Olean Association to honor former Bonaventure president

Fri, Jan 26th 2018 01:00 pm
Sister Margaret Carney, OSF
Sister Margaret Carney, OSF

The Greater Olean Association of Church has announced former St. Bonaventure University President Sister Margaret Carney, OSF, as the recipient of the 2018 Ecumen Award and the Agency Recognition Award. 

The Ecumen Award for 2018 will be presented to Sister Margaret for her work during the 12 years she was president of St. Bonaventure University in making the university a welcoming place for all persons. During her time as President, she prioritized the need to welcome all students of various denominations of Christianity and of other faith traditions. The Warming House, an outreach ministry of St. Bonaventure University is a soup kitchen that has been serving meals to residents of Olean since 1974 and is one of the longest student run soup kitchens in the United States.

The Ecumen Award and Agency Recognition will be given at the GOAC Unity Service at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan 28, which will be held at St. Bonaventure University Chapel.

Sister Margaret was the 20th President of St. Bonaventure University, a position she held from 2004 until July 2016. Sr. Margaret stepped down as University President on July 31, 2016. She is the university's first president emeritus.

Prior to being inaugurated, Sister Margaret served as the dean and director of the Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure. The Institute operates a center for research and textual scholarship in the field of Franciscan/medieval theology, history and philosophy and a school that educates leaders for the various branches of the Franciscan religious orders in the Catholic Church. As president, Sister Margaret had two successful campaigns to her credit: The 150th Anniversary Campaign for St. Bonaventure, which closed at $95 million ($5 million over goal), and the $15 million campaign for the new School of Business. Her presidency focused on improving mission integration, increasing diversity in all sectors of campus life, and promoting a cycle of curriculum assessment that is sustainable and an effective strategic planning modality.

She holds master's degrees from Duquesne University (theology) and St. Bonaventure University (Franciscan Studies) and her doctorate (theology) was awarded by the Franciscan university of Rome — the Pontifical University "Antonianum." Sister Margaret's honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from Business First of Buffalo for Women of Influence and the Citation Award from the National Federation of Just Communities—Buffalo.

Her own teaching and lecturing prior to her presidency encompassed service in the U.S., Europe and Asia. She holds nine honorary doctorates and is a member of the prestigious Century Club of Duquesne University.

Board of Trustees Chair Robert Daugherty, retired partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers, lauded Sister Margaret's service.

"Words cannot begin to express the gratitude and respect the Board of Trustees has for this remarkable leader. Sister Margaret's esteemed tenure took this university from a dark hour to a place in the sun; a place of honor and academic excellence. SBU graduates the world over, our faculty, staff and students, and our regional communities are forever indebted to her. She stands as a hallmark of the Franciscan spirit and ethical character of this great university."

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