Two Receive LaSalle Medals During Commencement Ceremonies

May 23, 2019


The Canisius Alumni Association conferred its highest award for service to the college upon Deborah A. DiMatteo MBA ’88 and John R. Connolly ’72 during 2019 undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18. The LaSalle Medal is presented to alumni whose contributions of time and treasure help advance the interests of alma mater

Deborah A. DiMatteo MBA ’88 is vice president and relationship manager of business banking for M&T Bank, one of the 20 largest bank holding companies in the United States. DiMatteo’s professional accomplishments are matched only by her loyalty to alma mater.


Pictured: President Hurley alongside Deborah A. DiMatteo MBA ’88, vice president and relationship manager of business banking for M&T Bank

A staunch advocate for alumnae, DiMatteo is among the founding members of Women of Canisius, which offers personal and professional support to female graduates so they may assume leadership roles in their chosen fields and in the community. DiMatteo provided similar professional mentoring to alumni and students through her various leadership roles with the MBA Alumni Association.

During her two terms on the Board of Regents, including one year as chair, DiMatteo led the group in its advisory capacity to President John Hurley and the Board of Trustees, and twice co-chaired the Regents Scholarship Ball. The gala is the primary fundraiser for the Board of Regents Endowed Scholarship Fund. As a member of the Alumni Board of Directors, DiMatteo collaborated with the Office of Alumni Engagement to involve alumni with alma mater in meaningful ways.

In recognition of her accomplishments and contributions to the college, Canisius inducted DiMatteo into the DiGamma Honor Society in 2000.

A 1972 accounting graduate, John R. Connolly helped to make Massachusetts-based Tecomet Inc. the largest contract medical device manufacturer in the world. He is executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company that operates 17 manufacturing facilities in five countries and employs more than 3,000 people.


Pictured: President Hurley alongside John R. Connolly '72, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Tecomet Inc. 

Despite his demanding professional responsibilities, Connolly generously devotes time working on behalf of alma mater. He utilizes his expertise to recommend policy to President John J. Hurley as vice chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, and serves on its finance and facilities committee. He previously served on the Institutional Advancement Committee, which seeks to further engage Canisius alumni, family and friends and secure resources to enhance the educational experience for students.

Connolly graciously hosts the Canisius Over Cocktails Boston alumni reception with President John J. Hurley (scheduled for June 4; go to for information). He is also a familiar face at college events, including Reunion Weekend, the Regents Ball and the DiGamma Honor Society dinner.

Always ready to lend support to the college’s most significant fundraising efforts, Connolly has been a loyal contributor to the Canisius Fund at the Leadership Society level for more than 30 years. In 1999, he established the Patricia Ziegler Connolly ’74, MS ’01 Scholarship at Canisius in honor of his wife, a dedicated special education teacher in the Williamsville School District for more than two decades.