July 20, 2006


  1. Sr. Margaret locates founding friar's family in Italy
  2. 150-year-old relic found in Buffalo home
  3. Native American environmentalist Winona LaDuke to visit SBU
  4. New health care programs attract future clinicians
  5. Board of Trustees meets
  6. Senate committee grants SBU exchange program eligibility for funding
  7. Newsmakers ...


Sr. Margaret locates founding friar's family in Italy

ST. BONAVENTURE — In a speech delivered Alumni Weekend, St. Bonaventure University president Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., told the story about her successful search to find the family of the founder of the University Fr. Pamphilo da Magliano in Assisi, Italy.

One year ago, Sr. Margaret received an e-mail from a woman from Italy whose name is Laura Pietrobattista. In the e-mail she indicated that she belongs to the family of Pamphilo da Magliano, who was the first president and founder of St. Bonaventure University. She said that the family sought information about the college he founded because they knew little about it. Pamphilo labored in the U.S. only 10 years and during that time, he founded the University, the province of the Friars Minor and two congregations of Franciscan Sisters — the Sisters of Allegany, N.Y., and the Sisters of Joliette, Ill. He then returned to Italy.

Sr. Margaret returned a message to Laura Pietrobattista, but heard nothing more. “I assumed that the international e-mail did not connect,” she said. This May, the sister left campus on her way to lead a pilgrimage in Assisi, Rome, and in the birthplace of St. Bonaventure. “I went early because I had a mission to find that family,” she said.

She convinced Fr. Andre Cirino of the Immaculate Conception Province of Friars, who has an expressed interest in Pamphilo’s life, to help her. “Inspired by many conversations I had with Fr. Dominic Monti, O.F.M., when we were a team three years ago, I wanted to see if we couldn’t raise up Pamphilo’s contribution and heroic sacrifice as our founding president. I had nothing to go on but the e-mail address and the name of the village,” said Sr. Margaret.

Fr. Andre Cirino, O.F.M., Sr. Ann Bremmer O.S.F., a recent graduate of the Franciscan Institute — the pilgrimage leaders, and Sr. Margaret set out in a car from Rome and after one or two wrong turns they found the little town of Magliano Dei Marsi, about the size of Allegany, where they came across a postman.

“I showed him the name and asked him if he could tell me where this family lives. He indicated a nearby street and gave me some directions. I went to the street and after several knocks on several silent doors, I noticed an elderly woman sweeping off her stoop. I approached her and asked, ‘Signora, can you help me. I am looking for the family Pietrobattista.’ With a shocked look she said, ‘It’s my family.’ And she pointed to a brass plaque over the door — Vincenzo and Maria Pietrobattista,” said Sr. Margaret.

“Feeling as though I was about to faint, I said, ‘Signora, I am the president of St. Bonaventure University.’”

The woman invited the trio into her home, located her daughter Laura, who had originally tried to reach the university, and over the next three hours Sr. Margaret met 20 members of this family, who, responding to cell phone calls, came from near and far — three generations of them. They insisted the visitors sit down to “pranzo” to dinner, and began to show their treasures — Pamphilo’s text books, an oil portrait of him sent from America and a marble plaque on the house announcing the place of his birth.

After dinner the visitors were taken to the local friary and on the front was a bronze monument showing a map of the United States, over which was superimposed Devereux Hall and the words in Italian: “To the honor of Pamphilo da Magliano, son of this town, founder of St. Bonaventure University, the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and the Franciscan Sisters of Joliette.

Laura wanted to know why it had taken so long for Sr. Margaret to visit them.

“Laura, we had no idea you were alive,” Sr. Margaret said. Laura said that her family has preserved his memory for a hundred years.

The most elderly of the family remembered the 100th Anniversary of St. Bonaventure University because the president, Fr. Tom Plassmann, went to the village and held a daylong festival.

“I made two promises to them: that I would bring the leaders of the University to Magliano to visit the home of Pamphilo and that I would bring them to America to see this University. And I intend to keep both,” said Sr. Margaret.

After returning home, Sr. Margaret discovered that her colleague Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M., had recently received from his mother a letter preserved in the attic of a dear friend, a hand written letter from John C. Devereux, son of Nicholas Devereux, inviting a good friend from Elmira to a ceremony to lay the cornerstone of the University on Aug. 20, 1856.

“I am convinced that these ancestors in faith, these ancestors of discipline and devotion to this University are not far from us at all,” said Sr. Margaret.


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150-year-old University relic found in Buffalo home

Yellowed, worn and held together by tape, a piece of St. Bonaventure’s history has found its way back to the University after 150 years of hiding, just in time for the University’s anniversary celebration.

