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Buzzards, Glennon and LaPlaca to be lauded with SBU’s distinguished 2024 Alumni of the Year Award

May 29, 2024

Influential, dedicated and passionate about their alma mater. These are just a few of the traits embodied by St. Bonaventure University’s 2024 Alumni of the Year: Jim, ’73, and Eileen, ’74, (McGowan) Buzzard, Mary Ann (Hickey) Glennon, ’79, and Chris LaPlaca, ’79.

The four honorees will be recognized June 8 during Alumni Reunion Weekend with the William P. “Stax” McCarthy Alumnus of the Year Award.

“Each of these exceptional individuals inspires countless others through their exemplary service and the way they daily reflect our Franciscan tradition,” said St. Bonaventure President Dr. Jeff Gingerich. “Their love of this university and dedication to seeing to its future is a boon for all.”

The William P. “Stax” McCarthy Alumni of the Year Award is named in memory of former annual fund and alumni director William McCarthy, ’72. It is presented each year to St. Bonaventure alumni who offer continued service to the university and capture the spirit of Saints Francis, Clare and Bonaventure. 

Jim Buzzard earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major inPictured_Jim and Eileen Buzzard Management Science from St. Bonaventure in 1973. He is the retired senior vice president of Corporate Development for Uni-Select Inc. Eileen (McGowan) Buzzard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from St. Bonaventure in 1974. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Education, specializing in reading, and worked as a private tutor. The Buzzards have a long history of community involvement and philanthropy. They have been Devereux-level donors since 1988 and are strong supporters of the Bolder Bonaventure fundraising campaign, Mt. Irenaeus and other initiatives. In 2016, they established the Jim and Eileen Buzzard Scholarship. The Buzzards have four adult children and eight grandchildren. They divide their time between Lakewood Ranch, Florida, and East Amherst, New York.

Mary Ann (Hickey) Glennon earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education fromPictured_Mary Ann Hickey Glennon St. Bonaventure in 1979, and since then has created a legacy family. Her brothers, Martin, ’86, and Kevin, ’88, followed in her footsteps to St. Bonaventure. She met her husband, Michael, ’81, while at Bona’s, and their daughter, Kate, ’12, is a Bona grad. She is propelled by her belief that St. Bonaventure University makes a difference in people’s lives. An office manager with M2 Construction, Glennon always makes time to cheer on the Bonnies basketball teams and assist students in whatever ways she can. She and her husband are proud and longtime supporters of the Bonnies Athletic Fund and The Bonaventure Fund, and have been men’s basketball season ticket holders for 12 consecutive years. They make their home in Leesburg, Virginia. 

Chris LaPlaca earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and MassChris LaPlaca Communication in 1979. The following year, he joined a small cable sports company in Bristol, Connecticut, called ESPN, beginning a 43-year-career with the company that would become a giant in its field. He started as a communications representative and rose to senior vice president of Corporate Communications, overseeing ESPN’s worldwide internal, public and media relations strategies. He also oversaw the company’s relationship with The Walt Disney Company’s corporate communications and investor relations groups. LaPlaca was honored in 1995 with the Jandoli School of Communication’s Alumnus of the Year Award and in 2003 was inducted to the school’s Wall of Distinguished Graduates. He gave the university’s commencement address in 2017. He and his wife, Leah, reside in Farmington, Connecticut, and are strong supporters of the Bolder Bonaventure fundraising campaign and the Bonnies Athletic Fund. LaPlaca is a proud father of three daughters. 

More information about St. Bonaventure’s Reunion Weekend activities can be found at