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Because of Bonaventure: Tom and Michelle Cullen, '00, share the secret to their success Passionate about being a Bonnie: A conversation with Jennifer Kane, '03
Academics that inspire. Award-winning student outreach organizations. Athletics victories. Alumni who are succeeding and leading the world over. These are just a few examples of what your gifts to St. Bonaventure have accomplished.
When we work together, we inspire others and change lives.
Stop by St. Bonaventure University’s Dee Financial Services Lab any time a Students in Money Management (SIMM) class is scheduled, and you will likely find the room filled to capacity — even on a sunny Friday afternoon of a get-away weekend.
“People are eager to be part of SIMM,” said Sydney Cassagnol, a senior finance and accounting major, who noted the high level of freedom its members are allowed. “We have a lot of control and are given the opportunity to present ideas that we are really excited about.”
Read more about Dr. Jim Mahar and SIMM
As the last few students wander into one of Professor Bob Donius’s afternoon classes, there’s a lot of moving book bags and chairs to squeeze the students into the crowded classroom.
This isn’t unusual, as attendance is crucial in all of Donius’s classes, but today the classroom seems even more alive because the students are buzzing with excitement: Donius has promised them he would bring his guitar and play and sing for them.
Read more about Professor Donius
“Being a member of SIMM prepares you for the real world and helps you perform better in other classes,” he said.
McLaughlin, who serves as a co-general manager of the program, noted that he has gained confidence in public speaking and has sharpened his critical thinking and research skills because of his SIMM involvement.
Read more about Alex.
As a high school senior, Vanessa Hulse didn’t generally pay much attention to the large number of college advertisements she got in the mail nearly every day.
But, she said, she’s sure glad she took a closer look at one for a small, rural Franciscan University tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains.
Because that led the Morris, New York, native to St. Bonaventure.
"It came down to two schools," Hulse, now a senior, said. "They were both good schools. I made a pros and cons list and St. Bonaventure came out on top. While visiting the other school, I felt like a young freshman, you know, bottom of the rung. At St. Bonaventure it was like, ‘Welcome home.’"
Read more about Vanessa
“I took some time to try and find my path, and after considering many options, I took a step back and reviewed what I’ve been in my time at college aside from an education major,” Caher, now a senior, explained. “I realized that I’ve been an athlete who had to learn the hard way that being dedicated to your sport also means being dedicated to your health.”
“I haven’t fully determined what exactly it is that I want to do post-graduation,” he Collins said. “What I can say is the organizations and clubs at St. Bonaventure have helped to point me in the correct direction. Although I don’t have my career path fully figured out, I am confident that the university will help me chose the correct direction.”
Russell J. Jandoli School alumna Joan Licursi ’65 spent her days at St. Bonaventure working for the campus radio station, the newspaper, the magazine, the radio and the yearbook.
Now, having worked for global public relations firms such as Burson-Marstellar and non-profit organizations such as Boys and Girls Club of America, among other things, Licursi continues to be a leader in the public relations world.
According to Licursi, the skills she needs to excel at her jobs she learned right here—studying journalism at St. Bonaventure.
Read more about Licursi.
As a young boy, Pittsburgh attorney John R. “Jack” McGinley Jr. would stay at St. Bonaventure University to visit one of his uncles and watch the Pittsburgh Steelers practice during training camp.
That uncle — Fr. Silas (Dan) Rooney, O.F.M. — proved to be a “strong presence” in McGinley’s life and also within the large, tight-knit McGinley/Rooney family where athletics were encouraged and education valued.
Now, as Jack McGinley celebrates 50 years as a Bona alumnus, he and his family and the Rita M. McGinley Foundation of which he is chair have committed $2 million to enhance University Ministries at St. Bonaventure. Learn more about the McGinley gift
A.J. Vitanza, ’15, sums up his academic career at Bona’s in three words: “Adventurous. Encompassing. Humbling.”
This finance/management double major, who is also a prop on the rugby team, member of SIMM and ENACTUS, and participant in our Oxford Program, says what he has learned best at Bona’s is selflessness.
“I want to say thanks for the many opportunities,” he says. “You’ve inspired a lot of us to participate, graduate, and give back.” Learn more about A.J.
At its core, the project will help expose St. Bonaventure students to diverse research opportunities and will offer significant educational experiences. “The whole idea is to help students broaden their view,” said Dr. Zhang. “It will help students understand the importance of math and computer science, and will train them in multiple disciplines.”
Mary (Daiber, ’84) and Frank Puskar know the meaning of working hard and giving back. Together they founded the successful Energo Engineering, Inc., based in Houston, Texas. Today, wanting to empower others, they have created a lasting opportunity for students at Mary’s alma mater—St. Bonaventure University.
The husband-and-wife duo has committed $150,000 to establish the Mary Daiber Puskar ’84 Endowed Scholarship. Their goal is to provide accounting majors in the School of Business the chance to become extraordinary. The inaugural scholarship will be awarded this fall. Mary, the namesake of the fund, believes providing access to higher education to those who aspire to it and possess the drive is critical.
“My goal with this scholarship is that it will assist others in obtaining their dreams and in giving them a chance to be the best they can be,” Mary said.
Frank served as chief engineer of the couple’s company while Mary served as chief accountant. Mary found that the skills she learned while attending St. Bonaventure helped her to successfully carry out her duties within the company.
“The accounting aspect is very important in business and the skills I learned while earning my accounting degree (B.B.A., accounting) were critical to the operation,” Mary said.
University President Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F, S.T.D., noted the impact of this extraordinary gift. “The Puskars’ strong commitment to our students reflects a firm belief in St. Bonaventure’s innovative approach to business education. Their scholarship will provide critical support to deserving students for years to come.” said President Carney.
During her years at St. Bonaventure and in later business success, Mary learned the importance of higher education.
“The Franciscan presence, great education and small-town atmosphere of St. Bonaventure helped form my approach toward successfully dealing with the day-to-day activities in business and in life in general,” Mary said. “We wanted to allow others to have a similar opportunity.”
Mary felt it was important to give back to those who helped her along the path of life. She cited St. Bonaventure as a critical part of her journey, helping to shape her into the woman she is today.
“I want to acknowledge in particular Bona’s contribution to the accounting skills I learned as a student,” Mary said. “My husband and I would also like to set an example for other successful alumni in the hope that they will also consider donating to St. Bonaventure.” About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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