On the Cover

Judy Willard, ’70, M.A.’72, Assistant to the President for Planning

“One of NU's greatest strengths is the relationships that are formed by its people. Our students come and sense that and learn that and develop great relationships of their own, and they learn to care about others and the world at large.

“When Father came back home to NU in 2000, he helped restore those caring relationships that had been frayed and destroyed –– he listened, and he helped us heal.

“Father is an incredible listener. He listens so well that you end up saying more than you ever intended!

“In addition to all the successful and productive strategic administrative work we did throughout Father's presidency, I was very fortunate to be able to work with him on the transformation of our facilities on campus. The common theme was his insistence on excellence, especially in the design of the buildings. Good enough would never work. The architects and designers went back to the drawing board over and over again, on the Academic Complex, on the Vincentian Residence, on the Golisano Center. He wanted these buildings to be showpieces –– unique, but all with commonality and tradition that made them ‘Niagara University.’

“He was focused on certain details in the buildings, especially details that conveyed our mission and tradition to others. For example, as we were ordering the furnishings for the Academic Complex, Father Levesque walked through the building with me and told me where in each room he wanted to place a crucifix. As we constructed the Golisano Center, Father wanted it to be an important welcoming symbol that people saw as they entered our campus. He added the tower to the building, and in that tower a purple beacon that will shine brightly every night.”

“But I think Father Levesque's greatest gifts to us at Niagara were the relationships that he formed –– with all of us –– but also with the community. Our success with our $80 million capital campaign came from a lot of hard work by many people, but mostly because of the special connections he could make with our donors. I witnessed the meeting Father had with Mr. Golisano, and watched Mr. Golisano commit $10 million to Father. It was for Niagara, but it was more personal than that. –– he gave the gift because he respected and trusted Father Levesque.

“I believe that the years of Father Levesque's presidency were some of the finest in Niagara University's history. Thank you to an incredible leader and awesome man!”