DiGamma Honorees Distinguish Themselves in Service to College

(front row, l-r) Erin Hartnett MS ’11, AnneMarie Block ’75 PhD, Brian Murphy ’95, Henry Kaye `60, and Mary Bartels `80, MBA `85. (Second row, starting at the top of the stairs and descending) William Thuman ’73, Andrew D.W. Hill `86, Gary Kielich `80, MBA `85, Joseph O’Donnell, PhD and Carrie Aiello Schlegel ’01 (accepted for Larry Aiello Jr. `71)

March 27, 2017


Since its inception more than 90 years ago, the DiGamma Honor Society (originally referred to as the Coffin Club) has welcomed more than 1,500 life-time members. The strong tradition of honoring men and women who have displayed a thoughtful commitment to Canisius College continues. This year, 10 honorees were inducted at The Mansion on Delaware, where more than 130 society members gathered.

Congratulations to the 2017 honorees:


  • Larry Aiello Jr. `71 (2016 recipient), retired president and CEO of Corning Cable Systems LLC
  • Mary J. Bartels `80, MBA `85, controller for Greater Niagara Frontier Council Inc.
  • AnneMarie Block `75, PhD, director of the Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory at Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Andrew D.W. Hill `86, president and co-founder of Andrew Hill Investment Advisors Inc.
  • Henry J. Kaye `60, past president of Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc.
  • Gary A. Kielich `80, MBA `85, president and co-founder of Systems Technology Group
  • Brian M. Murphy `95, partner at Lawley Benefits Group LLC
  • William C. Thuman `73, senior vice president of the Thuman Group, RBC Wealth Management

Administrators and faculty

  • Erin Hartnett MS `11, director of the Canisius Fund
  • Joseph O’Donnell, PhD, professor of accounting

The Coffin Club was created  in 1925 to honor student leaders who “had done so much to put Canisius to the fore in every line whether in scholarly activities, athletics, dramatics, or in just faithful service to their alma mater.”

The society accepted sophomore and junior students, benefactors of the college and former faculty members.

In 1968, the DiGamma Alpha Society was established to honor women in the same fashion. And in 1980, membership of both DiGamma and DiGamma Alpha voted to combine their annual dinner, and three years later, merged the two societies into the DiGamma we know today.

Rev. J. Clayton Murray, SJ, said it best in a 1981 article from the Canisian, “We think of DiGamma as standing not only for Golden Griffins, but also for generous givers, no, not precisely of dollars and cents, but of their time, of themselves, for the good of their alma mater, their fellow men and women but above all, for God’s Glory.”