Commencement Ceremonies Set for May 18, May 21

April 28, 2022

Buffalo, NY – Canisius President John J. Hurley will preside over his final commencement ceremonies next month, as his tenure at the college comes to a close on June 30.  Graduate commencement is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center (KAC). Undergraduate commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, also in the KAC. The college will host two undergraduate ceremonies on this day to better accommodate all graduates and their families.  Commencement for the College of Arts and Sciences will take place at 10:30 a.m.  Ceremonies for the School of Education and Human Services and the Wehle School of Business will follow at 1:30 p.m. 

In addition to the conferral of formal degrees upon graduates, each commencement ceremony will include a student speaker address and the conferral of honorary degrees and awards.  Among those individuals receiving an honorary degree is Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

Canisius will confer the degree, in absentia, in recognition of the profound leadership he is demonstrating in the defense of freedom and democracy, since the launch of a full-scale invasion of the country by Russia.  Canisius is among 20 colleges and universities to confer an honorary degree upon Zelenskyy at commencement ceremonies this spring.  The joint initiative is unprecedented by higher education institutions in North America but signifies the critical responsibility that colleges and universities bear in promoting the tenets of a liberal society such as the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Additional individuals receiving honorary doctorate degrees during Canisius commencement ceremonies are:

Erik Brady ’76, retired sportswriter for USA Today and contributing columnist for The Buffalo News;

Robert J. Butler, PhD, professor emeritus of English and longtime director of the All-College Honors program at Canisius;

Myron, MD and Joyce Glick, founders of the Jericho Road Community Health Center in Buffalo, a Federally Qualified Health Center;

Nancy Nielsen, MD, PhD, clinical professor at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and past president of the American Medical Association;

George Scott, president of the Colored Musicians Club in Buffalo; and

Hon. Shirley Troutman, associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals. 

During undergraduate commencement ceremonies, the Canisius University Alumni Association will bestow its LaSalle Medal upon two graduates.  The LaSalle Medal is awarded to alumni whose contributions have advanced the interests of alma mater.  This year’s LaSalle Medal recipients are:

Lee C. Wortham ’79, who recently concluded seven years as a member of the Board of Trustees, including four (2017 – 2021) as chair.  During this time, Wortham lent his knowledge and expertise to lead the strategic planning, finance, facilities and investment committees.  He oversaw a 50 percent growth in the endowment and was a critical thought partner on often challenging institutional decisions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Wortham is partner and chief operating officer at Barrantys LLC, an investment, estate and tax planning firm. 

Anthony M. Masiello ’69, HON ’96, former mayor of Buffalo and member of the Canisius University Board of Trustees, for which he helps formulate and recommend policy to President John Hurley.  The former basketball standout is a also a loyal advocate of the Coach’s Circle, a group dedicated to supporting the men’s basketball program, and is credited with helping to fund the 2008 renovation of the men’s basketball locker room and its state-of-the-art accommodations.  Masiello served as Buffalo’s 57th mayor. He is currently president and partner of the lobbying firm Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese and Associates.  

Canisius President John Hurley will retire at the end of the academic year after serving 12 years in the leadership role.  He is currently the longest tenured president among Western New York colleges and universities.  Hurley joined Canisius in August 1997 as vice president for college relations and general counsel, after practicing law in Chicago and Buffalo for 16 years.  In 2009, the college’s Board of Trustees selected Hurley to succeed Rev. Vincent M. Cooke, S.J. and he became the college’s first lay president in July 2010.

For more information about Canisius University commencement ceremonies, contact the Communications Office at 716-888-2790. 

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.