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Date Posted: Sun, April 07 2019, 12:42:09
Author: CanMan
Subject: School Spirit

I've noticed several comments lamenting the lack of support among the students. That games are not packed with an enthusiastic student section and even for big games the turn out isn't that great.

I'm not going to write about how when I was in school we had to find our own way to the Aud. And how teams from major conferences would find their way to Buffalo for double header that would draw decent crowds for the two games. Instead I'm curious why the leadership of the school continues to ignore the alumni who don't live in WNY.

The lack of school spirit is reflected in how the alumni are treated. And not just guys like me who haven't been on campus for years, but the younger alum who live in my area who tell me they don't feel a connection to the school. I was on campus a little over a year ago just to see what had changed. President Hurley saw me, knows me, and walked right by me without saying hello.

While he and I were never friendly, I thought it a little odd but put it behind me. Then as I started to read about the lack of fan support it struck me that my contact with the school over the past decade plus has pretty much evaporated. Even the friends I stay in touch who I went to Canisius with have made similar comments.

My question to those in the know what is the school doing to engage with the alumni base. Father Cooke used to come out and talk to us about the school and make sure we were in the loop and excited about what he was doing. Since Hurley has been in place it's been crickets. I got a notice about giving day (I follow the school on FB). And did not donate. If they had reached out to me, invited me to a local event I would have donated.

If you want more student support, maybe the school should think about how they treat their alumni.

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Replies:

[> Re: School Spirit -- Not so sure about this, Mon, April 08 2019, 2:21:36

If you're an active supporter of the school or athletics Hurley and the others will find you. They might not want to hear what you have to say but they do take the time to listen. Hurley is not Cooke or Demske, never will nor should be. The guy has been busy trying to get us out of the red due to the over-commitment of financial aid to students a few years ago and fighting the SUNY Excelsior program. It looks like the school has successfully navigated this mess and we should get back to focusing on cultivating a vision for the college which is strategic vs. short term. The lack of our school spirit stems from the fact that we have way too many local kids vs. those that are from outside WNY who live on or around campus. Also, put a product on the floor which is entertaining as well as a staff that actually wants to connect with the students. The next time you see John saw hello and also let me know who you are and how unsatisfied you are of the basketball program and our lack of school spirit; he'll now know your name.

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[> Re: School Spirit -- CNY GRIFF, Mon, April 08 2019, 8:55:43

In response to CanMan:
Since John Hurley has been President, the Office of Alumni Engagement has steadily been de-funded. They are down to a bare bones staff, and most of their effort and energy is put into on campus events ( I.e. Sports Hall of Fame, Annual Reunion, DiGamma Dinner, Regents Scholarship Dinner, etc. ). There are very few college sponsored events for alumni outside of Buffalo. I agree with you, treating alumni like they don’t exist has hurt fundraising. I’m sure the donors who give $20,000. or more a year are treated well.

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[> Re: School Spirit -- CNY GRIFF, Mon, April 08 2019, 9:01:02

CanMan, I’m curious. Are you a former student athlete? The reason I ask is that it’s my theory that the school, specifically the athletic department, has done nothing to re-engage former student athletes.

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[> [> Re: School Spirit -- Tanner, Tue, April 09 2019, 4:10:36

Recently over 80 alums attended a terrific Mass and reception in Naples Florida. John Hurley and Bill Maher spoke. The local alumni group is doing a great job. We got together for the Griffs Monmouth game (about 15 attended) Maybe you should organize like they do. My daughter is President of the Michigan State University Buffalo Club. It is all local, led by Buffalonians. With or without MSU staff they blaze on with events. It isn’t fair to think the development folks or the administration be blamed for alumni disconnect. Go Griffs!

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[> [> [> Re: School Spirit -- BfloGriff, Wed, April 10 2019, 13:07:19

So, once upon a time there was an organization called the "Canisius College Cage Club", but it seems to have disappeared. Sort of like alumni, student and public support for the men's basketball program. It arranged events like several luncheons during the the season, post game gatherings at various establishments, the post-season banquet (was there one this year?), and more. Certain coaches even entertained this enthusiastic band at their homes from time to time. What happened? Is there a good reason this can't be brought back? Any volunteers?

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[> [> [> [> Re: School Spirit -- It’s called the Coaches Circle, Wed, April 10 2019, 23:32:37

Give Dennis Misko a call he would be glad to add you to the list.

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[> [> [> [> Re: School Spirit -- alum, Thu, April 11 2019, 4:03:12

Parrotta took it in house and it effectively died.

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[> [> [> [> [> Ist day of signing period -- GoldenGriff32, Thu, April 11 2019, 11:44:57

Have a feeling we will be waiting a long time for some news about some signings. Maybe we will offer a 8th grader a scholarship like we did a couple of years ago.

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[> [> [> [> Re: School Spirit -- Cager, Thu, April 11 2019, 8:07:01

You're right. For some reason the Cage Club disappeared. The occasional luncheons during the course of the season were well attended, and it gave alums and friends a chance to talk Griff basketball, and get information about what was happening with the program i.e. recruiting,scheduling etc. This has been missing for several years now, and I think doing away with the Club was a big mistake. As far as an end of year get together is concerned, I would imagine this could occur once the recruiting period is completed. I think last year's party was sometime in May. Go Griffs!!

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[> Re: School Spirit -- 1180, Thu, April 11 2019, 4:50:03

The coaching staff has no interest in engaging with students or alumni. That is where the problem begins and ends.

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[> [> Re: School Spirit -- BfloGriff, Thu, April 11 2019, 11:06:49

Thanks' all for the comments. I think the "Coaches Circle" are the high financial donors. Now I recall it was probably TP who killed it. As for the banquet it needs to happen fast. Isn't graduation in about a month, starting with Senior Week or whatever it's called now? 1180, sadly that seems to be the case. I hope our President and A.D. read these postings occasionally.

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