Canisius High School

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Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
For the greater glory of God
1180 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York, (Erie County) 14209
United States
Coordinates 42°54′59″N 78°52′11″W / 42.91639°N 78.86972°W / 42.91639; -78.86972Coordinates: 42°54′59″N 78°52′11″W / 42.91639°N 78.86972°W / 42.91639; -78.86972
Type Private, all-male
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Patron saint(s) St. Peter Canisius
Established 1870; 146 years ago (1870)
CEEB code 331000
President Rev. David S. Ciancimino, S.J.
Principal Ms. Andrea Tyrpak-Endres
Chaplain Rev. Frederick Betti, S.J.
Faculty 62
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 900 (2014-2015)
Average class size 21
Student to teacher ratio 11:1
Color(s) Navy blue and Vegas gold         
Slogan Men and Women For Others
Athletics conference Monsignor Martin Athletic Association
Mascot Carl the Crusader
Nickname CHS
Team name Crusaders
Rival St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Average SAT scores 1715 class average (252 points above NYS average)
Publication Chanticleer (literary magazine)
Yearbook Arena
Tuition $11,000 (2014-15)
Chairman of Board of Trustees Mr. Robert Reger '66
Athletic Director Mr. James Mauro
School Phone 716.882.0466

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 establimshed 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; it 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”.[2]:352 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, Fr. Robert Johnson “became the first rector of the separate high school community.”[2]:358 In September 1928, the high school received an independent charter, completing its separation from the College.[3][2]: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,[4] recently ranked the third-best neighborhood in America by the American Planning Association.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

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.[8] In 2008, the Robert J. Stransky Memorial Athletic Complex opened in the eastern suburb of West Seneca.

Student body[edit]

As of 2013-14, Canisius enrolls 885 students from Western New York and Southern Ontario, representing 4 counties, 42 cities and towns, and 147 grammar and middle schools. While the Catholic education system in Buffalo and the United States has declined since the start of the 21st Century, the Canisius student population has actually increased almost 20%. 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.[9]

Canisius offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including The Citadel newspaper,[10] the Chanticleer literary magazine, the Arena yearbook, the National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Coding Club, Ski Club, Donate Life, Foursquare Club, the Gamers' Guild, Stage Crew, SAGE, Speech and Debate, Mock Trial, Wall Street Club, Writers' Club, The Meditators (Meditation Club), Chess Club, Innovative Thinking & Entrepreneurial Club (ITEC), Sailing 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, sailing, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. Canisius has won the Monsignor Martin Association's "Supremacy Cup" (recognizing Catholic League's top athletic school through the aggregate of each sport's championships) in all but two years this century.

The Canisius football team has become one of the most recognized programs in the northeastern United States over the last few years, thanks in part to recent graduates John Urschel '09 and Jimmy Gaines '10 as well as several high-profile Division 1 recruits. The program, ranked in the top 5 in the northeast for the last two years, was profiled by in the summer of 2013 as a program on the rise.[11]

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.[12][13] The varsity football games between the two have annually been featured as part of the Great American 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.[14] Admissions are based on grades, an entrance exam, and various other criteria.[15]

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.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Hennessy, James, S.J. "A History of Canisius High School." Woodstock Letters, Vol. 83. (Woodstock, MD: Woodstock College Press, 1954)
  3. ^ About Us
  4. ^ Elmwood Village
  5. ^ Great places
  6. ^ Masonic
  7. ^ Assassination of William McKinley
  8. ^ News
  9. ^ Thomas, G. Scott (2009-09-16). "32 WNY seniors win Merit Scholar honors". 
  10. ^ Citadel
  11. ^ Football
  12. ^ News 1
  13. ^ News 2
  14. ^ a b Academics
  15. ^ Admissions

External links[edit]