Canisius High School
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
For the greater glory of God
|1180 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York, (Erie County), 14209
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic;
|President||Rev. Joseph Costantino, S.J.|
|Principal||Mr. Timothy K. Fitzgerald|
|Chaplain||Rev. Frederick Betti, S.J.|
|Average class size||21|
|Color(s)||Navy Blue and Vegas Gold|
|Slogan||Men For Others|
|Athletics conference||Monsignor Martin Athletic Association|
|Mascot||Carl the Crusader|
|Rival||St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute|
|Accreditation(s)||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Publication||Chanticleer (literary magazine)|
|Chairman of Board of Trustees||David J. Kersten '79|
|Athletic Director||James Mauro|
Canisius High School is a Roman Catholic Jesuit private high school for young men located at 1180 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, New York, United States, just north of the Delaware Avenue Historic District.
Founded in 1870, the school has historical ties to Canisius College.
Canisius operates independently from the New York State guidelines established by the Board of Regents.
In 1850, 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 1883, Canisius High School “was incorporated by the State of New York as the Academic Department of Canisius College” (Hennessy 357). In 1908, the boarding portion of the school was closed, and by September 1912, the high school served 379 boys. In December 1912, as Canisius College moved into new facilities at Main and Jefferson Streets in Buffalo, the Washington Street building was turned over to the exclusive use of the high school. In 1919, Father Robert Johnson “became the first rector of the separate high school community” (Hennessy 358). In September 1928, the high school received an independent charter, completing its separation from the College (Hennessy 364).
The current Canisius site is notable in many ways. Located at 1180 Delaware Avenue, just north of the Delaware Avenue Historic District, the facility is at home among the many architecturally- and historically-significant residences in the area. The school sits just south of Gates Circle, with tree-lined parkways designed and built by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux leading to Delaware Park. Canisius is also located just east of the Elmwood Village, recently ranked the third-best neighborhood in America by the American Planning Association.
Construction on the present-day Koessler Academic Center, also known as Berchmans' Hall, was started in 1918 by George F. Rand, Sr, founder and former president of Marine Midland Bank. The facility was originally built as a private residence in the Jacobethan style, with gables, steep green slate roofs, chimney pots, and mullioned windows.
The building was sold in 1924 to the Masons, who converted it into the Buffalo Masonic 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 Wade.
The Masons are also responsible for Canisius' unique auditorium, which boasted, at the time of its construction, the largest continuous, free-spanning balcony in the United States, 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, with hundreds of individual "stars" mimicking the night sky, and a blue band representing the Milky Way.
The Jesuits purchased the building from the City of Buffalo in 1944 for $92,000. Soon after, the Beecher Classroom Wing was added to the south of the structure, opening in 1948. A Jesuit residence (Frauenheim Hall) was added to the northwest side of the building. In about 1956, the adjacent Milburn House, site of the death of President William McKinley, was demolished to make way for a parking lot. It had been an apartment building since 1919. (See also: Assassination of William McKinley.)
In November 2007, the school unveiled a $14 million plan to upgrade its campus. Frauenheim Hall was demolished and replaced by the state-of-the-art Bernard J. Kennedy Field House, with a seating capacity of 1,000 for basketball games and other sporting events. A new Math and Science Center stands connected to the Beecher Classroom Wing, adjoining West Ferry Street. Additionally, administrative offices have moved east across Delaware Avenue. In 2008, the Robert J. Stransky Memorial Athletic Complex opened in the eastern suburb of West Seneca.
As of 2012-13, Canisius enrolls 886 students from Western New York and Southern Ontario, representing 4 counties, 42 cities and towns, and 147 grammar and middle schools. The Class of 2009 produced 3 National Merit Finalists and 13 National Merit Commended Students, more than any other private high school in Western New York.
Canisius offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including The Citadel newspaper, the Chanticleer literary magazine, the Arena yearbook, the National Honor Society, Latin Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Ski Club, Foursquare Club, the Gamers' Guild, Stage Crew, SAGE, Speech and Debate, Writers' Club, The Meditators (Meditation Club), Chess Club, Anime Club, ITEC (Business club), and a league-champion Masterminds (Quiz Bowl) team.
Canisius students also 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, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, sailing, wrestling and rugby. Canisius has won the Monsignor Martin Association's "Supremcy Cup" (recognizing Catholic League's top athletic school though the aggregate of each sport's championships) every year since 2001-02, with the exception of 2004-05.
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, the Scholastic Lightweight Eight Championship in 2009 and 2010, and the Scholastic National Junior Eight Championship in 2008.
Traditionally, Canisius' biggest rival in sports has been St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute. Contests between the two institutions in any sport are well-attended and well-covered. Notably, the November 1st, 2008 varsity football game between the two was featured as part of the U.S. Air Force's National Rivalry Series, which broadcasts high school games to U.S. troops around the world.
Every student at Canisius is involved in a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. Students are required to take seven college-preparatory courses per semester; over four years, the credit requirement is 29.5 credits. Honors and Advanced Placement sections exist in each of the curricular disciplines. Admissions are based on grades, an entrance exam, and various 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 secondary schools (with Buffalo Seminary, Nichols School, and The Park School of Buffalo) exempt from New York State's Regents Examinations. Instead, Canisius is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools.
- Stan Bowman '91, General Manager, Chicago Blackhawks
- Steven Coppola '02, 2008 Olympic rower
- Jim Cunningham '54, standout basketball player at Fordham University
- Tom Fontana '69, TV writer/producer, Oz, The Jury, and Homicide: Life on the Street
- Ed Don George '24, 1928 Olympic wrestler and member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- 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
- David Kocieniewski '80, 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Explanatory Journalism
- Jack Kukoda '98, comedian and writer, The Onion
- Richard D. (Max) McCarthy ‘45, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 39th congressional district from 1965 to 1971
- Phil McConkey '75, New York Giants wide receiver
- Donald Pinkel, M.D. '44, American medical doctor, pioneer in pediatric hematology and oncology, founding medical director and CEO of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN
- Larry Quinn '70, former minority owner and President, Buffalo Sabres
- Edwin J. Roland, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard
- Martin E. "Valerian Ruminski" Ruminski '85 Metropolitan Opera singer
- Mark Russell '50, comedian, pianist and singer
- Tim Russert '68, journalist, former host of NBC's Meet the Press
- Thomas Perez '79, current United States Secretary of Labor, Former Assistant Attorney General of the United States
- MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-27.
- About Us
- Thomas, G. Scott (2009-09-16). "32 WNY seniors win Merit Scholar honors".