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Niagara University set to celebrate Vincentian Heritage Week

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Mon, Sep 14th 2015 12:05 pm

Vincentian Heritage Week, an annual celebration of Niagara University's rich history of education and service in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, will take place Sept. 21-27. Its theme this year is "Living Vincentian Locally & Globally."

Also known as Founder's Week, Vincentian Heritage Week is a way for the university community to pay homage to St. Vincent, a 17th century Catholic priest who inspired and organized his contemporaries to serve the less fortunate, and St. Louise de Marillac, the Patroness of Christian Social Workers who co-founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent.

The entire Niagara University community - students, faculty, staff and administration - participate in Founder's Week events, highlighted by the prestigious Vincentian Heritage Convocation, which recognizes the extraordinary contributions of university employees, alumni and community leaders.

Below is the full schedule of Vincentian Heritage Week events:

•Poverty Simulation

Monday, Sept. 21 (2-4 p.m.), Gallagher Center Multipurpose Room

Students from NU's social work classes will gain firsthand insight into the day-to-day struggles of millions of Americans. During a poverty simulation, participants role-play the lives of low-income families, from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security. The task of each family is to procure food, shelter and other basic necessities while interacting with various community resources staffed by low-income volunteers.

Recognizing the Vincentian principle of compassion for the poor, this event enables participants to experience the realities of life with a shortage of money and an abundance of stress. 

All members of the university community are welcome observe the simulation. For more information, contact Dr. Kevin Blair at [email protected].

•Academic Panel on Mission: Issues of Race and Inequality

Tuesday, Sept. 22 (3-4 p.m.), Gallagher Center Multipurpose Room

Panelists from a variety of academic disciplines take part in this annual panel discussion, which this year addresses race and inequality and its impact on university campuses. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Stephen Chanderbhan, assistant professor of philosophy, Canisius College
  • Dr. Chris Lee, assistant professor of political science, Niagara University
  • Averl Harbin, director of multicultural student affairs, Niagara University

For more information, contact Dr. James Delaney at [email protected].

•'Niagara Reaches Out to the World'

Wednesday, Sept. 23, Multiple Locations

The "Niagara Reaches Out to the World" event is a one-day summit that focuses on the impact of NU students, alumni, faculty and affiliates throughout the world. It brings together the campus community with alumni who have internationalized the Vincentian mission as well as Vincentians who live and work among disenfranchised communities in the world. The summit will consist of panel discussions, presentations, food and entertainment.

•9:05-11 a.m.: "Making a Difference in the World: A Sustainable Development Approach," Bisgrove Hall, Room 350/351

Moderated by Peggy Choong, Ph.D., associate dean of NU's College of Business Administration, this panel discussion includes:

  • J.P. and Ulla Bak, BakUSA
  • Edward J. Brennan, Class of 1978, Hand in Hand for Haiti
  • Bethany Bouthillier, Amber Mis, Tara Topolski and Tyler Van Leuwen, Niagara University interns

•11 a.m.-2 p.m., Table Talks, Lower Level Gallagher Center

Students can meet with representatives from various organizations who have internship and volunteer opportunities, including the Vincentian Service Corps, Global African Village, Kusaidia Afrika Inc., Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Catholic Relief Services, Let them LOL, The Service Collaborative, NU's Ph.D. program in leadership and policy, and the Global Network of Niger.

•11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Filipino Foodways: Kamayan Style, Gallagher Center Multipurpose Room

Ed Millar, folk art curator in the Castellani Art Museum, will moderate a demonstration of Filipino culinary stylings.

•2:30-4 p.m., Panel Discussion: Niagara University's Impact Around the World, Bisgrove Hall, Rooms 350/351

Moderated by Amelia Gallagher, Ph.D., associate professor of religious studies at NU, this panel discussion includes:

  • David Reilly, Ph.D., director of international studies and chair of the department of political science, Niagara University
  • Ed Hutton, associate professor business, Niagara University
  • Linda Shakoor, director, World Life Institute Education Center

5:40-8:30 p.m., Keynote Addresses, Castellani Art Museum

Attendees will hear from the Rev. W. Barry Moriarty, C.M., and Niagara University alumnus David Campbell, '63. There will be an unveiling of a painting donated by Campbell and his wife, Gay, to the museum, and a reception featuring Southeast Asian cuisine.

