This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 8, 1873

St. Bonaventure University’s ninth president, Fr. Fidelis Reynolds, was born on this day in Brooklyn, N.Y. The first native-born president of both the college and seminary, he started off his career practicing law in New York City.

After a while, he decided to become a priest and enrolled at Bonaventure in 1896. He graduated in 1901, the same year he would enter the Franciscan order.

Fr. Fidelis completed his novitiate in Paterson, N.J. and then studied theology at the Franciscan College at Mount Saint Sepulchre in Washington, D.C. He was ordained as a priest in 1907 and joined Bonaventure’s faculty as both a friar and as a lecturer of mathematics.

Fr. Alexander Hickey became severely ill in 1911, and Fr. Fidelis was named the interim vice president. Not long afterward, Fr. Joseph Butler, university president, died, and Fr. Fidelis was named president.

Fr. Fidelis is most remembered for the advancements he made in the school’s academic structure. During his tenure, the high school, college and seminary were separated. He also helped add physics, biology and chemistry to the university.

In addition, he helped oversee the construction of Butler Gym, which was built as a memorial to the late president. Fr. Fidelis retired in 1916.

He enjoyed retirement for more than twenty years. However, he passed away in 1937 in Miami Beach, Fla.

SBU alumnus addresses students

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 25) — While a little calmer since his gubernatorial candidacy, Carl Paladino can still draw a crowd.

Yesterday at 12:30 in the Walsh Amphitheater, Paladino, a 1968 St. Bonaventure University graduate, addressed nearly a hundred students on subjects ranging from his days at Bonaventure to the 2010 run for governor of New York.

He was introduced by Pierre Balthazard, dean of the School of Business, and Rocco Lamparelli, a junior business major.

“You have an opportunity today that many won’t have,” said Paladino. “Your parents, your guardians, your families that encouraged you to go on to school have given you an opportunity to do in life what makes your feet hit the ground running. You have been given that opportunity. For many of you that opportunity will be in your family business.”

A Buffalo businessman, Paladino has worked on the board of trustees for Bishop-Timon St. Jude, Bonaventure, Erie Community College and D’Youville College throughout the course of his life.

In addition, he has also served as director of Buffalo Place, a city waterfront agency, and a local Boy Scout troop.

“I think I can speak for everyone, and your parents, when I say to you: your ancestors came here to give us, and you, an opportunity for a better life,” said Paladino. “An opportunity to do what you really want to do.”

Paladino owns Ellicott Development Co., located in Buffalo. His company owns more than $700 million of property and has managed 4.5 million square feet. It is also the largest landlord in New York outside of Albany and New York City.

In 1991, Buffalo named him businessman of the year. And then in 1993, he was named the Bonaventure alumnus of the year.

Like many successful businessmen, his business genes were passed onto his kids. The CEO of Ellicott Development happens to be Paladino’s son, William.

“I was fortunate,” said Paladino. “My children chose to come into my family business. They chose to join me in that business for what reason in particular, I can’t tell you. But I never tried to direct them in any particular way other than to find their dream. To go and do what they wanted to do and take the opportunity available to them.”

Paladino also spoke about hiring not only the best minds but also workers with the best social skills.

Paladino also spent time during his speech telling the audience the importance of having plans.

“It is necessary to understand the basic principles of building a business,” said Paladino. “Long-term attitude—an attitude that you’re there for the long stretch, not the quick hit. There are certain ethics and morals that carry into the business community.”

Paladino spoke for a while about when his company started off and how he secured deals with banks and clients. He believes everything should be done professionally with little interference from your personal lives.

Among those in attendance, Paladino’s speech hit home for a particular student—Morgan Gianni. His father owns a small business.

“Seeing that someday I wish to own my own company, I strongly value his wisdom and his ambition,” said Gianni, a sophomore marketing major. 

Gianni’s dad is also a very good friend of Paladino’s. He even helped him during Paladino’s run for governor.

Although his talk might have been directed towards business majors, his best advice applies to students in all majors.

“Always remember to think, ‘What does the future hold for me,” said Paladino.