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St. Bonaventure University honored three alumni Saturday night with William P. “Stax” McCarthy Alumnus of the Year awards.
Honored were Rob Buckla, ’84, Ann Flynn McCarthy, ’74, and Lee Coppola, ’64. They were celebrating, respectively, their 30th, 40th and 50th class reunion years at SBU’s annual Reunion Weekend.
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 Saints Francis, Bonaventure and Clare.
“We are grateful to all of our honorees for their extraordinary support and contributions to the rich history of St. Bonaventure,” said Monica Mattioli, ’77, executive director of Alumni Operations.
Rob Buckla is a member of St. Bonaventure’s Athletic Advisory Board and is the mastermind behind the ’80s reunions at basketball games, which always include a Bonaventure Athletic Fund component. He has been a member of the Devereux and Seraphim Legacy societies, and is a Mt. Irenaeus volunteer.
Buckla also has been a volunteer for the Bonathon class challenge, Career and Professional Readiness Center, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Alumni Association. He holds a doctorate in higher education administration and a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.
Buckla is vice president of university advancement at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee.
Ann Flynn McCarthy has been a SHARE admissions volunteer, an active member of the Buffalo Alumni Chapter, past Gaudete Medal committee member and winner of the award in 2004, member of the 1858 Society and a founding trustee of Mt. Irenaeus.
McCarthy’s most recent endeavor for the university was co-authoring and editing — with her husband, Bob, ’76, and son, Dan, ’10 — “The Good Journey: 150 Years of History of St Bonaventure,” produced to commemorate St. Bonaventure’s 150-year anniversary in 2008.
A Buffalo resident, McCarthy is also an active volunteer with the United Way, Special Olympics and a longtime member of the Food Bank of Western New York.
McCarthy retired in 2012 as the consumer affairs manager at Wegmans.
Lee Coppola has been a devoted university volunteer for 50 years. He has been an Annual Fund volunteer, past member of the Buffalo Gaudete Committee, past reunion class agent, frequent Press Day and Career Day speaker, and active member of the Buffalo alumni chapter.
The dean of the Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 1996 to 2011, Coppola had a long and distinguished career as a newspaper and TV reporter in Buffalo. For his efforts, he received the distinguished George Polk Award, as well as awards from the National Press Club. In 2012, he was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.
Coppola graduated from the UB School of Law in 1983, and in 1991 left the broadcasting world to become an assistant U.S. attorney in Buffalo, where he spent five years prosecuting drug dealers.
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.
Senior A.J. Vitanza reflects on the many opportunities of his academic career at Bona's.
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