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Niagara University hosting event to commemorate global commitment to service

by jmaloni

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Thu, Nov 14th 2013 05:30 pm

Niagara University's Vincentian tradition is making a positive impact around the world. To showcase the good work being done by students, faculty, staff and alumni, the university is hosting a one-day summit Nov. 21.

"Niagara Reaches Out to the World" will feature panel discussions, refreshments and entertainment. Representatives from local and global organizations will be available to discuss internship and volunteer opportunities, and keynote speakers Father Sy Peterka, C.M., '72, and Ed Brennan, '78, will give presentations on their work in Africa and Haiti, respectively.

Peterka, lauded for his 22 years of humanitarian work in Baltimore, was reassigned to the St. Vincent de Paul Church in Philadelphia in 2012. In addition to his ministry in Baltimore and Philadelphia, Peterka serves as a formation consultant for the provinces, vice-provinces and missions of the Congregation of the Mission in Africa.

Brennan, CEO and chairman of DFS Group, the world's leading luxury retailer to the international traveler, is chairman of Hand in Hand for Haiti. The organization assists Haitian residents in the growth and long-term recovery of their country following the catastrophic earthquake of January 2010. The project, which has generated extraordinary support, has built a world-class educational facility in an area of great need.

Schedule of events:

9:40-11 a.m. | Bisgrove Hall, rooms 350/351 | Panel discussion: "Nation and Community Building in Africa and Asia: A Sustainable Development Perspective"

11 a.m.-2 p.m. | Lower-level Gallagher Center | Table talk featuring local and global organizations

12:40-1:30 p.m. | Castellani Art Museum | Tea and Ethiopian coffee ceremony

2:10-3:30 p.m. | Dunleavy Hall, Room 127 | Panel discussion: "Experiences and Perspectives of Niagara University Students Making a Difference in the Global Community"

5:40-8:30 p.m. | Castellani Art Museum | Keynote speakers and reception

St. Vincent de Paul, a 17th century Catholic priest, inspired and organized his contemporaries to serve the poor and oppressed. In this spirit, Niagara University strives to develop leaders who will make a difference in their local communities and the larger world. Niagara teaches students about the challenges and causes of poverty, and supports service-learning activities where students reach out with compassion to serve people's basic needs.

Through Learn and Serve Niagara, one of Niagara University's core programs, students annually contribute more than 50,000 hours of service. In 2011, Niagara University announced the opening of the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., Institute for Civic Engagement, an initiative conceived to strengthen existing community partnerships and form new town-gown relationships.

This past March, Niagara University was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for a seventh consecutive year. Niagara was once again recognized among the "institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve," making it the only college or university from Western New York to have made the list every year since it was launched.

For more information on Niagara Reaches Out to the World, contact Dr. Peggy Choong at [email protected].

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