Canisius College

For other uses, see Jakarta Canisius College and Canisius-Kolleg.
Canisius College
Latin: Collegium Canisii
Type Private
Established 1870 (1870)
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
Endowment US $103 Million[1]
President John J. Hurley
Academic staff
Total: 459
(210 full-time / 249 part-time)[2]
Students 4,537[2]
Undergraduates 3,084[2]
Postgraduates 1,453[2]
Location Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Campus Urban - 72 acres (29.1 ha)
Colors Blue and Gold[3]
Athletics NCAA Division I - MAAC AH
Sports 17 varsity sports teams[4]
(8 men's and 9 women's)
Nickname Golden Griffins / Lady Griffins
Mascot Petey the Griffin
Affiliations AJCU

Canisius College /kəˈnʃəs/ was founded in 1870 by members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) from Germany and is named after St. Peter Canisius. It is a private college in the Hamlin Park neighborhood of Buffalo, New York, United States. One of 28 Jesuit institutions in the nation, Canisius offers 145 undergraduate majors and minors and around 35 master’s and certificate programs. The college sponsors 20 NCAA Division 1 Athletic teams and is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).


"Canisius" has its roots in the Jesuit community that arose from disputed ownership of St. Louis Church in Buffalo in 1851.[5][6] Rev. Lucas Caveng, a German Jesuit, along with 19 families from St. Louis Church, founded St. Michael's Church on Washington St.[6] The college followed, primarily for serving sons of German immigrants, along with the high school in 1870, first at 434 Ellicott St. and next to St. Michael's.[7] In 1913 construction of the Old Main building at 2001 Main St. was completed.[8] The early presidents of the college were German Jesuits.[9]


Canisius offers more than 100 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). In fall 2009, Canisius College introduced a new major in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation.[10] Other new majors include Creative Writing,[11] Health and Wellness, and Journalism.[12] With the George E. Schreiner '43, MD, Pre-Medical Center as an asset,[13] the college caters strongly to the biological and health science fields and holds close relationships with both the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM).

Student life

Canisius has on campus about 90 clubs and organizations, vetted by the Undergraduate Student Association and its Senators. Program offerings include the Best of Buffalo series, Fusion game nights, the Fall Semi-Formal, the "Mr. Canisius" competition, the Mass of the Holy Spirit with Fall BBQ and Bonfire, Griffin Week, and Griff Fest (formerly "Quad Party" & "Springfest").[14][15] With a growing student population in its colleges, Buffalo has begun offering free Canal-side concerts, along with "Shakespeare in the Park", the Polish Broadway Market, Silo City "Boom Days" (on Buffalo's industrial history), and Dyngus Day.

The last day of classes was traditionally known as "Quad Party" until 2008 when a SWAT team was used to prevent underage drinking in and around the campus.[16]


The Canisius College Golden Griffins are composed of 16 teams including men and women's basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, and swimming and diving. Men's sports include baseball, ice hockey, and golf. Women's sports include volleyball 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 men's ice hockey which competes in the Atlantic Hockey Association. In 2013, the men's ice hockey team won its first Atlantic Hockey Championship, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. In 2008, Canisius men's lacrosse won the MAAC tournament and earned its first bid to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship tournament.[17]

The Women's Lacrosse team won MAAC Championships four years in a row (2010-2014). The 2008 Baseball team won its first regular season MAAC championship, with a 41-13 season, and the following year made its first appearance in the MAAC Championship game.[18] In 2013, the team won the MAAC Championship and received its first bid to the NCAA tournament. The Canisius College softball team won the 2009 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament for its 3rd consecutive title, marking the team's 11th trip to the NCAA tournament in 15 years.[19] In its rivalry with Niagara University Canisius won the Canal Cup two of the first three years (2008 and 2009).[20] Intramural sports are also offered for students, faculty, and staff.

Canisius' mascot is the Golden Griffin. The use of a griffin arose from the fact that Robert de La Salle who explored Lake Erie in a ship named Le Griffon had received a Jesuit education. The college adopted the griffin 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, built here in Buffalo. The griffin was first used on the La Salle medal in 1932 and from there spread to the college newspaper and sports teams.[21][22][23][24] According to, the griffin is a "legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet." It represents values such as courage, boldness, intelligence, and strength befitting students and athletes alike.

