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Legacy Scholarship Program C e l e b rat e s G e n e rat i o n s o f P u r p l e E a g l e s

Niagara University Legacy Students


Vol. 34 issue 3

Vol. 34, issue 3

The Niagara University Eagle is published by the Office of Institutional Advancement. Please send correspondence to: Lisa McMahon, M.A.’09, Editor Niagara University, N.Y., 14109 716.286.8747 / Editor - Lisa McMahon, M.A.’09 Design - Troy Frymire

Inside this issue

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 19 1 2 17 20


Purple Eagles Succeed at Internships & Careers at Citi

New Food Pantry

Assists Students Facing Food Insecurity


FIRST IN THE FAMILY Legacy Scholarship Program Celebrates Generations of Purple Eagles

Marcus Brown Heritage Society Honors Niagara University Benefactor and His Family


Sharing Stories from Around the World


Opening Remarks On the Ridge News From the Nest Catching Up

Founded by the Vincentian Community in 1856, Niagara University is a private liberal arts university with a strong, values-based Catholic tradition. Its four academic divisions include the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Hospitality and Tourism Management. The university also maintains an Academic Exploration Program that provides a learning community for students who are undecided about their major.


Dear Friends and Alumni,


s Niagara University looks to the future, I always believe that we must remember our past and the people who helped shape our beloved institution. One of our greatest stories is that of Marcus Brown.

As you will read in this issue of the Eagle, in December 1882, Jewish merchant Marcus Brown saved Our Lady of Angels seminary, the precursor to Niagara University, from foreclosure. It is truly incredible how this simple act of charity, which has been continued by Marcus’ grandson, Richard H. Brown, and his wife, Jane Brown, has impacted the lives of tens of thousands of alumni who have been able to experience Niagara because of the kindness of one. At a time when philanthropy is so critical to the university being able to achieve its strategic vision and academic and athletic potential, we salute the generosity of spirit from Marcus Brown and his family. You will also read about some exciting experiential learning opportunities available to our students, as well as a unique course that links philosophy and business. We are also pleased to announce a new Legacy Scholarship to recognize and celebrate generations of Purple Eagles. We are so excited to welcome our second-largest freshman class in six years. These initiatives are possible because of your dedication and generous support of our cherished university.

With every good wish,

Rev. James J. Maher C.M. President

Rev. James J. Maher, C.M.



ON THE RIDGE Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center Wins 2019 AASLH Award of Excellence “One More River to Cross,” the permanent exhibition at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, was selected by the American Association for State and Local History for an Award of Excellence. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 74th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. The Heritage Center, developed in part by Niagara University, is an experiential museum that tells the stories of the individuals who used the Underground Railroad to claim their own freedom in an immersive experience that blends historic recreations, artifacts, original fine art, music, narration, and multimedia interactive exhibits.

Opened May 4, 2018, “One More River to Cross” reintroduces the forgotten history of the Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls and

shares the unique and courageous stories of Underground Railroad freedom seekers and abolitionists in that city.

Girl Power on Display at First Niagara County Girls in Sports Day

country, softball, and basketball, from coaches and the female athletes. The day ended with lunch and closing remarks from Wilson, Daycia

Clarke of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s WNY Girls in Sports program, and Father Maher.

Staff and associates of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center announce the receipt of an AASLH Leadership in History Award: Ally Spongr, interim director; Sara Capen, executive director of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area; Denise Easterling, National Heritage Area Commission board of directors; Paul Dyster, mayor of the City of Niagara Falls; Caitlin Blue, Heritage Center visitor experience specialist; Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University; Charles Walker and Thomas DeSantis, NHA Commission board of directors; Christine Bacon, interim director of education; and Saladin Allah, visitor experience specialist.

On a beautiful late-summer Saturday in September, 68 girls between the ages of 9 and 12 from 13 schools across Western New York, together with more than 100 women athletes, tried their hand at a variety of sports during Western New York Girls in Sports Day, hosted by Niagara University and offered for the first time in Niagara County. The event on Sept. 21 started with a demonstration of the exercise fitness program Zumba as the young girls were welcomed by student athletes from Niagara University and Niagara County Community College, received their T-shirts, and were assigned to their teams. Remarks by the Rev. James J. Maher, Niagara University president; Mary Wilson, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation; Simon Gray, NU director of athletics; and Jada Pierce, NU women’s basketball head coach, followed. The teams then made their way to numerous stations in and around the university’s Kiernan Recreation Center to learn more about sports, including volleyball, Danceline, yoga, cross


Niagara University

“Niagara University is proud to host the first Girls in Sports Day held in Niagara County,” said Father Maher. “We are grateful to Mary Wilson and the Wilson Foundation for their commitment and generosity to promote leadership, teamwork, and create awareness in sports opportunities for young women.” WNY Girls in Sports Day was made possible through a partnership between Niagara University, United Way of Greater Niagara, the Girls Scouts of Western New York, Niagara County Community College, Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club, Inc., and Women United, and funded by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation.

The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president, with WNY Girls in Sports founder Mary Wilson.

Western New York Girls in Sports was founded by Mary Wilson, wife of Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., in 2006, with the goal of enriching young girls’ lives through involvement in sports. Wilson’s personal passion for sports was the impetus for creating WNY GIS and developing its focus on teaching young girls and women the life lessons that sports offer.

ON THE RIDGE Domestic Violence Survivors Honored at “Surviving…Thriving: A Journey of Healing Through Art” One out of every four women and one out of every seven men aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of domestic violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, with females between the ages of 18 to 24 generally experiencing the highest rates of intimate partner violence. To shine a light on this issue and pay tribute to survivors of domestic violence, Niagara University hosted the fourth annual “Surviving…Thriving: A Journey of Healing Through Art,” Oct. 3, 2019, at the Castellani Art Museum on the university’s campus.

In addition to the artwork, the event featured the “Silent Witness Project,” a reconstruction of a national traveling memorial honoring individuals who were killed in acts of domestic violence. The 21 black silhouettes, each with the name and date of death of a Niagara County domestic violence victim, represent the number of victims as of 2016. “The Clothesline Project,” a collection of T-shirts with messages to raise

The event was held in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and organizers tied it to the Red Flag Campaign, a national public awareness initiative designed to encourage college students to intervene when they see a warning sign (“red flag”) of partner violence. The university partnered with several community agencies in organizing the event, including Pinnacle Community Services and the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, who provided more than 80 pieces of artwork created by survivors of domestic violence participating in their programs.

Survivor Karen Sims, a resident care worker with Passage Domestic Violence Services and a survivor of domestic violence, also shared her

Four separate collections were on display, including “Unmasking Domestic Violence,” which featured masks that symbolized survivors’ experiences; “Building Resilience” and “Resilience Stones,” artwork created by adults, children, and families affected by domestic violence to represent the strength that helped them to survive; and “Visions of Strength, Voices of Survivors” which paired courageous personal survivor narratives with black and white images.

awareness of domestic and sexual violence, was displayed outside the front doors of the


experience with the approximately 200 Niagara University students and community members

in attendance.

Dr. Jennifer Beebe, associate professor of counseling/education, and Dr. Dana Radatz, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, spearheaded the program on the NU campus. The two professors have conducted research on the issue of domestic violenceBeebe’s focus has been on the training of counselors so that they can more effectively work with survivors, while Radatz has analyzed programs that teach offenders alternatives to violence. Together, they are researching the effectiveness of Pinnacle’s support group interventions in promoting the healing and empowerment of survivors in the hope that their findings will provide justification for future grant funding opportunities for the program. They were recently awarded the

Ostapenko Center Holds Voter Registration Drive

Niagara University Vincentian Poverty Grant to support this work. In addition to raising awareness, the event raised approximately $600 that will be donated to the Pinnacle Community Services Passage House and Domestic

Violence Services.

Other community partners in this effort included the Child Advocacy Center of Niagara, the New York State Police, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office Victim Assistance Unit & Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and the Niagara Falls Police Department Domestic Violence Unit.

the community at the Niagara Falls Public Library, Heart, Love & Soul, and Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier, on Oct. 9, 2019, to assist with voter registration efforts.

The average student voting rate at U.S. colleges and universities jumped from 19% in 2014 to 40% in 2018, according to the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement. Efforts like the one recently undertaken by Niagara University’s Rose Bente Lee Ostapenko Center for Race, Equality, and Mission have helped to increase civic engagement among these young men and women. Students were available at three locations on the Niagara University campus, as well as in

Attendees viewed artwork created by survivors of domestic violence at the fourth annual “Surviving… Thriving: A Journey of Healing Through Art” held in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

At the end of the day, 41 new voters were registered, and everyone who stopped by the tables learned more about the requirements to vote and resources that would help them make their decisions for upcoming elections. Taylor Liton and Joi Johnson learned more about voting during the Ostapenko Center’s voter registration drive.



ON THE RIDGE Clorox Case Competition on the Niagara University Campus Offered Students Hands-On Experience and a Jumpstart on Their Careers Over two days in October, Niagara University students had the tremendous opportunity to participate in the Clorox Customer Analytics & Sales Case Study Competition on the NU campus, one of only five such events offered across the country. The competition is part of the company’s selection process for its 2020 Summer Internship program, a 10-week summer experience that runs from June through August. As part of the competition, four teams of three students analyzed Clorox customer data and developed and proposed solutions for improving customer and financial performance through innovation. The opportunity gave participants valuable first-hand knowledge of working in the consumer packaged goods industry.

The rigorous two-day event included an introduction to sales analytics, given by alumna Rachael Ruszkowski, ’17. As an undergraduate at Niagara, Ruszkowski completed a summer internship at Clorox, which led to her current full-time position as a sales analyst for the company. Seniors Beth Moran and Emily Decker and junior Dylan Zutell were selected as the winning team for their “Tailgate Dip” idea, a shelf-stable dip that can be served hot or cold.

The Clorox competition is just another example of the experiential learning opportunities that are the hallmark of a Niagara University education, preparing students for success in their chosen professions.

Niagara University students with representatives of the Clorox Company, including alumna Rachael Ruszkowski, ’17 (fifth from left).

Niagara University Continues Climb Up U.S. News College Rankings


Niagara University leaped 11 spots on U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey of “America’s Best Colleges,” securing the number 32 position in “Best Regional Universities – North.” That’s up from last year’s ranking of 43, and a dramatic climb from the university’s 2013 standing of number 70. In addition to the overall ranking, Niagara is also recognized in the “Best Value,” “A+ Schools for B Students,” “Foreign Student Factor,” and “Best Colleges for Veterans” categories, as well as in a new category of “Social Mobility,” which measures the graduation success of Pell Grant recipients.

Niagara University’s commitment to academic excellence and student outcomes, which is driven by its strategic plan, has led to its jump in the U.S. News rankings. The university’s six-year graduation rate improved 6 percentage points over the past four years and, at 72.7%, is the highest among independent colleges and universities in the Buffalo-Niagara region. It is also among the top 25% of colleges and universities nationwide. The university has continued to increase the number of classes with 20 or fewer students and improve the average freshmanto-sophomore retention rate and the academic quality of the incoming freshman class.

“We are pleased that the excellent quality of Niagara University’s academic programs and our commitment to affordability and accessibility continue to be praised by U.S. News & World Report and other ranking publications,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “More importantly, and regardless of the rankings, we look closely at the key performance indicators outlined in our strategic plan, which enable us to move toward the highest standards of excellence in student engagement and services.”

VALUE: NU is once again among * BEST the regional institutions deemed a “Best

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Value,” a calculation that takes into account a school’s academic quality and the net cost of attendance for a student who receives the average level of need-based financial aid. Niagara is ranked 7 out of the 75 schools listed in the category, which is especially remarkable in light of the fact that NU’s undergraduate students studying in Canada (BPS program) negatively impact the university’s ranking in this section.

SCHOOLS FOR B STUDENTS: * A+ Niagara is once again listed among the

schools noted as “A+ Schools for B Students,” which highlights schools that admit a good proportion of “non-A” students (based on SAT/ACT scores and class standing) and allow them to thrive at the university level.

BEST FOREIGN STUDENT FACTOR: * Niagara is the only institution in the BuffaloNiagara region in the ranking group for “Best Foreign Student Factor.”

COLLEGES FOR VETERANS: * BEST Niagara University is once again listed as a

“Best College for Veterans,” which recognizes institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

SOCIAL MOBILITY: This new ranking * measures the graduation success of Pell Grant

recipients and is based on Pell graduation rates, the proportion of students who receive Pell, and the comparison to graduation rates of non-Pell recipients. Niagara was the highest ranking independent school from the Buffalo-Niagara region on the list.

