Tucker Trask received his pin from Jennifer Olmstead, director of NU's traditional nursing program, during the College of Nursing's pinning ceremony on May 10, 2024.

Niagara University’s College of Nursing honored 62 graduating students during its annual pinning ceremony in the university’s Gallagher Center on May 10, 2024.

During the event, which included a gathering song performed by Niagara University alumni Gabrielle Iacona, ’20, and Ryan Henneberger, ’22; opening and closing prayers offered by the Rev. Gregory Semeniuk, C.M., vice president for mission integration; a welcome by Jennifer Olmstead, director of the traditional nursing program; and reflections and remarks by the Rev. James Maher, C.M., Niagara University president; Dr. Christine Verni, dean of the College of Nursing; and Father Semeniuk, the graduates received pins signifying academic achievement, scholarly learning, professional dedication, and Christian commitment. The pins acknowledge entry into the nursing profession and have been worn by more than 4,000 NU nurses.

Following the blessing of the pins by Father Semeniuk, Margarita Coyne, director of the accelerated nursing program, and Dr. Michelle Bork, chair of the undergraduate nursing department, read the names of the students as they crossed the floor to receive their pins from family, friends, and faculty. Their hands were also anointed and blessed as a symbolic welcome into the nursing profession. 

Several students were recognized with special awards during the ceremony, as well.

The Vincentian Spirit Award was given to Daniel Santullo; Jessica McNeil received the Resilience in Nursing Award; and Kara Klinski received the Sigma Theta Tau International Gamma Theta Chapter Student Scholastic Achievement Award. Jordan Kolinsky, who had the highest GPA in the class with a 4.0, received the Dean’s Award  for Excellence. The Anthony and Pearl Majka Award was given to Madalyn Dean in recognition of her work ethic and personification of the Vincentian values of charity and service, which was exemplified when she assisted the victim of a car accident (who later died of his injuries) and visited with his widow and daughter.  

DAISY Awards for Extraordinary Nursing Students were also presented to Alea Griffith and Eleanor Vahue, and Coyne received the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurse Educators. These awards were established by the DAISY Foundation as part of its service to the nursing profession's role in patient care.

A call to nurses, led by Alycia Cramer, faculty fellow in nursing; the lighting of the Florence Nightingale Candle; and the recitation of the nurses creed, led by guest speaker Kelley Clem, vice president of clinical education and patient advocacy at Hospice Buffalo, and clinical adjunct faculty members Arlene Brown and Kathy Comerate, rounded out the event.