Commencement 2017

Alumni took center stage at the college’s 2017 commencement ceremonies.  From L to R: Nora E. Eberl ’92, received a LaSalle Medal; Amy J. Habib MS ’63, received an honorary degree; Thomas G. Smith ’71, received a LaSalle Medal; Christine Licata-Culhane ’67, MS ’71 EdD, addressed the 2017 graduate class and Nelson D. Civello ’67 addressed the undergraduate class. Licata-Culhane and Civello received honorary degrees.

The Koessler Athletic Center was decked out in blue and gold for the college’s 2017 commencement activities and filled to capacity with proud family members, friends, faculty and staff who gathered to celebrate with the graduates.  Alumni were featured prominently at the ceremonies and shared in the pomp and circumstance.

Graduate Ceremony

Veteran educator and administrator Christine M. Licata-Culhane ’67, MS ’71, EdD, addressed the graduate commencement class on Wednesday evening, May 17.  Licata-Culhane told graduates, “We had the same opportunity to experience the dedicated support of Canisius faculty – reflective practitioners, teacher/scholars, well versed in their discipline and ready to challenge and guide the transformation of mind and spirit.  This is what distinguishes the Canisius brand of graduate education from all the rest.” Licata-Culhane was presented with an honorary degree during the ceremony. 

Read Licata-Culhane’s commencement speech in its entirety here.

Read Licata-Culhane’s honorary degree citation here.

Baccalaureate Mass

On Friday, May 19, the campus community gathered in the Koessler for the Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by the Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Buffalo. Baccalaureate Mass is a tradition that honors a graduating class and dates back to medieval times.

Undergraduate Ceremony

Nelson D. Civello ’67 told graduates that his class “faced and helped to reform the world as Jesuit trained soldiers, and we are now bringing that world to you…We are a bit tired now and need to hand the baton off to you.  We will recede and become your counselors as you will become the doers.” The retired president of the Fixed Income Capital Markets Group for Dain Rauscher Corp. and past chair of the Bond Market Association, Civello delivered the undergraduate commencement address on Saturday, May 20 and received an honorary degree during the ceremony.

“For these reasons,” he said, “amazing technology, a highly diverse student body and a modernized Canisius Jesuit education, the best is yet to come for the Class of 2017.  Go forth and make the world a better place.  Congratulations!  Go Griffs!”

Civello finished his address by asking that graduates take a selfie to upload to Instagram using the hashtag #Nelsongriffgrad.

Read Civello’s commencement speech in its entirety here.

Read Civello's honorary degree citation here.

Both Licata-Culhane and Civello are members of the 50-Year Jubilarian Class of 1967 (pictured above with President Hurley) recognized during the undergraduate ceremony.  The Class of 1967 set a new record for a Golden Jubilee Reunion class gift - raising in excess of $680,000.

L-R (back row): Nancy Ingrisano, Maggie Holt and Christine Licata-Culhane, graduate commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient. Front row is Rita Manno. These women were among the first to enroll in the day division at Canisius College.

Licata-Culhane told the graduate class, “It was a matter of blazing new trails; animating new expectations for what coeducation would mean for Golden Griffins. Through a combination of learning when to push and when to pull…when to lead and when to follow – these suffragette coeds were successful…so much so that the college opened its doors to women in all programs two years later.”

Read Canisius Magazine article Guts & Grace - Celebrating 50 years of Women at Canisius.

Members of the 60-year Jubilarian Class of 1957  pose with President John J. Hurley.  From L to R (front row): J. Michael Collins, President Hurley, Al Boettcher and Jack Zaidel. Back row (L-R), Steve DiPasquale, David Dietz, PhD, professor emeritus of classics, Bill Orrange and Bob Miller.

Sixty-year Jubilarians were recognized at the undergraduate ceremony.

During undergraduate ceremonies, Canisius conferred honorary degrees upon alumna Amy J. Habib MS ’63, past chair of the board of directors of Petri Baking Products Inc. (pictured above with President Hurley); Bishop Matthew H. Clark, retired bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester; Michael “Mitch” Flynn, owner and creative director of Flynn and Friends and founder of the Ride for Roswell; and L. Nelson “Nick” Hopkins, MD, internationally recognized pioneer of endovascular neurosurgery.

Read honorary degree citations in their entirety:

Bishop Matthew H. Clark

Mitch Flynn

Amy J. Habib MS '63

L. Nelson Hopkins, MD

The Alumni Association presented the 2017 LaSalle Medal, its highest honor, to Nora E. Eberl ’92 and Thomas G. Smith ’71.  The award recognizes outstanding Canisius alumni whose substantial contributions to the college have, over time, advanced the interests and the mission of alma mater.

Nora E. Eberl ’92

Thomas G. Smith ’71

Eberl is the third generation co-owner of Eberl Iron Works Inc.  Smith is a former partner with Hartner, Secrest & Emery, LLP.

Read Eberl’s LaSalle citation in its entirety here.

Read Smith’s LaSalle citation in its entirety here.

Enjoy photos and videos from Commencement 2017 by clicking on the galleries below.

Graduate Ceremony Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery from Undergraduate Ceremonies

Commencement Videos

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