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2022 Year in Review

By January 3, 2023Special Event

Here’s a look back at some of the positive things the Villa Maria community accomplished last year. We look toward 2023 with pride for all that we’ve accomplished and excitement for everything that is to come.

Strong Showing For Graphic Design Students At AAF Buffalo’s Advertising Awards Show – March 9, 2022
Every year, a group of graphic design students and faculty attend AAF Buffalo’s Award Show. Villa Maria’s students and alum have always received recognition for their work, and this year was no exception. Fifteen awards were given to student designers; Villa Maria students won 9 of them.
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Animation And Game Design Students Work Together To Create 4 Animated Shorts During Villamation, The College’s Annual 24-Hour Animation Competition – March 11, 2022
While most of us got the recommended 8-hours of sleep between February 19 and 20th, a group of animation and game design students worked through the night – from 9 AM on Saturday to 9 AM Sunday to be exact – for Villamation. “Twenty-six students total, from freshmen to seniors, participated in this year’s Villamation 24-hour animation competition,” said Valery Kasinski, animation instructor at Villa Maria College. “Seniors drew inspiration from a jar, one image and two fortune cookies. Starry-eyed and caffeinated, they were off to create unique, animated short films from scratch.”
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Inaugural VillaCon Set To Take Place On April 23 At Villa Maria College; Proceeds To Support The Felician Sisters’ Ukrainian Relief Efforts In Poland – April 19, 2022
The first-ever VillaCon will take place on Saturday, April 23 from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. at Villa Maria College. The one-day convention brings gaming, cosplay, animation, film, vendors, artists, and more to the College, which is located at 240 Pine Ridge Road in Buffalo. Proceeds from the event will be used to support the Felician Sisters’ Ukrainian relief efforts in Poland. reports that, since the Ukraine Crisis began, the Sisters in Eastern Europe have been working tirelessly alongside many others to provide shelter, food, and spiritual encouragement to the millions of Ukrainian people who have been forced to abandon the comfort and safety of their lives to escape the brutal attack on their country. Villa Maria College is a Felician-sponsored ministry.
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Villa Maria College Breaks Ground On Capital Improvement Project Made Possible By Russell J. Salvatore – May 3, 2022
Villa Maria College broke ground on a significant capital improvement project to renovate its 61-year-old dining hall. Made possible by a major donation from local restauranteur, civic leader and philanthropist, Russell J. Salvatore, the $1 million renovation project is scheduled to be completed ahead of the Fall 2022 semester. The new space will be called The Russell J. Salvatore Commons.
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Villa Makes Headlines As Zeneta And Zaire’s Book Club Moves To Campus – July 13, 2022
Villa Maria College recently was front and center in the news when volunteers with the Buffalo Peacemakers helped transport nearly 10,000 books, which were donated from all over the country, to Zeneta and Zaire’s Book Club. The books were transferred to the Villa Maria College campus on Friday, July 1. The move was featured in nearly 10 local news stories.
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Hollywood Comes To Buffalo – Award-Winning Film, G.O.D. (Givers Of Death), Red Carpet Premiere At The North Park Theatre August 5, 2022 – July 27, 2022
G.O.D. (GIVERS OF DEATH) will have its red carpet world premiere at the North Park Theatre, August 5th, 2022. Co-produced by Oscar-winning Lagralane Group, G.O.D. is the first narrative feature film from Addison Henderson who wrote, directed and starred in the film. “I got the idea for G.O.D. while working with Chadwick Boseman on the film, 21 BRIDGES. I wanted people to examine the meaning of life, question the universe, question God, and really think about what peace means to them. Inspiration hit me like a wave. I wrote day and night. And, as soon as we wrapped, I went to Buffalo and started raising capital for G.O.D. From script to screen was a nine month process. It was grueling and there were times when I didn’t think it was going to work out. But my team and I pulled through and brought my vision of G.O.D. to life,” says Henderson.
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Mike Buczkowski Joins Villa Maria’s Board of Trustees – October 21, 2022
Villa Maria College announced today that Mike Buczkowski, the president of Rich Baseball Operations, has joined its Board of Trustees. Buczkowski adds decades of experience in strategic planning, management, and public relations to the College’s already savvy Board. Now in his 36th season with the Buffalo Bisons, Buczkowski is responsible for the strategic planning of Rich Baseball Operations. This includes the affairs of the Bisons, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, a Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, and the West Virginia Black Bears, a collegiate summer baseball team in the MLB Draft League.
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National Football League Commercial Starring Dion Dawkins Filmed On Campus – November 21, 2022
Villa’s campus is no stranger to student camera crews, but last month the College welcomed the professionals. A commercial for the National Football League was shot in the Main Building and Dion Dawkins was its star. This was Dawkins’, a pro-bowl offensive tackle for the Buffalo Bills, first time on Pine Ridge Road.
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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Marks The Official Grand Opening Of The Russell J. Salvatore Commons – November 21, 2022
On September 13th, Villa Maria College cut the ribbon on the newly-renovated Russell J. Salvatore Commons. Made possible by the biggest donation in Villa Maria’s history, the revamp was completed in an impressive three-month turnaround and is one of many facility improvements being undertaken by the College.
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Listen, Learn, Act | Villa Maria College Panel Event – December 2, 2022
On October 18th, Villa Maria College and its partners, including the office of Senator Tim Kennedy along with Say Yes Buffalo, hosted the “Listen, Learn, Act” panel to connect educators, students, and community members in a discussion about combating racism and the role that education plays regarding this issue. The importance of an event like this has the potential for helping the Buffalo community be more informed about supporting anti-racist agendas and endeavors around the country through dialogue and conversation. Considering the tragic events in Buffalo that occurred on May 14, the panel provided an opportunity to deal with the ongoing trauma of the Tops massacre. The event also helped to create a safe environment for support and connection through stories, healing, and opportunities for education about racism.
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Villa Cuts The Ribbon On Its Digital Media Art Center – December 8, 2022
Another major renovation project has been completed at Villa Maria. This morning, the College cut the ribbon to mark the official grand opening of its brand new, state-of-the-art Digital Media Art Center, or the DMAC. While the completion of the DMAC was celebrated today, the project has been in the works since last year. In fact, the vision for this space was formed in early 2021 when the College introduced its Free Books Program.
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For a full list of stories from the past year, visit