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Campus Candids

Pictured (l-r) Darnell Huff, Aimee Larson, Brianna Blank, President Steve Stoute, Mark Harrington, Lisa Liotta, Graham Stowe, Shannon Jemiolo

Canisius University recognized faculty and staff for their service milestones during the Celebration of Service on Thursday, September 28. Honorees were commemorating five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 or 40 years of service. Others were marking retirement from the institution.

The event was hosted by the Human Resources Department.

Pictured left (l-r): Jeff Lindauer, Maggie Burkard, President Stoute and Kelly Harper; Pictured right (l-r): Matt Reitnour, President Stoute, Erin Robinson and Mike Cammarata

Submitted by: University Communications

State of the University

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 11, 2023 for the State of the University address. The event will take place in the Montante Cultural Center, beginning at 3:30 p.m. followed by a reception.

The State of the University address is an opportunity for all members of our campus community to come together and gain insight into the most pressing matters that shape the trajectory of our beloved institution. President Stoute, alongside the senior leadership team, will be addressing a wide range of topics that impact our university’s future.

This year, we have a particular focus on the implementation of our new strategic plan, Answer the Call, which will serve as the compass guiding our actions and decisions. We will delve into the strategic initiatives that will shape our academic programs, student experiences, campus facilities and community engagement efforts in the initial years of the plan.

There will be an opportunity for a question-and-answer session at the conclusion of the address, and the leadership team will endeavor to answer as many questions as possible in the allotted time. We encourage you to save the date and join in the discussion as together we build a stronger and more vibrant Canisius.

Click here to add this event to your calendar.

Submitted by: Cecelia R. Gotham, Chief of Staff, President’s Office

Appointment of Yvonne Widenor as Assistant VP for Academic Affairs

I am pleased to announce that Yvonne Widenor has accepted the position of Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs focused on Faculty Development and Student Support.  The search committee of Rene De La Pedraja (chair), Jennifer Desiderio, Jonathan Lawrence, Shana Richardson and Lisa Sullivan completed thoughtful evaluation and provided detailed, enthusiastic and unanimous recommendation of Yvonne for this position.

In the report to me, the committee spoke highly of Yvonne’s numerous strengths.  She has taught at Canisius for 20 years, and the wide range of courses she teaches provide her with a firm understanding of our students, the experiences of faculty members and the Canisius academic enterprise.  She is widely known on campus, enthusiastic about engaging people in a variety of academic and cultural activities on campus, and has extensive beneficial experiences on campus ranging from directing ArtsCanisius to serving on the Faculty Senate.  She is already seeking ways to integrate Canisius with our local community through ArtsCanisius events. She also discussed several creative ideas about how she would approach the position and how she would support Canisius’ faculty and our students.

Yvonne will begin this new role in January 2024, as her predecessor, Jennifer Lodi-Smith, returns to her full-time faculty role.  Please join me in congratulating Yvonne on this new role, and thanking the search committee for their efforts.

Submitted by: Sara R Morris, Vice President for Academic Affairs

United Way Chili Cookoff

Please join us for our United Way Chili Cookoff on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. in the Old Main Faculty Lounge.

Your $5.00 pledge will allow you to taste all chili entries and vote for the “Most Unique” and “Best All-Around” Chili recipe.


If you have a favorite chili recipe you want to share with the Canisius community, please consider entering it to win a prize! Bragging rights apply.

All money raised will go to this year’s United Way Campaign!

To RSVP or Enter, please complete the form HERE or contact Maggie Burkard at Ext. 2120 or at

Be part of advancing programs that meet urgent needs today while building strength for tomorrow with your participation in the 2023 Canisius University United Way chili cookoff. Watch for additional information regarding our campaign kickoff soon.

Submitted by: United Way Committee

Banned Book Week

The Canisius University Archives Speaker Series continues its tradition of hosting a lecture during October in commemoration of American Archives Month, and Banned Book Week. This year’s theme, Let Freedom Read, addresses choice, tolerance and education as librarians and archivists confront a growing worldwide effort to challenge, censor or ban books and historic collections from their institutions.

Professor Emeritus Larry Eugene Jones, PhD, Department of History, will deliver his lecture John LaFarge, SJ, and the Secret Encyclical on Racism and Antisemitism, 1938-39, on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. in the Andrew L. Bowhuis Library, 1st floor. LaFarge, comfortably raised in Rhode Island among an artistic family, entered the Jesuit seminary in Innsbruck, Austria in 1901. He studied theology after a successful completion of classical studies in Greek and Latin at Harvard. Upon ordination, he returned to the U.S. and in 1907 earned his first teaching post in philosophy at Canisius.

The Jesuits transferred him to Loyola University Maryland, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Woodstock College. There, his life was transformed. Ill health redirected him from academics to pastoral work. Over 15 years, Father LaFarge worked and ministered in the St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where desperately impoverished populations of Black and immigrant communities endured extreme socioeconomic discrimination.

LaFarge found the appalling conditions and treatment of the people “sinful” and regularly spoke out about these inhumanities. He wrote articles and encouraged social activism throughout his life, especially in his 30-year career as the editor of AMERICA magazine, a Jesuit publication.

After his enlightenment in Maryland, LaFarge transferred to the Vatican where he regularly interfaced with the curia. His gifted scholarship led to a challenging assignment that placed him directly with Pope Pius Xl. That assignment—developing and writing an encyclical on social justice– would haunt him. This document, and the controversy over its mysterious disappearance, is the focus of Dr. Jones lecture.

The event is free and open to the public.

Submitted by: Kathleen DeLaney, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian