All-College Honors: Awards

robert butler canisiusRobert J. Butler Award for Leadership

Awarded to the student(s) who has made particularly significant contributions to the All-College Honors Program.

Dr. Robert J. Butler, a Professor of English, served for twenty-one years as director of the Canisius All-College Honors Program (1985-2006). During that pivotal period, he increased the size of the student body, raised admissions standards, and expanded the opportunities for cultural enrichment. He is a native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and completed his formal education at St. Michael’s College and the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or coauthor of seven books on African American literature, and is an internationally known authority on the subject. A Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Professor, Butler is also renowned for his dedication to teaching, his unflagging commitment to a more just society, and his passions for bicycling and the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

2019 Recipients: Patrick Collins and Jacob Dollendorf


Kristin M. Brady Award for Excellence in All-College Honors Thesis

Awarded to the student who has written the best thesis that year.

Kristin M. Brady graduated from Canisius College summa cum laude in 1970 as an English major and a member of the All-College Honors Program. She then served as a teacher in AmeriCorps and subsequently earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Toronto. She taught in the English department at the University of Western Ontario, becoming a distinguished professor who won teaching awards and published widely on 19th century English literature. Her book on novelist Thomas Hardy is regarded as a landmark study. While on sabbatical in France in 1998, she died tragically in an automobile crash. Kristin Brady represented the highest ideals at Jesuit education—intellectual excellence and service to others.

2019 Recipient: Patrick Collins and Lauren Shine


Beatriz & RenĂ© De La Pedraja Award for Empirical Research rene canisius

Beatriz De La Pedraja, who taught mathematics and Spanish for decades, and her husband, Dr. RenĂ© De La Pedraja, recipient of both the Honors professor of the year award and the Kenneth L. Kessler distinguished faculty award, have established an award to recognize empirical research in the Canisius All-College Honors thesis, the program's signature and culminating assignment. For a student to receive this recognition, he or she must formulate a convincing argument in the thesis, one that is supported by abundant primary sources. Examples of empirical work include archival collections, laboratory experiments, interviews, observations during field trips, and the like. After all Honors theses are completed in the fall semester, the Honors director will recommend one or more them that draw upon empirical research for the final selection of the De La Pedraja family. The winner will receive $300, except in cases where there are two winners. In those instances, the multiple winners will split the money. In years where no Honors thesis meets the award’s criteria, no award will be given.


Amy Betros Community Service Award amy betros canisius

In the Jesuit spirit of “men & women for and with others,” this award is named for Amy Betros, who co-founded and co-directs St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy on the East Side of Buffalo, as it provides food, clothing, shelter, and tutoring for those in need. The Honors Program will make a cash donation to a local charity in the name of student awardees.


2019 Recipient: Claire Rosenecker

John J. Hurley Award for Academic Excellence, Leadership, & Social Justice John hurley canisius

Awarded to the All-College Honors student graduating in the spring semester who best exemplifies the Jesuit values of academic excellence, leadership, and the promotion of justice. The award is named for the Canisius College president who was an outstanding All-College Honors student (Class of 1978) at Canisius and, since then, has exemplified the spirit of magis as a community leader, generous benefactor, and a tireless advocate of social justice. In years when there is a deserving candidate, the Hurley award winner will receive $500 and a plaque.

2019 Recipients: Lauren Reno and Cameron Rosenecker