It was all smiles Sunday, May 15, 2022, at St. Bonaventure's 162nd Commencement.

St. Bonaventure University

Bona's celebrates the class of 2022

"Surround yourself with truth-tellers, those whose love is unfailing and honesty unflinching," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski urges graduates.

WojOne of the defining moments in Adrian Wojnarowski’s career came not when he was breaking news of another stunning NBA trade or free agent signing.

It came when his wife told him to suck it up.

ESPN’s Senior NBA Insider recounted the story in his speech to nearly 700 graduate and undergraduate students Sunday at St. Bonaventure University’s 162nd annual Commencement.

In 1997, Wojnarowski, Class of ’91, had taken a job as a columnist at the Bergen Record in New Jersey.

“Every morning on the sports pages, I had to go up against a lot of my heroes and idols in the business. And they were crushing me,” he said. “Day after day, story after story, I was getting destroyed. It got so bad, I woke up on a Monday morning and I wouldn’t get out of bed. I just laid there for hours, and told Amy, ‘I’m failing. I can’t make it in this market.’”

Amy, a Hellinger Award winner from the Class of ’92, had heard enough.

“Rightfully tired of all my whining … in so many words, she told me: Get your butt out of bed, stop feeling sorry for yourself and go do your job,” he said.

The lesson to graduates?

“Make sure you surround yourself with truth-tellers,” he said, “with those whose love is unfailing and honesty unflinching.”

Ten years later, Wojnarowski began carving out a remarkable niche in the industry as the foremost insider on the NBA for Yahoo Sports, eventually landing at ESPN in 2017.

Wojnarowski was among three remarkable alumni Sunday who received honorary doctorates.

Also honored were Tom Marra, ’80, retired president and CEO of Symetra Financial Corp., and retired Brigadier Gen. Maureen Keenan LeBoeuf, ’76, the first woman to chair a department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. LeBoeuf is part of the nine-sibling Keenan clan of Olean, whose father, Leo, taught English at SBU for 52 years and who also received an honorary degree, in 2000. All nine Keenans attended St. Bonaventure. Read the news release.

From left: Acting St. Bonaventure University President Dr. Joseph Zimmer; honorary degree recipients retired Brigadier Gen. Maureen Keenan LeBoeuf, '76, Adrian Wojnarowski, '91, and Tom Marra, '80; and John D. Sheehan, chair of the university's Board of Trustees.

Magic? That and more, Shahine tells classmates

Shahine for pageStudent speaker Alexa Shahine of Syracuse shared many of the things that are so Bonaventure: community, the Bona Bubble, unfettered support, and alumni bonds.

“I do not know what it is about this place that forms such a strong bond,” Shahine said. “Maybe there is some magic in the Enchanted Mountain air, maybe it was the inspiring words from Dr. (Joe) Zimmer’s candlelight speech challenging us to always say yes — within reason of course.

“But people here have a tendency to take tremendous leaps out of their comfort zones and trust that things will work out," said Shahine. "And somehow, they always do.” Learn more about Alexa.

Hall and Steger honored as Ideal Bona Students

IdealsMeghan Hall of Buffalo and John “Jack” Steger of Webster have been named the Ideal Bonaventure Students for the Class of 2022.

The Ideal Bonaventure Students exemplify the spirit of St. Bonaventure and the ideals of St. Francis through their demonstrated commitment to community service and academic excellence. They are selected by a committee that considers nominations from the campus community.

Hall will graduate with degrees in journalism and marketing, while Steger will earn degrees in marketing and management with a minor in sports management.

Sonal Mahindroo of Morganville, New Jersey, and Zayba Chauhdry of Olean were selected as honorable mention Ideal Bonaventure Students. Mahindroo is a biology major with a minor in business administration. Chaudry is a history major with minors in biology and political science.

Read the news release.


Others recognized for academic excellence

In addition to the Ideal Bonaventure Students, many additional graduate and undergraduate students were recognized at Commencement for academic excellence. Read the news release.

ROTC cadets commissioned as second lieutenants

ROTCGraduating seniors who served as cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at St. Bonaventure University were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army on Saturday.
The commissioning ceremony, held in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, was followed by the Silver Dollar Salute, a traditional event in which each newly commissioned officer hands a silver dollar to the first soldier who salutes them. Cadets choose someone who was instrumental in their upbringing, education or training for this honor.
The cadets are part of the Seneca ROTC Battalion, which comprises cadets from St. Bonaventure, Alfred State College, Alfred University, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Houghton College and Jamestown Community College. Read the news release.

Simpson, Tillman presented faculty excellence awards

FacultyDr. Scott Simpson, associate professor of chemistry and Department of Chemistry chair, and Dr. Elizabeth Tillman, assistant professor of political science, were recognized at Commencement as recipients of faculty awards of excellence.

Simpson received the Professional Excellence in Research and Publication Award and Tillman received the Junior Faculty Award for Professional Excellence. The awards were presented in an April ceremony at the university's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.

Simpson’s research and publications record is “one of the most rigorous, consistent and prestigious contributions made to one’s field,” said a colleague. Tillman, said a fellow professor, "is a superb professor and a promising scholar ... who understands the unique academic and social needs of her students."

In the photo, from left: Acting St. Bonaventure President Dr. Joseph Zimmer, Dr. Elizabeth Tillman and Dr. Scott Simpson. 

Read the news release.

Tell the world you're a proud 2022 Bona grad

We couldn't be more proud of the Class of 2022 for its persistence and commitment in completing degree requirements at St. Bonaventure University. We know our soon-to-be graduates are just as proud.

To help you share your good news, we've created three signs that you may download and print for display in a yard or window. Click on either the PDF or PHOTO link under each design to download a high-resolution file.