Canisius College

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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

[4]Canisius College /kəˈnʃəs/ is a private college in Buffalo, New York, United States. One of 28 Jesuit institutions in the nation, Canisius offers 145 undergraduate majors and minors and more than 35 master’s and certificate programs. The college sponsors 20 NCAA Division 1 Athletic teams and is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The college was founded in 1870 by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) from Germany and is named after St. Peter Canisius.


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] Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Forbes named Canisius to its list of 2015 Top Colleges.[citation needed] 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).[citation needed]


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]


File:Canisius Golden Griffins.svg
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.[citation needed] 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."[citation needed] 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]

Christ the King Chapel

Christ the King Chapel, located in the middle of the quad was built starting in 1950. Fr. Schouten, a graduate and president of the college believed that "The physical location of the chapel on the campus symbolizes its importance".[25]

In summer of 1951 the chapel was completed with a total cost of $439,992. Seating 492 people, the church is welcome for many occasions, especially for Canisius Alumni, including weddings, baptisms and even funerals.[25]

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. Multiple contributions to the college have made this renovation feasible. One of the generous donors, the John R. Oishei Foundation, endowed the college with one million dollars from a challenge grant.[26]

The new developments in Science Hall include the following:

  • 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

Science hall gives a home to not only the science majors but also education, humanities, and business majors. The high-tech classrooms allow professors to interact within the students learning for any major.[27]

Carppol section of ramp

Science Hall Parking Ramp

Parking garage.jpg

The Science Hall Parking Ramp provides a place for student commuters to park their cars within close proximity to campus. Students who live on campus and bring a car with them may also keep their cars parked on the ramp as well.

Before the parking garage was available to students, Sears Roebuck & CO (1929) and Blue Cross of W.N.Y (1988) were taking up that space. Many jobs at Sears Roebuck were offered to students while they attended Canisius College. In February 6, 2004 new parking options were available to the Canisius College Community to accommodate the spaces lost during construction. Now, there are 432 college spaces in the BlueCross BlueShield ramp reserved for students use only.[Canisius College Archives 1]

With all of these spots in the parking ramp, there are designated spots for carpooling students as well as handicap students. The row along the fence is just for people who are carpooling. Canisius encourages students to carpool so there are more open spots for other people. One of the benefits of carpooling is that the spots are very close to the ramp door leading into science hall.[28]

Parking Pass

In order to park in the parking ramp, students must obtain a parking pass first. The parking passes can be located online and retrieved in Bagen Hall. Public Safety must verify that all cars have a valid parking pass for their car in order to avoid being ticketed.[4]

The Canisius College Public Safety has one major goal; The Department of Public Safety is established to protect and serve the educational environment of Canisius College, keeping the environment free from the threat of physical harm, property damage and disruptive activity.[29] This goal is achieved because public safety is very present in the parking ramp. A public safety officer sits in a small booth at the entrance of the ramp, the officer watches who comes in and looks out for any suspicious activity.

Public Safety Booth

Churchill Academic Tower

Churchill Tower houses the offices of most professors and academic advisers as well as many of the different departments. some departments that are located in the tower include the history, English, education, and philosophy departments. The tower is colored both brown, and light brown, while its iconic cylindrical shape can be seen throughout the whole campus. The tower is built from solid steel with a modernism architectural design, modern architectural designs uses overarching movements in the buildings. The outside is very rigid looking but the inside becomes more homey and welcoming to the students and faculty. Fun fact: the Churchill Tower is made from 360 US tons of steel and it only took five weeks for the complete build of the steel frame.[30] [31]

Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library

Opened in 1988,Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library serves as an excellent study and research area for all students. Over 96,000 sq. feet the library can hold up to 700,000 volumes and seat 500 people.[32] This air-conditioned building provides a mix of individual seating, tables and lounges for both students and teachers to work in. The general public seating areas are supplemented by various specialty areas that include: group study rooms; an audio-visual listening/viewing area; a rare book room; a Library Instruction Room; a Curriculum Materials Center; and lounge areas.[33] In the upper, lower, and main levels of the libraries, students are able to reserve private study rooms. The capacity ranges from one to eight people, and the rooms have a variety of seats, white boards, and smart boards.

The rooms on the first floor are all big enough for group work. Room 103 has a conference room set up with speakers,TV’s, HDMI adapters, and HDMI attachments for Macs. The rooms include various outlets for students to plug in your devices. All of the conferences on this floor are mostly the same with variation of the capacity of people. This area is great for working in groups or if students like working by themselves. It includes 3 VG8 and 3 HDMI Hook Ups; as well as, one or two TV screens. Students can connect their laptops or PC’s into the pods and it appears on the TV screens, where others can see what each person with a device is working on. This makes it easier for a group project and wanting to see each other’s work on a big screen as you work on something.

The library's second floor, called the quiet floor by the students, offers a quiet environment which is great for the ultimate focus. Students can go there and get some work done, or they can go and study for exams. The floor issues a "quiet" policy, which ensures students that they will not be distracted by people talking and other loud noises. The floor also comes with study rooms, which are designed for students who have to work together, without distracting the rest of the floor. Overall the floor is a great spot for students who want to be fully focused.

The Koessler Athletic Center

Koessler Athletic Center

The Koessler Athletic Center (KAC) is the center for all athletic related departments at Canisius College. The swimming pool is available for all students, not just the swimmers. On week days open swim for students is from 7:30-9:00pm. And on the weekends it is open from 2-6pm. $3 million were spent to construct this building it 1968. The principal features of the KAC are the Center for Athletic Training, swimming pool, multi-purpose gymnasium, weight room, fitness center, offices and classrooms. In 2002, the athletic center's gymnasium received renovations to the walls, ceiling, bleachers, and floors. Some more specific updates were of a new sound system, updated lighting, and a new and improved scoreboard. This $1.3 Million renovation was made possible because of the $1Million donation from Chester and Diane Stranczek. The Koessler Athletic Center is located at 1829 Main street Buffalo NY on the corner of Main and Delaven.[34]

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


Canisius College Archives

  1. RG 12/2/17 Folder 3, Canisius College Archives, Date Access


  1. Retrieved 2014-02-26. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "2013-14 Common Data Set" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Canisius College Sports".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Parking Permits at Canisius".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Gerber, David. The Making of an American Pluralism: Buffalo, New York, 1825-60.
  7. "Canisius campaign seeks $90M". 2007-09-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Canisius buys Main Street site for $18.45M". 2008-11-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Animal Behavior Ecology and Conservation - Canisius College". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Creative Writing". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Journalism". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Baseball History & Records - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Softball History & Records - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Battle of the Bridge - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. *Miller, Jeffery (2002). Buffalo’s Forgotten Champions.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Classics Club: Canisius College". Canisius College. Retrieved 3 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "The Wire - Canisius College Radio". Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24.[dead link]
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Christ the King Chapel | Canisius College". Retrieved 2015-11-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Science Hall". Retrieved 2 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "Science Hall | Canisius College". Retrieved 2015-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Canisius Retrieved 4 November 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Public Safety". Canisius College. Fall 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "Churchill Academic Tower". Retrieved 2015-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "About the Library". Canisius Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library. Retrieved November 3, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "About the Library". Canisius Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library. Retrieved 11/4/15. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Athletic Facilities - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 2015-11-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links