Canisius Memories

Celebrating 150 Years of Memories

Canisius inspires generational connections and bonds that last well beyond graduation. As we celebrate 150 years, hear some of our favorite Canisius memories and submit your own.  

Walter Garrow ’72, MBA ’77 Walter Garrow Canisius

“Canisius has been a great foundation for my whole life. First, it supported my faith.  Chemistry then provided an understanding of the "what" that is all around us, and how it impacts us; and, that degree helped me obtain my first job as a Sr. Analytical Chemist. The MBA then helped me into the corporate management world.

Before retirement, I was a Corporate Environmental Health and Safety Director over 10 companies (within one overall company), covering North America. The professional credentials grew to include these four: ASP, CHMM, CIH and CSP. Canisius prepared me for the qualifications and knowledge to pass the examinations for this full array of environmental health and safety certifications. 

Most importantly, Canisius is where I met my wife, and we have three great and supportive children, and now two grandchildren. There is no doubt that Canisius College opened the door to what has been so very important to us.”

Suzanne Frank ’16 Canisius memory suzy frank

“In my family, we have a longstanding connection to Canisius College. My grandfather, Monroe Frank, graduated from Canisius (he's 96 now!). My parents met at Canisius in the 1980s. My older brother and sister both graduated from Canisius (2013, 2014).

When I was still in high school, I wasn't sure where I would end up. My mother would often say, "I think you'd love Canisius," but like any teenage rebel, I shrugged her off.

Fast forward to August of 2012. Circumstances in my life led me directly to Canisius. They welcomed me with open arms. They made everything so easy. I was accepted quickly and offered a very generous scholarship, as well as an alumni grant because of my family's history with the college.

I learned very quickly that Canisius is not like other institutions. The faculty, staff and students are a cut above the rest. Canisius is a community where members are truly invested in your success. They go the extra mile. I work in higher education now, and I can tell you that not all colleges and universities treat people the same way Canisius does.

Thank you, Canisius for giving me a well-rounded education. For preparing me for what comes next in my life. I owe a lot of what I have today to Canisius!

I wouldn't have been able to attend without the generous scholarship given to me. Thank you!”

Ellen DellaPenna '94 Ellen DellaPella

As a young 17- year old, Ellen didn’t realize the giant impact her experience at Canisius would have on her life. In 1990, she met her life-long friends as a Freshman in the hallways of Frisch Hall. Throughout her four years, Ellen was introduced to many mentors; each guiding Ellen to become the intelligent professional she is today. “I was also fortunate to work for the admissions and residence life offices where I networked with several friends and administrators who guided me to become involved as the photo editor of the Griffin and secretary for the USA.” 
    The late Dr. Marilyn Watt influenced Ellen the most. “She was a special person to so many students, but the greatest impact she left on me was how she encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to try new things and she helped me to understand how important interpersonal communication, building relationships and networking would be in my life”
    On the eve of her senior year, Ellen met the love of her life, Matthew, at Quad Party, an end of the year celebration for all students. Three years later, they were married right in the Quad they met in! From there, their Canisius story continued. Years later, when they were gifted with a second child, they allowed their three-year-old daughter to name her baby brother; she picked Griffin. 
    “His name could not have been more fitting for the life he has led.  He had battled adversity with fierce bravery and we could not have been more proud when he informed us last winter that he had chosen Canisius as his home for the next 4 years.” With happy open arms, Canisius welcomed Griffin to campus this Fall semester. 
 “Being a legacy family is deeply meaningful to all of us.  During the 2019 opening ceremony, I was overcome with emotions as I sat in Koessler holding my husband’s hand as we participated in the blessing for or son and his classmates with the realization that our life has come full circle.  Canisius is where our family’s story began. It’s where lifelong friendships and a million happy memories were made for us and we hope that this legacy continues to live on in our family for many generations to come.”

Harold Colligan '49 Harold C Canisius

“Back in 1935, during the Great Depression, my father took me aside and encouraged me to take business courses in high school, as he would not be able to send me to college due to working only two days a week and needing to support a wife and seven children.

After being drafted and spending over two years overseas in the United States Air Force, I met a fellow at work who told me he was taking night college courses and that his tuition was being paid by the GI Bill.  I wondered if the GI Bill would do the same for me, so I contacted the Admissions Department at Canisius College and was delighted to learn I would qualify!

I enjoyed a tremendous experience at Canisius, being taught moral values by the Jesuits that have lasted my entire lifetime, not to mention a terrific education in Business Administration that resulted in over 27 years of secure employment and a nice, long retirement...41 years and counting!”

James Schofield MS '73Kames Schofield

Back in the early seventies, Canisius was rolling out a brand new School Counseling program for its graduate students. James Schofield MS ’73, found himself in the very first class offered by the program. Throughout his time at Canisius, James found a great admiration for the Program Director, Dr. Thomas Caulfield. “I was inspired by his commitment to his subject matter and his students.” Dr. Caulfield taught James valuable life skills during his graduate studies. “Through his example I learned to look for the good in all people, and to follow my passions. Dr. Caulfield taught me to believe in myself and trust my skills.” James met Kathlyn, his future wife, through Dr. Caulfield. While James studied under Dr. Caulfield at Canisius, Dr. Caulfield’s wife was teaching Kathlyn at D’Youville at the very same time!

Over James’s thirty-four years as a public school counselor, he always had his dear friend and mentor, Dr. Caulfield, to rely on. Following James’s, graduation from Canisius, Dr. Caulfield and James remained good friends for over thirty years. 

Back in July, Dr. Caulfield passed away. The impact he left on James’s and many other students will live on as his legacy. James affectionately stated, “He will always be remembered as my favorite professor.”


Nicole Masaki Canisius Memories Nicole Masaki ’18 

 “One of the most impactful parts of my time at Canisius was attending the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. I attended three of my four years at Canisius. Before going, I knew I wanted to make a positive and lasting impact, but was lacking a direction to make that change. The Teach-In gave me a way to center and focus on my interests and left me wanting to do more work like that – lobbying and political work for social justice.

I had the opportunity to intern for US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand twice, and after graduation I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to continue fighting for positive social change. I found my passion working at an environmental grassroots organization as a field canvasser where I engage residents to take action for the betterment of the environment.”

Natalie B CanisiusNatalie Beilein ’98

“Canisius was where I met the friends who would help me realize I, too, had a purpose and strengths. Canisius was the place where I figured out if I applied myself, I too could be “smart.” Canisius reintroduced to me to God, redirecting my moral compass which would activate further upon marriage and becoming a mother. Canisius was the place I felt safe and finally empowered to become the best version of myself. I truly see Canisius as a pivotal turning point in my life, which propelled me onto a pathway of success."

Share Your Memory 

To share a Canisius memory that may be used on this page or in other materials, follow the link below or email us your story and photo at We can't wait to hear your story.

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