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NU receives $1.5 million gift from alumnus to establish first endowed chair

by jmaloni
Mon, Nov 29th 2010 03:00 pm
Niagara University has received a $1.5 million estate gift from alumnus Dr. John J. Hughes to establish the first endowed chair at the university.

The John J. Hughes, '67 Endowed Chair in Biology will be reserved to support the research, teaching and scholarly activities of a distinguished scientist and serve as a catalyst for Niagara to build upon and expand its programs in the interdisciplinary sciences.

"This generous gift from Dr. John Hughes demonstrates his belief in the excellence of our faculty and the strength of our academic programs," said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., Niagara University president. "The United States is facing a critical need to educate young men and women in the sciences, and Niagara University is poised to provide the kind of advanced, interdisciplinary education that is vital in preparing students who will take their places as leaders in the scientific community. This endowed chair will enable us to expand our world-class faculty and enhance our student/faculty research opportunities in interdisciplinary science."

"I was fortunate to have had the professors I did while I was at Niagara," Hughes said. "They helped me to develop the intellectual habits that I carried with me throughout my life. The current faculty is doing great things as well, most notably with student research. This endowed chair will permit the university to recruit additional top-quality people and help it to become recognized for its accomplishments in the sciences." 

The idea of an estate gift was especially appealing to Hughes. "As I was looking forward, and looking for ways to assist Niagara in a meaningful way, I recognized that with an estate gift I could make a significant contribution at the end of my life. It is my hope that others find a way to follow suit."

Since the launch of "The Promise of Niagara ... The next 150 years" capital campaign in 2006, Niagara University has raised nearly $15 million toward its science program. A majority of that funding is dedicated to the construction of the B. Thomas Golisano Center for Integrated Sciences, a $33 million project that will feature advanced research laboratories, faculty offices and classrooms for Niagara University's 4,700 students. Construction is set to begin on the 46,000-square-foot facility in May 2011.

About the Donor

After receiving his medical degree from New York Medical College in 1971, Hughes interned at the Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan and then trained in diagnostic radiology at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center, where he was chief resident. The American Board of Radiology certified him in 1975.

Hughes served as chief of radiology at Martin Army Hospital at Fort Benning, Ga., before a brief stint in the private practice of radiology in Kansas City, Kansas. He then returned to academic practice at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., attaining the rank of associate professor and director of abdominal radiology and body CT. In July 1990, he joined North Broward Radiologists in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he is currently director.

The author of more than two-dozen peer-reviewed articles and published abstracts, Hughes has spoken at a number of national meetings and CME courses and has served 10 visiting professorships at medical schools and teaching hospitals across the country. He also has served as medical director of radiology at Coral Springs Medical Center and is credentialed at all of the radiology facilities of Broward Health.

A longtime supporter of Niagara University, Hughes established an endowed scholarship in 1999 for students studying the natural sciences. In 2007, Hughes provided an initial $25,000 endowment to establish the Dr. Thomas J. Morton Lectureship, named in honor of a former faculty member who was a mentor to him while he was an undergraduate at Niagara.

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