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Canisius College

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Title: Canisius College  
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Subject: Canisius Golden Griffins men's ice hockey, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship, War Memorial Stadium (Buffalo), 1957 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
Collection: 1870 Establishments in New York, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Buffalo (1920S Nfl Teams), Canisius College, Defunct National Football League Venues, Education in Buffalo, New York, Educational Institutions Established in 1870, Jesuit Universities and Colleges in the United States, Liberal Arts Colleges, Liberal Arts Colleges in New York, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Roman Catholic Universities and Colleges in New York, Roman Catholic Universities and Colleges in the United States, Universities and Colleges in Erie County, New York, Universities and Colleges in New York
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Canisius College

Canisius College
Latin: Collegium Canisii
Established 1870
Type Private
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Endowment US $103 Million[1]
President John J. Hurley, J.D.
Academic staff
Total: 459
(210 full-time / 249 part-time)[2]
Students 4,537[2]
Undergraduates 3,084[2]
Postgraduates 1,453[2]
Location Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Campus Urban - 72 acres (29.1 ha)
Fight song "Canisius, Blue and Gold"
Colors Blue      and      Gold
Athletics NCAA Division I - MAAC AH
Sports 17 varsity sports teams[3]
(8 men's and 9 women's)
Nickname Golden Griffins / Lady Griffins
Mascot Petey the Griffin
Affiliations AJCU

Canisius College is a private college in Buffalo, New York, United States located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The college was founded in 1870 by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) from Germany and is named after St. Peter Canisius. The college is one of 28 institutions in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.[4] The campus is located on over a mile of city blocks and includes dedicated NCAA Division I athletic facilities along with various academic and residence buildings.


  • History 1
  • Campaign for Canisius 2
  • Rankings 3
  • Academics 4
  • Student life 5
  • Athletics 6
  • Greek life 7
  • ROTC 8
  • Accessibility 9
  • Student run media 10
  • Science Hall 11
  • Churchill Academic Tower 12
  • Notable alumni 13
  • See also 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


The Canisius College of Buffalo, commonly referred to as Canisius, has a long history in the city of Buffalo. The first campus was on Ellicott St. in the city, and was created in response to a growing need for higher education in the area. Buffalo was composed of many ethnic groups, and one of the larger populations was German in origin.[5] As Europe experienced political turmoil, more and more people left for America especially after the failed revolutions of 1848. By 1866, Prussia had exerted considerable pressure on its Germanic neighbors which caused many more people to leave. One of the places where many Germans settled was Buffalo, NY.[6] Part of the immigrant population included German Jesuits. The college formed with Canisius High School as a natural response to the needs of the Catholic community. The college archives has an extensive collection pertaining to the history of the college and its founding. After many years as an "academic department" of the College, in 1928 the high school section was granted its own charter and became a separate entity. Canisius College has three schools. They are the College of Arts and Sciences, the Wehle School of Business, and the School of Education and Human Services.

Campaign for Canisius

In the fall of 2007, the college announced plans to raise $90 million by the year 2012 for capital improvements and to enhance the college’s endowment. A Legacy of Leadership: The Campaign for Canisius College was the largest fund-raising initiative in the college’s history.[7] Of the $90 million goal, $47 million was designated to fund the creation of an interdisciplinary science center at the college. The undertaking created a vital physical and visual connection between various parts of the campus. Included in this program was the full acquisition of a 1,500 space parking ramp which provided room for additional commuter students. The college announced on November 20, 2008 the acquisition of the building from The Uniland Partnership of Delaware LP.[8] A Legacy of Leadership: The Campaign for Canisius concluded on May 31, 2012 and surpassed its goal by $5.5 million. Phase I of the college's interdisciplinary science center (Science Hall) opened in August 2012.


Canisius earned the 27th spot in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 rankings of America’s Best Regional Universities – North for the third consecutive year. U.S. News also ranked Canisius eighth in the 2015 "Great Schools, Great Prices" listing among regional universities in the North. Canisius earned the seventh spot among 49 regional universities in the North in U.S. News' Best Colleges for Veterans Ranking for 2015. Canisius received a "Military Friendly School" designation for 2015 from Victory Media Inc., a veteran-owned business and publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools. Forbes named Canisius to its list of 2015 Top Colleges. Canisius was named to a 2015 "College of Distinction" in the Colleges of Distinction guidebook. Canisius College alumni ranked first (1st), overall, in New York State on the 2013 CPA exam cycle, with a 71 percent pass rate, in the category of large programs (institutions with greater than 60 candidates).