A note from John C. Devereux, son of Nicholas Devereux who invited the Franciscans to build the University on the land he owned in Allegany, turned up in the basement of a Hancock Street home in Buffalo. After the death of Nicholas in 1855, John, his brother Thomas, and his mother Mary were instrumental in overseeing the development of the University.

Buffalo resident Eileen O’Brien discovered the letter four years ago in her late mother’s home. She held on to the hand-written piece, only recently turning it over to a friend of hers, the mother of Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M, vice president for the Franciscan Mission at the University.

Dated Aug. 7, 1856, the letter is addressed to Asher Tyler from Elmira inviting him to attend the laying of the cornerstone of St. Bonaventure’s first building on Aug. 20, 1856.

Dear Sir:

It will afford me great pleasure to meet you, and as many of your friends as can find it convenient to accompany you, to Allegany on the 20th, on the occasion of laying the cornerstone of the Franciscan college.

Many distinguished persons have signified their intention to be present and I trust the occasion will prove pleasant to all who may favor us with their company.

Very respectfully,

John C. Devereux

Discovery of the letter is timely as the University is nearing its 150th anniversary. The University’s cornerstone was laid on Aug. 20, 1856, with the completion of the first building in Oct. 4, 1858. To celebrate these milestones, the University has planned a series of events over the next two years.

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Native American environmentalist Winona LaDuke to give SBU lecture

Native American activist, environmentalist, economist and writer Winona LaDuke will discuss environmental justice during a September visit to St. Bonaventure University.

The public is invited to attend the free lecture, slated for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in Dresser Auditorium of the John J. Murphy Professional Building.

LaDuke, an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Anishinaabeg (also known as Ojibwe and Chippewa) and mother of three, lives and works on the White Earth Reservations in Minnesota.

As program director of the Honor the Earth Fund, LaDuke works on a national level to advocate, raise public support and create funding for frontline native environmental groups. Honor the Earth seeks to create awareness and support for native environmental issues and develop resources for the survival of sustainable native communities.

She also works as founding director for the White Earth Land Recovery Project. The mission of the project is to facilitate recovery of the original land base of the White Earth Indian Reservation, while preserving and restoring traditional practices of sound land stewardship, language fluency, community development, and strengthening the native communities’ spiritual and cultural heritage.

In addition, she has worked for two decades on the land issues of the White Earth Reservation, including litigation over land rights in the 1980s.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities, LaDuke has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Her books include “Last Standing Woman” (fiction), “All Our Relations” (non-fiction), “In the Sugarbush” (children’s non-fiction), “The Winona LaDuke Reader” and “Recovering the Sacred.”

LaDuke is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves as co-chair of the Indigenous Women’s Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women’s organization. In both 1996 and 2000, LaDuke ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader.

In 1989, LaDuke received the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which, in part, she began the White Earth Land Recovery Project. In 1994, she was nominated by Time magazine as one of America’s 50 most promising leaders under 40 years of age, and, in 1998, Ms. Magazine named her Woman of the Year for her work with Honor the Earth.

LaDuke was also awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the Ann Bancroft Award for Women’s Leadership Fellowship, the Global Green Award and numerous other honors. LaDuke and the White Earth Land Recovery Project recently received the prestigious international Slow Food Award for their work with protecting wild rice and local biodiversity.

Her visit to St. Bonaventure is sponsored in part by a grant from The James Martine Faculty Development Endowment and the University’s Diversity Action Committee.

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New health care programs attract future clinicians

When Dr. Michael Domboski began creating the Franciscan Health Care Professions (FHCP) program at St. Bonaventure University four years ago, he hoped to attract a different kind of student to the University.

And that is exactly what he has done.

This fall, 13 of the freshmen who will make their undergraduate home at St. Bonaventure are enrolled in one of the four FHCP dual admissions programs. Chosen from a list of nearly 75 interested students in the programs’ first full-year of recruitment, these highly gifted students survived the rigorous admissions process and will join the three others already working their way through the programs.

“We are bringing students to the University that normally may not come here,” Domboski, director of the FHCP programs, said.

“We are bringing in a more diverse student population and a very academically gifted group of students. The average SAT score for the medical students coming in this year is 1435 for the verbal and math sections.”

The FHCP programs are dual admissions/dual degree programs that have articulation agreements between St. Bonaventure and several health care professional graduate schools, including the George Washington University School of Medicine, the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) and the LECOM School of Pharmacy.

Once accepted into an FHCP program, a student is guaranteed a seat in the participating graduate medical, dental or pharmacy school as long as various academic and comportment standards are maintained. During Phase I of the program, students will receive their bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure, while Phase II consists of graduate education. Completion of both phases leads to a doctorate degree (MD, DO, DDS or PharmD).