ON THE RIDGE Four Niagara University Students Receive National Scholarships Two students from Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and two from the College of Business Administration, received prestigious scholarships from national organizations over the summer.

Grace Dittman, a senior studying hospitality and Grace Dittman tourism management from Groton, N.Y., and Zachary Farkas, a senior sports management major from Tonawanda, N.Y., were two of five students selected by the Club Management Association of America’s Club Foundation for its Joe Perdue Scholarship. Dittman, who will graduate in December, is an active member of NU’s CMMA student

chapter, and completed a food and beverage internship at the New York Athletic Club. Farkas, who serves as the president of the NU CMAA student chapter, is a member of Niagara’s Division 1 golf team and plans to obtain his PGA certification after graduation. He has Zachary Farkas completed internships with the Park Country Club of Buffalo in both the golf shop and with its food and beverage team. Two students in Niagara University’s food and consumer packaged goods marketing program received scholarships from the National Grocers Association Foundation to support their supermarket industry career aspirations.

Garrett Gardner, an MBA student from Tonawanda, N.Y., who obtained his bachelor’s degree in marketing with a Garrett Gardner concentration in food and consumer packaged goods from NU in May 2019, received an Asparagus Club scholarship. He works at Providence, R.I.-based UNFI. Kylee Schultz, a senior food and CPG marketing major from Akron, N.Y., received the FMS Solutions Legacy Kylee Schultz Scholarship. She works at Rochester, N.Y.-based Wegmans Food Markets as a service team leader.

Ribbon-Cutting Unveils Vaughan, Ontario, Site Niagara University formally unveiled its new location in Vaughan, Ontario, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 15, 2019. The site, in the Vaughan Metropolitan Center, is also the first-ever university to be established in the City of Vaughan and York region, and supports Niagara University’s commitment to becoming the premier binational university within the Province of Ontario. “We are pleased to continue to strengthen our binational relationship with the Province of Ontario by becoming a permanent part of the Vaughan community,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president. “This new location will provide opportunities to better serve our students and faculty, while developing a learning environment that fosters research, teaching, and service to work with the community to make a positive impact on the lives of others.” The nearly 12,000 square-foot site, located in

the heart of Vaughan’s emerging downtown core,

includes seven classrooms, faculty and administration offices, and student lounge areas. Nine full-time faculty and administrators, as

Officials from Niagara University and the Province of Ontario cut the ribbon to officially unveil Niagara’s permanent location in the city of Vaughan.

well as a number of part-time faculty and supervisors, staff that location, where more than 300 students are pursuing Bachelor of Professional Studies and Master of Science in Educational Leadership programs. In addition, approximately 50 practicing teachers take Additional Qualification course work each year. Since 1984, Niagara University has offered programs in Canada which operate under the written consent of the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. The university has maintained strong partnerships with Catholic and public school boards in Ontario, as well as with many of the colleges in the province. The opening of a permanent location in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre for the univer-

sity’s Niagara University in Ontario program will give students and alumni a place to call their Niagara University home, and continue the 35-year legacy of Niagara alumni who take on professional levels of leadership across all professions in Canada. While the location is new, educators will continue to be prepared in an embedded model that places them directly within schools through university-school partnerships. This robust model of educator preparation has been highly researched in terms of the qualifications and experiences of teachers who begin their careers and remains an important part of Niagara’s programs.



ON THE RIDGE Six Honored for Outstanding Work in the Spirit of St. Vincent de Paul

Niagara University president, the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., with Vincentian Heritage Convocation honorees Alexis Fuentes, Dr. Shawn P. Daly, David V. Whalen, Patricia Wrobel, Sr. Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., M.S.W., and Christopher Rhue.

As part of its celebration of Vincentian Heritage Week, Niagara University recognized the extraordinary contributions of six individuals who have

lived the mission of St. Vincent de Paul at its annual convocation Sept. 26. Sr. Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., M.S.W., Vincentian scholar-in-residence at DePaul University, received an honorary doctor of humane letters for her service and scholarship in the Vincentian tradition. For more than 50 years, Sr. McNeil has ministered to abused and neglected children, pregnant and parenting adolescents, and immigrants and refugees in a variety of clinical social work roles. She has also served as provincial archivist for the Daughters of Charity Province of Emmitsburg and on the advisory committee to publish the multivolume opus “Elizabeth Bayley Seton Collected Writings.” She has been an active member of the Vincentian Studies Institute for more than 30 years, currently serving on the editorial board of Vincentian Heritage for the institute, and is an adjunct faculty member in Catholic studies in DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Sister McNeil’s articles on the Vincentian and Setonian tradition have been widely published, and she has conducted workshops and retreats around the world.


for poor children, and conducted a financial analysis for a commercial

building that would provide funds for a women’s training institute. He also

developed marketing materials for several existing programs and assisted in grant writing. He plans to continue this work by enlisting Niagara University students in helping the Sisters develop sustainable operations and continue their efforts to assist the poor and disadvantaged in Ethiopia. David V. Whalen, project director of Niagara University’s First Responders Disability Awareness Training, was honored with the St. Vincent de Paul Medal for his work with and advocacy for people with disabilities. Among the many programs he has established is Disability Awareness Training. This program, which has been offered throughout the country, is designed to sensitize and educate first responders and others on all aspects of disabilities. Whalen also accepted an invitation to the White House for an historic MOU signing between FEMA and the National Disability Rights Network; is on the advisory council of the National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability; and provided written testimony to the Senate Hearing on “Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety.”

Keynote speaker Alexis Fuentes, director of missions at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and speaking consultant at The Big Talk Academy, was presented with the Rev. Thomas Augustine Judge, C.M. Award. Fuentes has worked in Catholic ministry for more than 15 years, focusing on young adults who are starving spiritually to assist them in finding spiritual enlightenment through conversations in everyday settings, including her home. Fuentes helps people find a way to be closer with God by sharing her everyday stories focused on the love of Christ and the gift of religion with the world. Working with the acronym YES-Your Everyday Story-she has created a spiritual communication model that allows individuals to see one another and find familiar moments that are the cornerstones of intimacy and gratitude.

Patricia Wrobel, executive director of Niagara University’s Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement, was presented with the St. Louise de Marillac Award for her commitment to service to her hometown of Niagara Falls. Wrobel leads the institute with a focus on its four pillars-early childhood, community outreach, health and wellness, and housing-and has successfully established community partnerships that have positively impacted those areas. She also serves in a number of leadership roles within the community, including vice president of the board of directors

Dr. Shawn P. Daly, former dean of Niagara University’s College of Business Administration and current professor of marketing, is the recipient of the Vincentian Mission Award for his service to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Ethiopia. While there, he helped develop plans for a teaching plantation and a solar energy project to power computers at a school

Christopher Rhue, ’19, current Niagara University MBA student, received the Frédéric Ozanam Medal for his service to the Niagara region. The Lewiston native has dedicated his time and talent to service with the United Way of Greater Niagara, first as an intern, then as a member of its board. He currently serves as treasurer. His efforts have helped to build the Niagara community and make it a better environment.

Niagara University

for Empower WNY, and on the boards of directors for Leadership Niagara, St. Peter’s RC School, and the Wilson Center. She is a member of the

advisory task force for the United Way of Greater Niagara and of the executive committee for Help Me Grow Western New York.

ON THE RIDGE Criminal Justice Department at Niagara University Joins National Challenge to Increase Probation Success and Protect Public Safety Niagara University, in partnership with the Niagara County Probation Department, has been selected to participate in the Reducing Revocations Challenge, a national initiative of Arnold Ventures and the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance dedicated to understanding the drivers of probation revocations and identifying ways to reduce the community supervision failures that send almost 350,000 people to jails and prisons each year. In Niagara County, approximately 75.5% of probation failures result in jail sentences. The challenge aims to increase success on probation through the identification, piloting, and testing of promising strategies grounded in a robust analysis and understanding of why revocations occur. To carry out this work, Dr. Craig Rivera, Dr. Michael Cassidy, Dr. Timothy Lauger, and Dr. Paul Schupp, faculty in Niagara University’s Department of Criminology

and Criminal Justice, will receive a grant of approximately $185,000 to conduct on-theground, in-depth research and data analysis on the drivers of probation failures. The professors will work with graduate and undergraduate students to conduct their research, the findings from which will be used to propose evidence-based solutions for policy and practice. Selected strategies may receive additional funding in a potential second phase of the initiative. “We are excited to be partnering with the Niagara County Probation Department and its director, who is strongly committed to identifying the drivers of probation failures,” said Cassidy, assistant professor. “With the support of Arnold Ventures and the ISLG, our work will help develop evidence-based interventions to reduce probation revocations. This project also provides our students with an amazing opportunity to conduct empirical research on an important issue.”

Scholarship Student Spotlight: Giavanna Bolognese Each year, Niagara University’s President’s Dinner raises funds that directly benefit the university’s scholarship programs. In 2018, through the Giavanna Bolognese generosity of Niagara alumni, staff, faculty, students, and friends, a total of $330,000 was raised, exceeding the previous year by more than $100,000. This was the fourth year in a row that the $200,000 fundraising mark was surpassed.

Students like Giavanna Bolognese, a biology major from Depew, N.Y., benefit from the financial support of a President’s Dinner Scholarship. Why I came to Niagara University: The very first time I learned of NU was when I read an article in the paper about the new

B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences. I did not plan on applying to

Million Dollar HECap Grant to Fund Kiernan Center Renovations Niagara University has been awarded a $1 million Higher Education Capital Matching Grant for upgrades and renovations to the Kiernan Center. Thirty-five institutions were awarded HECap grants ranging from $59,000 to $1 million. The grant will help to fund renovations and upgrades to the Kiernan Center, the university’s multiuse facility and hub for on-campus intramural and club sports, recreational and wellness programming, and ROTC and community fitness activities. The scope of the work includes an 18,000-square-foot, two-story addition, which will house locker rooms and team meeting rooms for Division I and club sport teams; student programming space, including a dance studio; and expanded fitness/recreational areas. “Providing excellent facilities for recreation, health, and wellness activities to our students is

a core focus of our strategic plan,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president. “The HECap grant will enable us to make enhancements to our Kiernan Center that will provide a higher level of campus engagement for our students while they live and learn at Niagara University.” The HECap grant applications are reviewed and scored by the New York State Higher Education Capital Investment Review Board, a three-member board whose members are appointed by the governor, the senate majority leader, and the assembly speaker. For every $1 in state matching funds, private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York must provide $3 in support of their projects. It is expected that this project will take 14 months to complete.

Niagara University until I learned of the new facility, which led me to further research the curriculum that NU had to offer. The article

sparked my interest in NU and everything seemed to fall in place from there. Current career plans: My career plans are to study to become a plastic surgeon. I also want to continue to use my talents through community service efforts with The First Tee of WNY, where I coach youth in life skills, leadership, confidence, and golf. Why this scholarship is important: My intention is to pay for my own education;

therefore, any assistance I receive will help me overall with future student debt. By following my plan on the path to medical school,

I anticipate high student debt. Any and all scholarships will help me to reach my goals. Extracurricular activities: I spend all of my time volunteering for organizations that promote confidence and leadership skills in young children.



ON THE RIDGE Jeremy A. Colby Named General Counsel at Niagara University Jeremy A. Colby, a 1996 graduate of Niagara University, was appointed general counsel at the university. Colby comes to Niagara from Webster Szanyi LLP, where he was a partner with appellate, municipal, and complex commercial litigation practices. Colby has served as a Lancaster Town justice since 2015.

Jeremy A. Colby, ‘96

Colby started his career at the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where he focused on securities litigation and defending against class action lawsuits. He also clerked for the Hon. John T. Elfvin in the Western District of New York and served as the Erie County attorney. This year, Colby was again listed among Business First of Buffalo’s Legal Elite of

Western New York and, in 2008, was recognized by the publication as a 40 Under 40 honoree. He was also the recipient of the American Inns of Court’s prestigious Pegasus Fellowship in London, England. Colby is a summa cum laude graduate of Niagara, where he earned a B.A. in political science and a minor in English. After being awarded the Niagara Medal and being named to USA Today’s Academic All American Team, he attended Boston University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude with his juris doctor degree in 1999 and served as the executive editor of the American Journal of Law and Medicine. He has published law review articles in journals including the Buffalo Law Review and the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal. Jeremy and his wife, Kimberly, currently reside in Lancaster with their two children, where they are members of Our Lady of Pompeii Roman Catholic Parish.

