Friars, Alumni Return to St. Bonaventure for Reunion

Sarah Sheldon Around the Province

ALLEGANY, N.Y. – Hundreds of St. Bonaventure University alumni came home June 8 to 10 for the annual alumni reunion weekend whose theme was “Sharing Our Story,Celebrating our Franciscan Heritage.”

More than 900 alumni and guests from the honored classes from 1942 to 2002 attended. Alums from all classes were welcome to the weekend full of activities on and around the St. Bonaventure campus.  Several members of Holy Name Province, including some who came to campus specifically for the event, participated in the weekend’s programs.

Events taking place over the weekend included:

  •   A Mass for the Class of 1957 in the University Chapel on Friday
  •   Class dinners at various local venues.
  •   A tribute to four pop singers on Friday evening in the new Café La Verna with Pat Farenga, ’52.
  •   A talk by F. Edward Coughlin, class of ’68, called “The Arrival of the Franciscans in Western New York,” in the Quick Arts Center.
  • The Charles Major 5K Fun Run on Saturday morning
  • “Continuing the St. Bonaventure Legacy: SBU Admissions & Your Child,” in which Jim DiRisio, ’86, director of admissions, provided an overview of the St. Bonaventure admissions process. Attendees learned about new majors, the application process, scholarships and financial aid, study abroad opportunities, and legacy fee waivers.
  • Daniel Riley, ’64, presented “Thomas Merton: His Story and the Bona Story” in the Rigas Family Theater after an introduction by Jocelyn Thomas, director of communications for Holy Name Province.
  • SBU president Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., talked before an enthusiastic group in Friedsam Memorial Library on Saturday morning about “The Changing Face of Bonaventure.”   She answered questions from alumni eager to help the university spread the message about St. Bonaventure.
  • Dr. Patrick Dooley, professor of philosophy, Fulbright Fellow 2008 and board of trustees professor, discussed “John Steinbeck and Dorothea Lange: Concrete lessons on treating marginalized persons with dignity and respect” on Saturday.
  •  Dr. Steve Stahl, dean of the school of Arts and Sciences, discussed the construction and renovations taking place in the science building as well as evolving curriculums in Murphy Building.
  •  Mike Vaccaro, ’89, a New York Post sports columnist, talked about his new book, “1941: The Greatest Year in Sports,” and the New York City sports scene in Café La Verna.
  • An art collection tour on Saturday afternoon in The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

An alumni memorial Mass in the university chapel on Saturday afternoon was  celebrated by  Provincial MinisterJohn O’Connor, who served at St. Bonaventure from 1973 to 1982 as director of campus ministry, pastor  f the university parish, instructor in theology and guardian of St. Thomas Moore friary on camps. During that time, he was also assistant chief of the Allegany Fire Department. Gregory Jakubowicz, SBU ’87, gave the homily.

Other friars at this Mass included Bernard Creighton from Butler, N.J., Louis Iasiello of Washington, D.C., Peter Schneible, a biology professor at the university, and Daniel Hurley and Robert Struzynski, of Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain retreat in West Clarksville, N.Y.

Awarding of the annual “Stax” McCarthy Alumnus of the Year Award was given to Ronald Salluzzo, shown in photo, class of ‘72, of Rochester, N.Y., who funded the Pacioli Scholars Program the school of Business.

In 2002, Ronald, a member of St. Bonaventure’s board of trustees, was asked to join the Commission for the Future, which produced the current strategic plan for the university. As a result of his commitment to this plan, Salluzzo and his wife, Sharon, funded the firstSignature Program – the Pacioli Scholars Program.  They believed that these programs would bring academic excellence and something special and unique to St. Bonaventure.

The award is named in memory of former annual fund and alumni director William “Stax” McCarthy, ’72, and is presented to a St. Bonaventure graduate who offers continued service to the University and captures the spirit of St. Francis, St. Bonaventure and St. Clare.

“When the committee reviewed the nominations, it soon was apparent that Ron would be the obvious choice. His volunteer efforts for the university began the day he graduated,” said Joe Flanagan, ’74, director of alumni services.

Alumni weekend concluded with a farewell Mass on Sunday morning at which Peter, class of 1973, gave teh reflection.   At both Masses, the hymn You Are Called to Tell the Story was sung, to keep with the theme of the weekend.

 —  Sarah Sheldon is an intern in SBU’s office of communcations.