Campus Traditions

ONCE A GRIFF, ALWAYS A GRIFF

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 promoting eight signature events that define the essence of Canisius, our Griff spirit, and our Ignatian values.

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.

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 Day: Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, Community Day calls on all students to gather for a day 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.  Two Community Days are held each year—one in fall, and one in spring. In the past, we’ve had upwards of 300 people participating, including Canisius alumni.

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!

Petey’s Birthday Party: Where else can you celebrate the birthday of a beloved mascot?  Petey’s Birthday Party is traditionally held before a basketball game during the spring semester.  The Canisius community gathers for inflatable attractions, fun food stations, games, giveaways, music, and a spirited singing of “Happy Birthday” to our trusty mascot, Petey!

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!

Mr. Canisius: Hosted by the Residence Halls Association, Mr. Canisius features some of Canisius’ most talented men battling for the prestigious title of “Mr. Canisius.”  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 Friday 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.