Educational Partnership Reinforces Ethics-based Business Curriculum Niagara University has established a new strategic educational partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Association. As one of the initiatives of this partnership, students in Niagara’s College of Business Administration will assist the BNBEA in evaluating applications for the organization’s prestigious BNBEA Crystal Award, which recognizes Western New York companies exemplifying the highest standards of ethical behavior and practice within three distinct categories. The finalists identified from each group will then be submitted to a judging panel of local professionals for review and Crystal Award selection. “This partnership is very exciting for both our organizations,” said Dr. Mark Frascatore, dean of Niagara University’s College of Business Administration. “It fosters cooperative work among students and faculty and reinforces our ethics-based business education.”

New Marketing and Housing Initiatives Lead to Increased Enrollment at Niagara University Niagara University welcomed 626 freshmen to campus this fall, exceeding last year’s enrollment by 113 and surpassing its enrollment goals for the 2019-20 academic year. In addition, the university added another 150 transfer students and 43 new exchange students from around the world, surpassed graduate credit hour goals, and enrolled 278 students in its Ontario bachelor of professional studies program, which is the maximum allowed for Niagara by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The increase in the number of students who chose Niagara University for their college years is credited to new enrollment, retention, and housing initiatives. “Last year, we made a number of strategic moves designed to improve the enrollment functions at the university,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president. “We’ve launched new academic programs and developed new ways of marketing them,


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and are offering housing choices that make residence life more affordable. These efforts align with our strategic plan and our commitment to provide our students with a transformational educational experience and a campus culture that fosters excellence in all aspects of academic life.” Some of the enrollment initiatives include expanding the university’s geographical marketing efforts and counselor coverage within key areas; restructuring its focus and allocation of human and budgetary resources in its marketing department; developing a highly targeted approach to communicating to prospective students through a blend of online channels; and reimagining its admissions events, which resulted in a double-digit percentage increase in campus visits. Retention is also vital to the enrollment equation, with freshman-to-sophomore data being the most closely watched indicator. Niagara University’s freshman-to-sophomore retention of 87% is 4% higher than last year.

Its retention rate for transfer students is at 85%, and its six-year graduation rate has increased to 72.7%. Students who live on campus are more likely to graduate in four years, so providing an engaging living-learning environment is not only crucial for enrollment, but for academic success, as well. To make this option accessible to a greater number of students, NU implemented new, flexible pricing choices that enable students to select the housing features that fit both their lifestyle and budget. The new pricing options were introduced as part of a campaign called “Where You Live Will Change Your Life,” which also highlighted the benefits of on-campus living. More than 1,200 students have chosen to live on campus this academic year, which is 50.2% of Niagara’s undergraduate enrollment and represents an increase of nearly three-percentage-points over last fall. Additionally, a gain of six percentage points was seen for returning students living on campus. Overall, housing is at 87% of full occupancy, a five-percentage-point increase over last year.

ON THE RIDGE Partnership with the Niagara Falls School District Will Increase Mental Health Services Available to Students Niagara University’s College of Education has partnered with the Niagara Falls School District to implement a five-year Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration project that will enable the district to better serve its students with behavioral and mental health issues. The initiative, funded by a more than $2.49 million, five-year U.S. federal grant secured through the Department of Education, will add 15 part-time staff annually, increase community and family outreach, provide training to help teachers identify needs early, and expand the pipeline of mental health professionals into the school setting to reduce shortages.

As part of this project, 15 interns, with the majority coming from Niagara University’s school psychology and school counseling graduate programs, will be placed in 11 city schools each year to work hand-in-hand with the district’s current employees to serve the 7,200 students in grades prekindergarten through 12.

The grant will also allow for professional development initiatives to help teachers recognize trauma-induced behaviors sooner, allowing for early intervention and to support implementation strategies related to improving student social and emotional development. “Training the teachers is important, because they are the first line of service,” said Dr. Chandra Foote, dean of Niagara University’s College of Education. “Right now, the counselors are overloaded. You can’t send every child to the counselors that we have in place and actually have their needs met. We’re happy to partner with (the district) on these services and to prepare teachers who will be able to do it in the future, as well as counselors, school psychologists, and social workers.”

At the end of the five years, it is anticipated that 75 new mental health professionals will have been added to the district’s staff. The grant will allow us “to have a cadre of mental health professionals to support the children of … the entire district,” said Niagara Falls City School District Superintendent Mark Laurrie, ’84, M.S.Ed.’12. Dr. Foote added she is confident that, if offered positions within the Niagara Falls School District, the interns will choose to accept them. “They’re Niagara University candidates,” she said. “We attract students who want to serve, especially serve those who are in the highest need, and Niagara Falls has some pretty high needs. So when we attract them and then we prepare them to do that service, this is exactly where they should stay.”

Teaching Socrates, Aristotle, & Logic to Business Majors Dr. Michael Barnwell’s course “Philosophy for the Business World” may be the only one of its kind in the U.S., and perhaps the world. While most universities offer business ethics classes, this one takes a completely different approach to the topic by using philosophy as the foundation, creating a new discipline— philosophy business consulting.

“Business leaders keep saying that critical thinking is one of the top skills they seek,” said Dr. Barnwell. “Despite the fact that philosophy is the lone discipline devoted primarily to fostering the ability to think critically, there have been few interactions between business and philosophy in business schools. Meanwhile, philosophers keep talking about how important their classes are for the real world, but they have not done anything to demonstrate this fact.” Launched in spring, Dr. Barnwell’s course is an attempt to bridge that gap. Focusing on the works of Tom Morris, who is widely considered the pioneer of applying philosophy in the business world, students learn how the tools and insights of philosophy, such as conceptual analysis, epistemic humility, Socratic interviewing, logic, and consulting theory, can be applied in the business world.

One of the most unique aspects of this course is the opportunities students have to use their philosophical critical thinking skills to help businesses succeed. In the inaugural class, teams of two to three students served as on-site “philosophy business consultants” for 13 area businesses,

including a health insurance provider,

financial firms, a charter school, a television newsroom, a business enterprise foundation, a toxic remediation company, a major manufacturer, and a biotech firm. They were given access

to CEOs or COOs and sat in on meetings. Another class project had the students collaborating on presentations that explained how important logical concepts and fallacies, typically reserved for the philosophy classroom, play a

role in business. They also had the opportunity to meet Morris personally during a class visit. “It was a passion of mine to show how philosophy is useful for the real world, especially the business world,” said Dr. Barnwell.



“I love their fresh-mindedness, their charisma,” she said. “Their energy is just contagious for us. We often get into a routine, it’s nice to see a friend-

By Lisa McMahon, M.A.’09

ly new face, smile, and excitement about a job.”

Purple Eagles Succeed at Internships & Careers at

“The interns have been a great blessing to us this

summer,” said Drew Morgan, ’07, MBA’08, who is part of Citi’s University Partnership program with Frost and works in market risk

management. “They’re always coming up with ideas,

they’re always eager to help us out, they’re always eager to want to learn about the business functions we have here in Buffalo, and at Citi throughout the world, so it’s always great to see the next generation showing eagerness and willingness to learn and understand the business that we do here every day.”

Gerald Ventry, ’16, MBA’17, who works in evaluation control at Citi, appreciates the fact students are learning different things than he did just a few years ago.

Niagara University students and alumni gather for a photo at Citi’s Getzville, N.Y., headquarters: Back row (l-r): Kaci Szczygiel, Alyssa Benton, Briana Page, ’17, Gerald Ventry, ’16, MBA’17, Drew Morgan, ’07, MBA’08, Madison Buchholz, and Jennifer (Chmura) Frost, ’09. Front row: Cassandra Siwy and Taylor Nusstein.


n the first day of August, in an auditorium in Citi’s Getzville, N.Y., headquarters, three teams of college students presented their strategies to increase diversity through recruitment to dozens of Citi employees, a panel of judges, and their peers. Five of those students were from Niagara University. The presentations, given in a “Shark Tank” like

forum, were the culminating project of a 10-week internship program that offers students an opportunity to see what working at Citi is like. If this doesn’t sound like part of a typical financial-based internship, that’s because it’s not. In addition to introducing the interns to the day-to-day tasks completed by the professionals who staff the company, the program helps these young people to develop the soft skills needed for success in the business world: teamwork, communication, and networking. “Citi has a unique internship program,” said Cassandra Siwy, a junior from Orchard Park who is studying accounting. “Learning how to work with people, learning how to network yourself, learning how to work in a professional environment are all skills I learned while here that I never expected to get out of this internship. I think it is really a unique and special program where they really care about their interns.”


Niagara University

“Working at Citi was an amazing experience,” agreed Taylor Nusstein, a senior from Cowlesville, N.Y. The actuarial science major noted that there were numerous opportunities to network and shadow other departments. “Everyone is always willing to sit down and have a conversation, whether it is about work or not. I was able to talk to many different senior managers who were always willing to help out and give career advice. Making these connections has given me a network of people who I know I can

reach out to help me achieve my career goals.”

In addition to the recruitment project, the interns

were given responsibilities within their individual departments and treated as full-time, integrated members of their teams. While their tasks may have differed, the warm, family-like environment in which they worked was apparent across all departments. “I didn’t feel like just an intern, I felt like part of the group,” said Madison Buchholz, a senior business management major from Niagara Falls. This company culture helped the interns become comfortable in developing their ability to present in a professional setting, network, and speak confidently, in addition to learning to prioritize and meet deadlines. In turn, the interns brought numerous benefits to the organization, according to Jennifer (Chmura) Frost, ’09, operations manager at Citi who co-led the program.

“Just kind of picking their brain, because it’s still fresh, helps us gain what we can do with our regular work, whether they are subject experts on it or they know the resources to get better at it,” he said. “They’re well-spoken, intelligent, they’re not afraid to do anything they don’t understand, because they know they can get help. I think their willingness to take on things that kind of scare them or frustrate them is what keeps everyone wanting more interns.” The summer internship program is a primary

source for hiring full-time professionals, and that’s

how Briana Page, ’17, a current MBA student, obtained her job in business continuity at Citi.

“I built a lot of networking skills while I was here,

and my experience as an intern made me want to come back and have a career here,” she said. “I think that they do a really great job in giving you exposure to Citi itself, its culture, and the businesses, and everyone is very friendly and helpful, and I think that’s a huge reason why I agreed to start my career here at Citi.”

The NU connection at Citi is already quite strong, according to Frost. Alumni Dana DiMatteo, ’17,

MBA’18; Michael Burke, ’17; Kyle Thomas, ’09, MBA’10; Daniel Kelly, ’09, MBA’10; Andrea Lauzon, ’07, MBA’08; William Charles

West II, ’09; Tina (Kim) Farley, ’08; Robert Morris,

’12; Khadijah Smith, ’18; Kristin Larson, ’08; Patrick Donovan, M.S.’18; and Devante Starks, ’17, MBA’18, are among the professionals working in the Getzville office. “The Purple Eagles tend to find each other at Citi,” Frost said. “As much pride as we have for Citi, we also have that same pride for NU!”

Assists Students Facing Food Insecurity

Freddie Wade, a community advisor in Residence Life, stands in the new student food pantry at Niagara University.

In recent years, the problem of food insecurity on college campuses has gained national attention, shedding light on a growing challenge faced by students across the United States. The impact of food insecurity has a rippling effect on the personal wellness and academic success of these students, whom, research suggests, are caring for children, are first generation, and/or come from lowincome households. Among students who attend four-year universities, an estimated 41% are food insecure, according to a study released in April by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice. Students at Niagara University are no exception. Over the years, several offices have regularly and independently assisted students facing hunger, but a new initiative has enabled the university to coordinate these efforts to assist a larger number of students. Over the summer, a group of university officials, led by Jason Jakubowski, Niagara University’s dean of student affairs,

established a centralized student food pantry in the Office of Residence Life. The location was intentional, Jakubowski said. “We have folks there who are trained to have these kinds of sensitive conversations with students about where they’re at, what they’re experiencing, and how we can help,” he said, noting they know the resources available both on and off campus, and can connect students with the Department of Social Work and Campus Ministry for additional support, if necessary. Jakubowski added that students who face hunger often are also facing housing insecurity, so this location helps to connect the two issues to better serve them. The pantry was announced in August through a campus email asking for donations of nonperishable food and basic hygiene items. Jakubowski said that the support has been overwhelming. In addition to donations from members of the university community, alumni began sending packages, and a contest held by the university’s IMPACT office collected

more than 200 items for the pantry. By its start date goal of Sept. 1, the pantry contained enough items to open. A flyer promoting the pantry was distributed to students, who began taking advantage of it immediately.

