The Rev. James Maher, C.M., accepts the key to the City of Vaughan from Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua.

The Rev. James Maher, C.M., Niagara University president, was presented the key to the City of Vaughan, Ont., during the 2019 Vaughan Chamber of Commerce Mayor's Luncheon, Feb. 13, 2019. This marks only the second time in Vaughan’s history that this honor, reserved for distinguished individuals, has been granted.

“On behalf of the City of Vaughan and members of council, it gives me immense pride to present Niagara University President Rev. James J. Maher with the key to the City of Vaughan,” said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, who founded the honor. Father Maher is a trusted, respected, and inspiring city-building partner. He has rightly earned this recognition.”

Father Maher and Mayor Bevilacqua collaborated on the establishment of a permanent location for Niagara University in Ontario in the City of Vaughan, the first-ever university to be established there. Classes began in January at the site, located in the Vaughan Metropolitan Center, in the heart of Vaughan’s emerging downtown core.

“I am honored to accept the key to the City of Vaughan on behalf of the students, staff, and faculty of Niagara University,” said Father Maher. “For 35 years, Niagara has offered programs in Canada to prepare students for personal and professional success as teachers and educational leaders, guided by our Vincentian mission and values. The new location, and our continuing partnership with Mayor Bevilacqua and the City of Vaughan, will help to strengthen our binational presence as we mentor a new generation of compassionate, dedicated, and successful graduates into the workplace. I thank Mayor Bevilacqua for his genuine enthusiasm, vision, commitment, and advocacy to bring Niagara University to Vaughan.”