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Class of 2016 to Graduate from St. John Fisher College Saturday

May 2, 2016

Over 1,100 students will graduate from St. John Fisher College during its 62nd Commencement, which begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.

Fisher alumnus Edward W. Stack ’77, chairman and chief executive officer of Dick’s Sporting Goods, will deliver the keynote address during the ceremony, which will see undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students receive their diplomas.  The College will also bestow an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon Stack during the ceremony.

Stack has led the full-service sporting goods retailer since 1984. Under his leadership, the Fortune 500 Corporation has enjoyed a remarkable period of growth from just two stores in upstate New York to 648 Dick’s Sporting Good’s stores, 73 Golf Galaxy stores in 46 states, and three relatively new concepts: Field & Stream, TrueRunner, and Chelsea Collective.

A 1977 graduate of Fisher, Stack earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the National Retail Federation, the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, and the Advisory Board of Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative. He formerly served on the Seton Hill University Board of Trustees and KeyCorp Board of Directors.

During the ceremony, the College will also bestow an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon Victor E. Salerno ’66, outgoing chairman of the Board of Trustees. Salerno, chief executive officer of O’Connell Electric Company, will be recognized for his dedication and commitment to the College and time served on the board.

In addition to Salerno’s work at the College, he has an extensive civic involvement résumé, including serving as treasurer of the Rochester Builders Exchange and as a board member at Unions and Businesses United in Construction. He is a former chairman of the board of the Rochester Museum and Science Center and past board member of the Center for Governmental Research. In 2012, he received the Beta Gama Sigma Business Achievement Award, a global award presented to individuals who have garnered significant success in business, have demonstrated generosity through enhancement of a community or educational institution, and have been viewed as a model of ethical business leadership.

President Gerard J. Rooney will present the President’s Medal for Service to St. John Fisher College to Fr. Albert Cylwicki, C.S.B. During his 21 years at Fisher, Fr. Cylwicki has taught in the Mathematics Department, tutored in the Math Learning Center, served as the assistant director of campus ministry, and served as a member of the College’s Board of Trustees.

Fr. Cylwicki earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Assumption, in Windsor, and the University of St. Michael’s College, in Toronto. He also holds a master’s degree from the University of Detroit. Fr. Cylwicki entered the Congregation of St. Basil in 1950 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1960 in Toronto.

Rooney will also present the President’s Medal for Service to the Rochester Community to Jennifer Leonard, president and chief executive officer of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. Under her leadership, the community has greatly benefitted from the growth of the Rochester Area Community Foundation, which has dispersed $363 million in grants to community partners since its founding in 1972. Beyond her impactful work at the Community Foundation, Leonard has lent her talents and leadership to the ROC the Future and Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty initiatives.

In 2010, Leonard received the Athena Award from the Women’s Council of the Rochester Business Alliance. In 2007, the Rochester Business Journal named her one of “20 businesspeople who have made the biggest impact on Rochester over the past 20 years.” A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College, Leonard was a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and holds an urban studies master's degree from Occidental College.

Matthew Taylor, president of the Class of 2016, will offer remarks on behalf of undergraduates, while Patrick McCabe, who will graduate from the Doctor of Pharmacy/MBA joint degree program, will deliver remarks on behalf of master’s and doctoral students.

The Commencement ceremony is the culmination of a week-long series of events and activities celebrating members of the Class of 2016. For more information about the ceremony, visit the College’s commencement website.