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Canisius President John J. Hurley delivered his final state-of-the-college address to the campus community on Thursday, September 23.  Convocation was held in a hybrid format, which enabled faculty and staff to attend in person at the Montante Cultural Center or watch it on livestream.  (A recording of the full convocation address can be viewed by clicking here.) 

President Hurley discussed several timely topics during his address.  First among them was to recognize the various groups and individuals for outstanding service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  

At this time, President Hurley also announced that the college is implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for the campus, in response to President Biden’s announcement that all employers with more than 100 employees do so or insure weekly testing.  Details and deadlines are forthcoming but faculty and staff will be expected to be vaccinated by mid-November and students by the start of the spring semester.  

President Hurley’s address then turned to enrollment for fall 2021.  He reported that the college met its goals for freshman and transfer students.  Even more noteworthy is that Canisius welcomed its most ethnically and geographically diverse class in years. 

The institutional advancement arm of the college also saw gains.  Canisius closed the year with $8.9 million in cash collected.  That’s up about $1.6 million from the year prior and the third consecutive year the college has seen a fundraising increase.    

President Hurley discussed additional 2020-21 developments, including the sale of college properties, the debut of the First-Year Experience program and the latest diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, before addressing what is on the horizon for the upcoming year.  

He began with a brief update on the new committee appointed by the Board of Trustees to oversee the search for his successor.  Notwithstanding the presidential transition, which will take place at the end of the academic year, President Hurley put forth two important initiatives.

The first involves three distinct projects within the Facilities Master Plan.  They include the demolition of the parking garage followed by the construction of a beautified surface parking lot; the sale of the Health Science Building, at the corner of Delavan and Jefferson avenues; and renovation to the second floor of Science Hall. 

The second initiative for the upcoming year involves strategic planning.  President Hurley announced that the Strategic Planning Committee can serve the next president by identifying challenges the college is facing and brainstorming possible solutions.  This work will be summarized in a report that can be coupled with the campus community’s input on the Vision Project, and serve as a starting point for the development of a plan early in the new president’s term.  

In conclusion, President Hurley compared himself to a distance runner at the Olympics, in the last lap of the race.  “There is much to be accomplished in the months ahead during this bell lap,” he said.  “I look forward to working with all of you to make it happen.  Let’s finish strong.” 

Submitted by: College Communications