heritage 2020

Dr. Rolanda Ward, Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of the Vincentian Scholars Program, presents the Vincentian Scholars of the class of 2020 with their honor cords.

Held to coincide with the Feast day of St. Vincent de Paul on September 27, Vincentian Heritage Week is a Niagara University tradition that educates and celebrates all that makes our university Vincentian. During this week we often hold our annual opening Mass or a special Mass celebrating St. Vincent de Paul for the entire university community. We also offer a variety of ways to integrate education, advocacy, and service with impoverished and marginalized populations throughout the week.

The current year's programming is now in development. Watch for more information here. In the meantime, one of our sister institutions -- DePaul University in Chicago -- has put together a resource page called "Dignity is in our DNA." Explore the "Awareness section! Watch for announcements from the Center for Mindful Practice and the Office of Campus Ministry's retreats and prayer opportunities here on Campus beginning in the Fall of 2021 and throughout 2022. The theme for Heritage Week 2021 is:

"Vincentian Personalism: Caring for Mind, Body and Spirit."

As we emerge from pandemic restrictions, there have been many learnings about our need to provide holistic care on campus, and to advocate for holistic care, especially in communities that are structurally denied access to resources necessary to live the "good life." This year, we will deepen our sense of mission around the Niagara University core educational value of holistic development and growth.

At our Vincentian Convocation, we recognize those from our university, the local community and the entire Vincentian family who have made serious contributions to the common good. The annual Convocation also hosts a keynote address on the Vincentian mission in the modern world.  Every single day during this eventful week, students, faculty and staff are given opportunities to seek solutions to the poverty that affects both our local community and the world. From fund-raising walks, to actively working with our local and global partners, this week shows how Niagara University lives its Vincentian mission throughout the year.

Vincentian Heritage Convocation 2020, Honorees

  • Honorary Degree - Doctor of Laws: Heather C. McGhee, President Emeritus, Demos
  • Rev. Thomas Augustine Judge, C.M. Award: Andrè K. Ware, Niagara University Class of 2016
  • Vincentian Mission Award: Daniel S. McMann, University Planner, Niagara University
  • Ozanam Medal: Mark A. Gallo, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Niagara University
  • St. Vincent de Paul Medal: Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Buffalo, New York

View the recording of this livestreamed event here!

Vincentian Heritage Convocation 2019, Honorees

  • Honorary Degree - Doctor of Humane Letters: Sr. Betty Ann McNeil, D.C., M.S.W., Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence at DePaul University
  • Rev. Thomas Augustine Judge, C.M. Award: Alexis Fuentes, Director of Missions, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Boonton, NJ; Speaking Consultant, The Big Talk Academy NYC
  • Vincentian Mission Award: Shawn P. Daly, Ph.D., P.E., Professor of Marketing, Niagara University
  • Ozanam Medal: Christopher R. Rhue  B.S. '18, Incoming Tax Associate at The Bonadio Group
  • St. Louise de Marillac Award: Patricia Wrobel , Executive Director, Levesque Institute for Civic Engagement , Niagara University
  • St. Vincent de Paul Medal: David V. Whalen, Project Director, First Responder Disability Awareness Training, Niagara University

Download the Vincentian Heritage Week schedule here

Vincentian Heritage Convocation 2018, Honorees

  • Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.): Sister Nora Gatto, D.C., Campus Minister for Retreats and Faith Formation, St. John’s University
  • Vincentian Mission Award: David B. Taylor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Niagara University
  • St. Vincent de Paul Medal: Kenneth Sass, LCSW-R, President & CEO, Family & Children’s Services of Niagara
  • St. John-Gabriel Perboyre Award: Rev. Elmer Bauer, C.M. ’87, Provincial Treasurer of the Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, Philadelphia, PA
  • St. Louise de Marillac Award for Outstanding Service: Yasmine Cajuste, Project Development Manager for the FAMVIN Homeless Alliance, Worldwide Vincentian Family
  • Ozanam Medal: Amelia Gallagher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Niagara University

Keynote Speaker: Very Rev. Stephen Grozio, C.M. ’75, Provincial Superior, Eastern Province of the Congregation of the Mission, USA

Special Convocation and Awarding of Academic Honors, September 25, 2018

  • Honorary Degree – Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.): Very Rev. Tomaž Mavrič, C.M., Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission and successor of St. Vincent de Paul

Vincentian Heritage Convocation 2017, Honorees

  • Honorary Doctoral Degree: Rev. Patrick J. Griffin, C.M., Executive Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and State, St. John’s University.
  • Vincentian Mission Award: Mr. Kurt Von Voetsch, Gallery Manager, Castellani Art Museum, Adjunct Professor, Theatre and Fine Arts, Niagara University.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Medal: William Bradberry ’70, B.A., J.D., President and Chairman Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area Commission, Community Activist, Columnist for the Niagara Gazette
  • St. John-Gabriel Perboyre Award: Rev. Patrick Flanagan, CM,’87, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Theology and Religious Studies, Religious Superior, Vincentian Community Murray House, St. John’s University
  • St. Louise De Marillac Award for Outstanding Service: Denise Gonez-Santos, Executive Director, Regional Bilingual Education-Resource Network West, Supervisor, Erie 1 BOCES
  • Ozanam Medal: Dr. Mustafa Gökçek, Ph.D. Associate Professor, History Department. Director, M.A. – Interdisciplinary Studies, Niagara University

Vincentian Heritage Convocation 2016, Honorees

  • The Rev. John Rybolt, C.M., Ph.D., Honorary Doctoral Degree, Vincentian Scholar-in-Residence
  • Michael Skowronski, Vincentian Mission Award, Corporate Relations Developer Career Services 
  • Gary Hall, St. Vincent de Paul Medal, President and CEO of WTS Inc. 
  • Sister Mary Johnice Rzadkiewicz, C.S.S.F., St. Louise de Marillac Award for Outstanding Service, Executive Director of Response to Love Center 
  • Peggy Choong, Ph.D., Ozanam Medal, Professor of Marketing

Vincentian Heritage Convocation 2015, Honorees

  • The Rev. W. Barry Moriarty, C.M., Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • David Campbell, ’63, St. Vincent de Paul Medal
  • Dr. Chris Lee, Associate Professor, Political Science, Ozanam Medal
  • Derek Puff, Assistant Director of Recreation and Intramurals, Vincentian Mission Award
  • The Rev. Stephen Grozio, C.M., ’75, Perboyre Medal
  • Kathaleen Granchelli, St. Louise de Marillac Award for Outstanding Service