Canisius History 1966-1990
1966-1990: Protest, Promise and Progress
Seismic social and political changes began to roil the country – and the world - at this point in history. Protests continued over U.S. involvement in the burgeoning Vietnam War. Racial inequality persisted despite a civil rights movement that successfully fought to outlaw racial segregation and discrimination. And unrest about full equality for women remained.
As Americans reeled in rage, a moral revolt ignited among college students who opposed U.S. political policies and questioned social norms of oppression and prejudice. Here at Canisius, students marched into history rather than just read about it.
1967: A Force for Change
1968: A Time for Action; A Time for Reflection
1979: The Old Gate that was Newgate
Of course, Jesuit education existed centuries before it arrived in Buffalo at 2001 Main Street. And certainly, it’s continually adapted to changing circumstances and times: An education appropriate to a 17th century Spaniard, an 18th century Frenchman or a 19th century Englishman would not be appropriate to a 20th century American at this time in history.
But so long as Jesuit education has adapted itself, it too has remained constant in its pursuit of academic excellence. A diverse faculty and the search for truth are equally important pieces of the whole equation. And as the troubled times of the late 1960s and early 1970s gave way to a new decade at Canisius, both teaching and learning were taken to greater heights as the college aggressively began to grow its academic programs and build a distinct brand of excellence.
1982: First female named ROTC Corps Commander
Canisius sophomore Christina (Celentani) Mortel ’85 is named ROTC Corps Commander, making her the first female to attain such a rank in the 31-year history of the military program at the college.
Celentani earned the assignment as a result of high evaluations for her performance as company commander, platoon leader, platoon sergeant and executive officer of her company. She held the position for one year and commanded 105 cadets.
1985: Tipped for the NIT Tournament
Coach Nick Macarchuk guides men’s basketball to a 20-10 mark in the regular season and the team’s first post-season appearance in 22 years with an invite to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The Griffs ultimately bowed to Nebraska, 79-66, but went on to win 106 games over a four-year period behind the spectacular play of Sugar Ray Hall ‘85 and the low post dominance of future NBA center Mike F. Smrek ‘85.
1988: Fulbright Scholar
Thomas W. Maulucci Jr. ’88 becomes the first Canisius College student to be awarded a coveted J. William Fulbright Scholarship. Named for the late U.S. Senator from Arkansas, the Fulbright is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program, designed to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges.
Maulucci used his Fulbright to study relations between Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc countries at the University of Saarlandes in Sarrbrücken, Germany. At the conclusion of his 10-month Fulbright study, Maulucci went on to earn his PhD in history from Yale University. He is currently a professor of history at American International College in Springfield, MA.
1989: Multimillion Gift Endows Business School
Canisius becomes one of the first mid-sized colleges in the country to have an endowed business school, following a nearly $2 million donation from Richard J. Wehle, president and chief executive officer of Wehle Electric Company.
The gift marked the largest single donation to the college, at the time. In gratitude, the Canisius Board of Trustees renamed the School of Business Administration, the Richard J. Wehle School of Business.