Canisius High School

Canisius High School

Infobox School3
name = Canisius High School

motto = Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
"(For the greater glory of God)"
established = 1870
type = Private
locale = Buffalo, NY
grades = 9-12
head_name = President
head = John M. Knight
head_name2 = Principal
head2 = Bil J. Kopas
head_name3 = Dean of Students
head3 = Beck Killian O'Connor
city = Buffalo
state = NY
country = USA
students = approx. 830
faculty = 64
athletics =
school_colors = Navy Blue, Vegas Gold
mascot = Crusader
website =

Canisius High School is a Roman Catholic Jesuit private high school for young men located at 1180 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, New York. The school, founded in 1870, has historical ties to Canisius College.


In 1870 a group of Jesuits left Europe in response to Bishop John Timon's call for a Catholic institution to serve European immigrants settling in Western New York. The Jesuits founded Buffalo's first Catholic college and named it after St. Peter Canisius, a 16th-century Jesuit theologian, scholar, evangelist and educator.

As part of Canisius College, the high school was first located on Ellicott Street in downtown Buffalo, but quickly outgrew that location and moved to a building on Washington Street in 1872. In 1944, the school split from the college and moved to its current location on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo's Delaware District. [ [ About Us ] ]


The current Canisius site is notable in many ways. Construction on the present-day Koessler Academic Center, also known as Berchmans' Hall, was started in 1918 by George F. Rand II, founder and former president of Marine Midland Bank, as a private residence. Both Rand and his wife died before the mansion was complete. George F. Rand III, founder and chairman of Rand Capital Corp., completed construction in 1921 and moved in with his siblings.

The building was sold in 1925 to the Masons, who converted it into the Buffalo Consistory. The Masons made several additions to the building, including a large marble foyer, a pool, Turkish baths, bowling alleys, and locker rooms. This new construction was designed by Buffalo City Hall chief architect John J. Wade.

The Masons are also responsible for building Canisius' unique auditorium. At the time of construction, this auditorium was state-of-the-art, boasting a full air conditioning system, a balcony, custom-made French chandeliers, and an advanced electrical lighting system, part of which is currently stored in the Smithsonian archives. This lighting system included a stained glass sun built into the ceiling, hundreds of individual "stars" mimicking the night sky, and a blue band representing the Milky Way.

The Jesuits purchased the building from the Masons in 1944 for $92,000. Soon after, the Beecher Classroom Wing was added to the south of the structure. A Jesuit residence (Fraunheim Hall) was added to the northwest side of the building. Sometime in the mid-1950s, the adjacent Milburn House, site of the death of President William McKinley, was demolished. Currently a student parking lot is located where the Milburn House stood. A plaque commemorates the site of McKinley's death.

Since mid-2005, Canisius has undertaken an expansion of its traditional campus boundaries. Construction is ongoing in the eastern suburb of West Seneca, where a new athletic complex will be located. In addition, Canisius purchased an office building located directly across Delaware Avenue from its campus. In January 2007, a mansion on Delaware Avenue was donated to the school by an alumnus. [ [ About Us ] ]

In November 2007, the school unveiled a $14 million plan to upgrade its campus. The proposal called for the demolition of Frauenheim Hall, which will be replaced by an enclosed athletic field house. A new math and science wing will be connected to the Beecher Classroom Wing, adjoining West Ferry Street. Faculty and staff offices have moved across Delaware to the former Catholic Charities building. []


As of 2007-08, Canisius enrolls approximately 830 students from Western New York and Southern Ontario, representing 4 counties, 42 cities and towns, and 147 grammar and middle schools.

The Class of 2008 produced 4 National Merit Finalists, and 10 National Merit Commended Students, more than any other private high school in Western New York.

Graduates of Canisius study at universities throughout the United States. Recent graduates have attended Amherst College, Duke University, Yale, Harvard, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, University of Notre Dame, Villanova, Boston College, Vanderbilt University, University of Chicago, Wake Forest, Columbia University, University of Southern California, Georgetown University, Stanford University, Cornell, Rice University, the United States Air Force Academy, and the University of Rochester, among others.

ports and Traditions

Canisius students participate in a number of interscholastic sports, in and out of the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association. The Crusaders field teams in baseball, basketball, bowling, crew, cross country, football, golf, hockey, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, squash, swimming, tennis, track and field, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and wrestling.

In October 2007, the MMAA announced Canisius as the winners of the 2006-2007 Class AA Supremacy Cup as the top overall sports program in the Monsignor Martin League. During the 2006-2007 school year, Canisius produced league champions in swimming, golf, volleyball, cross country and track. This marks the sixth time in seven years the Crusaders have been recognized as the top athletic program in their league. [ [ News ] ]

The Canisius rowing team has achieved significant national success in recent years. The Crusaders captured the Youth National Lightweight Eight Championship in 2006 and 2007, the Scholastic National Freshman Eight Championship in 2006 and 2008, and the Scholastic National Junior Eight Championship in 2008.

Traditionally, Canisius' biggest rival has been St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, New York. Contests between these two institutions in any sport are well-attended and well-covered.


Every student at Canisius is involved in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Honors and Advanced Placement sections exist in each of the curricular disciplines. Admissions are based on grades and an entrance exam, among other criteria.

Because of its academic rigor, and the fact that its diploma requirements exceed those of the state of New York, Canisius is one of only four Western New York schools exempt from New York State's Regents Examinations. Instead, Canisius is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Notable alumni and faculty

*Steven Coppola '02, 2008 Olympic rower
*Martin Dudziak '70, physicist
*Tom Fontana '69, TV writer/producer, "Oz", "The Jury", and ""
*Mark Giangreco, '70, Sportscaster at WLS-TV in Chicago
*John M. Granville '93, United States Agency for International Development Diplomat assassinated in Sudan
*John J. LaFalce '57, United States Congressman
*Phil McConkey '75, New York Giants wide receiver
*Ron McRae '68, investigative journalist for Jack Anderson, author of "Mind Wars"
*James "Jim" Neil '86, 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympic rower
*Edwin J. Roland, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard
*Mark Russell '50, comedian, pianist and singer
*Tim Russert '68, journalist, host of NBC's Meet The Press
*Sibby Sisti '38, baseball player, Boston Bees, Boston Braves, and Milwaukee Braves
*Fr. John G. Sturm, S.J. '35, Prefect of Discipline, Marriage Counselor, Author
*Joseph B. Zambon '03, Researcher, Author and Philanthropist
*Roy Vongtama '92, Actor
*John P. Bucki, SJ '68, Director of Campus Ministry, Canisius College; Former Pastor, Church of St. Francis Xavier, New York City


External links

* [ Canisius High School]
* [ History of 1180 Delaware]

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