The pantry is located in the O’Shea Hall first-floor lounge, and operates between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, Jakubowski emphasized that no student will be turned away. “We are all agents of the food pantry,” he said. “If a student doesn’t feel comfortable coming to the Office of Residence Life, they can see anybody.” Other options to assist students facing food insecurity are on the horizon, Jakubowski said, including expanding pantry offerings, inviting university clubs and organizations to support the pantry with fundraising, and enabling students to donate their unused meal credits to other students. “We’re really excited about this initiative, which fits perfectly with our Vincentian mission,” Jakubowski said. “I think we are in a good position to address this concern that students have, and I expect this program to grow as more students come to campus. We firmly believe we can address this need so our students can be healthy and focus on what’s important, and that’s academic success.”





University BRINGS THE

In 2017, Niagara University became the first university in the country to own and operate a collegiate baseball team when it took ownership of the Niagara Power baseball franchise, which ceased operating after the 2015 season. The university’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management rebranded the franchise and created a unique opportunity for students to manage all aspects of game-day operations. “This enterprise provides students in our undergraduate and graduate programs a wealth

Director of Game Day Operations Justina Conti (right), with her Niagara Power colleague Alyssa Norman, ’19.


Niagara University


of real-world, experiential learning opportunities,

something we take great pride in offering at

Niagara University,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., NU president. “In addition to the wonderful academic and practical experience that this program offers our students, we see it as another way for Niagara University to build bridges to the community. Bringing this community experience back to Niagara Falls will be extremely beneficial to the young people and families who live, work, and play in Western New York.”

The internship is a truly one-of-a-kind experience that no one else in the country is able to have.


n just its second year, Niagara University’s New York Collegiate Baseball League team, the Niagara Power, won the Western Division and the team’s first-ever league regular season and post-season championship. That success is due largely in part to the efforts of the Niagara University students and graduates who ran all areas of operations for this wooden-bat summer collegiate team during the past two seasons.


Led by Justina Conti, a senior from Niagara Falls who served as director of game-day operations, 15 Niagara University students and graduates rotated in teams this summer to experience all aspects of managing game days, including ordering merchandise and setting prices, creating the concession menu, developing in-game and seasonal promotions, scorekeeping and statistics, public address and press box, and social media. They also held leadership positions such as director of marketing and promotions and director of concessions at the 4,000-seat Sal Maglie Stadium. This was

Conti’s second year with the franchise—in the 2018 season, she served as the team’s head of marketing and promotions. “The internship is a truly one-of-a-kind experience that no one else in the country is able to have,” Conti said. Patrick Tutka, an assistant professor of sports management who serves as the Power’s director, noted that the students, primarily freshmen and sophomores in the university’s sports management program, have authority over game-day operations, something that they would rarely get through another internship. “This is a wonderful learning laboratory for the students,” Tutka said. “They can make decisions and take risks. Although it is a collegiate summer

league baseball team, the concepts they are learning will apply to organizations of all sizes.” Community outreach, a hallmark of the Catholic and Vincentian university, is also a focus of the program. Opening Day of the seven-week season was Kids Day, and students organized events and food drives to benefit local schools, nonprofit organizations, and the Police Athletic League. They also held a baseball camp for disadvantaged families. “Our students are interacting with the community and work with the community leaders to engage the city’s citizens,” Tutka said. “It’s been great to help bring the Power back to Niagara Falls.”


Paul J. Yesawich Jr., B.A.’48, M.A.’50 (third from right) with members of his family during a golf outing in 2016: son Paul Yesawich III; grandson John Yesawich; son Christopher Yesawich; daughter-in-law Paris Pyne Yesawich; grandson Peter Yesawich Jr.; and son Peter Yesawich.

The Hon. Paul J. Yesawich Jr.’s father, who emigrated from Lithuania to Queens, N.Y., instilled in his only child the importance of an education, because he lacked a formal one himself. Yesawich took this encouragement to heart and became the first in his family to receive a degree in higher education. He went on to become an accomplished athlete, lawyer, judge, and legal scholar. “The Judge,” by which he was affectionately referred by those close to him, was an accomplished student at New York’s highly regarded Brooklyn Technical High School who “bootstrapped” his way through college and law school, doing whatever it took to attain his degrees. He attended Niagara University on a full athletic scholarship to play basketball (and was inducted into the Niagara University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1966), graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1948 and his master’s degree in 1950. He went on to play professional basketball for the Syracuse Nationals in the National Basketball Association before electing to attend Cornell Law

School. He graduated in 1951 and was admitted to the New York bar. He was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court by Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1971; that same year, he was elected to serve a full 14-year term on that court. In 1974, he was appointed to serve on the Appellate Division, First Department, in Manhattan, and remained there for seven years, simultaneously serving as a trial judge in the Sixth Judicial Department. During this time, he also served as a member of the Advisory Panel on the Proposed Code of Evidence for the State of New York. He was subsequently appointed to the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Albany, where he served until his retirement in 1999. Undoubtedly, Judge Yesawich’s education served him well, and throughout his life, he continued to pass down his belief in education as the catalyst for self-improvement and personal fulfillment to his own three children, Paul III, Peter, and Christopher, emphasizing the value and importance of higher learning.

When Peter and his wife, Paris, wanted to honor the Judge for his impressive accomplishments and profound appreciation for the education he received at Niagara University, they decided to make an estate gift to endow a scholarship in Paul’s name. The Paul J. Yesawich, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment will support undergraduate students who are the first in their family to attend college or university and require financial assistance to pursue and/or to complete their education.

Is there someone in your life whom you would like to honor or remember in perpetuity with an outright or estate gift? It begins with a phone call or an email to the Office of Planned Giving, Marilyn Koren, 716.286.8791 or



Legacy Scholarship Program Celebrates Generations of Purple Eagles


in Flaherty Jr., ’88, was a member of a legacy family when he attended Niagara University. His father, Vincent Flaherty Sr., ’43, and his siblings Regina, ’83, Laura Angus, ’86, John, ’89, and Michael, ’94, all earned their degrees on Monteagle Ridge. The Norwalk, Conn., native and his wife, the former Amanda Fibbe, ’87, met while working as orientation leaders one summer. After graduating, the two married and began a family. This fall, their son, Patrick, started his freshman year at their alma mater, joining his cousin, Sarah Wickham, ’17, in carrying on the family legacy.

“You don’t always realize how wonderful the Vincentian values are when you are young,” they continued. “As you grow older, and start life and family, you realize how important those values are. You thank not only your family, but your NU family also, for instilling those values in you.” To recognize and celebrate legacy families like the Flahertys, Niagara University’s offices of Advancement and Enrollment Management have collaborated to establish the Alumni Legacy Scholarship Program. These scholarships offer a link to the past and a bridge to the future for the children/stepchildren, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or siblings of NU’s more than 36,000 alumni and current students. “Niagara University takes great pride in our legacy families,” said Jaclyn Rossi, director of alumni relations. “We are honored when generations of families choose to make NU their alma mater, and are committed to making their experience as Purple Eagles as affordable and rewarding as possible.”


Niagara University

Amanda (Fibbe) Flaherty, ’87, and Vin Flaherty Jr., ’88, with their son, Patrick, a freshman legacy student, one of 28 who enrolled for the fall 2019 semester at Niagara University.

As you grow older, and start life and family, you realize how important the Vincentian values are. You thank not only your family, but your NU family also, for instilling those values in you.

“It’s always nice to have your child go to your alma mater,” the couple said. “Patrick was brought up attending NU basketball games and hockey games. Every time we visited the campus, it was as if we hadn’t left. The people are still friendly, the campus is still beautiful, and the faculty and staff are still caring and loving.

Qualified legacy students will receive a $1,000 per year scholarship, and those with top academic credentials are eligible for one of five $5,000 Legacy Scholarships. If more than one student from a legacy family enrolls and attends Niagara at the same time, the first student’s scholarship will be increased to $2,000. In addition to scholarships, legacy students are also eligible for a number of other benefits, including:


Application priority: theirs are the first to be reviewed and they are the first to be notified of an acceptance decision


Guaranteed internship after completing Niagara’s Pathways program, which is facilitated by NU Career Services


$100 stipend at the university bookstore

Legacy students and their families will also be invited to a special luncheon and pinning ceremony during New Student Orientation, and a brick with their family name will be installed at a designated location on campus. For more information on Legacy Scholarships, please contact the admissions office at 716.285.1212 or 1.800.778.3450.

ON THE COVER, some of the legacy students currently attending Niagara University. From left: Emily Decker, Matthew Harris, Jenna Michael, Patrick Flaherty, Mairead Cooney, Lauren Bates, Joseph Lahood, Jasmine Miles, and Annina Marullo.

Honors Niagara University Benefactor and His Family emphasis to respond compassionately when asked to serve the needs of others. The Niagara family owes the Brown family an incredible debt of gratitude. In April 1971, Niagara University unveiled the plaque in Gallagher Center honoring Marcus Brown in an intimate gathering including Brown’s grandson, Richard H. Brown, and his wife, Jane Brown. Richard and Jane Brown continued Marcus Brown’s legacy of generosity and commitment through their philanthropy, which included naming Niagara University as a partial beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust in 2005. In recognition of Marcus Brown’s inspirational story, and the continued generosity extended to Niagara by Richard and Jane Brown, the university renamed its legacy society the Marcus Brown Heritage Society. Building on the past generosity of our friends, benefactors and alums, the society will honor donors who have named Niagara in their will or other estate-planning documents. The Marcus Brown Heritage Society will permanently recognize all estate gifts received on a Wall of Honor and in a memorial garden dedicated to the members of this society.

If you don’t know Marcus Brown’s story, you should. As you enter Gallagher Center,

Marcus Brown was a Niagara Falls clothing store owner and a friend of Father Michael Cavanaugh, procurator and treasurer of Our Lady of Angels seminary, the precursor to Niagara University. Marcus was known to Father Cavanaugh and to members of the seminary’s faculty to be a fair-minded merchant and civic volunteer. He was not a student, a faculty member, or even a member of the Catholic faith, as he was a Jewish merchant.

the seminary’s property would be subject to immediate foreclosure. Father Cavanaugh and the seminary leadership were unable to secure the funds to pay off the loan (today’s equivalent of $75,000), and Father Cavanaugh suggested they ask Marcus Brown. On a cold December evening, Father Cavanaugh walked three miles to Brown’s home to ask for a loan. Brown quickly agreed to lend the seminary the $3,000, without interest. Brown promised to appear personally the next day to present the cash before the foreclosure sale could begin. Despite heavy snow, Brown kept his word and handed over the cash to the sheriff. The seminary repaid the loan in full two years later.

In December of 1882, the sheriff of Niagara County told Father Cavanaugh that unless an outstanding loan could be repaid in full,

Marcus Brown’s transformative generosity came at a critical point in Niagara’s history and is reflective of St. Vincent de Paul and his

to the right of the entrance is a plaque that credits Marcus Brown with rescuing Niagara University

from being foreclosed in the winter of 1882.

We are encouraging our community of alumni and friends to follow the Brown family’s lead and join the Marcus Brown Heritage Society by documenting their intention to leave a future gift to Niagara University in their will or estate plans. Currently, there are 80 individuals who have made a future gift in their will or revocable living trust, or have named Niagara University a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement plan/IRA, or a charitable trust, or who have established a charitable gift annuity with the university. These future gifts, for which we are most grateful, will support the mission of Niagara University for generations to come. If you have, or are intending to include Niagara University in your estate plans, please contact Marilyn Koren at or 716.286.8791. All members of the Marcus Brown Heritage Society will be invited to the dedication ceremony unveiling the Wall of Honor and the memorial garden planned for 2020.

EAGLE/Fall 2019


The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president, presents Jack Flynn, ’69, with the John C. DeDeyn Jr., ’65, Achievement Award. Joseph Shanahan, Jr., ’79, accepts the Alumnus of the Year award from Father Maher.

Returning “The Future of Niagara University,” athletic matches, a reception for nursing alumni, the Class of 1994 Silver Eagle Reception, and the Alumni Awards and Dinner Celebration. A Mass and marriage vow renewal ceremony at Alumni Chapel wrapped up the weekend.