Canisius offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). In fall 2009, Canisius College introduced a new major in Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation.[9] Other new majors recently announced include Creative Writing,[10] Health and Wellness, and Journalism.[11]

Student life

Canisius has about 90 clubs and organizations that are located on-campus. All student clubs and organizations must be approved by the Undergraduate Student Association and its Senators. Student programs offered include the Best of Buffalo series, Fusion game nights, the annual Fall Semi-Formal, the annual Mr. Canisius competition, the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit with Fall BBQ and Bonfire, Griffin Week, and Springfest.[12][13]


Canisius Golden Griffins logo

The Canisius College Golden Griffins are composed of 17 teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving. Men's sports include baseball, ice hockey and golf. Women's sports include volleyball and softball. The Golden Griffins compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) for most sports, except for the men's ice hockey team, which competes in the Atlantic Hockey Association. In 2013, the men's ice hockey team won its first ever Atlantic Hockey Championship and earned its first bid to the NCAA Tournament. In 2008, Canisius men's lacrosse won the MAAC tournament and earned its first ever bid to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament.[14]

The Women's Lacrosse team won MAAC Championships four years in a row (2010-2014) . The 2008 Baseball team won the regular season MAAC championship for the first time in its history with a 41-13 record breaking the school record for wins in a season. One season later, the team advanced to its first MAAC Championship game in program history.[15] In 2013, the team won the MAAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA tournamment for the first time in program history. The Canisius College softball team recently won the 2009 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, its 3rd consecutive title win, marking the team's 11th trip to the NCAA tournament in the last 15 years. The softball team is consistently the winner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.[16] Canisius won the Canal Cup in 2008 and 2009. The cup commemorates the athletic rivalry between Canisius College and Niagara University. Canisius has won the trophy two times in the Canal Cup's three-year existence.[17] Intramural sports are also offered to students, faculty and staff.

Canisius' mascot is the Golden Griffin. The college adopted it in 1932, after Charles A. Brady ('33) wrote a story in a Canisius publication honoring Buffalo's centennial year as a city. Brady wrote about Rene-Robert LaSalle's Le Griffon, the first European ship to sail the upper Great Lakes, built here in Buffalo. The name stuck, and Canisius' mascot was born. According to, the griffin is a "mythical creature of supposed gigantic size that has the head, forelegs and wings of an eagle and the hindquarters, tail and ears of a lion." It represents values such as strength, vigilance, and intelligence, all of which befit a college and qualities that one would look for in students and athletes alike. The College was also the home field of the Buffalo All-Americans of the early National Football League. Around 1917, Buffalo manager, Barney Lepper, signed a lease for the team to play their home games at Canisius College. The All-Americans played several of their games at Canisius before relocating to Bison Stadium in 1924.[18]

Greek life

All of Canisius College's fraternities and sororities are approved by the Canisius College Office of Student Life and each has strict policies against hazing. The college also boasts a Classics Club, which seeks to renew interests in the studies of ancient Greek and Roman history, language, and culture. The club has hosted everything from readings and discussions of ancient texts to celebrations of Saturnalia and alcohol-free toga parties. Members of the club continue to champion a Classical education as an essential element in the Jesuit education, as well as a key component in the embodiment of cura personalis. [19]


Canisius College is the Reserve Officer Training Corps hub for Western New York. The Golden Griffin Battalion is composed of students from Canisius, University at Buffalo (UB), Hilbert College, D'Youville College, Daemen College, Medaille College and Erie Community College. In 2008, the ROTC battalion won the MacArthur Award as the top battalion in the east region.[20]


Canisius is served by two stations on the Buffalo Metro Rail, the Humboldt-Hospital Station near Sisters Hospital and the Delavan Canisius College Station near the Koessler Athletic Center. These two stations are on opposite ends of the campus. In addition, Canisius is accessible via Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bus and by car. All undergraduate students receive an all zone Metro Pass that started as a pilot program and was made permanent. The Metro Pass provides easy access to Buffalo night life on the Chippewa Strip and Allentown. The college also utilizes shuttles for students to and from various places on campus.

Student run media

The student newspaper is The Griffin. The paper started in 1933, replacing The Canisian, and is published every week while classes are in session. The paper also produces a parody issue on the last day of classes each year.[21] Current President John Hurley was once an editor of The Griffin. Over the past three years, the paper has been experimenting with online formats, premiering its new website on January 25, 2013, the same day it released its new, larger print format.[22] An annual literary and artwork magazine. The Quadrangle is primarily built on selected writings, artwork, and photographs constructed by enrolled Canisius students. Public-access television cable TV, broadcasting to Canisius College televisions from the fourth floor studio at Lyons Hall. The Azuwur, the Canisius College yearbook, is published once a year. The WIRE is the college's radio station, which broadcasts over the campus television system. The WIRE replaced WCCG, and is currently available online through the Canisius College website.[23] The Courier is Canisius College's magazine-style opinion orientated publication. Created as a magazine in 2006, the publication has been known to be at times controversial but it served as a publication to where students, no matter what their opinions may be, could freely voice and express their opinions.[24]

Science Hall

Science Hall was built in August, 2012. The $68 million development was created because nearly 30 percent of all undergraduate students major in the sciences.