•Lunch and Talk with Father Stephen Grozio, C.M., '75

Thursday, Sept. 24 (12:40-2 p.m.), Gallagher Center Multipurpose Room

The Rev. Stephen M. Grozio, C.M., '75, has dedicated his life and vocation to advocating for Latino migrant workers within the U.S. During this informal talk with the university community, he will share his experiences in helping marginalized working communities. To register for the event, contact Roxanne Cardone at [email protected].

•Vincentian Heritage Convocation and Reception

Thursday, Sept. 24 (8 p.m.), Alumni Chapel

The convocation ceremony is a Vincentian Heritage Week tradition. During this ceremony, the university recognizes members of its community, as well as others who inspire through their outstanding work in the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. W. Barry Moriarty, C.M.

Honorees include David N. Campbell, '63; Kathleen A. Granchelli; the Rev. Stephen M. Grozio, C.M., '75; Christopher Lee, Ph.D.; the Rev. W. Barry Moriarty, C.M.; and Derek Puff.

For more information, contact the office of university mission and ministry at 716-286-8400.

•Students from the NativityMiguel Middle School Visit Campus

Friday, Sept. 25 (TBD)

NativityMiguel is a middle school in Buffalo that aims to transform the lives of underserved students in a nurturing and secure learning environment. In this spirit, NU welcomes NativityMiguel's students and seeks to inspire them to think big and aim for higher education. The students also will sing during opening mass (see below).

For more information, contact Marilynn Fleckenstein at [email protected].

•Opening Mass

Friday, Sept. 25 (12:20 p.m.), Upper Level Gallagher Center

This Mass is in honor of the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. Everyone from the university community is welcome. Free ice cream will be available outside of the Gallagher Center beginning at 1 p.m.

•Afternoon of Service

Friday, Sept. 25 (2-5 p.m.), On-campus

Niagara University begins a new tradition this year with an on-campus "Afternoon of Service."

NU's local alumni chapter seeks volunteers to help sort and fold clothes from the St. Vincent de Paul clothing drive, or assemble snack packs for children in an afterschool Kidz Club program. Activities take place in the Gallagher Center's Multipurpose Room. To highlight the store's role in local and global sustainability, a screening of "The True Cost" will take place during the clothing drive service work in the MPR. The documentary film explores the impact of the global clothing industry on people and the planet.

Border Community SERVICE will also have a tabling event in the MPR with information on preparing pets in the event of a disaster or serious emergency.

In addition, weather permitting, students in the BOLD Club will offer opportunities to work on the Sandal Falls project, which is a student-led initiative that collects and sterilizes gently worn sandals from the Cave of the Winds before distributing them to local, national and global areas of need. They will be stationed outside of Dunleavy and O'Shea halls. The sandals will be delivered to Uganda later this fall.

For more information on the "Afternoon of Service," contact Brittany DePietro at [email protected].

•Society of St. Vincent de Paul Friends of the Poor Walk

Saturday, Sept. 26 (10 a.m.), Goat Island, Niagara Falls (USA)

NU's St. Vincent de Paul Society will join with other regional societies for the Friends of the Poor Walk on Goat Island in Niagara Falls. Funds raised for this walk assist community members in need of food, household goods and other services. Proceeds from NU participants will benefit its student-run soup kitchen downtown. Preregistration is available at https://www.svdpusa.net.

For more information, contact the office of university mission and ministry at 716-286-8400.

•Commissioning and Student Masses

Sunday, Sept. 27 (11 a.m. and 7 p.m.), Alumni Chapel

Niagara University's Vincentian Scholars, highly qualified undergraduate students who participate in an intensive service and learning experience, will be recognized and commissioned during the morning Mass. The evening Mass will celebrate the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul. Contact the office of university mission and ministry at 716-286-8400 for details.

To learn more about the mission of Niagara University, visit www.niagara.edu/our-mission.

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