St. Bonaventure University

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Bonaventure Fund is crucial to the student experience at Bona's

Mar 06, 2023

Junior health science major Jacob Schoeberl had no idea he was about to save a life when he attended a softball game at St. Bonaventure University’s Marra Athletics Fields Complex in the spring of 2022.

When a student-athlete playing soccer on an adjacent field suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest, Schoeberl reacted instantly to the 911 alert on his cell phone and sprinted to the scene. 

Schoeberl is a New York state certified emergency medical technician and volunteer member of the Allegany Rescue and Emergency Medical Services and Bona’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT)

He quickly assessed the individual, finding no pulse or signs of breathing. 

In collaboration with several of Bona’s athletic trainers, Schoeberl started CPR and utilized an automated external defibrillator (AED), all while keeping Cattaraugus County 911 informed of the situation.

“Had Jacob not been present and the appropriate equipment not been available, this medical emergency might have ended in tragedy,” said Gary Segrue, associate dean of Campus Safety. 

Pictured_MERT members in trainingMERT is financed through the university’s Bonaventure Fund, which is the primary way alumni and friends support current students. Gifts to this fund help cover the costs of training for MERT members and the purchase of supplies such as AEDs, which are located in various areas across campus.

“No student club is more vital to our campus community than MERT,” Segrue said. “While classes are in session, members are available to assess medical emergencies prior to a local ambulance being dispatched.”

Today there are more than 30 MERT members who are on call 24/7 to provide timely medical services, Segrue said.

Gifts to The Bonaventure Fund also support scholarships, field experiences, study abroad programs, club sports, internships and academic programing.

“What St. Bonaventure does very well is give you all the tools you need to succeed,” said Grace Weber, ’22, a graduate student from Orchard Park, New York. “It’s easy to get involved when you’re a student. There are a lot of club fairs and general interest meetings. They also make it easy to take on leadership roles as well.”

Weber graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in inclusive, early and childhood education. She is currently enrolled in St. Bonaventure’s online graduate B-12 literacy program and is a full-time teaching assistant at the Orchard Park Central School District.

She schose St. Bonaventure due to the diverse field block experiences offered through its School of Education. 

“It was a great experience that helped me shape my teaching philosophy, which I use every day in my classroom,” Weber said.Pictured_Grace Weber, '22, teaching

In the fall of 2022, the university launched a comprehensive $125 million campaign to build A Bolder Bonaventure. Focusing on six pillars, including The Bonaventure Fund, the initiative aims to radically raise the profile of the university. 

Bolstering the fund is also the focus of #BonaGivingDay, a 24-hour online crowdfunding event on March 15. 

“A strong Bonaventure Fund equals a richer student experience and enhancement of the Catholic-Franciscan education offered at Bona’s,” said Alan Riddle, director of Annual Giving.

He added that the fund was created in 1888 with the help of 90 alumni, and is now the most popular way for alumni and friends to support the university.

“When you give to The Bonaventure Fund, you see an amazing return on your investment,” Riddle said, pointing to the experiences of Schoeberl and Weber. “Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference.”

University President Dr. Jeff Gingerich will join Riddle on the student-run radio station, WSBU 88.3 FM “The Buzz,” on March 10, beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET to talk about The Bonaventure Fund as a pillar in the Bolder Bonaventure campaign and about #BonaGivingDay. The interview will be livestreamed at

Questions may be submitted in advance by email to The Buzz at or during the program via The Buzz’s Twitter account (@wsbu). Tag the account and use #ABolderBonaventure hashtag when posting a question. 

For more information about The Bonaventure Fund or to make a donation, please visit or call (716) 375-2068.

A Bolder Bonaventure wordmark