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Canisius in the News

Buffalo News columnist Sean Kirst penned an in-depth feature on the newly-graduated Jayseana Jackson ’24 for the Sunday, May 19 edition.

Jackson was the student speaker at this year’s undergraduate ceremony for the College of Arts & Sciences. In the story, she speaks at length about her challenges in getting to college and the support system she received once attending. Also quoted in the story, Yvonne Widenor, assistant vice president for academic affiars and assistant professor of art history, and Mike Taheri ’82, a Buffalo lawyer and education volunteer at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Click here to read the story.

Also publishing stories about Canisius’ commencement: USA Today, Yahoo Sports, Touchdown Wire and WGRZ-TV Channel 2, all of which reported on the university conferring an honorary degree upon Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin HON ’24.

Submitted by: University Communications

Commencement 2024

The Golden Griffin family grew even greater on Saturday, May 18, when the university conferred degrees upon more than 600 undergraduate and graduate students from the Canisius Class of 2024.   The day marked a cherished milestone for students, culminating four years of hard work and dedication.  It also etched a significant moment in the institution’s history, as the Class of 2024 proudly became the inaugural graduating class of Canisius University.  

“You will forever carry a unique distinction in our Canisius history,” said President Steve K. Stoute in addressing the graduates during commencement ceremonies.  “Know that I am grateful to have accompanied you on the last two years of this journey.” 

Commencement day was divided into two separate ceremonies: The first featured graduates from the College of Arts & Sciences.  The second included graduates from the School of Education and Human Services and the Richard J. Wehle School of Business.  

Leading the procession of graduates for both ceremonies was Professor Sue Margulis, PhD (above).  An assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology and conservation (ABEC) and biology, Margulis is the 2024 recipient of the Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award.  Nominated by students and alumni, the award recognizes a Canisius professor for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world.  

Those same themes of excellence and outstanding contributions were echoed by former U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, who delivered the commencement address at both of Saturday’s ceremonies. 

Those same themes of excellence and outstanding contributions were echoed by former U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins, who delivered the commencement address at both of Saturday’s ceremonies.  Higgins shared anecdotes from his own journey to encourage students to “live a life of courage and leadership” and emphasized “the limitless potential of the human heart.”  Drawing inspiration from Pope Francis, Higgins underscored the importance of unity amidst diversity, reminding the collective audience that “hearts and minds can meet in the love of Jesus.” 

For his long career in Congress and commitment to public service, Canisius conferred an honorary degree upon Brian Higgins.  The university also conferred honorary degrees upon Mary McLean Wilson, a life trustee of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, which is committed to improving the quality of life in Western New York and Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar R. Hamlin, who inspired people around the country – and the world – when he suffered cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game.  Hamlin not only recovered from his injury and returned to the team, he also leveraged the experience to help others. 

In addition to the conferral of honorary and formal degrees, each ceremony included an address from a student speaker.  

Jayseana Jackson ’24, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and minors in studio art and art history, delivered an optimistic message about shared possibility to her peers from the College of Arts and Sciences.   

Hannah Rose Hamilton MSEd ’24, delivered an important message about leadership within our shared community to graduates from the School of Education and Human Services and the Richard J. Wehle School Business.  

Click here to watch the full commencement ceremony for the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Click here to watch the full ceremony for the School of Education and Human Services and Richard J. Wehle School of Business.  

Submitted by: University Communications

The Dome Switches to Summer Schedule

Your favorite employee E-letter will soon switch to its summer schedule.

Beginning the week of May 27, The Dome will publish once a week, on Wednesdays. This schedule will continue until the first week of classes for the fall 2024 semester. At that time, The Dome will return to its regular publishing schedule of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The deadline for summer submissions is 2:00 p.m. on the Tuesday prior.

Submitted by: University Communications

May Food Truck Schedule

Canisius’ summer food truck season kicks off this month with some tasty options! All food trucks will be located in the Bagen parking lot from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Plan ahead by checking out the May schedule along with links to their menus:

Tuesday, May 21st – Anderson’s Frozen Custard 

Thursday, May 23rd – Buffalo Bros Burger

Wednesday, May 29th- The Blend

Thursday, May 30th- The Great Aussie Bite

Additionally, as dates and times are subject to change and additional food trucks added, please keep an eye on The Dome for food truck updates throughout the summer.

We hope that you’ll enjoy the excellent food options heading your way this summer! If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Lapinski at Ext. 2132

Submitted by: Rachel Lapinski, executive associate, Business and Finance/Student Affairs

Griff Weekend Department Events and Affinity Reunion Call!

We need your support and collaboration to create the best experiences for all at Griff Weekend!

The Offices of Alumni Engagement and Student Engagement are now accepting submissions for Department Events and Affinity Reunions for Griff Weekend 2024. Griff Weekend will combine two favorite traditions – Family Weekend and Alumni Weekend/Reunion – into one amazing fun-filled experience on campus from September 27-29!  All alumni, families, students, faculty, staff, future Griffs, and friends of Canisius are welcome to attend!

Since this is the inaugural year for Griff Weekend, small gatherings are recommended. We have a jam-packed schedule and want to ensure constituents have the opportunity to attend multiple offerings. Affinity Reunions (clubs, majors, honor societies, etc.) and Department Events are suggested to be held on Friday, September 27 between 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, September 28 between 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

To view our current events for the weekend – click here.

Departments and Affinity Groups may partner with the Office of Alumni Engagement for marketing and communications. Event logistics and expenses are the responsibility of each individual department or club.

All submissions are due no later than Friday, June 7, 2024.

If you have questions about the submission process, please contact Sarah Sterzinger ‘18, MS ‘21 at

Submit here!

Submitted by: Sarah Sterzinger Assistant Director of Alumni and Constituent Engagement