Rocco Termini and Mary Travers Murphy Honored by Leadership Buffalo

Rocco Termini and Mary Travers Murphy were honored May 1 by Leadership Buffalo

Leadership Buffalo held its 11th annual Values Awards Luncheon Thursday, May 1. The featured honorees included graduates Rocco Termini and Mary Travers Murphy. The event was co-chaired by another graduate, Tony Latona ’69.

Termini graduated in 1973 and was honored for his community impact through his work as a developer. As noted in the program, he formed Signature Development in 2002 with the intention of redeveloping vacant downtown buildings into mixed-use buildings. Since then, he has invested more than $100 million and converted vacant buildings such as IS Lofts, Oak School Lofts, Ellicott Lofts, the Hotel @ The Lafayette, Tappo, Houk Lofts and, coming soon, The Foundry Lofts.

Termini received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Canisius last November.

Travers Murphy is a 1980 graduate and is now Executive Director of the Family Justice Center of Erie County, a non-profit agency serving domestic violence victims and their children. The Family Justice Center is a collaboration of 13 community agencies that work together to create a “one-stop” shop for victims by providing all the services they need to safely escape the abuse at one location.

Termini and Travers Murphy are not the only Canisius graduates to receive Values Awards. Max Donatelli ’75, Angelo Fatta’ 66 and Nancy Blaschak MBA ’83 are all past honorees.

Leadership Buffalo is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 to unite existing and emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in order to increase their knowledge of community issues, broaden their vision and enhance their ability to lead.

For more information on Leadership Buffalo and the Value Awards, go to http://www.leadershipbuffalo.org/values.

 

Happy Easter Greetings from New York from Father Dugan

Father Dugan's Happy Easter letter included photos from his February visit to campus

All my best at this holy time to my friends, relatives, and former students!

During this Lenten season leading to Easter, I am fortunate enough to be participating in a program for the U.S. Jesuit community entitled, “Moved to Greater Love.” I hope that this special time of the year has been, and will continue to be, meaningful and fulfilling for each of you.

In February, I made a trip to the homeland, Buffalo. The Canisius College Athletic Department invited me to attend the Sports Hall of Fame ceremony at which Dr. Keith Stube was awarded the first Rev. Paul J. Dugan, S. J. Award for his exemplary service to athletes at the college. It was not only a terrific homecoming for me, but it also gave me an opportunity to “spread the joy” to new and old friends!

En route to Buffalo, at LaGuardia Airport, I had the pleasure of running into Krissy Buongiorno, a Fordham student volunteer who has visited me at Murray-Weigel and accompanied me to basketball games. I also met a cute youngster who was spreading his own joy to me and my fellow travelers. The fact that our backgrounds are quite different – he and his parents are Muslim – did not prevent us from bonding with each other.

In Buffalo, I stayed in the Provincial’s room at Loyola Hall, the Jesuit residence at Canisius. Throughout the weekend, I was able to reconnect with many Jesuits with whom I had been fortunate to live and work for many years.

On Friday night, I enjoyed dinner at the Buffalo Club with my dear friends, the Montantes. Lunch on Saturday brought together another great group with whom I dined monthly in my Buffalo days. The joy continued on Saturday night, when I celebrated with other special friends, the Eberl family, at the Saturn Club.

On Sunday afternoon, I attended the Hall of Fame luncheon, at which I delivered the Invocation and Benediction. As usual, I did my best to spread more joy. For me, on that occasion, the joy overflowed! Later that day I was proud to sit courtside with the team at the Canisius vs. Iona basketball game, where I was introduced at half-time. The applause put an enormous strain on my humility!

“My staff,” Fr. Bill Scanlon, S.J., and Margaret Monahan from Murray-Weigel Hall, came with me on the trip and helped me to get around. Margaret took scores of pictures of me with many of the wonderful folks whom I encountered. Big thanks to both of them!

While the trip was extraordinary, my time back here in New York has continued to be stimulating. I am a fan of Fordham basketball, especially the women’s team. They won the Atlantic 10 Championship this year, and I attended their season-end celebration banquet! Being a fan of both Canisius and Fordham is a great challenge, but one that I have met, again with great joy!

I just turned 90! I am most grateful for my health, although I did have a surprise on that front last month! Good doctors decided I needed a pacemaker. It was recently implanted, and both the pacemaker and my heart just keep on ticking! The Jesuits at Murray-Weigel are all dealing with age and health issues with grace and strength. We are blessed with each other’s companionship and support.

