The Class of 2016 joined the ranks of Canisius College alumni, following graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies on May 18 and May 20, respectively. The pomp and circumstance of the week was accompanied by the emotion and pride of the nearly 1,300 newly-minted graduates, their families, and Canisius faculty and staff.
Venture capitalist and Lancaster, NY native Terrance McGuire addressed the graduate Class of 2016 on Wednesday evening, at which 560 degrees were conferred. Rev. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large of the national Catholic magazine America, delivered the undergraduate commencement address. Canisius conferred more than 700 degrees at that ceremony.
During his commencement address, Father Martin explained to students that their “deepest desires are God’s desire’s for them” and encouraged them to “listen to where God speaks to you.” He also implored students not to give the negative voices of others power. Instead, Father Martin said, listen to the voices who say “have hope, things can change and you can get through this.” Father Martin concluded his address telling students they deserve to be happy. “Not only because you are beloved children of God but because you’re something really, really special: Canisius graduates … and as Jesus said, Go Griffins.”
The Canisius Classes of 1956 and 1966 commemorated their 50- and 60-year reunions, respectively, during undergraduate commencement ceremonies this year. Among these Jubilarians was Lt. Col. (Ret.) Richard J. Herrmann. Herrmann was a member of the Canisius ROTC program while an undergraduate at the college. His plans to graduate with his class were disrupted, however, when Herrmann was called upon to serve active duty abroad. A half-century later, President John J. Hurley conferred a Canisius diploma upon Herrmann during undergraduate commencement ceremonies. In doing so, President Hurley recognized Herrmann and all the other Canisius students whose service to the country prevented them from enjoying a great moment of accomplishment.
Also included in the group of Jubilarians participating in Commencement 2016 were three of the first female students to enroll in the academic day division at Canisius.
In addition to graduation ceremonies, Commencement 2016 included a Baccalaureate Mass for graduating seniors and their families. Students assist in the planning and participation of this special Mass, which is celebrated by Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
The Army Reserve Officers Training Corp (ROTC) program at Canisius College also commissioned 13 cadets as second lieutenants during a ceremony on May 20. Two of the newly-commissioned officers graduated from Canisius. They are: Frederick W. Kintzel, a political science major assigned to the Adjutant General Corps, HHC, 401st Civil Affairs Battalion, Rochester, NY; and Michael R. Slutzky, a history major assigned to the Army National Guard, Infantry, Co A, 2-108th Infantry, in Geneseo, NY.