Our Leadership

President John J. Hurley 

john hurley

John J. Hurley assumed his position as the 24th president of Canisius College on July 1, 2010. He is the first lay president in Canisius College’s 148-year history.

As president, he oversaw the successful development of a new strategic plan, Canisius 150: Excellence, Leadership, Jesuit, a plan that is aimed at building upon Canisius’ commitment to academic excellence, Jesuit values of social justice, and innovation as the college approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019. He has engaged Canisius in a bold comprehensive strategic assessment of academic programs and administrative functions aimed at strengthening the college’s financial position. He has placed a special emphasis on the college’s connection to the City of Buffalo and in particular, to the college’s Hamlin Park neighborhood in north central Buffalo. A Legacy of Leadership: The Campaign for Canisius College, the college’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, concluded on May 31, 2012 with a record $95.5 million raised, surpassing the goal for the campaign by $5.5 million.

Prior to his appointment as president, Mr. Hurley served as executive vice president of Canisius from 2007 to 2010 and vice president for college relations from 1997 to 2010. In these positions, he played a significant leadership role in the college’s investment in the campus, which now totals more than $175 million since 1994. He was the architect of the college’s innovative Employer Assisted Housing Program, which offers employees grants in the form of forgivable loans to assist them with the purchase of homes near the college’s central Buffalo campus.

A native of Buffalo, Mr. Hurley is a graduate of Canisius College (BA 1978 summa cum laude, English/history) and the University of Notre Dame Law School (JD 1981). Prior to coming to Canisius, he practiced law for 16 years, concentrating his practice in the areas of secured lending, bankruptcy and insolvency.

Mr. Hurley serves on numerous educational associations. He is the immediate past president of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Council of Presidents and serves as Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone’s appointee on the board of Fidelis Care New York, a $7 billion health maintenance organization that serves the poor in New York State. He is also a board member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu). Past activities include serving as president of the St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute Board of Trustees, chair of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME), trustee of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, trustee of Nardin Academy, member of the NCAA President’s Advisory Group, and president of the Buffalo Club. He was a member of the City of Buffalo’s Charter Revision Commission in 1999-2000 and later served as a member of the City’s Citizens Planning Council.

Inducted as a Distinguished Alumnus of Canisius College in 2002, Mr. Hurley is also a recipient of the college’s LaSalle Medal (1996). St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute inducted him into its Signum Fidei Society (1998) and the University of Notre Dame presented him with its Exemplar Award (1997). He has received HOME’s James Crawford Award (1990) and the Director’s Award (1997) for outstanding service to the cause of fair housing. In 2012, Christ the King Seminary conferred an honorary degree upon Mr. Hurley.

August, 2017

Contact the president’s office

  • John J. Hurley, President President@canisius.edu
  • Erica C. Sammarco, AVP, Assistant to the President @email
  • Bethany Voorhees, Executive Associate to the President @email