The new developments in Science Hall include the follwoing:

  • High-tech classrooms, labs and gathering spaces
  • Interactive science-on-display areas
  • A café and various vending machines
  • Large common area for group study and events

Churchill Academic Tower

Churchill Tower houses the offices of most professors and academic advisors.

Notable alumni

Canisius has approximately 40,000 living alumni worldwide who are working in the fields of business, journalism, government, law, medicine and sports.

In business, notable Canisius alumni include:

  • Mark J. Czarnecki (MBA 1991), President of M&T Bank since 2007
  • Calvin Darden (Class of 1972), named 8th Most Powerful Black Executive in America by Fortune Magazine
  • Leo R. Futia (Class of 1940), former president and chairman of Guardian Life
  • George Mathewson (Class of 1972), former chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Charles Moran Jr., President & COO of Delaware North
  • Carl J. Montante (Class of 1964), Founder, President & Managing Director of Uniland Development; named 2010 Buffalo Outstanding Citizen
  • John Rowe (Class of 1966), former chairman and CEO of Aetna
  • Robert J. Slater (Class of 1959), former President & COO of Crane Co.
  • Dennis F. Strigl (Class of 1974), President/CEO of Verizon Wireless
  • Mary Wittenberg, (Class of 1984), President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Road Runners

In journalism and television, notable Canisius alumni include:

In government and law, notable Canisius alumni include:

  • John Thomas Curtin (Class of 1946), former United States Attorney and Federal Judge for the Western District of New York
  • Charles S. Desmond (Class of 1917), former Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals*
  • Walter J. Mahoney (Class of 1930), former Majority Leader of the New York State Senate and New York Supreme Court Judge*
  • Salvatore R. Martoche (Class of 1962), New York State Supreme Court Justice and former Assistant Secretary of the United States Treasury and Labor Departments
  • Denise O'Donnell (Class of 1968), former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York
  • William M. Skretny (Class of 1966), Federal Judge for the Western District of New York
  • John J. LaFalce (Class of 1961), former United States Representative for New York
  • Richard D. McCarthy (Class of 1950), former United States Representative for New York*
  • Henry J. Nowak (Class of 1957), former United States Representative for New York
  • William Paxon (Class of 1977), former United States Representative for New York
  • Frank A. Sedita (Class of 1930), former Mayor of Buffalo, New York*
  • Anthony M. Masiello (Class of 1969), former Mayor of Buffalo, New York
  • James T. Molloy (Class of 1958), former Doorkeeper, United States House of Representatives*

In medicine and science, notable Canisius alumni include:

In sports, notable Canisius alumni include:

  • Bob MacKinnon (Class of 1950), former NBA Head Coach and General Manager of the New Jersey Nets
  • Johnny McCarthy, member of the 1963-64 NBA Champion Boston Celtics
  • Gerry Meehan, former NHL player and General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres
  • Dick Poillon, member of the 1942 NFL Champion Washington Redskins and Pro Bowl selection
  • Michael Smrek (Class of 1985), member of the 1986-87 and 1987-88 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers
  • Beth Phoenix,Wrestler Professional and ex-WWE Diva Champion
  • Matt Vinc, three-time NLL Champion 2012, 2013, 2014 for the Rochester Knighthawks
  • Cory Conacher, NHL player for the New York Islanders
  • *Deceased

See also


  1. ^ Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  2. ^ a b c d "2013-14 Common Data Set" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  3. ^ "Canisius College Sports". 
  4. ^ Learn At Canisius
  5. ^ Gerber, David. The Making of an American Pluralism: Buffalo, New York, 1825-60.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Canisius campaign seeks $90M". 2007-09-24. 
  8. ^ "Canisius buys Main Street site for $18.45M". 2008-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Animal Behavior Ecology and Conservation - Canisius College". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "Creative Writing". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Journalism". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Archived July 19, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Canisius routs VMI, earns MAAC championship and NCAA bid". May 4, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  15. ^ "Baseball History & Records - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "Softball History & Records - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Battle of the Bridge - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  18. ^ *Miller, Jeffery (2002). Buffalo’s Forgotten Champions. 
  19. ^ "Classics Club: Canisius College". Canisius College. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  20. ^ Archived September 6, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Archived June 19, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ "Event-filled day gets passing grade". Retrieved 2013-02-06. 
  23. ^ "The Wire - Canisius College Radio". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  24. ^

External links

  • Canisius College's Official website
  • Canisius Golden Griffins' Official Athletic website
  • Canisius College main entrance on Google Maps
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