Niagara University honored Robert D. Gioia, President of The John R. Oishei Foundation with its Legacy of Service Award at the University’s annual President’s Dinner on December 10th at the Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls.
The University cited Gioia’s leadership, and his work at the Foundation for the award and noted his impact on some of the region’s most notable and consequential projects, such as developments on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo’s waterfront, the expansion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, and the creation of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown. The University also noted that he has been an important advocate and promoter of the foundation’s diversity, equity and inclusion work, exemplified by the foundation’s public commitment to racial equity in 2018 and the development of programs supporting nonprofit leaders of color.
Gioia was one of three honorees at the event. Judith Quigley Ruse, ’69, received the St. Louise de Marillac award for her support of nursing and science programs at the university and for her work as a clinical trial and data manager for Janssen Biotech, an organization that specializes in the treatment of cancer and immune-related disorders, including Crohn’s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and plaque psoriasis. She was also co-founder of The Wellness Community, a patient support group for cancer patients in the Philadelphia area. Elizabeth Triggs, founder & CEO, None Like You Family Education Community Outreach received the St. Vincent de Paul Award for her service to the people on the margins of society. Since 1992, her nonprofit organization has assisted members of Buffalo’s East Side community obtain the resources they need, from education programs to help them earn GEDs to financial assistance to help pay heating bills.
The awards were presented by University President Father James J. Maher. Proceeds from the President's Dinner benefit Niagara University's scholarship programs. Last year's dinner raised $280,000 toward student scholarship assistance. Kathleen L. Neville, M.A.’15, and Karen L. Siembida Howard, ’84, members of Niagara University’s Board of Trustees, served as co-chairs of the event.
Founded by the Vincentian community in 1856, Niagara University is a comprehensive institution, blending the best of a liberal arts and professional education, grounded in our values-based Catholic tradition. Its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Nursing offer programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral level. As the first Vincentian university established in the United States, Niagara prepares students for personal and professional success while emphasizing service to the community in honor of St. Vincent de Paul. Niagara’s institutional commitment to service-learning has led to its inclusion on the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service every year since its inception in 2006, and its recognition with the Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement.
Watch the tribute video created in Robert Gioia's honor!