Gen. (Ret) Walter M. Kross, ’64 and 1st Lt. Ivo F. Peske, ’69, were inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame. The Rev. John A. Kettelberger, C.M., ’74, and Carol Moeller Cassell, ’79, were recognized with Lifetime Alumni Achievement Awards; while Kathy Cichy Mylod, ’69, received the Mother Seton Medal; Jack Flynn, ’69, received the John C. DeDeyn Jr., ’65, Achievement Award; and Judith Quigley Ruse, ’69, received the Dunleavy Award. Joseph O. Shanahan, Jr., ’79, was named Alumnus of the Year.

The reunion provided a perfect opportunity to recognize a number of alums, as well.

Also, the Spirit of Niagara Cup was presented to the Class of 1969 for raising more than

to the

Alumni Weekend 2019

More than 350 NU graduates of classes ending in 9s and 4s returned to Monteagle Ridge Oct. 11-13, 2019, for Alumni Weekend. On Friday, alumni enjoyed activities such as the 50+ Eagles dinner, the Class of 1969 Golden Eagle Mass and dinner, and Purple & White Night in the Gallagher Center. A special service honoring Niagara University veterans kicked off a day full of events Saturday, including Alumni Bash, a presentation on

The Nursing Alumni Council honored Ann Marie Dempsey MacIsaac, ’74; Sister Janet Keim, D.C., ’79; and Dr. M. Joan Mallick, ’69.

More than 100 alumni from the Class of 1969 returned to the Ridge to reminisce and reconnect during Alumni Weekend 2019.


Niagara University

Father Maher and Dr. Timothy Ireland, provost and vice president of academic affairs, present Judith Quigley Ruse, ’69, with the Dunleavy Award.

$673,500, with 22% class participation. This class also holds the distinction of having the most class attendees (114) in Alumni

Weekend history.



ALUMNI ARE FOREVER PURPLE You define Niagara pride. Stay connected with us!


MARRY WHERE YOU MET! Alumni Hall can host your wedding ceremony and the Russell J. Dining Commons can host your wedding reception right on campus.


FIND PURPLE EAGLES ANYWHERE! Attend one of our network events across the country or within your workplace with our corporate network groups.

By Jaclyn Rossi, ’08, M.S.Ed.’10, Director of Alumni Relations


VOLUNTEER FROM YOUR COUCH Write a handwritten note to an accepted student as part of our Niagara Notes program.


PURPLE PERKS Alumni can save on home and auto insurance and utilize career services as a lifelong benefit.

Reasons to Love Your


Alumni Association! TEACH NEW PURPLE EAGLES THE ROPES Attend one of our accepted student receptions in the spring and meet future Purple Eagles.

As a two-time NU graduate and the director of alumni relations, I’m forever Purple. My dresser has a dedicated drawer of old NU student T-shirts, staff polos, sweatshirts, and even a pair of NU embroidered pants. I bring a drawstring NU bag and NU water bottle for the gym, and even have NU flip flops for the summer. So, I may be a little on the excessive side, but I’m sure you have apparel stacked away to wear when you get together with your classmates!


STAY SOCIAL Follow Niagara University Alumni on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Win NU swag by participating in social media contests!

The Niagara University Alumni Association offers so many opportunities to help you stay connected and share your Purple Pride! Here are the top 10.


GET THE SCOOP Stay up to-date with all things Niagara in the Eagle Magazine and our e-newsletter tailored to your interests.


CELEBRATE LEGACIES The Alumni Association honors multigenerational Niagara families at orientation weekend and throughout the year! An Alumni Legacy Scholarship is also in place for all legacy families. (See page 14 for more information.)



Send your new baby announce- ment to our attention and in return, we will send you a Future Purple Eagle bib. It’s never too early to instill the Purple Pride!



Who was there

San Francisco, Calif.—Alumni Gathering—June 1, 2019—Emily Heiler, ’12, Daphne Wyse, ’08, MBA’14, Jacqueline Corodimas, ’01, Kevin O’Shea, ’90, and Alice Cuthbert, ’11.

Philadelphia, Pa.—Alumni Gathering—Aug. 20, 2019—Patrick Glemser, ’86, Howard Morgan, ’86, Joe Hvorecky, ’87, and Bernie Baugh, ’86.

Central New York—Golf Tournament at Tuscarora Golf Course— Sept. 5, 2019—Andrew Burke, ’07, Alex Wilson, ’07, and Connor Young, ’07.


Niagara University

Washington, D.C.—Networking Lunch at Teddy and the Bully Bar— Sept. 25, 2019—John Asiello, ‘60, Laura (Wishart) Asiello, ‘60, Melissa Albrecht, ’04, Stephanie McJury, ’07, Tim Gabel, ’91, and Bridget Cox, ’74.

Trenton, N.J.—Alumni Gathering—Aug. 21, 2019—Front row, l-r: Gary Salvatore, ’70, Richard Eckstein, ’70, Robert Falcey, ’70, Bill Bradshaw, ’72 (honored at the gathering), Joseph Kirlin, ’70, and Gerald Dunworth, ’70. Back row: Ed Riedlinger, ’71, and James Byron, ’70.

By Lisa McMahon, M.A.’09

Gregory Dixon, BA’08

Sharing Stories from Around the World When Gregory Dixon, B.A.’08, came to

Niagara University from Oswego, N.Y., he had two years of experience doing sports broadcasting in his high school’s public access TV

station and planned to continue on that path to a career. As a communication studies major, Dixon interned with the university’s athletics office, shooting promotional videos for the Purple Eagles basketball and hockey teams. And then he saw the award-winning 1998 German indie film “Run Lola Run” in one of his classes. “Something about that movie sparked my interest and got me thinking I could do something like that,” he said. “The idea of positioning cameras in certain ways to tell certain stories, and editing them together with music really sparked a huge interest in me.” Today, he is an award-winning independent filmmaker in his own right. His first foray into filmmaking was while he was still at Niagara—he and a couple of his classmates shot a zombie movie as part of a class project. He returned home after graduation, but soon moved to Chicago to pursue graduate studies in a newly launched master of fine arts program at DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts. Dixon produced nearly a dozen short films while studying and working in DePaul’s media production and training office. In 2010, he was chosen by Real Ideas Studios as one of the top student filmmakers in the world and traveled to France to represent the nonprofit at the Cannes International Film Festival. Collaborating with three other students, Dixon produced the short documentary, “Lumieres,” which compared the glitz and glam of the Cannes Film Festival to the normal, everyday life in that small town through the eyes of a local theater actress. The film won the grand prize in the international documentary competition, and Dixon was named best editor. The experience also provided Dixon with his first international experience and fueled his passion for travel.

In 2013, supported by a $10,000 grant, Dixon produced the short, “Me vs. the Tooth Fairy,” which tells the story of a little boy who tries to protect his older sister from “a molar-stealing monster” in Dr. Seuss-like rhyme. The film played at numerous film festivals, receiving the “Best in Show” award at the 2013 Interrobang Film Festival and the “Audience Choice Award” at the 2013 DePaul University Premiere Film Festival. A year later, Dixon produced the award-winning web series “Couch Surferz,” which featured talent from the famed Second City Network in Chicago, including current “Saturday Night Live” cast member Alex Moffat.

Dixon worked with fellow student and actress McKenzie Chinn in one of his courses at DePaul, a partnership that led to the production of one of his most recent works, the award-winning film “Olympia.” Chinn had reached out to Dixon to help her shape her script, and then asked him to direct and produce it after she was awarded a $50,000 grant from the national Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Visual and Performing Arts. The movie, which stars Chinn as Olympia Welles, a young woman on the cusp of 30 who is faced with major life decisions, also served as Dixon’s MFA thesis.

“I think I was one of the first to do a feature as my thesis,” he said. “Most people do short films. I went full steam ahead.” Dixon and Chinn formed a company together and worked on the movie for about four years. The student film caught the eye of a Los Angeles Film Festival organizer, and they were invited to premiere it there. The feature played at dozens of film festivals across the country after that, including their hometown festival in Chicago, and earned critical acclaim and several awards for both Dixon and Chinn, including “Best Director” at the Niagara Falls International Film Festival, and “Best Feature” at Gig Harbor Film Festival in Washington. It was also nominated for the prestigious “Best Diaspora Feature” by the African Movie Academy Awards. A distribution deal with Chicago-based independent film and television distributor Cow Lamp Films followed,

and the feature is now available on Amazon and British media-services provider Flix Premiere.

“It’s awesome,” Dixon said of the recognition. “We’ve gotten quite a bit of press in the past year, and I’ve been talking to managers and agents, trying to get the next project off the ground. To have all this thrown at you based off a college thesis is kind of incredible.” When he’s not working on scripts, Dixon does freelance marketing and promotional work for companies including the Institute of Food Technologists. He also did some photography for tennis player Maria Sharapova and her candy company, Sugarpova, during the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago. Dixon recently joined Ambiance TV as a video producer, which appeals to his love of travel—he journeys around the world filming landscapes that will play on demand for subscribers. He credits

his time at Niagara and the Vincentian values he learned while there with his desire to connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and to tell their stories.

“Coming to Niagara was my first exposure to people who didn’t look like me, and to how different economic situations can shape different communities,” he explained. “A lot of Vincentian values shaped my world view and personal views and political views, I suppose. But it just opened my mind to the world being much bigger that I thought it was before. “I have a great interest in a diversity of people and how important that diversity of people is,” he continued. “Sharing stories from people who don’t look like you, or didn’t grow up in the neighborhood that you grew up in—being able to tell their stories from the other side of the world to gain insight and perspective is very important, especially right now.”





Patrick Tobin, M.S.’63, was inducted into the St. John Fisher College Athletic Hall of Fame in November 2018. Gen. Walter Kross, B.A.’64, was honored by the

Airlift/Tanker Association during an unveiling ceremony June 14, 2019, at its Walk of Fame at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Gen. Kross is a former Air Mobility Command and United States Transportation Command commander. His bust is now among 29 other busts and medallions that honor mobility airmen who went above the call of duty in service to their nation. Dr. Paul Capacci, B.A.’65, retired from his dental practice six years ago and now works at Groveland Correctional Facility, Groveland, N.Y. Bernard Malone Jr., B.A.’65, received the Trustees Gold Medal from Albany Law School at the school’s 2019 Grand Honors Awards. The medal is the highest accolade bestowed by Albany Law School and is given to an individual in recognition of exemplary support and dedication to the school. Judge Malone also was keynote speaker at the Northeast USA Vietnam Veterans Reunion of Greene County, in Greenville, N.Y. He is a retired New York State Supreme Court Justice and senior counsel with Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, Albany, N.Y. Michael Ricci, B.A.’69, recently published “The Greatest Game: Our Lifelong Romance with Baseball.” It is available on


Sister Evanne Hunter, M.S.Ed.’79, was appointed to the leadership of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters) in Canada. Lana (Powenski) Pasek, B.S.’79, BSN’82, presented her research on “Venturing into Nursing Qualitative Research; Utilizing the Grounded Theory Method to Study Surrogate Decision Makers Caring for Parents with Cancer” at the 17th Qualitative Methods Conference in Brisbane, Australia, in May 2019.

Purple Eagles Are Rising Stars for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Seven Niagara University alumni are participating in the Western New York chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Rising Stars program, which recognizes young professionals for their career accomplishments.

Previous honoree Ashleigh MacMartin, B.A.’06, M.S.Ed.’08, vice president, governance and controls

Bernard Malone Jr., B.A.’65

Lana Pasek, B.S.’79, BSN’82


Jim Dooley, BBA’70, is vice president of Rev. Anthony Kuzia, C.M., B.A.’72, was appointed pastor of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in Portland, Maine.

Anthony Saporito, B.S.’81, was named executive director of the South Jersey Port Corp., Camden, N.J. He is a 38-year veteran of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Frank Ingegno, B.S.’76, retired from United Airlines after 34 years of service in the maintenance and engineering departments. As Boeing 767 Fleet MEL engineer, he was responsible for developing, revising, gaining FAA approval, and publishing the United Airlines 767 Fleet MEL, a document used to authorize aircraft deferrals.

Tom Cavanagh, B.S.’82, was named to the newly created role of senior vice president, new business development, for Lexmark in Lexington, Ky. He previously was vice president and chief customer officer in the Intellectual Property Solutions Division at Eastman Kodak Company.

Niagara University

Pictured at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Rising Stars kickoff event are (left to right): Maggie Hempel, B.S.’16; Courtney Corbetta, B.A.’15; Ashley (Dilcher) Lantz, B.A.’13; Ashleigh MacMartin, B.A.’06, M.S.Ed.’08; Daniel Schlein, MBA’16; Kristen Cavalleri, B.A.’16; and Nola Cornett-Swistak, B.S.’05, M.S.’06.

