On the Ridge

Six Honored During Vincentian Heritage Convocation

David N. Campbell, ’63, Derek Puff, the Rev. Stephen M. Grozio, C.M., ’75, the Rev. W. Barry Moriarty, C.M., Kathleen A. Granchelli, and Christopher Lee, Ph.D., were honored during Niagara University’s annual Vincentian Heritage Convocation, held Sept. 24, 2015. The event, which takes place during the university’s celebration of Vincentian Heritage Week, recognizes the extraordinary contributions of university employees, alumni and community leaders.

David N. Campbell, ’63, a trustee emeritus at Niagara University, received the St. Vincent de Paul Medal as an outstanding Catholic lay person whose life embodies the ideals and values of St. Vincent. The former president of BBN Technologies and CEO of Computer Task Group and Xpedior is the founder of All Hands Volunteers, a disaster response organization that has helped rehabilitate devastated areas in Thailand and along the U.S. Gulf Coast, among others. All Hands Volunteers has executed over 40 projects — utilizing more than 30,000 volunteers — in the United States and abroad.

Presented with the St. Louise de Marillac Award for Outstanding Service was Kathleen A. Granchelli, chief executive officer of the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier. During Granchelli’s 21-year tenure with the YWCA, the organization has secured more than $10 million in grants to develop programs and services in Niagara County. She was the driving force behind the YWCA’s $6 million adaptive re-use of Carolyn’s House, a historic Niagara Falls facility that provides supportive transitional and permanent housing for homeless women and children. The YWCA, under Granchelli’s leadership, has also implemented three full-service catering “businesses” that offer hands-on training to culinary training program students.

The Rev. Stephen M. Grozio, C.M., ’75, was granted the Perboyre Medal for extraordinary service and contribution to the global society. Father Grozio has dedicated much of his priestly work to serving those who immigrated to America in search of a better life. After learning Spanish, “Padre Esteban,” as he was called, served the Spanish-speaking farmworkers and residents of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, Mich. He also formerly was director of the Hispanic Evangelization Team, which served the Spanish-speaking communities of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and, since 2007, has been the director of the Hispanic Apostolate of the South Fork of Long Island, which offers Catholic Mass, sacraments and other services in Spanish in seven parishes.

Christopher Lee, Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative politics at NU, was presented with Niagara’s Ozanam Medal, which is awarded to individuals who have improved the situation of the poor and advanced the cause of social justice. Dr. Lee is admired by his students and colleagues for possessing a strong sense of social justice and commitment to diversity. He has led several trips with Niagara’s Model UN student participants, and for many years was the co-moderator of Diversity Advocates at Niagara. More recently, he has worked to establish a field-based intensive course in Cuba, which is set to begin in May.

The Rev. W. Barry Moriarty, C.M., received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for living an extraordinary life, consumed with St. Vincent de Paul’s excitement and surety about the importance of community service. Father Moriarty is a member of the Congregation of the Mission’s Western Province, with prominent priestly assignments that include tenures as director of Vincentian novices in New Orleans, Germantown and Nairobi. In the mid-1990s, Father Moriarty was summoned to Marsabit, Kenya, originally to teach in the diocesan seminary. Father Moriarty was instrumental in the January 2000 opening of the DePaul Center in Nairobi, which now serves as the center for Vincentian formation in eastern Africa. Father Moriarty later became superior of the facility and helped establish a presence there for the Daughters of Charity.

Derek Puff was presented with the Vincentian Mission Award, which is given to members of the university community who seek to emulate the altruistic spirit of St. Vincent. Puff serves as assistant director of recreation and intramurals and director of the Kiernan Center’s summer youth programs. In January 2013 and then again two years later, Puff chaperoned groups of NU students to perform community service in the most destitute areas of Camden, N.J., as part of Niagara’s Brothers and Sisters in Christ program. He also regularly volunteers at the St. George’s Church soup kitchen in downtown Niagara Falls and serves on the athletics board for Springville High School. As the Kiernan Center’s summer camp director, Puff has partnered with local youth organizations to offer scholarships to financially disadvantaged children.