The College was also the first 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 games at Canisius before relocating to Bison Stadium in 1924.[25]

Greek life

Canisius College's fraternities and sororities are overseen by the Canisius College Office of Student Life; hazing is ruled out. The three college-approved Greek organizations on campus are the Lambda chapter of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp), the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, and the professional organization Alpha Kappa Psi (AK Psi).[26] Also there is a Classics Club which fosters interest in the study of ancient Greek and Roman history, language, and culture; it hosts events like readings and discussions of ancient texts, Saturnalia, and alcohol-free toga parties. The club fosters the Jesuit value of a Classical education, as well as cura personalis.[27]


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, Buffalo State College, and Erie Community College. In 2008, the ROTC battalion won the MacArthur Award as the top battalion in the east region.[28]


Canisius earned the 34th spot in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 rankings of America’s Best Regional Universities – North.[29] U.S. News also ranked Canisius thirteenth in the 2016 "Great Schools, Great Prices" listing among regional universities in the North.[30] Canisius earned the twenty-seventh spot among 49 regional universities in the North in U.S. News' Best Colleges for Veterans Ranking for 2016.[31] Canisius received a "Military Friendly School" designation for 2015 from Victory Media Inc., a veteran-owned business and publisher of G.I. Jobs magazine and the Guide to Military Friendly Schools. Canisius was named to a 2015 "College of Distinction" in the Colleges of Distinction guidebook. Canisius College alumni ranked first (1st), overall, in New York State on the 2014 CPA exam cycle, with a 75 percent pass rate, in the category of medium programs.[32] The college also boasts a strong Pre-Medical program that has continuously shown greater than 80% acceptance rates to graduate medical programs [33]

Campaign for Canisius

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. A Legacy of Leadership: The Campaign for Canisius College was the largest fund-raising initiative in the college’s history.[34] Of the $90 million goal, $47 million was designated to fund the creation of an interdisciplinary science center at the college. The undertaking created a vital physical and visual connection between various parts of the campus. Included in this program was the full acquisition of a 1,500 space parking garage which provided room for additional commuter students. The college announced on November 20, 2008 the acquisition of the building from The Uniland Partnership of Delaware LP.[35] A Legacy of Leadership: The Campaign for Canisius concluded on May 31, 2012 and surpassed its goal by $5.5 million. Phase I of the college's interdisciplinary science center (Science Hall) opened in August 2012.


Canisius is served by two stations on the Buffalo Metro Rail, the Humboldt-Hospital Station near Sisters Hospital and the Delavan Canisius College Station near the Koessler Athletic Center, at opposite ends of the campus, as well as by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority by bus. Shuttle service and Metro passes are also available for students.

Student run media

The student weekly newspaper is The Griffin, which replaced The Canisian in 1933 and went online in 2013.[36][37] The annual Quadrangle magazine contains student writings, artwork, and photographs. The Azuwur is the College yearbook. Public-access television cable TV broadcasts to Canisius College from its fourth floor studio at Lyons Hall. The WIRE, replacing WCCG, is the college's radio station, which broadcasts over the campus television system and is online through the College website.[38] The Courier is a magazine-style opinion-orientated publication, begun in 2006. It allows students to freely express their opinions, however controversial.[39]


Christ the King Chapel

Christ the King Chapel, designed by Buffalo architect Duane Lyman,[40] is centrally located to "symbolize its importance".[41] It was completed in 1951 and has seating for 492.[40]

Science Hall

Science Hall was built as a Sears and Roebuck store in 1929.[42] The college has allocated $68 million for its renovation, over $35 million of which has been raised[43] with help from the John R. Oishei Foundation.[44]

Science Hall Parking Ramp

Public Safety Booth
Carpool section of ramp

The parking ramp originally served the Sears and Roebuck building at 1901 Main St. However, throughout the history of ramp, Canisius students have used it for parking, with Sears advertising in The Griffin that parking was free.[45][46] Acquisition of the property has eliminated parking problems.[47]

Churchill Academic Tower

The 11-story Churchill Academic Tower was built in 1971, designed by Leroy H. Welch.[48] It is named for its chief benefactor, Rev. Clinton H. Churchill and his wife Francis.[49] The Tower is routinely derided but serves as a highly functional space.[50]

Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library

Built in 1957 and upgraded in 1988[51] and from 2013 through 2015,[52] Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library, named for Andrew L. Bouwhuis, S.J., college librarian from 1935 to 1955, furnishes extensive area for study and research.[53] It seats 500 people[54] and includes group study rooms, an audio-visual listening/viewing area, a rare book room, an instruction room, a Curriculum Materials Center, and a lounge,[55] along with private study rooms accommodating one to eight people.

The Koessler Athletic Center

Koessler Athletic Center

Located at 1833 Main Street in Buffalo, the Koessler Athletic Center (KAC) is named after J. Walter Koessler, class of '22.[56] The facility has a swimming pool, two weight rooms, two gymnasiums, and locker rooms and offices for athletic coaches and support staff.[57]

Public Safety Department

Canisius College Public Safety[58] employs armed peace officers pursuant to NYS CPL 2.10,[59] who are authorized to enforce all Federal, State, and Municipal laws.[60]

Notable alumni

Canisius has approximately 40,000 living alumni worldwide who are working in the fields of business, journalism, government, law, medicine, and sports.

