Commencement Ceremonies Set for May 20

April 25, 2023

Buffalo, NY – Canisius President Steve K. Stoute will preside over his first commencement exercises on May 20 when the college confers diplomas to the undergraduate and graduate students from the Class of 2023.  President Stoute will deliver the commencement address during the following ceremonies:

  • The undergraduate commencement ceremony for students of the College of Arts & Sciences will take place at 10:00 a.m. in the Koessler Athletic Center (KAC)
  • The undergraduate ceremony for students of the School of Education and Human Services and the Richard J. Wehle School of Business is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. in the KAC. 
  • The graduate commencement ceremony will follow at 3:00 p.m., also in the KAC.  

The Board of Trustees named Steve K. Stoute the 25th president of Canisius University in February 2022. His term officially began on July 1, 2022. President Stoute is the first person of color to lead Canisius and one of the youngest.

In his brief tenure at Canisius, President Stoute has leaned heavily into the transformative power of higher education, particularly Catholic higher education.

He espouses servant-leadership and asserts that Canisius’ Catholic, Jesuit and urban distinctions make the institution uniquely positioned to educate students who see the needs of their community, understand their responsibility to act and are prepared to address the various crises faced by our society.

The theme of his presidency calls upon the entire Canisius community to RISE: Renew its commitment to justice; Inspire a new generation of leaders who challenge the status quo; Serve every person with love; and Empower others to act the same.

President Stoute’s leadership earned him an appointment as co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. He received accolades from the weekly magazine City and State, which named him among the 100 most influential faith leaders in New York State, was named to Business First’s list of “Power 100 Business Leaders of Color” and its “Power 250” list of the most influential leaders in the region. He also received the Penn Carey Law Alumni Society’s Young Alumni Award and was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society.

Under President Stoute’s leadership, Canisius became the first institution in Western New York (and one of only two Jesuit institutions in the nation) to adopt a test-free policy for undergraduate admissions. The new policy, which goes into effect in fall 2024, removes all consideration of standardized tests (SAT and ACT) in the evaluation of admission to Canisius, thereby significantly increasing the opportunity for all capable students to access a transformative education and reach their fullest potential. During his presidency, Canisius successfully petitioned the New York State Education Department Board of Regents for university designation. The transition to Canisius University will take place during summer 2023 alongside the unveiling of a new strategic plan and branding initiative for the institution.

President Stoute arrived at Canisius from DePaul University in Chicago, IL, where he was vice president for strategic initiatives and chief of staff. In these roles, he served as the university president’s senior advisor. His responsibilities
included facilitating the implementation of the university’s strategic plan, leading transformative institutional projects, and serving as liaison to the Board of Trustees on key executive strategic matters.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Seton Hall University, a master’s degree in exercise and sport science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

For more information about Canisius University commencement ceremonies, contact the Communications Office at 716-888-2792.  

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.