Campus Traditions


Campus traditions play an integral part in the campus culture at Canisius.  The Office of Student Life collaborates with many campus partners in establishing and signature events that define the essence of Canisius, our Griff spirit, and our Ignatian values.

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Ignatian Scholarship Day 

Ignatian Scholarship Day is an annual showcase for student research. It’s a chance for students to contribute to their chosen field. Join each spring semester to see this year’s display of student achievements.

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New student orientation Canisius
New Griff Orientation

Our New Griff Orientation program to take care of this all-important first step in your college success. The program consists of multiple activities over a period of 3 days that also has a virtual component for families. We can't wait to meet our Future Griffs! 

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commencement canisius

Commencement is a special occasion where we send our Griffs out into the world. Ceremonies are held for undergraduates, graduates, the honors program, ROTC and also a special Baccalaureate Mass. 

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Homecoming Weekend

Traditionally held at the end of September, Homecoming Weekend allows us to welcome alumni, family, and friends to campus.  The Student Programming Board’s Fall Fest is an integral part of this weekend – an event complete with local food trucks, pumpkin decorating, cider, doughnuts, face painting, caricatures, balloon art, and more! 

Community Service Week

Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, Community Day calls on all students to gather for a week of local service.  Students are placed with local agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, Vive la Casa, and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy to volunteer and give back to the Buffalo community.  Community Service Week has had upwards of 300 people participating, including Canisius alumni.

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Fall & Winter Welcome Weeks

Held the first week of each semester, Welcome Week is a celebration of returning to campus and our spirit of community.  Events held throughout the weeks include fun activities such as ziplining across the quad, enjoying outdoor cook-outs, the C-Block bonfire, skating inside Palisano Pavilion, and the Snowflake Social family dinner.

Christmas in the Quad

This holiday tradition falls just after Thanksgiving break and gives the Canisius community an opportunity to come together for a delightful tree-lighting ceremony on the patio of Palisano Pavilion followed by a winter wonderland of games, crafts, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and pictures with Santa!

canisius v niagara basketball
Canisius v. Niagara Basketball 

Known as our greatest rival, when the Golden Griffs take on the Purple Eagles in basketball, the crowd is out in full force!  Be sure to get your tickets early for this legendary athletic rivalry!

Canisius Royals 

Hosted by the Residence Halls Association, the evening is filled with choreography, displays of talent, skits, Q&A, and more.  The Montante Cultural Center fills up fast…this one is not to be missed!

Griff Fest 

Held on the last day of classes during the spring semester, Griff Fest is our final celebration of Griff spirit.  The event features numerous Buffalo food favorites including Chiavetta’s chicken, Franco’s pizza and wings, Lloyd tacos, and more!  Carnival games, “I Got It,” inflatables, live music, and giveaways make this a perfect capstone to the academic year.