Canisius College
Motto"Where leaders are made"
Endowment$71 Million [1]
PresidentJohn J. Hurley
LocationBuffalo, New York, United States
ColorsBlue and Gold
MascotGolden Griffin

Canisius College (pron.: /kəˈnʃəs/) is a private Roman Catholic college in Buffalo, New York, United States. The college was founded in 1870 by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) from Germany and is named after St. Peter Canisius. The college is one of 28 institutions in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.[2]

The campus sprawls across over a mile of city blocks and includes dedicated NCAA Division I athletic facilities along with various academic and residence buildings.


The Canisius College of Buffalo, commonly referred to as Canisius, has a long and proud history in the city of Buffalo. The first campus was on Ellicott St. in the city and was created in response to a growing need for higher education in the area. Buffalo was composed of many ethnic groups and one of the larger populations was German in origin.[3] As Europe experienced political turmoil, more and more people left for America especially after the failed revolutions of 1848. By 1866, Prussia had exerted considerable pressure on its Germanic neighbors which cause many more people to leave. One of the places where many Germans settled was Buffalo, NY. Part of the immigrant population included German Jesuits. The college formed with Canisius High School as a natural response to the needs of the Catholic community. The college archives has an extensive collection pertaining to the history of the college and its founding.


Canisius College has three schools. They are:

College of Arts and Sciences

Wehle School of Business

School of Education and Human Services.

Campaign for CanisiusEdit

In the fall of 2007, the college announced plans to raise $90 million by the year 2012 for capital improvements and to enhance the college’s endowment. It is the largest fund-raising initiative in the college’s history.[4] Of the $90 million goal, $47 million will fund the creation of an interdisciplinary science center at the college. This impressive undertaking creates a vital physical and visual connection between various parts of the campus through 1901 Main Street. Included in this program was the full acquisition of a 1,500 space parking ramp which will provide room for additional commuter students. The college announced on November 20, 2008 the acquisition of the building from The Uniland Partnership of Delaware LP.[5] 42°55′31″N 78°51′10″W / 42.92528, -78.85278


U.S. News and World Report ranked Canisius as 20th among regional schools in its "North Region."[1] Canisius was included in Kaplan's list of "America's 367 Most Interesting Schools."


Canisius offers more than 125 majors, minors and special programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Links to all of the departments can be found here

In fall 2009, Canisius College introduced a new major in Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation.[2] Other new majors recently announced include [3] Creative Writing, Health and Wellness, and [4] Journalism.

Student lifeEdit

More than 130 clubs and organizations are located on-campus. All student clubs and organizations must be approved by the Undergraduate Student Association and its Senators. Student programs offered include the Best of Buffalo series, the annual Fall Semi-Formal, the annual Mr. Canisius competition, the annual Mass of the Holy Spirit with Fall BBQ, Springfest and Oktoberfest.[5][6]



The Canisius College Golden Griffins are composed of 16 teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, track, lacrosse, soccer, and swimming and diving. Men's sports include baseball, ice hockey, and golf. Women's sports include volleyball, synchronized swimming, and softball. The Golden Griffins compete in the NCAA Division I and are members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) for most sports, except for the men's ice hockey team, which competes in the Atlantic Hockey.

In 2008, Canisius men's lacrosse won the MAAC tournament and earned its first ever bid to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament.[7]

The 2008 Baseball team won the regular season MAAC championship for the first time in its history with a 41-13 record breaking the school record for wins in a season. One season later, the team advanced to its first MAAC Championship game in program history.[8]

The Canisius College softball team recently won the 2009 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, its 3rd consecutive title win, marking the team's 11th trip to the NCAA tournament in the last 15 years. The softball team is consistently the winner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.[9]

Canisius won the Canal Cup in 2008 and 2009. The cup commemorates the athletic rivalry between Canisius College and Niagara University. Canisius has won the trophy two times in the Canal Cup's three year existence.[10]

The Canisius synchronized swim team has been the 3rd place team in the nation since 2008, fielding several national champions in several categories each year. The team has been ECAC champions since 1996.

Intramural sports are also offered to students, faculty and staff.

Canisius' mascot is the Golden Griffin. The college adopted it in 1932, after Charles A. Brady ('33) wrote a story in a Canisius publication honoring Buffalo's centennial year as a city. Brady wrote about Rene-Robert LaSalle's Le Griffon, the first European ship to sail the upper Great Lakes, built here in Buffalo. The name stuck, and Canisius' mascot was born.

According to, the griffin is a "mythical creature of supposed gigantic size that has the head, forelegs and wings of an eagle and the hindquarters, tail and ears of a lion." It represents values such as strength, vigilance, and intelligence, all of which befit a college and qualities that one would look for in students and athletes alike.

