Wednesday, March 14, 2012


St. Bonaventure University’s new business center will be named the William E. & Ann L. Swan Business Center after Ann L. Swan of Clarence, N.Y., and her husband, the late William E. Swan, ’69. 

Bill Swan served Western New York as a business leader and philanthropist, and was a dedicated St. Bonaventure University alumnus and Board of Trustees chair.  Mrs. Swan has given a $3 million gift to St. Bonaventure’s School of Business Campaign as a means of honoring Bill’s commitment to the Franciscan tradition while also continuing the couple’s extraordinary legacy of philanthropy.

“The university’s Board of Trustees decided to honor Bill’s memory and Ann’s continued leadership in Catholic higher education at St. Bonaventure, Hilbert College and Christ the King Seminary by naming the building after them,” said Jack McGinley Jr., chair of the Board of Trustees.

“Bill was very proud of being a St. Bonaventure graduate and he reminded business colleagues and associates the world over that the Franciscans have something to say about business,” said Mrs. Swan.  “It was our dream to help his alma mater make a clear and distinctive statement about the School of Business.  That is why I am thrilled to join with the university and so many other successful graduates and beneficiaries of the School of Business by investing in the School of Business Campaign.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new center will be held March 23.

The 26,000-square-foot William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center will feature a financial services lab with electronic ticker tape, a corporate boardroom, state-of-the-art classrooms, break-out areas, spaces for student collaboration, team building, and faculty research, a dean’s suite, innovative technology uses, and a commitment to sustainability. 

The center will be built south of Friedsam Library, between the Reilly Center and Plassmann Hall, and will create a new quad to promote further development of community within the campus. 

“It was Bill’s goal to imbue Franciscan values such as compassion, contemplation, and hope into day-to-day business ethos,” said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D., president of the university. “The new William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center will provide an environment to grow tomorrow’s young business leaders, not only as global and ethical decision makers, but as leaders who understand the service and philanthropic commitment of giving back.  Ann has continued to be a dedicated partner with St. Bonaventure University, and we are grateful for her generosity.”

A 1969 graduate of St. Bonaventure, Mr. Swan served as chair, president and chief executive officer of First Niagara Financial Group and First Niagara Bank, which he joined in 1987 after 18 years with M&T Bank.

An ardent volunteer for the university, Mr. Swan served on the Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2003, was named Alumnus of the Year in 1988 and honored with the James L. Hayes Award, the university’s highest volunteer recognition, in 1989.

Beyond St. Bonaventure, he had received numerous awards for his volunteer work and leadership, including being named to the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre by Pope John Paul II in recognition of his service to the Diocese of Buffalo.

Mrs. Swan is an active civic leader in the Western New York area and was a longtime teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools.  She is the chair of the Board of Trustees of Hilbert College in addition to serving as executive director of the William E. and Ann L. Swan Foundation. She also serves on the boards of several local organizations, including Christ the King Seminary, the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo Foundation and the YMCA Buffalo Niagara.

The recipient of many honors for her commitment to the community, Mrs. Swan most recently was presented a Bishop’s Medal from the Buffalo Catholic Diocese and a Caritas Award from the Brothers of Mercy.  She was presented with the Gaudete Medal from St. Bonaventure University in 2006.  Mrs. Swan earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University at Buffalo.

The university is in the midst of $15 million campaign for the creation of a new building to house the School of Business: $10 million for the construction of the business center; $4 million in endowments for faculty and programmatic support; and $1 million in endowment for building sustainability. 

To date, more than $13 million has been raised.

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

For more on the William E. and Ann L. Swan Business Center and the School of Business Campaign, go to  

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