Canisius High School will honor 15 alumni for their career and athletic achievements this fall. The alumni will be inducted into the school's Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor or Athletic Hall of Fame in recognition of their significant contributions in the fields of medicine, finance, business, community service, and athletics.
The induction will take place during a celebration dinner in the school's Kennedy Field House at 1180 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo on Saturday, November 16, 2019. This event is part of the school's year-long 150th anniversary celebration.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI HALL OF HONOR
INDUCTION CLASS OF 2019:
Kevin Curran '75 - Business/Marketing
Kevin Curran majored in Economics and Psychology at Williams College before beginning his marketing career in 1979 at Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati. In 1982 he returned home to Buffalo and began a 30-year career at Fisher-Price. During the 1980s, Curran worked his way up through the marketing department and became the director of marketing for all Pre-School lines. In 1990, Curran moved to the Little Tikes Toys division of the Rubbermaid Company as the vice president of marketing. He later served as Little Tikes' vice president of North American sales and marketing, and then vice president of Little Tikes Europe, living for a time in Brussels, Belgium. Under his watch Little Tikes doubled its revenue to $600 million.
In 1997, Curran returned to Fisher-Price as the senior vice president of research and development. He led a team of more than 80 toy designers, creating 400 new toys annually. Then, as the senior vice president of international marketing, he travelled to 20+ countries to help guide Fisher-Price's global expansion.
In 2000, Curran was named general manager of the Fisher-Price "Friends" Division in New York City, which created blockbuster toys for entertainment characters from Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Disney and Warner Bros. In 2006, Fisher-Price's 10th Anniversary TMX Tickle Me Elmo toy was the top selling toy in the world and was named the "Toy of the Year."
In 2009 Curran was named CEO of Fisher-Price – now a division of Mattel. Under his guidance global revenues reached an all-time record $2.4 billion, and the business achieved record profits in 2007, 2009, and again in 2010.
Curran is retired now from Fisher-Price and currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo's Jacobs School of Business, on the board of directors for the Buffalo Museum of Science, and does occasional consulting work. Curran is a former board member for the Buffalo Women and Children's Hospital Foundation, the Canisius High School board of trustees, and a former chairperson for GAMBIT, Canisius' annual dinner auction.
Charles "Chip" Jones '74 - Business/Community Service
Chip Jones built a successful 43-year career at Wittburn Enterprises, Inc., a commercial electrical construction firm, where he currently serves as the company's president. Wittburn serves the area's commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential electrical needs.
Throughout his career, and as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, Jones has embraced the Jesuit motto of being a "man for others" and has used his success as a local businessman to help the Western New York community by serving on the board of directors for numerous charities. His past board service includes the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Canisius High School, and Goodwill Industries of Western New York.
Jones currently serves on the board of directors for Christ the King Seminary, Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity supporting Baker-Victory Services for the Developmentally Disabled, and the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation–a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of Buffalo through grants to local charitable organizations and initiatives. Jones also served as the chairman of the board for NativityMiguel Middle School, a faith-based middle school focused on ending the cycle of poverty through the education of underserved students. Jones is also the chairman of the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, an initiative focused on economic growth through workforce preparation for the unemployed, underemployed and dislocated.
Mark Lema, M.D., Ph.D. '67 - Medicine
Dr. Mark Lema is the chair of anesthesiology at Roswell Park Cancer Comprehensive Cancer Center and is also the SUNY distinguished service professor and chair of anesthesiology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Lema has served as president of the Erie County Medical Society, the Roswell Park medical staff, the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He was also the honorary treasurer of the World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists with 146 countries represented. Dr. Lema serves on the Canisius College board of trustees, and the board of directors of the Erie County Medical Society and The Buffalo Club.
Dr. Lema received his medical training at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. In addition, he holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from the University at Buffalo.
His honors and awards include the Werthamer Fellowship, Parker B. Francis Research Fellowship, the Canisius College Distinguished Alumni Award, the Meritorious Service Award of the New York State Department of Health Office for Professional Medical Conduct, the Eliasberg Medal for Anesthesiology Accomplishments by Mt. Sinai Medical School, and Tribute Honoree by SUNY Downstate Medical Center's Residents and Fellows Alumni Committee.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists honored Dr. Lema with its Distinguished Service Award. He's also been awarded the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists Distinguished Service Award, the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Lema has lectured at more than 225 academic institutions and has testified before a sub-committee on Veteran's Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has authored or co-authored more than 175 articles in major international scientific and professional journals.
