Donor Profile: Christine Licata-Culhane

November 13, 2018

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Canisius College has long been a family affair for Christine (Carroll) Licata-Culhane ’67, MS ’71, EdD.

Her father, Joseph R. Carroll ’29, was a champion of Canisius all the while Licata-Culhane and her sister, Josita Carroll Borysko ’68, were growing up. So when it came time for the sisters to plan for college, both chose Canisius. And what a time it was.

Licata-Culhane and Borysko were among the first female students to enroll in the day division. Up until that time, only evening classes were open to women students at the college.

“It was a historic time in the evolution of Canisius College and I was one of 13 women in my graduating class,” Licata-Culhane recalls. “But we never gave it a second thought as the Jesuit instructors were there to teach and we were there to learn. It was an incredible experience.”

Licata-Culhane earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and later her master’s degree before beginning to teach middle school and high school in Buffalo and Rochester. She went on to teach at the college level and is currently vice provost at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Borysko earned a degree in English from Canisius and became a teacher.

When their parents passed away in the late 1990s, the sisters honored them by establishing the Joseph R. & Christine H. Carroll Family Scholarship at Canisius. The scholarship supports students from the Buffalo and Rochester areas who graduate from Catholic high schools and demonstrate financial need. Licata-Culhane points out that her sister’s husband, Robert Borysko ’68, is also a strong Canisius supporter. As is her husband, Barry Culhane, who also works at RIT.  In 2011, the couple was making their estate plans and included Canisius College with a planned gift.

“My husband has seen Canisius through the eyes of someone who is not an alumnus but he has always been so impressed by the character and quality of its students,” Licata-Culhane explains. “We consider Canisius a jewel and are very aware of the challenges private colleges face today – we want to make sure the college is there for students for years to come.”

In making their gift, Licata-Culhane and her husband became members of the Rev. James M. Demske ’47, SJ, Society, which honors those who include the college in their estate plans. Licata-Culhane, a member of the Canisius Women’s Leadership Council, knew the late Father Demske who led the college from 1966 to 1993. She concludes, “Father Demske was a great influence so it is very special to be part of the society named for him.”