Honorees participate in professional development and networking events and are paired with a mentor to help better the lives of children and adults living with cystic fibrosis.  

Dr. John Dyster, B.S.’80, joined the medical staff of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center as the medical director of the hospital’s Lewiston, N.Y., primary care center.

channels and alliances at LeaseQuery, Atlanta, Ga.


Dr. Marc Maltby, B.A.’76, M.A.’81, was named dean of academic affairs at Owensboro Community & Technical College, Owensboro, Ky. He will oversee the Department of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Department of Math, Natural and Social Sciences. He began his career with the college in 1988 as a faculty member in the history department.

at HSBC, is serving as chair of the Rising Stars committee this year. Kristen Cavalleri, B.A.’16, account executive at Gelia; and Nola CornettSwistak, B.S.’05, M.S.’06, vice president, risk management at M&T Bank, are also serving on the committee. Maggie Hempel, B.S.’16, a case manager with the Niagara County Office for the Aging; Ashley (Dilcher) Lantz, B.A.’13, event manager/administrative assistant at Kelly for Kids Foundation & Jim Kelly Inc.; Dan Schlein, MBA’16, business development associate at Alliance Advisory Group; and Courtney Corbetta, B.A.’15, co-host/feature reporter AM Buffalo, WKBW-TV, were selected as honorees. “I am passionate about professional growth and development with young professionals in our community,” said MacMartin. “This program is a unique opportunity for young professionals to learn a number of skills, including soft skills, leadership, and philanthropy, while building a professional network.” She noted that the money raised through this program stays in Western New York, and that last year, more than $80,000 was raised.

CATCHING UP Ingrid Skogstrand O’Connell, B.S.’89, received the State of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, in recognition of exemplary teaching and significant contribution to institutional quality in instruction. She has taught in the School of Hotel, Culinary Arts,

and Tourism at SUNY Schenectady since 1994.

Bernard Turi, B.A.’82

Richard Kaz, B.S.’83

Bernard Turi, B.A.’82, senior vice president, general counsel, general auditor, and chief risk officer with the Utica National Insurance Group, was honored by the New York Insurance Association at its annual conference in May.

Peter Pellegrino, B.S.’89, completed 30 years of service with American Airlines in July 2019. He has worked in the Inflight Services department at the airline both as a flight attendant and in management.

Richard Kaz, B.S.’83, has been named second vice president of the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials. He is business administrator for the Northern Burlington County Regional School District. Reneé Abdou-Malta, B.S.’85, is presidentNew York, for Beacon Health Options, a health improvement company that specializes in mental and emotional well-being and recovery. She has been with the company for 27 years, serving in a number of management positions. Tracey (Carpenter) Burkey, B.A.’86, was inducted into the Canastota Central School’s Wall of Distinction for her outstanding professional accomplishments. She is the vice president of sales and services at Visit Syracuse. Sister Ronald Marie Hax, M.S.Ed.’86, celebrated her 50th Jubilee as a Sister of St. Joseph. She had a long career in education as an elementary school teacher and principal. Peggy Smering, B.S.’86, is a practice administrator for Latus Medical Care. She will oversee all operational aspects of the new, innovative primary care practice. Gina Vendetta Bucolo, B.S.’88, is a senior IT project manager at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, N.Y. Chris Inzinga, B.A.’89, MBA’91, is executive director of business development and marketing at Omega TMM, in Fairport, N.Y.

Peter Pellegrino, B.S.’89, with a certificate recognizing his 30-year career with American Airlines.


Robert De Rubeis, M.S.Ed.’90, was appointed superintendent of education for the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board. Richard Rouleau, B.S.’91, retired in May 2019 from a 33-year active career in the Army. His last assignment was chief of Future Operations and Plans Branch with the 10th Mountain Division before deploying to the United Arab Emirates, where he served as the U.S. Military Training Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Tabuk Detachment commander and principal armor advisor to the Royal Saudi Land Forces Armor Institute commander on all matters related to modernization, doctrine, training, leadership, personnel, facilities, and sustainment. He was also the senior Army advisor to the Northwest Area commanding general, his subordinate units, the Tactical Training Center, and the Tactical Engagement Center on all subjects related to training and sustainment.

Stephanie (Basta) Rockwood, BBA’82, MBA’84, Rosemary Basta, A.A.’84, and Dr. Joanne Basta, B.A.’84, M.S.Ed.’89.

A 35-year Legacy In 1984, three members of the Basta family received degrees from Niagara University: Dr. Joanne Basta, B.A.’84, M.S.Ed.’89, an adjunct professor in Niagara University’s mathematics and psychology departments since 1998; her mother, Rosemary Basta, A.A.’84; and her sister, Stephanie (Basta) Rockwood, BBA’82, MBA’84. In addition to her role at NU, Joanne has been a mathematics and science teacher for 30 years, retiring from the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District in 2017. Stephanie’s career took her into the banking industry, where she held various positions over her 34-year banking career. Prior to retiring from First Niagara Bank in 2016, she held the position of senior vice president – director of digital operations. Rosemary managed the family’s State Farm Insurance office in Niagara Falls. Both Stephanie and Joanne have been recognized by Buffalo Business First as “40 Under Forty” honorees. Along with Stephanie and Joanne’s younger sister, Christine D’Aloise, BBA’89, MBA’95, the family established the Alexander C. Basta Memorial Scholarship to assist Niagara students residing in Niagara County in memory of their father and Rosemary’s husband. This year, all three celebrated the 35th anniversary of their graduations from Niagara.

SHOW YOUR PURPLE SPIRIT! Purchase Niagara University team gear, apparel, and accessories at the university’s official online store: shop/niagara-t/home.



CATCHING UP Christopher Wakefield, B.S.’91, has been named director of the Jamestown Community College concert band. He also directs the band program at Clymer Central School and is a member of the Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association board of directors. Col. Mike Rutkowski, B.S.’93, is senior executive service deputy director for the Office of Electronic Health Care Records Modernization for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Jim DeVivo, BFA’99, earned his Ph.D. in educational theatre from New York University in 2018. Pete Strobl, B.S.’99, MBA’00, signed a multiyear contract as head coach of the Basketball Löwen Braunschweig in Germany.

Thank you to the Niagara University Athletics Hall of Fame 1969-70 men’s basketball team for continuing the tradition by making a gift to the men’s basketball program.

Karen Bursik Coupal, B.S.’94, started Organized Matters, a business that offers professional organization and productivity services for businesses and homes. She is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. Lawrence Wozniak, B.A.’95, M.S.’98, is retired from General Motors after a 30-year career, and from United States Customs and Border Protection after more than 16 years. Jeremy Colby, B.A.’96, has joined Niagara University as general counsel. He had been a partner at Webster Szanyi LLP. He also serves as the town justice in Lancaster, N.Y. Maria LoGiudice, B.A.’96, M.S.’99, was appointed assistant deputy secretary for public safety by New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. She most recently served as the managing director of budget and fiscal studies for the NYS Senate Finance Committee. Gretchen (Slosek) Oliver, B.S.’96, was appointed assistant professor of education and assistant director of the master’s degree program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Matthew Talarico, B.S.’02, MBA’06, was named vice president of sales for IVR Technology Group, Buffalo, N.Y.

Pete Strobl, B.S.’99, MBA’00 (second from left) with officials from the Basketball Löwen Braunschweig: Sebastian Schmidt, Paul Anfang, and Michael Reinhart.


Melissa Carter, B.A.’00, was named director of the Monticello Area Community Action Agency’s Head Start program, Charlottesville, Va. In this role, she will oversee 11 Head Start classrooms. Edmund Mielcarek Jr., BBA’00, was named senior vice president and relationship manager at Citizens Financial Group, Buffalo, N.Y. Mike Taberski, B.A.’01, completed his doctorate in higher education administration from New England College in New Hampshire, where he also serves as vice president of student affairs.

Lynch Hall RAs from the 1980s returned to Niagara University the weekend of June 21-23, 2019, for an informal reunion.

Elizabeth Freas, B.A.’03, M.S.Ed.’08, M.S.Ed.’15, was promoted to assistant superintendent of educational supports and Western New York regional information center services at Erie 1 BOCES. Ryan Kagels, BBA’03, was selected by Buffalo Business First as a “40 Under 40” honoree in recognition of his professional success and community involvement. He is chief financial officer for Counsel Financial. Jessica Kemp, B.S.’03, MBA’04, was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Honor Roll during a ceremony on Sept. 14, 2019, at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. She was first in career games played, third in all-time steals, fifth in 3-point shots made, sixth in rebounds, and 12th in scoring when she graduated from Niagara.

Megan (Forsyth) Rinaudo, B.A.’05, was named financial advisor at Thorley Wealth Management in Rochester, N.Y. Steve Morris, B.A.’06, MBA’07, was named president and chief executive officer for CHIRON America, Inc., Charlotte, N.C. Kelly (Barsanti) Peters, B.S.’07, MBA’09, joined Crowley Webb, Buffalo, N.Y., as a digital project manager.

Mike Philipps, ’84, Dave Tillotson, ’83, and Joe Schum, ’83.


Dave Hollingshead, ’85, Ken Burke, ’86, John Ryan, ’86, Pat Sullivan, ’86, Jim Merrill, ’85, Dave Tillotson, ’83, Pat Sennett, ’85, and Mike Johnson, ’85.

Niagara University

Molly Shanahan, B.S.’07, was named communications, events and program coordinator for the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce.

CATCHING UP Robert Ingrasci, BBA’08, has been appointed treasurer of the Mt. St. Mary’s Hospital Founda-

Coren Mitchell, BBA’15, MBA’16, was promoted to senior tax accountant at Lougen, Valenti, Bookbinder & Weintraub, LLP.

University Alumni Association, and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Bob is a principal at Lumsden & McCormick LLP.

Brent Muni, B.A.’15, is front office supervisor at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa.

tion, Lewiston, N.Y. He also serves on the Mt. St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Associates, the Niagara

Michael Kobito, B.S.’16, was assigned to Troop F of the New York State Police and stationed at State Police Ellenville.

Robert Contarin, B.A.’09, was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., on June 1, 2019.

Christina Englert Ferguson, B.S.’09, MBA’11, joined Buffalo, N.Y., marketing communications agency FARM as a project manager on the financial services marketing team. Alex Hinkley, B.S.’09, accepted a position with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office as a paralegal for the counsel to the sheriff.


Several Purple Eagles gathered at the Decker family reunion on June 22, 2019, at Golden Hill State Park in Somerset, N.Y.: Nicholas Ducato, ’11, MBA’18; Karen Molison Decker, ’89; Stacy Pfahler Molison, ’96; Krista Molison Clontz, ’90; Janelle Chiravalle; Emily Decker, ’20; and Ashley Decker, ’18.

Kayla (Kreis) Weitz, BFA’11, B.S.’11, was promoted to director of convention services at Discover Saratoga, where she previously served as director of wedding and sales events.

A. Zachary Boser, B.S.’11, joined Stroudwater Associates, Portland, Maine, as a consultant.

Kaitlyn Augustyniak, B.A.’12, MBA’17, is a new business development specialist for the marketing communications agency FARM, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Crystal Rutkowski, B.S.’11, was named vice president of national accounts for Strategic Capital Distributors.

Jeff Calhoon, B.A.’13, was named head baseball coach for Biola University’s NCAA Division II team, in La Miranda, Calif.

Tracy Snyder, M.S.’11, was named managing director of the Theatre of Youth in Buffalo, N.Y.

Stephanie Harmon, B.S.’13, is event sales and services manager at the Margaritaville Hotel Nashville.

CJ (Bojanowski) Van Note, BBA’11, MBA’12, was promoted to manager at BS&P CPAs and Consultants, Buffalo, N.Y.

John Osberg, B.S.’13, joined Hoffman Hanafin & Associates in Buffalo, N.Y., as director of business development/producer.

Rebecca Saggiomo, B.A.’16, M.S.Ed.’17, was named assistant principal and athletic director for Spencer-Van Etten High School, Spencer, N.Y. William Campbell, Ph.D.’17, was selected by Buffalo Business First as a “40 Under 40” honoree in recognition of his professional success and community involvement. He is director of outside business units at Chapin International, Inc. Rachel Dorgan, B.S.’17, was promoted to corporate sales coordinator at Hamister Group, LLC., Buffalo, N.Y. She has been with the company since 2017, serving as assistant general manager at the Hyatt Place Niagara Falls hotel.

