Canisius President John J. Hurley presided over his final commencement ceremonies this past weekend, as his tenure at the college comes to a close on June 30. (Click here to read President Hurley’s commencement address.) The series of celebrations kicked off on Wednesday, May 18 with graduate commencement ceremonies, at which time approximately 180 degrees were conferred. Canisius also conferred honorary degrees upon Nancy Nielsen, MD, PhD, clinical professor at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and George Scott ’80, president of the Colored Musicians Club.
(Above, l-r) Nancy Nielsen, MD, PhD, President John J. Hurley and George Scott
Graduates, their families and friends gathered at Christ the King Chapel on Friday, May 20 for the Baccalaureate Mass. The liturgical ceremony dates back to 1760 in the U.S. and is offered in thanksgiving for the blessings God has bestowed upon graduates and their growth in wisdom.
Commencement ceremonies continued on Saturday, May 21, with the college hosting two separate ceremonies. Commencement for the College of Arts and Sciences took place at 10:30 a.m. Ceremonies for the School of Education and Human Services and the Richard J. Wehle School of Business followed at 1:30 p.m. An estimated 345 degrees were conferred between the two ceremonies.
Among those receiving degrees during undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday was Aaron Salter Jr.
Salter was the security guard working at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue May 14 when a gunman entered the store and killed 10 Black people, including Salter, in a race-filled hate crime. Canisius posthumously awarded Salter a bachelor’s degree, during undergraduate commencement ceremonies on May 21. He attended Canisius from 1984 – 1988 but put his education on hold because of work and family. Salter was just three credits (or one class) shy from finishing his degree in communications. His son, Aaron Salter III, accepted the degree from President Hurley on stage, at which time graduates, family members and faculty gave an emotional standing ovation.
Canisius also conferred honorary degrees upon Erik Brady ’76, retired sportswriter for USA Today and contributing columnist for The Buffalo News; Robert J. Butler, PhD, professor emeritus of English and longtime director of the All-College Honors program at Canisius; Myron, MD and Joyce Glick, founders of the Jericho Road Community Health Center in Buffalo, a Federally Qualified Health Center; and Hon. Shirley Troutman, associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
In addition to the conferral of honorary degrees, the Canisius College Alumni Association bestowed its LaSalle Medal upon two graduates: Lee C. Wortham ’79, who recently concluded seven years as a member of the Board of Trustees, including four (2017 – 2021) as chair and Anthony M. Masiello ’69, HON ’96, former mayor of Buffalo and member of the Canisius College Board of Trustees.
Submitted by: College Communications