewed or solicited journals and books, he has also written over two hundred articles for pastoral and popular outlets.  He has won three Catholic Press Association awards for religious writing (1987, 1999, and 2000), and was the religion book notes columnist for Commonweal for over tens years. 

The Joseph J. Naples Conversations in Christ and Culture Lecture and Performance Series is an ongoing lecture workshop and conference series within the Buffalo/Niagara Region.  It is designed to foster conversations about important issues involving the relationship between Christianity and culture.  It promotes cooperation and understanding across religious, gender and ethnic lines.  

The IU Soul Revue Delivers Timeless R&B

On March 26, 2009, the IU Soul Revue, a full ensemble, featuring male and female vocal lines, horns and rhythm section performed in the Montante Cultural Center.

The Revue delivers the sounds of timeless R&B, Soul, Funk and contemporary urban music.  Performances feature original compositions along with arrangements of works recorded by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Patti Labelle, Kelly Price, D’Angelo, Mary J. Blige, Eric Benet and more.  Founded in 1971, the Revue remains the only collegiate popular music ensemble in the United States.

Fr. John Dear Presents “Disarming the Heart, Disarming the World: Gospel Nonviolence in a World of Violence”
On March 28, 2009, Fr. John Dear spoke at the St. Christopher Catholic Church in Tonawanda, New York.  Fr. Dear spoke to the Sisters of St. Mary as well as around 150 people from all over Western New York, Jamestown, and even parts of Pennsylvania. 

Fr. John Dear is a Jesuit priest, a peace activist, a pastor of several churches in the desert of New Mexico, a prolific writer and a lecturer.  He has been arrested over 75 times for acts of civil disobedience and has spent long periods of time in prison for the cause of peace.  Recently, Archbishop Desmond Tutu nominated Fr. Dear for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Alice McDermott

On April 7, 2009, the Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series presented acclaimed fiction writer Alice McDermott in the Montante Cultural Center.

Alice McDermott earned an undergraduate degree from SUNY-Oswego and an MA from the University of New Hampshire.  She is the author of six novels, including That Night, a finalist for the National Book Award, the Pen/Faulkner Award, and the Pulitzer Prize.  Her essays and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Redbook, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Ms, and Commonweal.  McDermott is the recipient of a Giles Whiting Writer’s Award and the Corrington Award for Literacy Excellence.  She is a Richard A. Macksey Professor for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities at John Hopkins University. 

The Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series was founded with a grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation and continues through generous support of the Peter Canisius Distinguished Teaching Professorship Program, the Hassett and Scoma Endowments, and with the cooperation of Just Buffalo Literacy Center, the Western New York Writing Project and Talking Leaves Books. 

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Presents “Our Environmental Destiny”

On April 16, 2009, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. presented his lecture entitled, “Our Environmental Destiny” in the Koessler Athletic Center.  

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has built a reputation as a defender of the environment stemming from a litany of successful legal actions.  He was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. 

Kennedy has worked on environmental issues across the Americas, and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in the successful negotiation of treaties to protect traditional homelands.  He is also credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply. 

This event was presented with the support of the Canisius College William H. Fitzpatrick Lecture Series.  

Fairytales & Flowers

On April 26, 2009, the Canisius College Opera Workshop presented “Fairytales and Flowers” in the Montante Cultural Center. 

The opera featured legendary composers such as Gioacchino Rossini, Giacomo Puccini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. 

This production was made possible by Megan Brenner, Andrea Clattenburg, Jacob Cukierski, Emma Eddy, Bridget Hughes, Christopher Patterson, Melissa Thorburn, Rena Akopova, Mark Dzielski, Mary Brenner and Michael Tunney, S.J. 

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Gustav Niebuhr
On February 11, 2010, Gustav Niebuhr, associate professor of religion and the media at Syracuse University, presented his lecture entitled “Words Matter,” as part of the Conversations in Christ and Culture Series.
 
From 1980 to 2001, Niebuhr was best known as one of the nation’s most celebrated religion news reporters. His book, Beyond Tolerance: Searching for Interfaith Understanding in America earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was hailed by Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate and holocaust survivor as “remarkable and absorbing.”

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Julia Glass

On February 23, 2010, the Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series presented celebrated fiction writer Julia Glass in Grupp Fireside Lounge. 
 
Glass graduated from Yale, and received a fellowship to study painting in Paris. She is the author of Three Junes, which won the National Book Award for Fiction, The Whole World Over, and I See You Everywhere. For all three of her novels, she was awarded the 2009 Sense of Place Award. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her short fiction has won several prizes, including the Tobias Wolff Award and the Nelson Algren Award. 

International Fest 2010

The Canisius College Office of International Student Programs hosted its 20th annual “International Fest” on Friday, February 26 in the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center. 

The event, which celebrates ethnic diversity, featured a series of family-oriented activities including origami, West African dance lessons, Japanese calligraphy and Henna painting.  The evening’s entertainment included a variety of ethnic music and an international buffet. 

Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series: Roy Foster

The Canisius College Contemporary Writers Series welcomed Irish author Roy Foster for its seventh annual Hassett Reading on Thursday, March 11, 2010. 
 
Foster is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a Foundation Scholar in History.  He subsequently became Professor of Modern British History at Birkbeck College, University of London.  In 1991 he became the first Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and was elected a Fellow of Hertford College. He has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1989. He is the author of Charles Stewart Parnell: The Man and His Family; Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life; W.B. Yeats: A Life I: The Apprentice Mage 1865-1914; W.B. Yeats: A Life II: The Arch-Poet, 1915-1939; and Modern Ireland.  His most recent book is The Irish Story: Telling Lies and Making It Up in Ireland.

The “Can-Do” Seminar

The “Can-Do” Seminar presented by the Can Do Society and Canisius College, is a motivational, thought provoking and entertaining seminar designed to help audience members create sustainable change took place in Montante Cultural Center on April 22, 2010.

Both Seth Godin, a best selling author, and Linda Eaton, of the Galileo Initiative, hoped to change the audience’s perception of marketing while helping to connect life-changing concepts to everyday experience. 

Conversations in Christ and Culture: Lisa Sowle Cahill

On April 29, 2010, Lisa Sowle Cahill, the J. Donald Monan, S.J. Professor at Boston College, spoke as part of the Conversations in Christ & Culture Lecture and Performance Series. 

Cahill is a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics.  Among her many publications, she is the author Theological Bioethics: Participation, Justice and Change, and Bioethics and the Common Good.  She has given testimony to the National Bioethics Advisory Commission on fetal tissue research and cloning, and is currently a member of the Advisory Board of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network.  

Canisius College’s Catholic, Jesuit Identity: A Panel Discussion

This special discussion, held on June 5th, 2010, informed alumni about the college’s Jesuit identity’s past, present, and future. The panel discussion featured John J. Hurley ’78, executive vice president and vice president for college relations, Rev. John P. Bucki, S.J., director of campus ministry, and Margaret C. McCarthy MS ’87, PhD, professor of education and former dean of the School of Education and Human Services.  Joe Van Volkenburg ’88, assistant to the director of Campus Ministry, served as the moderator of the panel.