Gerald Skrlin, B.A.’17, was elected secretary of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation, and has been a member of the NFCA’s Bosnia Herzegovina task force committee on human rights research and repatriation of people displaced by the Croatian Balkan War. He also serves as a representative to Croatians in the U.S. for the Diocese of Banja Luka in the Serb Republic.

Taylor Sommerfeldt, BBA’13, MBA’15, was appointed to the position of assurance supervising senior at Lougen, Valenti, Bookbinder & Weintraub, LLP, in Buffalo, N.Y. Alexis Wayne, B.S.’13, M.S.’15, was promoted to associate commissioner for women’s basketball and Olympic sports for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. She had served as the director of women’s basketball operations since 2017. Meghan Avery, B.S.’15, is banquet supervisor at the West Palm Beach Marriott. (Clockwise from top): Institute of Transportation, Travel & Tourism alumni Tom Rolle, ’75, Frank Wald, ’76, Chas Lauria, ’75, and Ken Bagley, ’76, got together to watch the Cleveland Indians at the Toronto Blue Jays on July 24, 2019, and support Bagley’s goal of visiting and watching a Major League Baseball game in all 32 stadiums.

Mary Hill, B.S.’15, joined Kester Search Group, Greenville, N.C., as executive recruiter and business development manager.

From left: Dick Rodney, ‘52, Neal Delisanti, ’67, and Terry Wallace, ’63, met for lunch to discuss all the good things going on at the university. All three are retired colonels, all are former members of the faculty at the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., and all retired in the Carlisle area. With Delisanti as the catalyst, all three are calling for a “Niagara dress code,” which would include “a university crest for the blazer everyone should be wearing.” Wallace waxes eloquent about the campus and all that he sees during visits to the area to see family. Rodney is a classmate of Wallace’s older brother, Tom, and the Delisanti and Wallace families have close to 15 graduates of Niagara between them. The three give their warmest regards and best wishes to the current Niagara family: Go Purple Eagles!




Weddings on the Ridge Dan O’Brien, ’77, Sheila Scahill O’Brien, ’78, and their daughter, Meghan O’Brien Fischer, ’01, stopped at the Great Wall during a recent visit to China.

Nancy Benham, ’18, is superintendent of the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind in Colorado Springs, Colo. Callie Johnson, Ph.D.’18, was selected by Buffalo Business First as a “40 Under 40” honoree in recognition of her professional success and community involvement. She is executive vice president of marketing and communications for the Girl Scouts of Western New York.

Brendan Kise, B.S.’18, MBA’19, joined Reliant Community Credit Union as a business intelligence analyst. He will lead the development and implementation of the credit union’s regulatory loan analytics model. Molly Short Carr, Ph.D.’19, was named president and CEO of Jewish Family Services in Buffalo, N.Y.

Nick Farmer, B.S.’19, was signed to the Wichita Thunder, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors. Jordan VeRost, B.S.’19, joined Mower in Buffalo, N.Y., as an assistant media planner/buyer.

Niagara University Class of 1961 friends (l-r) Jim O’Connor, Bill Bergan, Fred Scullin, and Tom Maher got together to watch the Syracuse-Clemson game on Sept. 14, 2019.


Niagara University

With its breathtaking views that overlook the beautiful Niagara River Gorge, Niagara University has been the venue of choice for many NU alumni when they plan their weddings. Now, NU’s Center for Conferences and Events can help you plan your special day, like they did for these alums: Ashleigh Robertson, ’16, Celebrates Her Special Day on Monteagle Ridge When Ashleigh Robertson, ’16, began to make plans for her July 20, 2019, wedding with her fiancé, Alyx Reynolds, she knew she wanted Niagara University to be part of the celebration. “NU was like a home for me,” she said. “I loved spending time there, and I never wanted to leave. I wanted my special day at the place that was special to me.”

So she reached out to Niagara University’s Center for Conferences and Events, and four months later, was enjoying a beautiful reception in the Russell J. Salvatore Dining Commons on campus, the first ever hosted in the new dining addition.

“The special events office went above and beyond for the reception,” Ashleigh said. “Everything was better than I could have imagined. The food was amazing; the decorations were just perfect. They took all my ideas and made them a reality. I just loved having my wedding weekend up at the place that I called

Bride and groom Mary (Wallace) Neville, ’59, and Col. Martin Loftus, ’57 (center) with best man, Linus Ormsby, M.S.Ed.’88, former director of public relations at Niagara University, and maid of honor, Patricia Ormsby Sexton.

home for four years, and share that place with the one I love. I am so grateful to have gone to a school like NU and to have a beautiful place to hold my wedding.” Old Friendship Leads to New Romance Mary (Wallace) Neville, ’59, and Col. Martin Loftus, ’57, met as undergraduates at Niagara University. But they went their separate ways and lost track of each other as they began their careers, got married, and had families. When Col. Loftus returned to Monteagle Ridge for Alumni Reunion in 2018, the 61st anniversary of his graduation, he reached out to Mary, who was living in Lewiston, N.Y. The two, who were both widowed, rekindled their friendship, and it blossomed into a romance.

On Aug. 31, 2019, the couple married where their friendship began—at Niagara University. The wedding in Alumni Chapel was officiated by the Rev. Vincent O’Malley, C.M. The bride’s nephew, Linus Ormsby, M.S.Ed.’88, former director of public relations at Niagara University, served as best man, while Mary’s niece, Patricia Ormsby Sexton, also an NU alum, served as maid of honor. Col. Loftus’ classmate at NU, retired Lt. Col. Samuel Sindoni, and his wife were also on hand to celebrate Mary and Marty’s special day, which included a reception in the university’s Russell J. Salvatore Dining husband, Alyx, lds, ’16, and her Commons. yno Re . on ge rts be Rid hleigh Ro Monteagle

As ir special day on celebrated the

If you’re interested in hosting your wedding on campus, contact Sue Strzalkowski at 716.286.8709 or

CATCHING UP Marriages/Anniversaries Michael, B.S.’87, and Elaine (Blackburn) Slesinski, B.S.’88, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary July 22, 2019, by renewing their vows while on an Alaskan cruise.

Mark Stamer, BBA’12, MBA’13, and Sarah LeFevre, BBA’12, MBA’13, were married on June 15, 2019. Colin Lynch, B.S.’13, and Angela Romano, B.S.’14, M.S.’15, were married on July 13, 2019. Joshua LaSpada, B.S.’14, and Brenna Gilbert, B.S.’15, were married on March 30, 2019. Selena Cerra, B.S.’17, and Jonathan Borek, B.S.’18, were married on June 28, 2019.

Lilah Diane Trentley

Joseph Trentley, B.S.’00, MBA’02, and his wife, Leah, welcomed a daughter, Lilah Diane, on May 24, 2019. Michael, B.S.’87, and Elaine (Blackburn) Slesinski, B.S.’88

John Jones, B.S.’01, and his wife, Amanda, welcomed a daughter, Serenity Grace, on Oct. 24, 2018.

Chris Inzinga, B.A.’89, MBA’91, and Sandra Berg were married on July 13, 2019. Robert Restaino II, B.S.’10, and Gina Leone, B.S.’12, were married on June 9, 2018.

Gina Leone, B.S.’12, and Robert Restaino II, B.S.’10

Selena Cerra, B.S.’17, and Jonathan Borek, B.S.’18

Christy Ottmar-DiPrima, B.A.’02, and her husband, Louis, welcomed a daughter, Angelina Margaret, on April 4, 2019.


Lindsay (Pole) Blair, B.S.’05, and her husband, Michael, welcomed a son, Anderson Robert, on Jan. 26, 2019.

To see all our Future Purple Eagles, visit alumni-baby-photos/)

Michael Ganley, B.A.’05, and his wife, Lisa, welcomed a son, Jonathan Michael, on Dec. 27, 2018.

David Head, B.A.’00, and his wife, Andrea, welcomed a son, Andrew Xavier, on May 29, 2019. He joins big sisters Carolina and Camila.

Jennifer (Strasser) Klima, B.A.’05, and her husband, Anthony, welcomed a daughter, Emily, on April 9, 2019.

Colin Lynch, B.S.’13, and Angela Romano, B.S.’14, M.S.’15, with NU friends.

Roxanna (Cervasio) Otero, B.A.’05, and her husband, Alexander, welcomed a daughter, Natalie Nicole, on Oct. 15, 2018.

Angelina Margaret DiPrima




Ingrid Agatha Nethercott

Elliana Rae Hummel

Amanda (Bonfiglio) Kraska, B.A.’06, M.S.Ed.’08, and her husband, Jeff, welcomed a daughter, Addison, on Sept. 6, 2018. Matthew, B.S.’06, and Kimberlee (Clark) Nethercott, B.A.’07, welcomed a daughter, Ingrid Agatha, on March 6, 2019. Shannon (Penafeather) Stott, B.A.’06, and her husband, Brian, welcomed a son, Parker James, on May 8, 2019. Andrew Chesebro, B.S.’07, and his wife, Maggie, welcomed a daughter, Elisabeth Shelby, on June 8, 2019. Anna (Holm) Fordyce, B.A.’07, and her husband, Will, welcomed a son, Liam, on Nov. 19, 2018. Kelly (Thomson) Hummel, B.A.’07, and her husband, Alex, welcomed a daughter, Elliana Rae, on March 19, 2019. Daniel, B.A.’07, M.S.Ed.’10, and Annie (Washob) Krolewski, B.A.’07, welcomed a daughter, Michalina Mae, on June 1, 2019. She joins big sister Lucy Helen. Jacqulyn (Mueller) Samuelson, B.A.’07, and her husband, Aaron, welcomed a son, Tucker James, on March 29, 2019.

Jessica (Teddy), B.S.’12, and Zachary McCarthy, B.S.’09, MBA’11, with son, James Bear.

Michelle (Manfredi) Hall, B.A.’08, and her husband, Neal, welcomed a son, Hunter, on June 5, 2019.

David, B.S.’09, and Laura (DiNicola) DeMizio, B.S.’09, welcomed a daughter, Sofia Rose, on July 15, 2019.

Steven, BBA’08, MBA’09, and Leighann (Ebert) Hoover, B.S.’10, M.S.Ed.’12, welcomed a son, Steven Leonard Jr., on April 5, 2019.

Raymond, B.S.’09, and Brittany (Bisnott DeWire, B.S.’08, welcomed a son, Raymond Phillip, on Feb. 28, 2019. He joins big sister Blythe Lorraine.

Kerri (Hayes) Pastwik, B.A.’08, and her husband, Jacob, welcomed a son, Everett Jacob, on March 29, 2019.

Ashley (Mandrino) Didia, B.S.’09, MBA’11, and her husband, Joseph, welcomed a daughter, Lucy Hazel, on June 15, 2019.

Kathryn (Pratt) Prince, B.A.’08, and her husband, William, welcomed a son, William, on April 6, 2019.

Zachary, B.S.’09, MBA’11, and Jessica (Teddy) McCarthy, B.S.’12, welcomed a son, James Bear, on June 5, 2019.

Elizabeth (McColgin) Reynolds, B.S.’08, MBA’09, and her husband, Derek, welcomed a son, Tyler, on Dec. 3, 2018.

Eric, BBA’09, MBA’10, and Amanda (Summers) Reeners, B.S.’10, welcomed a son, Abbott Carl, on March 21, 2019.

Ryan, B.S.’08, and Amanda (Holody) Schaal, B.S.’08, welcomed a daughter, Madalynn Rose, on Nov. 21, 2018. Megan (Mullaney) Schmitt, B.S.’08, M.S.’09, and her husband, Steve, welcomed a daughter, Allegra Reese, on July 1, 2019.

Elisabeth Shelby Chesebro


Niagara University

Alex Stugis, B.S.’08, and his wife, Danielle, welcomed a daughter, Charlotte Grace, on June 11, 2019.

