John Berger Sr. and John McGinley Jr. were named Alumni of the Year at St. Bonaventure University’s annual Reunion Weekend.
Berger graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1960 with a degree in accounting and soon began a long and distinguished career in the insurance industry, including running his own agency, the John G. Berger Insurance Agency, Inc.
Berger is a senior client executive with Lawley Insurance in Amherst. He has been a consistent member of St. Bonaventure’s Devereux Giving Society, is a member of the Seraphim Legacy Society, and has been an active supporter of SBU’s athletics program and Mt. Irenaeus.
Berger is also active in SBU’s Buffalo alumni chapter and has served as class agent, class challenge volunteer and on the Little Three Golf committee.
Berger and his wife, Pat, live in Williamsville and have three children: John, SBU class of ’88, Suzanne and Anne; and six grandchildren.
McGinley’s connection to St. Bonaventure began long before attending SBU in the 1960s.
As a young boy, the Pittsburgh native would stay in the dorms to visit his athletic director uncle, Fr. Silas Rooney, to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers practice during training camp, held from 1952 to 1957 at St. Bonaventure. Fr. Silas proved to be a “strong presence” in his life and also within the large, tight-knit family where athletics were encouraged and education valued.
After graduation from St. Bonaventure in 1965, McGinley returned home to attend Duquesne University School of Law. He is a partner with Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC.
Over 50 years, McGinley has supported the university in a variety of ways, from admissions volunteer and class agent to a Board of Trustees member for 18 years over two separate stints, including eight years as board chair from 2004 to 2012.
McGinley was awarded an honorary doctorate by St. Bonaventure in 2012 and is responsible for establishing three endowments that support scholarship and service. He has also been a major supporter of the Richter Center campaign and De La Roche Hall building renovation campaign.
Just this spring, McGinley and his family, through the Rita M. McGinley Foundation, committed $2 million to enhance University Ministries at St. Bonaventure.
“I can’t think of two alumni who better exemplify the spirit of service and loyalty,” said Monica Mattioli, executive director of alumni operations and interim vice president of advancement.
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