Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Canty family honors ‘Olean institution’ with $100,000 gift to St. Bonaventure’s School of Business Campaign

Coach “Hookey” Frey with the 1925 Portville basketball team.

 A $100,000 leadership gift committed by Jim and Kristin Canty of Concord, Mass., will see a student collaboration area in St. Bonaventure University’s new School of Business building named in honor of Jim’s great-uncle, Francis Walter “Hookey” Frey, the university announced today.

St. Bonaventure is in the midst of a $15 million campaign to construct a new building to house its School of Business.

Jim Canty (class of 1984) is a partner with Boston-based investment advisory firm Clough Capital Partners L.P. and a member of St. Bonaventure’s Board of Trustees. He has long supported the Bonaventure Fund and Bona Athletic Fund. Of his current gift, $25,000 helped finance the Center for Entrepreneurship in the new Business building.

Now, he and his wife, Kristin, hope to carry on the legacy of his great-uncle (an “Olean Institution,” according to many) by naming a student collaboration area in the School of Business building after him.

Francis Walter Frey left high school at Corning Free Academy to join the Army and fight in World War I. After the war, he came to Olean and attended St. Bonaventure University where he finished his high school education in 1920 and received an undergraduate degree in 1924. Frey captained the university’s basketball and football teams during his time there and later coached those sports at the high school level in the Olean area. A “Hookey Frey Award” is given annually to the unsung hero of the Olean High School football club.

Frey returned to Bonaventure for graduate studies and completed his Master of Science in Education degree in 1938. He stayed in the area and served as principal of Portville Elementary School for the remainder of his life, excluding an extended period during World War II. Frey, who was in his early 40s at the time, again chose to fight for his country and joined the Navy.

Hookey Frey enabled Canty’s mother, Kay Frey, and aunt, Gerry Frey, to attend college.

“After high school, my mother wanted to study at Buffalo State College to become a teacher. She was the second youngest of nine children, however, and could not afford further education,” explained Canty. “She worked at Corning Glass Works for a year, but saved only enough money for two semesters. Uncle Hookey loaned her the remainder she needed and later forgave the debt when she attempted to repay him after graduation, saying her intention was enough for him.”

Frey also influenced Canty’s college experience, despite the fact that he passed away in 1969 when Canty was still a young boy.

“I came to SBU because of him; he was an amazing man,” Canty said. “My mother met my father at college, so in a way I owe everything to Uncle Hookey.”

Canty describes his time at Bonaventure as a turning point that allowed him to see what was important in life.

“St. Bonaventure has given a lot to me in terms of education, personal relationships and life lessons,” he said. “I think that it is my turn to give back to my alma mater so that future students at SBU can have the same opportunities and competitive edge that I had.”

He hopes the new School of Business building will help Bonaventure compete for students so that many others can share the extraordinary experiences in which he so strongly believes.

The new center will feature a financial services lab with electronic ticker tape, dean’s suite, corporate boardroom, state-of-the-art classrooms, break-out areas, spaces for student collaboration, team building and faculty research, innovative technology uses, and a commitment to sustainability. 

Construction of the building is scheduled to begin by June, with occupancy set for fall 2013.

“The new School of Business center is a key element in our overall strategic plan,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., president of the university. “We have seen firsthand the power of new facilities on our campus, and know that investing in this building will position us to better compete for high-quality students and faculty who want to be part of a unique and distinctive scholarly environment."

The $15 million campaign will provide: $10 million for the construction of the new business center; $4 million in endowments for faculty and programmatic support to ensure a vibrant intellectual community; and $1 million for building endowment.

Nearly $13 million has been raised under the leadership of Robert Daugherty, ’77, University trustee and campaign chair. “We are grateful for the financial commitments that have been made to date,” said Mr. Daugherty, a retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  “Now we need the leverage of many.  We need the help of our alumni, parents and friends to make this campaign a success.” 

St. Bonaventure’s School of Business is among a select group of business schools (20 percent) in the U.S. and a very select group (5 percent) internationally to hold accreditation by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 

“We are in demand,” said Carol Fischer, dean of the School of Business, adding that some 30 percent of St. Bonaventure’s student body is composed of business majors.

“Our faculty, students and graduates have made the case for this new building,” Dr. Fischer said.  “They have demonstrated through academic excellence and through success in the business realm that St. Bonaventure’s School of Business is world-class quality.  Reaching our goal in this campaign will enable us to maintain and build upon our traditional strengths, as well as develop new strengths in our distinctive niches, such as service learning.”

The Canty gift is among nearly 300 commitments made to the campaign by St. Bonaventure alumni and friends. 

Donations to the campaign may be made by visiting or by calling (800) 664-1273.  

For more on the planned Business Center and the School of Business Campaign, go to

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