By Amelia Kibbe, ’17
More than 150 students, faculty and university donors gathered at the Premier Banquet Center on April 22 for St. Bonaventure University’s 2016 Celebration of Excellence scholarship luncheon.
The event, named in honor of the late Barbara Carr McKee, a university administrator, and longtime professors James J. Martine, Ph.D., and the late Leo E. Keenan, offers scholarship recipients the opportunity to meet and thank the donors who helped fund their education. It also features an academic showcase that highlights the creative endeavors and academic research of select students as well as faculty recipients of the Keenan and Martine grant awards.
This year’s program highlighted 18 new and continuing academic projects, speeches by three senior students — Kerry Caher, Sameer Singhal and Jillian Hammell — and an address by guest speaker Leslie C. Quick III, a member of St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees.
Caher, a recipient of the Ruth E. Crosby Scholarship and The Sylvia Foster and Anna Lo Presti Endowment Scholarship, delivered the first speech. Caher, a Clifton Park, N.Y., native, described how the Bonaventure community supported her through a career change and an eating disorder.
“The Bonaventure family brought out the best in me,” Caher, a childhood studies major, said. “It is as if everyone — faculty, students, staff and alumni — made an investment and commitment to me.”
Following Caher, Singhal, a Williamsville, N.Y., native, spoke about the many research opportunities he has had as biology major at St. Bonaventure.
Singhal, a recipient of the John L. & Leoné E. Worden Memorial Award, said of his time at St. Bonaventure, “Simply being here today is an honor for me.”
Jillian Hammell, a strategic communications and digital media major from Boston, N.Y., delivered the final student speech. In her address, Hammell stated she will be the first member of her family to graduate from college.
"I entered college with big dreams,” Hammell, the recipient of The Ruth E. Crosby Scholarship and the Henretta Family Scholarship, said. “Now, as a senior, they're even bigger dreams."
Following the student speakers, Quick addressed the group, encouraging all Bonnies — both past and present — to pay it forward and continue their dedication to the tradition of St. Bonaventure. Quick, a founding partner of Massey, Quick and Co. LLC, earned a bachelor of business administration degree with a major in finance in 1975.
“I think the future is bright for Bonaventure,” he added.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, 653 deserving students were awarded scholarships at St. Bonaventure.
People interested in creating an endowed scholarship or establishing an annual award should contact Kathleen Ryan, assistant director of development for stewardship, at (716) 375-2308 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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