This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

January 24, 1997

St. Bonaventure University’s roots are deeply intertwined with the Catholic Church. The land the campus sits on was originally given to the Church to start a parish. It was then turned into a Franciscan school, opening its door in 1858.

Former bishops and cardinals have held the title of president of the university before. Bonaventure’s current president, Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., is the head of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities. She received her doctorate at the Franciscan University of Rome. 

Anyway, it is clear how connected the university and the Catholic Church are. This was further cemented on this day when the Bonaventure chorus took a trip to a place many Catholics only dream about going to – the Vatican. 

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

December 7, 2001

John Rigas founded Adelphia Communications Corporation and turned it into one of the country’s biggest cable companies. In addition to owning the Buffalo Sabres, he was a very generous man and gave lots of money to institutions—most notably St. Bonaventure University.

Rigas’ name is above the doors to the auditorium in the Quick Arts Center. He attended many basketball games and broadcasted many more on Empire Sports Network, which was owned by Adelphia. Also, he donated a decent amount of money for a new basketball court, prompting the university to rename the court Adelphia Court on this day.

However, nearly a year later, police arrested Rigas and his family for embezzling millions of dollars from Adelphia and the Sabres.

When Bob Lanier donated money in 2007 for a nicer court, the university made the easy decision to change the name to Bob Lanier Court.

(This Day in Bonaventure History will return on January 14)

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

December 6, 1941

All was relatively calm across America on December 6. Life was improving for many people affected by the Great Depression, and Christmas was getting close.

Everything changed the next day. The Imperial Japanese Navy bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,402 Americans and devastating the country’s naval fleet. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed that the day would “live in infamy.” On December 8, he declared war on Japan, bringing the biggest military in the world into World War II.

December 6 was the last day St. Bonaventure University would have a normal day. Many students left college to join the military.

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

December 5, 1865

Much has been written in this series about St. Bonaventure University’s second president, Fr. Diomede Falconio. However, many people might not know the circumstances around his appointment.

After entering the Franciscan Order at the age of 18, Fr. Diomede was forced to leave Italy because of anti-clericalism, which led to the overthrowing of the Papal States.

On this day, along with two Franciscan priests, Fr. Diomede arrived in the United States. He taught at Bonaventure for two years until 1867 when Fr. Pamfilo left the United States to return to Rome. Fr. Pamfilo had been in the States for nearly a decade, and he wished to return to his home. Upon making this decision, he left Fr. Diomede Falconio in charge of the school and the seminary. 

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

December 4, 1982

The drinking age has been, and will most likely continue to be, a widely criticized topic in the United States.

After The Prohibition, most states permitted the purchase and consumption of alcohol after one’s 18th birthday. For some reason, this was not very popular with the federal government.

So on this day, the drinking age in New York State was raised from 18 years old to 19 years old. But President Ronald Reagan didn’t think the law went far enough.

In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act went into effect. This act reduced the highway funding by 10 percent for any state that didn’t have a minimum age of 21. This forced New York to comply.

This law was effective on Dec. 1, 1985 in New York. 

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

December 3, 1996

Though unpopular with many students and alumni, St. Bonaventure University knew it had to change its nickname and mascot. The Brown Indian was out and the Bonnie was in.

Since a Bonnie isn’t an animal, different ideas came up about the new mascot. Ultimately, the university chose the Bona Fanatic (similar to the Philly Phanatic) as its new mascot.

It was on this day that the Fanatic made its first appearance.

Still, many felt that it was poorly planned. Students continued to complain, and the students who wore the Fanatic costume were subjected to assault by Bonaventure’s own fans.

Mercifully, the athletic department decided a change was necessary. In 1998, a committee was formed to come up with a new mascot. Alumni wanted something they could relate to, and the students wanted something they would like. The Bona Wolf was chosen.

The wolf has significance among Bonaventure students since St. Francis is said to have tamed the Wolf of Gubbio. Franciscans consider this one of the most important stories and metaphors from St. Francis’ life. 

To this day, only a few pictures of the Bona Fanatic have been found. Many people acted quickly in getting rid of the pictures. 

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 30, 2001

Considered by many to be one of the oldest student-run soup kitchens in the nation, the Warming House started as a drop-in center for lonely adults in 1974. In the early 1980s, it began offering one meal a day to those less fortunate. Today, it serves more than 12,000 meals annually.

The Warming House, in cooperation with St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Center for Social Concern, is open six days a week, year round, with more than 300 students and nearly 100 community members volunteering to serve meals and help run the kitchen.

It was on this day that the Warming House moved to W. State Street in Olean, N.Y.

However, in March of 2011, it moved into a newly renovated storefront in downtown Olean at 164 N. Union St. Its new, larger location is able to offer expanded services such as a classroom for related workshops.

In addition to giving food to the needy, the Warming House offers service and internship opportunities for St. Bonaventure students.

This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

November 29, 1928

St. Bonaventure University’s short-lived football program’s points of pride are well documented in both the Hall of Fame Room in the Reilly Center and commemorative books. People such as Hugh Devore, Mike Reilly and Ted Marchibroda come to mind.

Unfortunately for football fans, the program only lasted from 1915-1951. One of the most memorable events of the short era of Bonaventure football was a Thanksgiving Day game played on this day in history.

The Brown Indians played St. Thomas College in Scranton, Pa.

St. Thomas College still exists to this day under the name of the University of Scranton.