Four distinguished members of the Western New York community were honored during Niagara University’s President’s Dinner, which was held Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, at the Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel and Event Center.
The individuals recognized with the St. Vincent de Paul Award at this year’s event were Pamela Jacobs-Vogt and Peter Vogt, Robert Gioia and Dr. Robert Bull Jr. The award is conferred upon individuals “whose vision, accomplishments and good works reflect the life and ministry of St. Vincent de Paul.”
Pamela Jacobs-Vogt and Peter Vogt are widely known for their dedication to the Western New York community. A teacher by profession, Pamela’s volunteer activities also reflect her commitment to learning and education. She has served as a trustee of Holy Angels Academy, the Nichols School, Daemen College, Elmwood-Franklin School, Canisius High School, Canisius College and Niagara University. She has also been very involved in the Roswell Park Alliance, Skating for the Blind and Handicapped, Artpark and the Sisters of St. Francis Executive Council, to name just a few. Peter has also been deeply dedicated to Western New York, and has had a lifelong presence in the art community. His organizational involvement includes service to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Locust Street Art and the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Since 1972, he has donated over 32 paintings to the Burchfield Penney and was a major contributor to the creation of the gallery’s new building. His continuous involvement and the support of his family foundation have made the success of arts organizations and art in the local community possible.
Robert D. Gioia’s name is synonymous in Western New York for service and dedication to the community. Robert served as president of the board of trustees of the Nichols School and the Martin House Restoration Corporation, and chaired the boards of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and a trustee of St. Lawrence University. For the past four years, he has served as the president of The John R. Oishei Foundation, WNY’s largest foundation, and is a catalyst for change to enhance economic vitality and the quality of life in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Gioia is also the former head of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), having served in that capacity for eight years.
While he has a successful medical practice in Lewiston where he treats many people from the local community, it is the missionary work of Dr. Robert Bull Jr. that has made the most significant impact worldwide. For the past 17 years, Dr. Bull has made regular trips to Chiapas, Mexico, to provide medical care to the people of the village of Palenque. In his very first visit there, Dr. Bull treated 600 people in 10 days. Since that time, he has recruited dozens of doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners for this medical missionary work.
Snyder residents Jim and Mary Boldt chaired this year’s President’s Dinner. Boldt, a 1973 graduate of Niagara University and current member of its Board of Trustees, is chairman and CEO of Computer Task Group, Buffalo. Mary received her MBA from NU in 1992.
All net proceeds from the evening benefit Niagara University’s scholarship program.
“Tonight is all about our students – their excellence, their commitment and their ability to be leaders and change-agents in a very fast-moving world,” said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, president of Niagara University, during the event. “Our students live by core values that they themselves have formed.”