Michael Madden '67 - Finance
Michael Madden has more than 40 years of experience in financial services and is the founder and current managing partner of BlackEagle Partners, LLC, a private equity firm with offices in New York, Detroit and Sarasota.
Prior to founding BlackEagle in 2005, he was a senior partner for six years in Questor Management Co., a $1 billion private equity firm, where he managed the firm's New York operations.
Madden began his career at Kidder, Peabody & Co. in 1973 after receiving his MBA with distinction from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania). He started as an associate in investment banking and worked his way up to partner in 1980. In 1986, he was named head of worldwide investment banking at Kidder and its Man of the Year in 1988. Madden joined Lehman Brothers in 1989 as co-head of global investment banking and was a member of its board of directors and executive committee. He returned to Kidder in 1993, and in 1995 he orchestrated Kidder's merger with PaineWebber and was named vice chairman of the newly combined firms. He founded Hanover Capital in 1996, which he merged with the Beacon Group, a major merchant banking firm which is now part of JP Morgan. Madden joined Questor in 2000.
Madden received a BA in economics, magna cum laude, from Le Moyne College in Syracuse in 1971. He served on the college's board of trustees for 14 years and was chairman of the board from 1999-2003. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Le Moyne in 1999. The Madden School of Business, Le Moyne's first named school, was named in his honor in 2012.
In 2017, he co-founded the Center for Aging Resources and Enrichment (CARE) which provides resources to seniors and their families in the areas of healthcare, continuing education and physical and emotional well-being. Madden has also served on the non-profit boards of Telecare Catholic Television, the Trickle Up Foundation and the Syracuse Entrepreneurship Initiative. He currently serves on the Canisius High School board of trustees.
ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
INDUCTION CLASS OF 2019:
Andrew Curtin '74 - Football, Wrestling
Andrew Curtin played three years of varsity football anchoring the undefeated 1972 and 1973 teams as the starting center. As a junior, Curtin earned All–Catholic honors. As a senior co-captain, Curtin lead the Crusaders to their sixth straight league championship while earning All-Catholic and All-Western New York honors. His senior campaign was so successful he made the All–State football team and was named a National Football All-American. National Sports Writers Coach and Athlete Magazine named him to their 1973-74 Prep All-American Team. Curtin played college football at Cornell. Curtin also excelled as a wrestler at Canisius and served as a co-captain during his senior year under UB legend Doug Rutter. That year he was named the team MVP despite being forced to forfeit the All-Catholic Championship match due to injury. He joins his brothers Peter '71 and David '76 in the Canisius Athletic Hall of Fame. David '76 was inducted as a member of "The Streak" teams. Their father, Dr. Daniel E. Curtin '41, is a member of the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Honor and was the 1975 John F. Barnes Award recipient.
Dr. John Hall '84 - Football, Basketball, Baseball
Dr. John Hall was a key member of the athletic community during his time at Canisius. Born with cerebral palsy, Hall never competed on the field of play, but earned 11 varsity letters as the manager of the baseball, basketball, and football teams. Early on during his time at Canisius, Hall met Connie McGillicuddy '39 and Paul Virginia '81 who made it clear that there are many ways a Crusader can contribute to Canisius athletics. Hall never let his physical limitations dampen his love of sports and demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to Canisius athletics as a mainstay at every practice, game and road trip. He occasionally refereed or umpired scrimmages, and his future wife Suzanne would get her first glimpse of him on the sidelines of a Canisius versus St. Joe's football game. He was the "Voice of the Crusaders" as the announcer for basketball games and is a Georgetown Cup champion, Manhattan Cup champion, recipient of the varsity baseball appreciation award, and a Mr. Canisius nominee.
Pat Kwiatkowski '72 - Bowling – John Barnes Award
Pat Kwiatkowski was a member of the very first Canisius varsity bowling teams in 1971 and 1972. In 1995, Canisius was looking for a head bowling coach and Kwiatkowski volunteered for the role. Over the next 23 years Kwiatkowski led Canisius to five league championships and five All-Catholic championships. He has coached a total of 23 First Team All-Catholic bowlers and 24 Second Team All-Catholic bowlers. In 13 years of state level competition he has coached 22 State qualifiers including a State Champion in 2017. Kwiatkowski has coached 1,020 total games with 725-295 win-loss record and a 71% career win percentage.
Keith Kostrzewski '95 - Soccer, Football, Hockey
Although he was a three sport athlete, soccer was Keith Kostrzewski's true passion. As a three-year varsity starter he earned a place on the All-Catholic soccer team three straight years. He served as team captain during his junior and senior years, was named Second Team All-Western New York, and was selected for the 1994 Senior All-Star Game selection. Kostrzewski continued his soccer career in the Big East Conference at Providence College where he made the Big East Academic Honor Roll and was a senior co-captain. As a football player Kostrzewski was a three-year starter and was named Second Team All-Catholic as a junior.
