Pomp and Circumstance

March 13, 2019


Buffalo, NY - The Canisius College undergraduate Class of 2019 will hear from Buffalo native and humanitarian David N. Campbell, during commencement ceremonies, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18 in the Koessler Athletic Center

The former technology executive and investment banker was on the verge of retirement in 2004 when a massive undersea earthquake triggered a destructive tsunami in Southeast Asia. Armed with donations he collected from friends and business partners, Campbell traveled to Thailand to help.  The life-changing experience led him to establish All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response, a nonprofit natural disaster response and rebuild organization.

Campbell earned a BS in mathematics from Niagara University and an MS in operations research from the University at Buffalo. 

Commencement ceremonies for the graduate Class of 2019 are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15.  Students will hear from U.S. District Court Judge Hon. Lawrence J. Vilardo ’77.  Nominated to the position by President Barack Obama in 2015, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Vilardo in October that same year. 

Prior to his current position, Vilardo was founding partner of Connors & Vilardo LLP, a Buffalo law firm that specializes in trial and appellate practice, and civil and criminal litigation, in state and federal courts.  He holds a BA in history and political science from Canisius and a JD from Harvard Law School. 

Canisius will confer honorary degrees upon Vilardo and Campbell during commencement ceremonies.  Also receiving honorary degrees: Willie D. “Hutch” Jones, president and co-founder of the Willie Hutch Jones Educational & Sports Program; Sr. Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, executive director of the Response to Love Center; Rev. Patrick J. Frawley, chief executive officer of Fidelis Care in New York City; and I. Joan Lorch, PhD, professor emerita of biology at Canisius.