By Laura Meyers, ’15
More than a dozen St. Bonaventure University alumni employed at Constellation Brands in Victor, N.Y., proved The Power of a Bonnie recently through a collective gift of $25,000 to the University in tandem with the Constellation Brands’ Employee Match Program.
Targeted for The Bonaventure Fund, the leadership gift will provide financial assistance to three key areas at the University: scholarships, academic support and program enhancement.
“The strength of this combined gift will be seen and felt by every student and staff member at St. Bonaventure,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., president of the University. “We are strongest as a University when we have the support of the community around us. Constellation Brands’ gift is the perfect example of how community and alumni support keep us going.”
Dave Thomas, senior vice president of Finance at Constellation Brands, knows how essential it is to give back, both individually and as a corporation.
“Donations and community service are very important to our employees to demonstrate that we believe in and live out the company vision,” said Thomas. “Employees are expected to give both time and money to the causes they are passionate about. For me, that is education. Giving back to the schools I have attended is my way of thanking them for the good fortune I have had in my career.”
The Constellation Brands employees who donated hold the University and its future close to their hearts. Their collective gift represents their vote of confidence in St. Bonaventure and also exemplifies how The Power of a Bonnie extends far beyond one’s time at the school.
“The phrase ‘The Power of a Bonnie’ hits home at Constellation because we have so many Bona alumni working here,” said Thomas. “When I suggested getting alumni together to form a Bona community at Constellation, there was tremendous support from everyone. There is so much Bona pride, and people want to show it and use it both at work and beyond work.”
The following St. Bonaventure alumni at Constellation Brands made the gift possible: Jenna Battaglia, ’00, ’01; John Bunce, ’74; Cora Conklin, ’99, ’00; Kris Johnston, ’99, ’00; Greta Lombardo, ’08; Amanda Marianetti, ’11; Michael Mattia, ’80; Gabby Newcomb, ’12; David Sorce, ’76; Dave Thomas,’76; Debbie Weaver, ’98; Terry Wolcott, ’81; and Patty Yahn-Urlaub, ’82.
The Constellation Brands’ vision, “To elevate life with every glass raised,” defines the company’s approach to winemaking, brewing, customers, vendors, employees, and especially their corporate responsibility to the community. The gift to the University is in harmony with this vision.
Constellation Brands is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. Constellation is the number three beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands including Corona Extra, Corona Light, and Modelo Especial. Constellation is also the world's leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, and Ruffino. The company's premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka and Black Velvet Canadian Whisky.
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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