The programs allow students, who may ordinarily not have the opportunity, to pursue a career in health care. For the two medical programs and the pharmacy program, students are not required to take the difficult medical and pharmacy college admissions tests, known as the MCAT and PCAT respectively.

The rigorous admissions standards, which vary by program, attest to the academic ability and character of the enrolled students. Although the University has specific and competitive admissions requirements for all students, standards for the FHCP programs are especially rigorous to ensure that interested students can fulfill the demanding requirements and coursework of the healthcare programs.

“We are getting students ready to go to graduate schools to be clinicians. We are not developing research specialists,” Domboski said. “We want people who have personalities that will be the type of doctor that we would want to go to, whether it is a physician, a dentist or pharmacist. We want someone who is able to listen to us, to talk to us and understand us.”

St. Bonaventure, as well as the medical schools, scrutinizes three major components when deciding whether a student is qualified.

The first component is secondary school grades. The second is standardized testing, such as SAT and ACT scores. The third major component, in harmony with the Franciscan values of the University, is the character and humanistic values of the applicant. It includes volunteerism, community service, and medical and hospital exposure.

“In other words, how did this student develop the desire to be a physician or a pharmacist or a dentist? We want to know that they are making a serious commitment and why they are making this commitment. What have they done to show us and the graduate school that they are truly committed to their chosen career? All three of the components are equally weighted when we review the applicants,” Domboski said.

The first to be enrolled in the LECOM School of Pharmacy dual admissions program, Michelle Manzella is proof of the FHCP programs’ success.

Having spent three years at St. Bonaventure as an undergraduate, Manzella will be heading to Erie, Pa., this fall to begin her classes at LECOM. She is the first dual admissions/dual degree student to go to graduate school while in the dual admissions program.

“I knew I wanted to do something medical. When I heard about the program I thought it was great because I could get both degrees,” Manzella said. “I thought, ‘I get to save a whole year of college and still get my bachelor’s.’”

Manzella was not disappointed with her choice. “The program is great. Even with me being the guinea pig, I haven’t seen any problems. Dr. Domboski has been very helpful,” Manzella said. “It’s good for our medical field. It wasn’t that big at St. Bonaventure, but now it’s getting bigger.”

Manzella is excited about going to LECOM but admits St. Bonaventure is where her heart is.

“I love Bonaventure. I’m going to miss it, but it’s not that far away. I talked to a couple other people at LECOM and I hear it’s great there, too,” she said.

Domboski hopes to expand the number of programs within the FHCP in the future. The high level of interest in the programs is promising.

“I want to thank the St. Bonaventure administration, especially President Sr. Margaret Carney, Dr. Frank “Skip” Saal (former Provost), Dr. James White (former Dean) and Dr. Steve Stahl, Dean of Arts and Sciences, for allowing me to construct these programs and giving me the means to start bringing students to St. Bonaveture University who are going to be future clinicians and who will make a difference in the future,” Domboski said.

For more information, contact Domboski at mdombosk@sbu.edu.

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Board of Trustees meets

At the Board of Trustees meeting held on the campus of St. Bonaventure University, trustees approved for election to the board for a three-year term: James J. Cattano, president, Primary Resources, Inc.; Daniel F. Collins, vice president of Corporate Communications, Corning Incorporated; Thomas J. Hook, president and chief operating officer, Greatbatch Technologies, Inc.; Robert S. King, vice president, AdviStor, Inc.; Fr. Frank Sevola, O.F.M., guardian and executive director, St. Mary Parish Province, R.I.; and Vincent R. Volpe, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Dresser-Rand Company.

The following trustees were re-elected for a three-year term: Raymond C. Dee of Pottsville, Pa.; Fr. Thomas Gallagher, O.F.M., of Wilmington, Del.; Deborah Henretta of Singapore, Malaysia; Richard P. Kearns of East Williston, N.Y.; Thomas M. Marra of Simsbury, Conn.; John R. McGinley Jr., Esq., of Pittsburgh; and Leslie C. Quick, III, of Bernardsville, N.J.

The following were elected officers of the Board for a one-year term: John R. McGinley Jr., Esq., chair, of Pittsburgh; John J. McCormack Jr., vice chair, of New Vernon, N.J.; and Fr. Daniel P. Dwyer, O.F.M., Ph.D., secretary, of Loudonville, N.Y.

The Board received a report from Dr. Patrick Casey, chair of the Faculty Senate, on an overview of this year’s activities of the Faculty Senate and reported on a recent faculty referendum concerning changes to the Faculty Status and Welfare Handbook.

The Board had an opportunity to meet Ombuds Officer Bernard Brodsky and interview him concerning the activities of his office, which was established in the fall of 2005.

The Board endorsed a plan to extend the deadline for final 2006-07 budget approval one month, until mid-July.