Charlotte Grace Stugis

Abbot Carl Reeners

CATCHING UP Phil Diaz, B.A.’10, MBA’19, and his wife, Crystal, welcomed a daughter, Ada Marie, on June 11, 2019. Whitney (Coles) Gordon, B.A.’10, M.S.’11, and her husband, Lance, welcomed a daughter, Abigail, on May 12, 2019. Steven, B.S.’10, and Ashley (Serwon) Gruhalla, B.A.’11, B.A.’13, welcomed a son, Elias Jude, on Jan. 4, 2019. Karen (Rajsky) Harrigton, B.S.’10, and her husband, Michael, welcomed a son, Marvin, on Oct. 30, 2018. Kelly (Mullaney) Milliman, B.S.’10, M.S.’11, and her husband, Matthew, welcomed a daughter, Madelyn, on July 7, 2019. Stephen, B.S.’10, M.S.’11, and Angela (Puzzella) Papia, B.A.’14, welcomed a daughter, Elliott Ruth, on April 5, 2019. Camille (Granchelli) Spilker, B.S.’10, and her husband, Jordan, welcomed a daughter, Hazel Elizabeth, on Dec. 6, 2018. Amanda (Eberle) Chapman, B.S.’11, and her husband, Steven, welcomed a son, Jackson Steven, on Aug. 1, 2019. He joins big sister Sloane Genevieve. John Powers, B.A.’12, and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a daughter, Shailene, on May 1, 2019. Demi (Bumbaco) McGloin, B.A.’14, and her husband, Mike, welcomed a daughter, Harper, on Oct. 19, 2018. Sarah (Radin) Odien, B.S.’14, and her husband, Zachary, welcomed a son, Jace, on Sept. 17, 2018. Marissa (Michael) Rogers, B.A.’14, M.S.Ed.’15, and her husband, Gary, welcomed a daughter, Liliana, on Jan. 23, 2019. Sara (Privitera) DiLeo, B.S.’15, and her husband, Joseph, welcomed a son, Joseph Christopher, on May 12, 2019.

In Memoriam John F. Fischer, B.A.’51, passed away June 11, 2019. He worked in telecommunications, retiring as a vice president in sales for Lucent Technologies. Carl R. Price, B.A.’51, passed away June 5, 2019. He had a long career in personnel administration/human resources, and retired as a senior negotiator with the New Jersey State Department of Transportation. Walter Rooney Sr., B.S.’51, passed away Oct. 1, 2019. He was a referee crew chief for the NBA until 1993, and also served as president of the NBA referee union, as a union executive board member, and as a supervisor of referees until his retirement in 1998. Our condolences to his son, Walter Rooney Jr., B.S.’80. Paul J. Clement, B.A.’52, passed away May 24, 2019. Conrad P. Kiesel, B.A.’52, M.A.’58, passed away June 5, 2019. Robert G. English, B.A.’53, passed away May 8, 2019. The Rev. Thomas J. Gillespie, OSFS, B.A.’53, passed away July 27, 2019. He served in a variety of assignments until his final retirement as parochial vicar of St. Ann Parish in Naples, Fla. Rev. Alfred J. Bebel, B.A.’54, SOLA’58, passed away March 13, 2019. He served as associate pastor and pastor of St. Ann’s Church in Binghamton, N.Y. Our condolences to his brother, Sgt. Bernard Bebel, B.S.’61. George R. Lombardi, B.S.’54, M.S.Ed.’60, passed away Dec. 26, 2018. He was a teacher and guidance counselor in the Niagara Falls, N.Y., school district. Our condolences to his wife, Norma (Forcucci) Lombardi, M.S.Ed.’77, and to his son, Robert Lombardi, BBA’81.

John Mulvey, B.S.’56, passed away Dec. 11, 2018. He worked for the IRS before returning to Geneva, N.Y., to manage his family’s real estate affairs. Our condolences to his brother, Richard Mulvey, ’58. Catherine (Butler) Farese, B.S.’57, passed away July 19, 2019. She worked in nursing, teaching, and as a branch manager for Smith & Associates Realty Company. Robert L. Gedeon Sr., ’58, passed away June 6, 2019. He worked at The Permanent Savings Bank in Niagara Falls, N.Y., retiring as president and CEO. Our condolences to his sons, Robert Gedeon Jr., B.S.’81, and James Gedeon, B.A.’87; to his daughters, Carolyn (Gedeon) Barry, B.S.’83, and Kathleen (Gedeon) Cook, B.A.’92; to his son-in-law, Stephen Cook, B.S.’92; and to his daughter-in-law, Paula (McGowan) Gedeon, M.S.Ed.’00. Susan (Moore) Edgette, B.S.’59, passed away March 3, 2019. Our condolences to her husband, Charles Edgette, M.S.’75, and to her brother, John Moore, B.S.’54. Patricia (Smith) Lanighan, B.S.’59, passed away Aug. 24, 2019. John A. Onori, B.A.’59, passed away June 16, 2019. He was a science teacher in the Auburn, N.Y., Enlarged City School District. Robert E. Weichbrodt, BBA’59, passed away Aug. 19, 2019. He bought his first McDonald’s in 1982 and owned 12 when he retired. John F. Andrews, BBA’60, passed away July 24, 2019. He was a CPA in Western New York. Dr. Robert B. Pondolfino Sr., ’60, passed away Aug. 2, 2019. He was a dentist in Oneonta, N.Y.

Dr. James Ritzenthaler, B.A.’55, passed away Jan. 27, 2019. He was an orthodontist in Lockport, N.Y., for more than 40 years.



CATCHING UP Dr. Sylvia (Sawczyk) Svitak, B.S.’61, passed away June 5, 2019. She was a professor in the mathematics department at Queensborough Community College in Queens, N.Y., until her retirement in August 2018. Our condolences to her sister, Bernadette (Sawczyk) Mills, B.S.’67. Leo A. Nojaim, B.A.’62, M.S.Ed.’68, passed away March 11, 2019. He was an administrator/director of guidance for the East Aurora School district for 35 years. Our condolences to his wife, Maryfrances (Bumbalo) Nojaim, B.S.’63. Col. Paul O’Brien, B.S.’63, passed away April 10, 2019. He held multiple executive positions at Rochester Telephone, Bausch & Lomb, and his own company, Capital Formation Group. Dr. Rocco Venuto, B.S.’63, passed away July 11, 2019. He was an internationally renowned kidney specialist who served as a professor and chief of nephrology at the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for 50 years. He was also medical director of renal transplants and director of the chronic kidney disease program at Erie County Medical Center. Our condolences to his wife, Ann (Henry) Venuto, B.S.’64. Jerald Bays, B.A.’64, passed away March 23, 2019. He taught history and economics at Lockport High School. Lt. Col. David O’Dea, B.A.’64, passed away May 10, 2019. He served as a military police officer, assistant superintendent at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, and with the Auburn, Wash., Police Department. George A. Scott, B.A.’67, passed away June 21, 2019. He was a retired executive of the Ford Motor Company and its LincolnMercury Division.

Robert T. Johnson, B.A.’69, passed away Nov. 3, 2018. He co-owned the Hogan, Johnson and Casey Funeral Home until 1988, and then worked for the NYS Department of Health, in insurance, and as a substitute teacher in Olean, N.Y. Rev. Lynn M. Shumway, B.A.’69, M.S.Ed.’71, passed away June 12, 2019. He worked in information systems for Consolidated Rail Corp. before being ordained a priest. He then served as parochial vicar and pastor of several Western New York parishes. Our condolences to Bill Shannon, B.A.’70, on the death of his mother, Mona Shannon, who passed away Sept. 29, 2019. Our condolences to Paul Balas, B.S.’72, on the death of his mother, Mary Foltin, who passed away July 3, 2019. Our condolences to John Burke, B.A.’72, on the death of his father, Michael Burke, who passed away July 10, 2019. Our condolences to Rev. Michael Cummins, B.S.’72, on the death of his brother, Rev. Joseph Cummins, C.M., who passed away Oct. 5, 2019. Our condolences to Mary Jane Clarke Finlay, M.A.’72, on the death of her husband, Edward Finlay, who passed away Aug. 6, 2019. Our condolences to Mark Totaro, B.S.’73; Maria (Totaro) Comeskey, B.S.’83, and Marlene (Totaro) Funk, B.S.’85, on the death of their mother; and to Barbara (Smith) Totaro, B.S.’74, and Patrick Comeskey, B.S.’84, on the death of their mother-in-law, Anna Totaro, who passed away March 17, 2019. George E. Karalus, B.A.’74, passed away May 26, 2019. He was a history teacher at Depew Middle School after a career as a New York state trooper. Carmelette (DeFazio) Rotella, M.S.’74, passed away June 26, 2019. She was a teacher and teachers’ union leader who also served as president of the Niagara Falls Board of Education.


Niagara University

Our condolences to Chas Lauria, B.S.’75, on the death of his father, Frank Lauria, who passed away Aug. 30, 2019. Kathleen (McQuestion) O’Connell, BBA’75, passed away June 12, 2019. She established several businesses, including McQ’s Tavern in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Productive Transportation in Tonawanda, N.Y., and the Overseas Pub & Grill in Marathon, Fla. Our condolences to her husband, Timothy O’Connell, B.S.’74. Antoinette (Cumbo) DeMita, B.S.’76, passed away Aug. 5, 2018. Our condolences to her sons, Robert DeMita, B.S.’80, and Mario DeMita, B.S.’82. John D. Belcher, M.S.Ed.’77, passed away May 17, 2019. He was a teacher with the Toronto, Ontario, district school board. Larry T. Brawn, B.S.’77, passed away July 27, 2019. He was an accountant and manager of the railcar fleet for Occidental Chemical Corp. Our condolences to his wife, Muriel (Faery) Brawn, M.S.Ed.’77. David J. Pilaroscia, B.S.’77, passed away Aug. 24, 2019. Deborah (Flaherty) Olmsted, B.S.’78, passed away June 4, 2019. She was a critical care nurse in Boston and Hartford before running the West Falmouth Veterinary Clinic with her husband. David W. Maxwell, B.S.’79, passed away May 18, 2019. He retired from the New York State Department of Corrections after a 25-year career. Our condolences to Patricia McCauley, B.S.’79, on the death of her mother, Mary McCauley, who passed away Nov. 1, 2018. Our condolences to Teresa (Staub) Tsark, B.S.’80, on the death of her husband; and to Ann (Staub) Claus, B.S.’82, on the death of her brother-in-law, Paul Tsark, who passed away Feb. 24, 2019.

Ann L. Gallagher, B.A.’84, passed away Aug. 1, 2019. Our condolences to her daughters, Catherine (Gallagher) Austin, B.A.’72, and Mary (Gallagher) Washington, B.S.’76; to her sons, Michael Gallagher, B.A.’75; and Patrick Gallagher, B.S.’76; to her son-in-law, Michael Austin, B.A.’73; and to her daughter-in-law, Maureen (Pawenska) Gallagher, B.S.’75. Frank M. Seep, BBA’86, MBA’97, passed away Sept. 6, 2019. Our condolences to Michael Slesinski, B.S.’87, on the death of his father; and to Elaine (Blackburn) Slesinski, B.S.’88, on the death of her father-in-law, Richard Slesinski, who passed away Feb. 1, 2019. Our condolences to Jean (Yurgealitis) Walsh, B.S.’88, on the death of her mother; to James Walsh, B.S.’88, on the death of his motherin-law; and to Erin Walsh, B.S.’14, on the death of her grandmother, Ellen Yurgealitis, who passed away May 22, 2019. Our condolences to Paula (Giordano) Mabe, B.S.’89, on the death of her husband, Nicholas Mabe, who passed away July 2, 2019.

Share Your News With Us! Whether it’s the announcement of a wedding, birth or adoption, a new step in your career, or a retirement update, we’d love to know what’s new with you! Please use this form to submit your information for publication in the Eagle magazine. All information submitted for publication must be signed by the alum listed. Only information submitted on this form, via employers’ public relations departments, available in published articles, or emailed to Lisa McMahon, Eagle editor ( will be considered for publication.

Mail form to: Lisa McMahon Office of Public Relations - Niagara University, N.Y. 14109 We also encourage you to send photos along with your note. Digital photos should be taken at the camera’s highest quality setting and emailed to with a brief description of the photo and the names and class years of the people in it. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication of class notes or photos in the Eagle magazine.

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Career Notes/Retirement Update/Community Service

Deborah (DeBan) Haseley, B.S.’92, M.S.Ed.’00, MBA’12, passed away March 22, 2019. She was an operations trade specialist at Moog Aerospace and Defense Company. Our condolences to her brother, Harry DeBan, B.A.’75. Matthew T. Roche, B.A.’95, passed away Oct. 3, 2019. He worked in management in resorts in Florida, Nevada, and Colorado. Lynette Angus, B.S.’01, passed away Aug. 9, 2019. She was a social worker and private practice psychotherapist in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Michelle M. Ando, B.S.’12, passed away Sept. 11, 2019. Alexander Dorliae, an associate professor in Niagara University’s College of Education, passed away June 30, 2019.

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Birth/Adoption Announcement Birth/Adoption (check one) Date of birth Baby’s Name ❏ Daughter ❏ Son Spouse NU Class of



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Fall 2019 Niagara University Eagle alumni magazine  

Fall 2019 Niagara University Eagle alumni magazine