Jude Malican '77 - Swimming
Jude Malican was a four-year member of a dominate Canisius swim team that went undefeated and captured four league and four All-Catholic titles. As a senior co-captain Malican led the Canisius "Mermen" to their 13th straight league championship and 16th straight All-Catholic championship. Malican earned a total of ten All-Catholic titles, including six individual All-Catholic awards, and was named the team's MVP as a senior. As a member of the relay team Malican earned four All-Catholic titles and was part of every school record the relay team set. Malican continued his swimming career at St. Louis University, and competed in masters events and open ocean swim races for many years.
Smith Morris '82 - Football, Track and Field
As a freshman running back, Smith Morris scored 14 touchdowns and was named to the All-Catholic Team. A wrist injury cut short his sophomore season, but Morris returned as a junior to rush for 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns on his way to being named to the All-WNY team. As a senior, Morris scored 12 touchdowns in a down year for Canisius. The Buffalo News twice selected Morris as its Player of the Week for his football accomplishments. He earned All-Catholic honors three times, and was a finalist for the Connolly Cup–the award recognizing the top high school football player in Western New York. Morris also competed with the Canisius track and field team and captured multiple league championships as part of relay teams.
Joe Raccuia '90 - Baseball, Basketball
As a two-sport athlete at Canisius, Joe Raccuia was a leader on both the football field and baseball diamond. Raccuia played three years of varsity baseball, winning the Georgetown Cup as a sophomore and earning All-Catholic honors as a junior. As a senior captain, Raccuia was again named First Team All-Catholic and Second Team All-Western New York and earned an invitation to the North/South All-Star Game. As a member of the basketball team, Raccuia achieved Second Team All-Catholic status his junior and senior years and served as captain as a senior. He was named the 1989 Canisius High School Athlete of the Year.
Ron Raccuia '86 - Baseball, Football
Ron Raccuia was a three-year starter on the varsity baseball team anchoring the infield as a standout second baseman. As a junior, Raccuia was named First Team All-Catholic and All-Western New York. He served as a team captain his senior year and again captured All-Catholic and All-Western New York honors. On the gridiron, Raccuia quarterbacked the Crusaders in both his junior and senior years. During his senior campaign, he was a duel threat and key contributor as a quarterback and receiver. He led the team in receiving touchdowns, and as the quarterback, Raccuia commanded an offense that tripled its production from the previous season.
Paul Riley '03 - Cross Country, Track and Field
As a four-year member of the varsity cross country and varsity indoor and outdoor track teams, Paul Riley is one of the most prolific runners in Canisius High School history. He is a three-time All-Catholic cross country champion who led the team to league championships in 1999, 2001 and 2002. Riley excelled even further as a member of the indoor and outdoor track teams as a five-time All-Catholic track champion and member of the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Monsignor Martin league champion teams. Riley won the state Catholic high school title in the 1000 meter indoor and captured the New York State Federation title in the 800 meter outdoor. He set multiple school records and still holds the 800 meter outdoor and 1000 meter indoor records at Canisius.
Dan Thrush '99 - Wrestling
Dan Thrush was a four-year varsity wrestling starter who made an impact early by racking up the most wins ever by a freshman–a record he held until 2003–and winning All-Catholics. Dan would go on to win three more All-Catholic titles during his time at Canisius, making him the only Canisius wrestler ever to win four total. In his junior year, Thrush placed second overall in the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association. He repeated that feat as a senior and won the CHSAA Ironman Award for finishing in the top six in the state each of his four years at Canisius. Thrush also won the Monsignor Martin League's Most Outstanding Wrestler Award in 1999. Over his four years at Canisius Dan won numerous tournaments and 109 matches–a school record that stood for 20 years.
John Urschel '09 - Football, Track and Field
John Urschel started for three years as a lineman for the Canisius varsity football team and earned All-Catholic honors all three years. As a senior, he was named First Team All-WNY and won the 2009 Trench Trophy awarded to the best lineman in Western New York. As a member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams Urschel was a successful shot-putter. His classmates voted him "Mr. Canisius" in 2009. His football career continued at Penn State University where he earned First Team Big Ten and First Team Academic All-American honors, and the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman. The Baltimore Ravens drafted Urschel in 2014 and he played for the team until his retirement in 2017.