Commencement 2018

April 5, 2018


BUFFALO, NY - Two of the most prominent leaders from Western New York’s medical community will deliver the commencement address to the Canisius College undergraduate and graduate classes of 2018.

Allegra C. (Thompson) Jaros ’93, MBA ’96 is scheduled to speak to the graduate Class of 2018 on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m.  Jaros is president of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.  She has played an instrumental role in the evolution of the hospital’s operational and business development strategies, which resulted in physician recruitment, improvements in quality care delivery and the overall experience for patients, physicians and staff.  Most recently, Jaros oversaw the successful planning and execution of the hospital’s relocation from Bryant Street to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. 

She holds both a BA (finance) and MBA from Canisius. 

On Saturday, May 19 at 10:00 a.m., Norma J. Nowak ’79, PhD, will address the undergraduate Class of 2018. Nowak is the executive director of the University at Buffalo’s Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences and an acclaimed researcher in the field of human genomics.  Her efforts contributed directly to the Human Genome Project, which described the sequencing of the human genome and resulted in genomic-based approaches to understanding heritable disorders and cancer.  Nowak later founded Empire Genomics LLC, which offers genetic tests for more than 200 ailments and diseases, enabling personalized medicine. 

Nowak earned a BS in biology from Canisius, and an MS in natural sciences and a PhD in experimental pathology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. 

Canisius will confer honorary degrees upon Jaros and Nowak during commencement ceremonies. 

Also receiving honorary degrees in May:

Rev. Daniel L. Benning, pastor of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Buffalo, NY and New York Central Jurisdiction’s Chief Adjutant;

Edward Burke Carey ’69, president of Carey Realty Investments in Columbus, OH and former chair of the Canisius College Board of Trustees;

LeRoi C. Johnson ’71, attorney and owner of the Law Office of LeRoi C. Johnson and acclaimed artist;

Daniel P. Starr ’58, PhD, professor emeritus of history at Canisius College and longtime director of athletics; and

Gerald Zon ’67, PhD, director of business development for TriLink BioTechnologies in San Diego, CA, which provides services for educators and academic researchers in gene therapy, chemotherapy and diagnostics.