NU’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management held its 13th annual convocation Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. Honorees included Jeremy M. Jacobs, Carsten K. Rath and Danilo Zucchetti.
It is my pleasure as President of Niagara University to welcome all of our guests here today for this convocation and wonderful celebration.
I first want to acknowledge the Dean of our College of Hospitality and Tourism, Dr. Gary Praetzel – he is the person responsible for developing this outstanding event and this world-class college.
We have many students of the college in the audience this afternoon. I hope that you will have a chance to meet some of them – they are wonderful ambassadors of the college, as well as living examples of Niagara University’s commitment to excellence.
I thank our honorees, Jeremy Jacobs, Carsten Rath and Danilo Zucchetti, for being here today. If you listened closely to the citations and learned their life stories, you heard some common themes: humble beginnings, overcoming significant life challenges, and a pledge to excellence. They are each lifelong learners with an abiding commitment to service to their local and global communities.
I thank Jeremy, Carsten and Danilo for allowing Niagara University the privilege of honoring them, they are incredibly accomplished men. You honor us with your presence here today.
I want to thank Carsten and Danilo for traveling so far to be with us.
Carsten, you have made an indelible impact upon the global community. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of our internationals students from Germany – both they and you are a great credit to your homeland.
Danilo, we thank you for all of your support of our students who are fortunate to intern and work in Lake Como, Italy.
Jeremy, we thank you and the entire Jacobs family for all you have done for the people of Western New York. Your brother, Larry, left us an incredible legacy as a healer in the medical profession. Please be assured of Niagara University’s ongoing support of the efforts within Buffalo and the greater Western New York region to continue to revitalize our region.
The thought I leave you with today is this: What is distinctive about a graduate of Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management?
I posit this: We follow the life and living legacy of St. Vincent de Paul, a man who had vineyards and businesses, who built those businesses to, in the words of the late Daughter of Charity, Sr. Irene Krause, create margin for the mission. His businesses funded his works of charity and social welfare; he built a bridge between his businesses, the church and the world of the poor.
I offer that challenge to our community, our faculty and students today, as we all begin to reflect on the great needs of the poor of Western New York and the good people of the City of Niagara Falls. Join Niagara University as we seek to follow our founder, St. Vincent de Paul, to restore shattered dreams and human dignity through research, teaching and service.
Thank you for attending today.
Let us now bow our heads and open our hearts in prayer:
O Lord our God, How glorious is your name over all the earth. We give you thanks for the blessing of your eternal gift of hospitality. In all that we say and in all that we do, may we follow the example of your great servant of hospitality, St. Vincent de Paul, who shared your love unto infinity. Bless our lives and efforts with your living presence. May we remain in you who live forever and ever. Amen.