Canisius Hosts Laudato Si' Earth Day Celebration

April 12, 2022
Laudato Si'

BUFFALO, NY – Canisius University will commemorate the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day on Friday, April 22, with a campus-wide celebration.  Events surrounding Laudato Si’ Earth Day begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue through 2:00 p.m., and will feature students, faculty and staff involved in various sustainability initiatives.  Laudato Si’ (“be praised”) is the title of a Vatican-led initiative to empower the universal Church to achieve total sustainability within seven years.  Canisius University was one of the first universities in the United States to commit to the sustainability initiative, which was inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 ecological encyclical, “Laudato Si’: On Care for our Common Home.”

In recognition of the Laudato Si’ Earth Day celebration, the college will host the following events in the Grupp Fireside Lounge, located on the second floor of the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center:  

9:30 a.m. – Bird-friendly Coffee Hour: Sara Morris, PhD, vice president for academic affairs, provides an update to the campus community on Canisius’ progress related to the Laudato Si’ sustainability initiative on campus. 

10:00 a.m. – Student-Led Discussion: Canisius students lead a session about sustainability on campus.

11:00 a.m. – Faculty-led Session: Sue Margulis, PhD, professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation, and Jenn Lodi-Smith, PhD, professor of psychology and assistant vice president for academic affairs, present information and lead a reflection on where Canisius has been, where it is and where it is going.

12:00 p.m. – Keynote Presentation Featuring Jay Burney: Jay Burney is executive director of the Pollinator Conservation Association and international chair of Birds on the Niagara.  A local conservationist, he has worked more than 50 years promoting sustainability through a variety of programs and projects.  He is a founder of the Our Outer Harbor Coalition, which works to protect Buffalo’s Outer Harbor from inappropriate development.  He also works with the Niagara River Greenway Commission and a variety of local and regional organizations to promote conservation planning and investments.  Burney is currently focused on sustainability and resiliency programs and projects in the Great Lakes region with an emphasis on the Niagara River corridor. 

1:00 p.m. – Joyful Lunch @ Economu Dining Hall. 

Canisius established a strategic plan for environmental sustainability in 2019. The Laudato Si’ initiative complements and enriches the goals and objectives of that sustainability strategy, which focuses on tackling opportunities across campus that support environmental and social justice initiatives and align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

As a Laudato Si’ University, Canisius is charting its own course through the journey, with the assistance of the Laudato Si' Action Platform. It’s in the process of developing an action plan that integrally and boldly advances each of the seven Laudato Si' goals:  (1) Respond to the cry of the earth, (2) Respond to the cry of the poor, (3) Foster ecological economics, (4) Adopt a sustainable lifestyle, (5) Offer ecological education, (6) Develop ecological spirituality and (7) Support local communities.

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals –able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.