LaSalle Medals Awarded to Courney '58, Lema '71, MD

June 14, 2016


BUFFALO, NY - John P. Courtney ’58 and Mark J. Lema ’71, MD, PhD, are the 2016 recipients of the LaSalle Medal. Conferred by the Alumni Association during undergraduate commencement ceremonies in May, the LaSalle Medal recognizes outstanding Canisius alumni whose substantial contributions to the college have, over time, advanced the interests and the mission of alma mater.

John (Jack) Courtney’s Canisius education led him from Bethlehem Steel to a highly successful career as president and chief operating officer of Computer Task Group Inc., the multi-million dollar IT service and solutions provider based in Buffalo. He has been sharing the gift of a Canisius education ever since.

A major contributor to the college’s Financial Markets Lab, Courtney established an endowed scholarship to support the next generation of business and finance students at Canisius. His family, similarly, instituted the John P. Courtney ’58 Family Business Scholarship, for students who plan to study business and who demonstrate financial need. In addition to his contributions, Courtney shared his counsel as a member of the Canisius College Board of Regents and Board of Trustees. Graciously, he and his wife, Patricia, often open their St. Petersburg, FL, home to host any number of alumni events.

Buffalo’s eminent anesthesiologist, Mark Lema, is a vital contributor to and cultivator of Canisius’ promising medical professionals.

He is a founding member and chair of the college’s Medical Advisory Board (MAB). The group of esteemed alumni physicians engages pre-med students in a myriad of medical experiences and specialties, and counsels them through the rigorous medical school application process.

“When we invest in these students,” Lema says, “we invest in our community.”

Lema’s investment in Canisius’ pre-med program is both meaningful and substantial. Along with MAB Vice Chair James Budny ‘70, MD, he initiated the Medical Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund to alleviate students’ financial obligations so they may focus solely on their studies. Moreover, Lema’s support of Science Hall and its development into an interdisciplinary science building is helping to secure the future of science and medicine at Canisius.