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A $1 million gift from the Kenneth L. and Katherine G. Koessler Family Foundation to Canisius College's capital campaign is being announced today by College President Rev. Vincent M. Cooke.

The 11th donation of $1 million or more to the "Imagine Canisius" campaign, the Koessler gift brings the drive to $28.8 of its $30 million goal.

It also continues decades of support for the Jesuit college by members of the Koessler family, whose name remains synonymous with Greater Buffalo Press, the printing conglomerate founded by J. Walter Koessler in 1926 and sold to Sullivan Graphics a decade ago.

"The commitment of the Koessler family to Canisius College is well known and spans several generations," Father Cooke said.

"This unwavering support has allowed us to achieve many of our objectives over the years."

The new Koessler donation is the lead gift in the college's effort to raise $3.4 million by July 1, 2000, to meet the stipulations of an $850,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation.

The funds will go toward a $12 million renovation of Canisius' Old Main classroom building that will provide the college with 50 new state-of-the-art technology classrooms.

"We are extremely grateful to the Koessler Family Foundation for this generous lead gift to help us meet the Kresge challenge," Father Cooke said.

The Koessler Family Foundation was established in memory of Kenneth L. Koessler Sr., who was chairman of the board of Greater Buffalo Press at his death in 1980, and his wife, Katherine Gormley Koessler, who was vice president of the foundation at her death in 1996.

Koessler Sr. was a 1929 graduate of Canisius College and a former chairman of its board of trustees.

The college's Koessler Athletic Center is dedicated to the memory of Koessler Sr. and his late brother, J. Walter, Class of 1922, in honor of a $1 million gift from Greater Buffalo Press to the college in 1969.

The Koessler family has endowed several scholarships at the college as well.

J. Walter's son, the late John W. "Jack" Koessler Jr., Class of 1949, was also a chairman of Canisius' board of trustees. His brother, Paul J., is a board member today.

So is Kenneth Sr.'s daughter, Katherine Koessler Juhasz. Her son, Stephen G. Juhasz Jr., is a 1990 MBA graduate of Canisius and serves on the college's board of regents.

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