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Niagara University looks to year ahead

by jmaloni
Sat, Oct 2nd 2010 03:45 pm
Niagara University kicked off Vincentian Heritage Week with a special Mass on Tuesday. In the first picture, NU President the Rev. Joseph Levesque (center) joined with co-celebrants to offer the Mass. In the second picture, campus minister Kristina Schliesman is accompanied by a choir. (photos by Mike Freedman)
Niagara University kicked off Vincentian Heritage Week with a special Mass on Tuesday. In the first picture, NU President the Rev. Joseph Levesque (center) joined with co-celebrants to offer the Mass. In the second picture, campus minister Kristina Schliesman is accompanied by a choir. (photos by Mike Freedman)
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by Tiffany Hyman

The Niagara University administration is excited to reveal new information for the year ahead. Upcoming events for the school year include new commercials, Alumni Weekend, a concert by a popular band, a newly offered free bus service, renovations and construction.

The commercials for NU were taped two weeks ago. The uniqueness of these commercials is they are completely different than other college commercials -- they were shot from a different direction. Instead of having high school students read off lines, NU took a more natural approach. The commercials were shot in a reality-type setting. Thirty high school students were picked at random to tour the university and explore the campus. The students came from schools around the area.

Assistant Director of Public Relations and Manager of Online Content Mike Freedman expressed his excitement about the commercials. "We are very happy these commercials are airing. We have never taken a reality-type approach before, and are very pleased they turned out outstanding," he said.

Freedman reported airings have already commenced and will continue in Western New York, Syracuse and parts of Pennsylvania.

Alumni Weekend will take place Oct. 8-10. All graduates are invited, especially those who graduated in the years ending with five and zero.

There are 25 main events. A few of the events include:

  • 26th annual golf tournament
  • Award dinner dance at the Conference Center in Niagara Falls
  • Wine tasting
  • Art museum tour
  • Food drive to benefit Heart, Love & Soul Food Pantry and Dining Room in Niagara Falls

To learn more about Alumni Weekend, call 286-8787 or e-mail [email protected].

NU has many interesting activities coming up. The Campus Programming Board, sponsored by the Niagara University Student Government Association, offers various free events and reasonably priced social, educational and cultural activities for students to participate in. Two very popular events that sold out in just a few hours are trips to the Buffalo Bills vs. Jets football game in October and the Buffalo Sabres-Boston Bruins match-up in November.

Other popular events include:

  • The Live Music Series every Friday
  • The Save A Life Tour
  • Dinner and a movie
  • Mentalist Robert Channing
  • O.A.R. Concert

The O.A.R. Concert is on Nov. 8 at the Kiernan Center beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and on sale starting Oct. 4. The public can also buy tickets for just $20 starting Oct. 16.

The CPB offers a new and free bus service to students this year. "The NU Express" is a bus that transports students to the Fashion Outlets Mall, Four Seasons movie theater, Walmart, Wegmans, Tops Target, and Regal Cinema, all in the Niagara Falls region. The bus also drives to the Lewiston area, and around the waterfront.

Mati Ortiz, the director of Campus Activities, is enthusiastic for the bus service. "We have averaged around 70 students each week who take the bus," she said. "It's great because students don't have to pay gas money."

Ortiz also stressed how essential it is for all students to get involved, both residents and commuters. As a grad and commuter to NU herself, she knows the importance of meeting new people and getting involved.

"I encourage new students to join the Campus Programming Board. It's a great way to meet new people and it helps outsiders to get connected," she said. She is also in the process of hosting a commuter focus group to encourage commuters to get involved and to ask how the CPB can be improved.

For more information about upcoming campus activities, or the CPB, join the CPB Facebook page or visit www.niagara.edu/cao.

Dr. Bonnie Rose, Niagara University's executive vice president/vice president for academic affairs, announced exciting new renovations. She spoke of three main renovations: Leary Theatre and Clet Dining Hall, which have already been completed, and the new science building, which she stated is "the No 1 priority," and set to start construction in May 2011.

Dr. Judith Willard, the assistant to the president for planning, announced the science building is set for construction to start along the main parking lot. B. Thomas Golisano, owner of the Buffalo Sabres, is donating $10 million to NU. The highly anticipated building, called the B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Science, will offer many unique elements for students and faculty.

The science building will be two-story, with ground-floor teaching labs for the chemistry, biology and physics departments along with two classrooms on the same floor. The second floor will consist of research labs and faculty offices with equipment rooms. Other features include a reading and library area, a conference room and an atrium. The building is expected to be completed by spring or summer of 2013.

Willard also announced other upcoming renovations, such as the New York Power Authority warehouse, a new athletic field and a new addition to the Castellani Art Museum.

The Elizabeth Ann Clune Center for Theatre opened in the spring. The three-story theater was refurbished and repositioned to ensure comfort.

Clet Dining Hall also received an extreme makeover over the summer. William Baker, the general manager of Clet Hall, discussed the renovations of the dining hall. A survey was given to students in the spring asking how to improve services. Many students asked for healthier options.

Since "student input is the most important," as Baker says, changes had to be made to meet nutritional needs. Along with changing the food stands and adding new grills comes a platform area that offers extremely healthy options. A few of the new options include:

  • Whole grain salads
  • Dried fruit
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Carrot and pumpkin seed soup

Clet Dining Hall is working for students with special dietary needs. Sugar-free drinks and gluten-free items now are offered. Nutrition labels for all food will be available soon.

Niagara University is located at 5795 Lewiston Road in Lewiston. For general information, call 285-1212 or visit www.niagara.edu.

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