Canisius Welcomes 660 New Students to Campus

August 26, 2019


BUFFALO, NY – Canisius College embarked on its 150th year of educational excellence this week by welcoming more than 660 new students to campus (560 first-year students; 100 transfer students).  The incoming first-year class represents 224 high schools from 25 states and five countries.  The new students moved into their residence halls on Thursday, August 22 and spent the weekend participating in orientation activities that included the President’s Welcome and Blessing event, a student services fair, an academic day and a student life day, along with nightly entertainment.  Welcome Weekend concluded on Sunday, August 25 with the traditional “Mass on the Grass” in the campus quadrangle, followed by a bonfire.   

Besides experiencing a 15 percent jump in the first-year class enrollment, the 2019-20 academic year is a momentous one for Canisius as the college begins celebration of its sesquicentennial anniversary.  Founded by German Jesuits, whose predecessors first came to Buffalo at the invitation of the Most Rev. John Timon, CM, the first bishop of Buffalo, Canisius College was established as a center of learning for young men in a rapidly developing city following the conclusion of the Civil War.  Canisius officially opened its doors on September 5, 1870 in a small, two-story brick building located at 434 Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo.  The original course ofstudy was the Progymnasium, a six-year classical secondary school course that, upon completion, made students eligible for admission to professional schools of law, medicine and divinity. 

In 1897, the college was authorized to award the Regents Diploma for the first four years of study and, at this point, it made sense to separate Canisius High School and Canisius College into two independent institutions.  In 1912, Canisius moved to its present home at 2001 Main Street and the first college curriculum was established. 

To commemorate 150 years of excellence in teaching, research and service, Canisius will host an extensive number of Sesquicentennial events throughout the 2019-20 academic year beginning with a special Mass open to all alumni and friends to be celebrated at St. Joseph Cathedral on September 14 at 4:30 p.m. More information on these events can be found at or by contacting the Canisius College Communications Office at (716) 888-2790.

Canisius College is one of 27 Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York.