John Urschel ’09
Mathematician and Junior Fellow at Harvard; former NFL lineman with Baltimore Ravens, PhD at MIT
"Some of my best memories of Canisius are how demanding it was — athletically and academically. When I got to college, I was shocked at how easy it was to manage my time. I was really thankful to have that preparation. I'm thankful it's served me so well."
Ricco Brown ’23
Niagara Falls (Gaskill Preparatory School)
"My experience at Canisius was a rollercoaster of emotions at first – freshman year was tough to start off, but after I got through it, I got used to it and now school is easier.
"Canisius changed me a lot. It’s made me into a better person and student. Learning time management has helped me the most. You have to manage your time between school and sports. A lot of alumni, including NFL football player Qadree Ollison ’14, told me that Canisius prepares you for college. Qadree said a lot of people weren’t used to doing all the homework in college, but he said, 'coming from Canisius, we were used to it.'
"When Canisius says we are men for others, they really mean it. It’s truly a brotherhood."
Rajeev Ramchand ’95
Senior behavioral scientist and co-director of the Rand Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute
"My education at Canisius was transformational – I went in with a passion for the arts; discovered a knack for mathematics; and then was drawn to the field of public health.
"In particular, a morality and ethics course – taught by Andrea Tyrpak-Endres – really resonated with me. I saw that there were very complicated issues in society that needed to be addressed for the good of the public health as a whole.
"My work enables me to study complicated issues in society and help find the solutions that will improve people’s lives. Helping others and promoting good health is something I care very deeply about. Canisius High School was certainly an influence.”
Michael Scime ’23
Snyder (Nardin Academy)
"My older brother, Dan, flourished at Canisius. Hearing his stories and seeing his success led me to enroll. I saw a community here that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
"I have always loved acting. Performing in Spamalot and Damn Yankees were some of my best experiences at Canisius. People often see “Canisius” and think athletics, but we’re so much more than that. The amount of support I got from classmates and faculty after performing in Damn Yankees was incredible.
"Canisius has changed me in several ways. I have become a much more faithful person through service. I have learned to listen more than talk. I have connected with people from all different walks of life. I was a very nervous freshman, but each year has gotten better and better. I now feel like I’m exactly where I want to be. I can’t wait to see what senior year has in store."
Jack Walter ’64
Retired vice president controller at General Dynamics; awarded two Bronze Star medals for his U.S. Army service in Vietnam
"As a young man, Canisius makes an impression on you, it stays with you."
Upon receiving the Gannon University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award from the school’s College of Engineering and Business, Walter said:
“The seeds for this award were sown by the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Matthew’s grammar school and the Jesuit priests, scholastics and laymen at Canisius High School, along with my four and half years at Gannon. This award is a true reflection of, and testament to, the quality education I received along with the proper environment in which I received it.
"This award is a credit to Canisius High School and the great Class of 1964.”
Ermyes “Jerry” Aman ’22
Buffalo (Nativity Miguel School); attending Canisius College
"Thinking back on my four years I have grown a lot as a person. Most importantly I tried my best to be a Man for God and a Man for Others.
"Coming into this school I never imagined myself going on retreats and opening up to people. I was very lucky to go on three retreats and even lead one.
"The brotherhood in this school in specific was the most impactful to me. They were there for me when I needed them and I would do the same thing vice versa.
"I was blessed to be at this school. Not many people who come from the same background as me end up going to a prestigious school. This school has given me so many experiences and opportunities. In the years to come, I know just by saying the name of this school I am going to be fortunate enough to get many opportunities both here in Buffalo and away. Walking through those Blue Doors was the best decision I ever made."
Michael Madden ’67
Founder, BlackEagle Partners private equity investment firm
"Canisius had a tremendous impact on my life. I consider myself very blessed with a wonderful family, strong personal relationships and some good fortune in my business career. I also believe a major underpinning of my life has been the time I spent at Canisius.
“Canisius opened a whole new world of possibilities, showing me all that I could do with my life beyond the steel plants so prominent at the time in South Buffalo. While I have the utmost respect for steelworkers, I didn’t want to work in a mill, so I took my studies very seriously to get good grades and go on to college.
"I have such great memories from my time at Canisius, and I created lifelong friendships that I still treasure to this day."
Victor Mazzara ’22
Town of Tonawanda (St. Amelia School); Mr. Canisius 2022; attending University at Albany
"I am beyond thankful for the formative role the entire Canisius community has played in my life. No longer am I the shy, anxious kid that walked through the Blue Doors in 2018.
"My journey has been more fulfilling than any competition of which I have been a part. “The win” has been my growth in mind, body, and soul alongside all of you.
"I am eternally indebted to all my Canisius brothers for the relationships we forged. I am thankful for the guidance of staff, administration, and coaches. Collectively, you have all been a part of my growth into the Man for Others I am today. Whether we have been best friends, teammates, retreatants who shared tears together, or simple acquaintances who shared a smile in the hallway, I am thankful for you.
"Canisius High School, you’re different; I thank you for that. I wish I could bottle up your magic and spread it outside the Blue Doors; however, I promise to go forth and set the world on fire with that magic potion that you have sprinkled upon me."
Brandon Littles III ’02
Director of U.S. Digital Claims Inshur, Inc.
"From Day One at Canisius, students were expected to excel and I carried that into college and throughout my career. Canisius set me up properly for college, and for life.
"My Dad said, 'Hey, you're going to Canisius.' ... He definitely envisioned a bright future for his sons."
Go in-depth with scores of Canisius alums about their experience at 1180 Delaware Ave. and beyond through our Conversations with Canisius video interviews.
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