Pro Football VenueEdit

The College was also the home field of the Buffalo All-Americans of the early National Football League. Around 1917, Buffalo manager, Barney Lepper, signed a lease for the team to play their home games at Canisius College. The All-Americans played several of their games at Canisius before relocating to Bison Stadium in 1924.[11]

Greek lifeEdit

All of Canisius College's fraternities and sororities are approved by the Canisius College Office of Campus Programing and Leadership Development and each has strict policies against hazing. A list of organizations approved by the college can be found here:Canisius Greek Life


Canisius College is the Reserve Officer Training Corps hub for Western New York. The Golden Griffin Battalion is composed of students from Canisius, University at Buffalo (UB), Hilbert College, D'Youville College, Daemen College, Medaille College and Erie Community College.

In 2008, the ROTC battalion won the MacArthur Award as the top battalion in the east region.[12]


Canisius is served by two strategically placed stations on the Buffalo Metro Rail, the Humboldt-Hospital Station near Sisters Hospital and the Delavan Canisius College Station near the Koessler Athletic Center. These two stations are on opposite ends of the campus. In addition, Canisius is accessible via Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority bus and by car. All undergraduate students receive an all zone Metro Pass that started as a pilot program but became so wildly successful that all students will continue to receive the pass.

Shuttle ServicesEdit

The college also utilizes shuttles for students to and from various places on campus. For more information see Canisius Shuttle Bus Service

Student Run MediaEdit

The GriffinEdit

The student newspaper is The Griffin. The paper started in 1933, replacing The Canisian, and is published every week while classes are in session. The paper also produces a parody issue on the last day of classes each year.[13]

The QuadrangleEdit

An annual literary and artwork magazine. The Quadrangle is primarily built on selected writings, artwork, and photographs constructed by enrolled Canisius students.


public-access television cable TV, broadcasting to Canisius College televisions from the fourth floor studio at Lyons Hall.

The AzuwurEdit

The Canisius College yearbook, published once a year. (Pronounced "as-you-were")

The WIREEdit

The WIRE is the college's radio station, which broadcasts over the campus television system. The WIRE replaced WCCG, and is currently available online through the Canisius College website.[14]

The CourierEdit

Canisius College's magazine-style opinion orientated publication. Created as a magazine in 2006, the publication has been known to be at times controversial but it served as a publication to where students, no matter what their opinions may be, could freely voice and express their opinions.[15]

Notable alumniEdit

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Canisius has approximately 40,000 living alumni worldwide and are achieving considerable success in business, journalism, government, law, medicine and sports.

  • In business, notable Canisius alumni include: Mark J. Czarnecki MBA '91, President of M&T Bank;[1] Calvin Darden ’72, named 8th Most Powerful Black Executive in America by Fortune Magazine;[2] Leo R. Futia '40, former president and chairman of Guardian Life;[3] George Mathewson ’72, former chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland; Charles Moran Jr., president & COO of Delaware North;[4] Carl J. Montante '64, Founder, President & Managing Director of Uniland Development named 2010 Buffalo Outstanding Citizen;[5] John W. Rowe ’66, former chairman and CEO of Aetna; Robert J. Slater '59, former President & COO of Crane Co.;[6] Dennis F. Strigl ’74, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless; Mary Wittenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Road Runners; and Peter P. Zaleski '60, former President and CEO of KeyBank.
  • In journalism and television, notable Canisius alumni include: Anne Burrell '91, host of the Food Network's Secrets Of a Restaurant Chef; J. Michael Collins, co-founder and former president and CEO of WNED-TV and Emmy Award winner;[7] Gene F. Jankowski ’55, former president of the CBS Broadcast Group;[8] Elizabeth MacDonald '84, award-winning business journalist for Fox Business News and the Wall Street Journal; Todd McDermott, Emmy Award news anchor at WPIX-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Michael Scheuer '74, CBS News terrorism analyst, former CIA Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station and author of Imperial Hubris.
  • In sports, notable Canisius alumni include: Bob MacKinnon ’50, former NBA Head Coach and General Manager of the New Jersey Nets; Johnny McCarthy, member of the 1963-64 NBA Champion Boston Celtics and first of just three players in NBA history to record a triple-double; Gerry Meehan, former NHL player and General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres; Dick Poillon, member of the 1942 NFL Champion Washington Redskins and Pro Bowl selection; and Michael Smrek ’85, member of the 1986-87 and 1987-88 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers.

External linksEdit


  1. M&T Bank Executive Team: Mark J. Czarnecki, accessed February 22, 2011.
  2. UPS Corporate: Calvin Darden, accessed February 22, 2011.
  3. NNDB: Leo R. Futia, accessed March 1, 2011
  4. Delaware North Companies: Charles Moran Jr., accessed February 22, 2011.
  5. Uniland Development: Carl J. Montante, accessed June 4, 2011.
  6. First Industial Realty Trust Board of Directors: Robert J. Slater, accessed February 22, 2011.
  7. The Buffalo Broadcasters: Mike Collins: "Bid Once...Big High!", accessed February 27, 2011.
  8. Gene F. Jankowski, Retired Former President CBS Broadcasting Elected to CASA* Columbia Board, accessed February 22, 2011.
  9. NNDB: Edward G. Zubler, accessed February 28, 2011.

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