In business, notable Canisius alumni include:

In journalism and television, notable Canisius alumni include:

In government and law, notable Canisius alumni include:

In medicine and science, notable Canisius alumni include:

In sports, notable Canisius alumni include:


  1. 1 2 3 4 "2013-14 Common Data Set" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-03.
  3. "The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  5. 1 2 "ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH, JESUITS' ORIGINAL BASE; IN AREA, TO MARK 150TH YEAR WITH MASS." Buffalo News (New York). (September 29, 2001 Saturday, FINAL EDITION ): 863 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  6. "MASS TO MARK 125TH YEAR OF CANISIUS COLLEGE, HIGH." Buffalo News (New York). (September 16, 1994 , Friday, City Edition ): 240 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  7. "BRAND NEW OLD MAIN TO MAKE ITS DEBUT." Buffalo News (New York). (November 9, 2001 Friday, FINAL EDITION ): 390 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  8. "Loss of Jesuit leadership could mark an ending." Buffalo News (New York). (November 1, 2009 Sunday ): 510 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  9. "Animal Behavior Ecology and Conservation - Canisius College". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  10. "Creative Writing". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  11. "Journalism". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  12. "Canisius College Pre-Medical Program".
  13. Archived from the original on September 14, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. Archived July 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. "Police ensure spring Quad Party is rather tame; Beefed-up task force is overkill, say critics." Buffalo News (New York). (May 3, 2008 Saturday ): 346 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  16. "Canisius routs VMI, earns MAAC championship and NCAA bid". May 4, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  17. "Baseball History & Records - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  18. "Softball History & Records - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  19. "Battle of the Bridge - The Official Web Site of Canisius College Athletics". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  20. "THE NAME GAME; NICKNAMES FOR LOCAL TEAMS PASS THE TEST." Buffalo News (New York). (May 20, 1996 , Monday, CITY EDITION ): 1397 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  24. "Canisius College Greek Life".
  25. "Classics Club: CanisiusCollege". Canisius College. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  26. Archived September 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  31. "Canisius College Rankings and Distinctions". Canisius College.
  32. "Canisius campaign seeks $90M". 2007-09-24. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  33. "Canisius buys Main Street site for $18.45M". 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  34. Archived June 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. "Event-filled day gets passing grade". Retrieved 2013-02-06.
  36. "The Wire - Canisius College Radio". Retrieved 5 April 2015.
  37. Archived February 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  38. 1 2
  39. "Christ the King Chapel | Canisius College". Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  40. "Canisius receives boost in funding for Science Hall." Buffalo News (New York). (June 7, 2008 Saturday ): 407 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  41. "Canisius College president donates $250,000 toward Science Hall." The Buffalo News (New York). (December 17, 2014 Wednesday ): 359 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  42. "Science Hall". Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  43. The Griffin: volume 15, issue 04 - Nov. 7, 1947 pg. 5
  44. The Griffin: volume 16, issue 04 - Nov. 5, 1948 pg. 5
  45. "Canisius' purchase expands campus." Buffalo News (New York). (November 22, 2008 Saturday ): 329 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  46. "Unloved, maybe, but standing tall; Canisius College Amherst 50 Delaware Ave. 200 Niagara St. Downtown Buffalo 701-705 Maple Road, Amherst 1425 Main St. 153 Franklin St. 1300 Elmwood Ave.." The Buffalo News (New York). (March 8, 2015 Sunday ): 1999 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  47. "FRANCES G. CHURCHILL, PHILANTHROPIST, SUPPORTER OF ARTS; EDUCATION, DIES AT 82." Buffalo News (New York). (January 23, 1999 , Saturday, FINAL EDITION ): 687 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  48. "Unloved, maybe, but standing tall; Canisius College Amherst 50 Delaware Ave. 200 Niagara St. Downtown Buffalo 701-705 Maple Road, Amherst 1425 Main St. 153 Franklin St. 1300 Elmwood Ave.." The Buffalo News (New York). (March 8, 2015 Sunday ): 1999 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  49. "FATHER DEMSKE HONORED FOR SERVICE TO CANISIUS COLLEGE AT GRADUATION." Buffalo News (New York). (May 22, 1993 , Saturday, Final Edition ): 734 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  52. "About the Library". Canisius Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  53. "About the Library". Canisius Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  54. "JOHN W. KOESSLER JR. IS DEAD AT 69; TURNED GREATER BUFFALO; PRESS INTO INDUSTRY LEADER." Buffalo News (New York). (April 14, 1997 , Monday, CITY EDITION ): 1118 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2016/05/03.
  56. "Public Safety | Campus Life | Canisius College". Retrieved 2016-02-25.

Coordinates: 42°55′31″N 78°51′10″W / 42.92528°N 78.85278°W / 42.92528; -78.85278

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