Though the world knows James V. Glynn as the man behind the iconic Maid of the Mist attraction in Niagara Falls, around Monteagle Ridge he’s known for something else: a lifetime of philanthropy and countless contributions to Niagara University students.
On Saturday morning, the Glynn family was invited to St. Vincent’s Hall for a ceremony in which the main classroom building was renamed Glynn Hall.
Niagara University President the Rev. James Maher, C.M., joined with campus leaders to honor Glynn, a 1957 graduate.
Niagara University President The Rev. James Maher, C.M., and James V. Glynn stand in front of the newly renamed Glynn Hall.
In a message to faculty and staff, Maher said the renaming is a fitting tribute to a man and his family “for their unwavering commitment and dedication to Niagara University” and its Vincentian mission.
Maher said, “Jim and Mary Glynn have provided leadership and philanthropic commitments to major educational, cultural and health care institutions in the Niagara Region and beyond. Jim and Mary’s compassion, service and work is evident in the countless charities and organizations they have supported for decades in the City of Niagara Falls, and their quiet Vincentian service is apparent in the countless lives they have touched in the community.
“In addition to his transformational work in the Niagara Falls community, Mr. Glynn has never forgotten his alma mater. He served as a member of the Niagara University board of trustees, and in 1999, he was selected as the first layperson to serve as the chairman. … His generosity to the university, and the impact it has made on countless students, is evident in scholarships established by Jim and Mary Glynn, including the binational scholarship and the Vincentian Scholars Program. Additionally, Mr. Glynn has consistently supported many university events and programs.”
Glynn was surround by family and friends. His son, Christopher, was among the speakers.
Maher said Alumni Hall will be renamed St. Vincent’s Hall and Alumni Chapel during the Vincentian Heritage Week celebration this fall.
Christopher Glynn addresses the audience.
The Glynn family. (Photos by Mark Williams Jr.)
Niagara University called Glynn “one of the most generous and prominent members of its alumni.”
He began working for the Maid of the Mist when he was 16 years old to help finance his Niagara University education. His work became a lifelong passion for him, and he purchased the world-famous travel destination in 1971. Today, the Maid of the Mist attracts millions of guests each year, providing them with a unique perspective to view the majesty of Niagara Falls.
As Glynn’s business success grew, so did his commitment to the Western New York community. Jim and Mary have provided leadership and philanthropic commitments to major educational, cultural and health care institutions, including Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, Christ the King Seminary, the Catholic Charities Foundation, Artpark, and St. Vincent Manor, among others.
Since its early days, the Glynns have been extremely generous and deeply engaged in the Heart, Love & Soul food pantry in Niagara Falls. Their support continues to this day, and they were instrumental in the construction and opening of Daybreak, which opened earlier this year and provides expanded services to the surrounding community.
Niagara University has previously recognized Jim Glynn with the Caritas Medal, the Alumni Award, the President’s Medal, the Dunleavy Award, the President’s Award of Distinction, the St. Vincent DePaul Award, an honorary degree and the Niagara Legacy – Alumni of Distinction.
Glynn Hall is home to the university’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management program. The four-story building underwent an $11 million renovation in 2001, and the building features computer labs on its first floor, technologically equipped classrooms on the second and third stories, and teaching areas for NU’s internationally acclaimed College of Hospitality and Tourism Management on its top level. The fourth floor also features a 120-seat lecture hall and formal banquet facility, a fully functional kitchen classroom, and impressive views of the Niagara River gorge.