COR Development Inc. has been given a one-year extension by the Board to develop the former Castle Restaurant property.

The Board heard and offered a proposal addressing the revitalization of enrollment management and marketing given by David W. Black, vice president of Paskill Stapleton & Lord, a marketing strategies firm.

The entire St. Bonaventure community was invited to celebrate with Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., university president, and the Board of Trustees the lives of Fr. Francis Storms, O.F.M., Olive W. Bray, Louis J. Eckelman, Ann Keenan, Regina A. Quick and Fred Manning at a Memorial Mass on June 16 in the University Chapel.

The Board meeting concluded with an executive session during which the members evaluated their own progress toward their governance goals and their annual evaluation of the president.

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Senate Committee grants SBU exchange program eligibility for funding

The Fr. Mychal Judge Center for Cultural Exchange with Northern Ireland at St. Bonaventure University is one step closer to becoming a reality after a key Senate committee approved a bill that makes the center eligible for federal funding.

With approval of the FY 2207 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill by the Senate Appropriations Committee June 29, the center is eligible to apply for up to $300,000 in funding. The bill must now be approved by the full Senate and House before being signed into law by the President.

The purpose of the Fr. Mychal Judge Center is to facilitate a mutual exchange of intellectual, academic, civic and other resources with universities in Northern Ireland. In an effort to erase the stereotypes and misperceptions about Northern Ireland, it will foster a better understanding between the people of Northern Ireland and the St. Bonaventure community.

“I am excited about St. Bonaventure’s establishment of the Fr. Mychal Judge Center and for the possibilities it will mean not only for the students here in America but for those in Northern Ireland who will travel to Western New York,” Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said. “We have made great progress in Northern Ireland and I know that this program will serve as an important exchange of ideas and experiences beneficial to all students named in honor of a hero to many of us.”

The program is designed in tribute to Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M., who died as he ministered to firefighters responding to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Federal funding will allow the Fr. Mychal Judge Center to sponsor the costs associated with scholarships and travel for student exchanges, travel for visiting professors, promotion for the program and other associated costs.

Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F, S.T.D, president of the University, said the funding will be used to foster the kind of knowledge that can be used in global situations to benefit nations recovering from long periods of internal strife.

“I am grateful to Sen. Clinton for her active support of this request and to Sen. Schumer for the cooperation of his staff as well,” Sr. Margaret said. “I know that Fr. Mychal was a citizen of New York who is admired by our nation’s leaders for his heroic role on 9/11. As an SBU alum he exemplified many aspects of the values we hold dear. This Center will become an enduring testament to his work for reconciliation in Northern Ireland. This will be a marvelous gift to two nations and many more will benefit from this.”

“This is great news for Buffalo and for fostering of a strong relationship with Ireland,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer said. “It is so important that we continue to encourage the exchange of ideas and resources. I am proud to deliver funding that takes action to promote tolerance, growth and peace through the building of human relationships.”

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Newsmakers ...

Dr. Carl J. Case, newly promoted professor of management science, has been appointed area coordinator for Special Olympics in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties. Case will be responsible for coordinating all activities, events, and efforts that currently benefit more than 1,000 local children and adults with mental retardation. Case’s duties will include assisting in recruitment of volunteers, appointing local coordinators, maintaining Area accreditation, developing the Area calendar of events, facilitating funding raising activities, and attending state workshops and meetings. In addition, Case had a paper titled “Effectively Designing and Implementing the Successful Business Freshmen Experience Course” published in the Academy of Educational Leadership Journal.

Dr. Richard Reilly, Board of Trustees Professor of Philosophy, has presented several papers in recent years dealing with the foundations of ethics in the attempt to bridge the divide between religious ethical discourse and philosophical ethical discourse while also comparing Christian and Buddhist ethical teachings. His article, “Justice as Compassion,” is appearing in Buddhist-Christian Studies, Vol. 26 (2006) edited by Donald Swearer, director for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University. This article brings together three of Reilly’s recent papers: “Rationalizing the Golden Rule: Christian, Confucian and Buddhist Perspectives,” presented to the Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy in 2004; “Justice, Compassion and Peacemaking,” presented at the international conference of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies in 2005; and, “Compassion as the Basis of Moral Value: Reconstructing Schopenhauer’s Case Against Kant,” presented to the eastern regional meeting of the Society for Christian Philosophers in 2006. Last March, Reilly presented a paper in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) meeting titled “Precepts for Avoiding Doing Evil, ” and in June he attended the annual conference of the Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy where he presented a paper, “Is Desirelessness Desirable?.” These recent papers further explore the motivational structure of altruistic intentionality. Reilly is working to complete a book-length manuscript, “The Ethics of Compassion,” which he plans to share with his students in a course on The Good Life in the spring 2007 semester.


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