Kudos to Tom Sear, a McQuaid Jesuit High School alum, Jay Gallagher, and Jeanne Moccia – volunteers par excellence! I should also mention that the staff here who tend to our daily needs are great!

Finally, I would like you to know how much I appreciate the wonderful response to my Christmas letter. It has been super to rekindle old relationships and sustain ongoing ones. Please keep in touch!

Peace and love in Christ,

Fr. Paul J. Dugan, S.J.
Murray-Weigel Hall
515 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
718-430-4974
buffalodoogs@gmail.com

Father Paul J. Dugan, S.J. ’45 was a campus fixture for generations of students before retiring to Murray-Weigel Residence Hall, an assisted living center for Jesuits at Fordham University in the Bronx. A Buffalo native, Dugan graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in 1941 and was ordained in 1956. He joined the Canisius community in 1970 as assistant chaplain to the student body. He was moderator of athletics and alumni chaplain for the college for almost 40 years. He also instituted the Last Chance Mass on Sunday nights at Canisius.

Jim McNicholas: “I’m feeling better . . . and very lucky.”

The first thing you should know about Jim McNicholas is that he’s home, feeling better and well on his way to recovering. The second involves a favorite article of clothing.

Jim McNicholas and wife Dorothy

“I really hated losing my trusted sweatshirt that I had for 40 years,” says McNicholas. “They had to cut it off me that day.”

McNicholas could have lost much more on March 20, when he suffered a nasty fall on his way to a Canisius reception between doubleheaders during the opening day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the First Niagara Center. He was hospitalized for two weeks and released April 4.

“I’m ready to get back in the groove,” says McNicholas, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1968 and a master’s degree in 1997. “I feel good. I’m eating well. I’m excited to be OK and to start playing golf again. I’m not driving yet and I’m still going to ECMC to do a little rehab and testing to make sure everything is OK. Of course I think everything is OK. They just want to make sure.

“I have been feeling good for about the last five, six, seven days. But there was a downtime for me after the accident, which I don’t remember. I don’t remember the two games I went to or the fall, which is kind of scary. It’s all kind of scary looking back at it, having my wife and niece explaining everything that happened. I think I just went down and hit my head. You wouldn’t know I even fell now. There’s no outward appearance that anything happened. I think I’m very lucky.”

 

Award Winning Journalist and 2004 Graduate Adam Zyglis Started at The Griffin

Adam Zyglis was honored in March in Washington, D.C., along with fellow Buffalo natives and award-winning journalists Wolf Blitzer (left) and Mark Drajem (right). Zyglis has been creating editorial cartoons for The Buffalo News since graduating in 2004.

Adam Zyglis calls them Buffalo moments – those times when you’re far from Buffalo but a Buffalo connection is never far from you. The 2004 graduate was in Washington, D.C., in March to receive a prestigious award from the National Press Foundation. “I’m at this VIP party and I run into Mark Drajem from Bloomberg Newsand Wolf Blitzer, who are both from Buffalo. Wolf and I talked about Buffalo of course and he gave a Canisius a big shout out.”

Blitzer, the CNN newscaster, will be the featured speaker at the college’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 17. Zyglis ran into Drajem and Blitzer before being honored for his success as an editorial cartoonist at The Buffalo News. Zyglis received the Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning. “The award is sort of a cartoonist-of-the-year award,” says Zylis. “It’s one of the top editorial cartoonist honors you can receive. It was amazing for me to get the phone call that I’d won the award. I was really shocked.”

Zyglis called the whole experience “memorable and fantastic. They put my wife and I up in the Washington Hilton. The event was held in the Jefferson Ballroom of the hotel. It felt like the Golden Globes of journalists. There was even a blue carpet for photographers.”

As a student, Zyglis worked at The Griffin. “I joined in the middle of my freshman year. I started doing a comic strip and added an editorial cartoon. I was studying computer science and math and looking to get into graphic software or programming. I did an honors thesis on editorial cartooning and took a portfolio down to the News unannounced right before graduation. I didn’t think anything would come of it. Then the editor, Margaret Sullivan, sent me a letter offering me an internship. Three months later, I had a job.”

Zyglis, who has been at the News ever since, creates about five cartoons a week. “I think of editorial cartooning as a visual column and an ongoing conversation with the readers. For me, the job doesn’t start and stop in office. I’ll be thinking about it in the shower and in bed. I start the day by reading the news and emails and getting my brain working. I start thinking about what topics I want to work through. Sometimes it just strikes me and other times it starts with brainstorming in the newsroom.”

While Zyglis’ work has been featured nationally in newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, his favorite cartoons often have a local flavor. “I like it when I can tap into all the progress going on in Buffalo and into our sports. Those tend to be really popular.”

You can see more of Zyglis’ work on his blog at the Buffalo News.

Mike Gilbert’s Olympic Experience

Mike Gilbert spent most of February in Russia and most of the Olympic thriller between the U.S. and Russian men’s hockey teams next to legendary announcer Al Michaels.

“This was the game that T.J. Oshie scored four times in the shootout. It was really a wow moment, and here I am standing a few feet away from the guy calling the game, Al Michaels. When the game ended, he turned to me and said, ‘That’s got to be one of the exciting games I’ve ever seen.’ This is the guy who called Miracle on Ice and the earthquake World Series in San Francisco and so many Super Bowls. That told me how a big a moment that hockey game really was.”

Gilbert, a 1990 graduate and vice president of public and community relations for the Buffalo Sabres, served on the PR staff for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team.

“My role was acting as middle man between the press and team. I was dealing with print journalists, broadcast networks, and fulfilling interview requests with the Today Show, Weather Channel, and NBC properties. It’s the same thing I do here with the Sabres but at a whole different size and scale.

“This was a great experience for me. First of all, I was honored to be asked to go. I was the only person in the NHL to work with the men’s hockey team. You look around and you understand you’re around the best 23 players in the United States, which was humbling. Then there’s the enormity, size and scale of the Olympics. I’ve been in pro sports for 25 years, but I’d never been to the Olympics before. This was massive, and you don’t realize how big it is until you’re there. All the people, transportation, food, ethnicities. It was pretty amazing.”

Safety, a headline issue before the Olympics, became an afterthought once Gilbert arrived. “There was some trepidation going over there,” he says. “But once I got there, there was never one time I felt unsafe or uncomfortable. We were inside the Olympic ‘bubble.’ There was so much security and almost every person there spoke at least some English, so there was never a problem with communications.

“For me, this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was gone for a long time, but it was great.”

Father Dugan Reflects on his Weekend Trip Back to Campus

Father Dugan attracted plenty of attention during his campus visit

Father Paul J. Dugan, S.J. ’45 was a campus fixture for generations of students before retiring to Murray-Weigel Residence Hall, an assisted living center for Jesuits at Fordham University in the Bronx. “That was about 18 months ago, and I hadn’t been back to campus since,” says Father Dugan, who returned to Canisius for the Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on February 9.

“That was a great experience for me, to see the people and get back to campus,” says Father Dugan. “It was so wonderful the way we were treated. I can’t say enough about how I felt. I’ve been telling everyone here about how great my trip was. I arrived on campus on Friday afternoon and everything was great right from the start. I went out to dinner with the Montante family, including all the kids, and that was a great experience for me.”

Father Dugan, a Buffalo native, graduated from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in 1941 and was ordained in 1956. He joined the Canisius community in 1970 as assistant chaplain to the student body. He was moderator of athletics and alumni chaplain for the college for almost 40 years. He also instituted the Last Chance Mass on Sunday nights at Canisius.

“I just had a pacemaker put in two days ago. I’m feeling better and now I’m ready for eternal life,” says Father Dugan, who will celebrate his 90th birthday in March. “Tell everyone at Canisius that I love them and I’ll be praying for them, and ask them to pray for me. And ask them to come visit me too! I have so many happy memories at the college going back more than 50 years. It was tremendous experience and I try to spread the good word about Canisius down here.”

 

Golden Griffin Fund: Investment Research Team Wins Again

Susan Polvino '82, Senior Vice President, Investment Research, Citigroup

For the fourth consecutive year, a team of Canisius students won first place at the Western New York Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Research Challenge. And for the fourth consecutive year, Susan Polvino attended the competition, which features university-sponsored teams. Each team researches a publicly traded company, prepares a written report and presents to a panel of judges. The competition tests the analytic, valuation, reporting writing and presentation skills of university students.

“The Canisius team is always well prepared and polished,” says Polvino, a 1982 graduate and senior vice president of investment research at Citigroup. The financial company helps sponsor the competition and often hires Canisius graduates, many from the Golden Griffin Fund. Established in 2003, the Golden Griffin Fund is a student-run investment management program that gives fund managers the opportunity to make real investments using real money. The program, housed in the new Financial Markets Lab in Old Main, does a great job preparing the students involved in the CFA Research Challenge.

“From a presentation standpoint, the Canisius group has always appeared confident in their knowledge,” says Polvino, who also serves as a member of the college’s Alumni Board of Directors. “While I see other teams look at each other, sometimes in a panic, sometimes blankly, the Golden Griffin team seems to be well-rehearsed in terms of who is handling what type of question. They act as a team and don’t talk over each other. They are always able to refer back to their supporting documents quickly, without searching or fumbling. The visual presentation is always professional and engaging. There is a written component and an oral presentation, each scored independently by a separate group of judges.”

The 2014 Canisius team defeated seven other New York State schools in the latest competition, held February 14 at the University of Rochester. The team included Richard Hilliker ’14, business economics and finance; Josh Kehoe ’15, MBA; Brock Wilkinson ’14, business economics and finance; Randy Toth ’14, finance; and Nick Perez ’14, MBA. Steven A. Gattuso, director of the Golden Griffin Fund, is the team’s industry mentor.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our students,” says Richard A. Wall, PhD, professor of economics and finance and vice president for academic affairs. Wall, a1978 graduate, serves as faculty advisor to the team. “This competition provides students with an opportunity to integrate their academic training in a team environment and become polished professionals at the very start of their careers.”

Memorable Hall of Fame Day for Brian Dux and Canisius

Emotions ran high at Sunday’s Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. The gathering featured Father Paul Dugan, S.J., who served as alumni chaplain for nearly 40 years before retiring to an assisted living center at Fordham University in New York. The day also served as a tribute to a series of new hall of fame members, especially Brian Dux, who was honored as much for his personal perseverance as his basketball accomplishments.

Dux earned a bachelor’s degree in 2003 and a master’s degree in sport administration last year. He made his name as a star point guard for the Griffs and later as a professional player in England. A car accident in 2007 stole his career and nearly his life. His ability to walk and talk remains a challenge. Physical therapy is a constant part of his life.

“I go five days a week, but rehab is a 24/7 process for me, and that’s a good thing,” says Dux. “I’m not complaining. I just kind of live day to day.”

Dux earned two standing ovations Sunday, at the pre-game induction ceremony in the Montante Cultural Center and at halftime during the men’s basketball game against Iona. “I’m just really humbled and honored by this,” says Dux. “I’ve enjoyed all the experiences that Canisius provided me. Everything was great, when I played and now. My senior year we went to the Carrier Dome to play Syracuse, the year they won the national championship and had Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara. It was just a great experience to play a great team in front of so many people.

“When I played, we were always a tough out in the MAAC conference. Every single year we played teams really tough and gave everyone a run for their money. My sophomore year we won 20 games and went to the MAAC championship, so that was probably my biggest highlight. I always tried to be the consummate floor general. I really took pride in my ball-handling and being able to attack the rim and be a great passer.”

Read more about Brian Dux in the Buffalo News.

Every Year is a 50-Year Celebration for Don Barnett

Don Barnett (right) attended Sunday's Sports Hall of Fame ceremony with Father Paul Dugan, S.J.

Every May, hundreds of Canisius students graduate and head off to more schooling or professional careers. Every commencement weekend also marks a milestone for a more seasoned group of graduates: Those who graduated 50 years ago are welcomed into the ranks of Golden Jubilarians. And every May for the last 15 years, Don Barnett has been involved in greeting them.

Barnett graduated in 1950 and has served as chair of Golden Jubilee planning committee since 2001. The celebration is held the day after graduation. It features Mass at Christ the King chapel and a brunch in the student center, where the newest Jubilarians join those who have already celebrated their 50th reunion. The event usually draws about 200 people, most of whom are more than 70 years old.

“I love that day,” says Barnett. “You get to see people who are not 21 years old. It’s all people I’ve known most of my life.”

Barnett’s involvement began in 2000, when he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his own graduation. “I remember the chair of that committee, a doctor who moved out of town,” says Barnett. “After the Mass, I told him this is marvelous and I’d like to get involved. A couple weeks later he called and asked me to join the committee. I said I’d love to. Soon after he departed and the serving members asked me to be chair. Now they’re stuck with me.”

Barnett grew up in Buffalo, attended Bennett High School and joined the Marine Corps during World War II. He was headed toward officer candidate school when the war ended. Off he went to Canisius, only to find there was no room for more day students. A Jesuit, Father Morris, directed him to night school, where he spent his freshman year. The next year room opened up during the day. After graduating, Barnett spent 45 years working in Buffalo in advertising, marketing and development.

Now he’s once again planning the festivities for a new class of 50-year graduates, those from the Class of 1964. They will be honored as Jubilarians this May 18. “This day is one of the nicest of the academic year,” says Barnett, “and I love being part of it.”