Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart is thrilled to announce the honorees for our Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumna award, Franciscan Charism Award and Living the Spirit Awards!

Established in 1994, the Scholarship and Awards Dinner gives the Sacred Heart community an opportunity to recognize our remarkable alumnae, friends and partner organizations that have distinguished themselves through their achievements, contributions to society and support of the Academy. Nominations are collected on an on-going basis. Honoree selections are made each June, and the recipients are honored at the annual Christus Super Omnia Scholarship and Awards Dinner the following November. Corporate sponsorship and underwriting opportunities are available. Please contact the Department of Institutional Advancement by calling 716/834-2101, ext. 352 for more information.


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Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumnae Awards 2016


Marilyn Wittmann '66

  • Appointed the first female principal of buffalo's Bennett High School in 1984.and served 20 years before retiring from that position
  • After retirement, was instrumental in keeping Bennett High School as a Buffalo Public School through the all-volunteer Bennett Redesign Team
  • Is a seven-year volunteer with Meals on Wheels for Western New York, delivering two routes a day, five days a week, reaching upwards of 24 home-bound, elderly and disabled in East Buffalo

Maureen Forrester Finney, Ed.D, Pa-C '87

  • Was named D'Youville College's dean of the School of Health Professions and serves as the chair of their Middle States Accreditation Committee
  • Spent 14 years as chair of D'Youville College's Physician Assistant Program and is a practicing physician assistant in under-served areas of Buffalo
  • Has been published seven times, completed 20 medical presentations at the state and national level, directed more than 25 research projects and received several awards
  • Is a competitive runner and mother of two, the oldest of whom followed in her mother's footsteps and was recently voted president of the SHA class of 2019

Joyelle Szymanek Tedeschi, MSW '97 

  • Co-Founded the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Homeless Outreach Program in 2006 on less than $50,000
  • Received the Sister Jeanne Frank Award (SHA Class of 1947) for her tenacity in securing government funding for the Code Blue program, keeping the homeless sheltered during extreme weather
  • Instrumental in reducing the number of people living on the street by nearly half before HUD's annual 2012 Point-in-Time count
  • Accomplished a lifelong goal by opening a satellite Friends of the Night People soup kitchen at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Hope Center

Franciscan Charism Award


Betsy Sullivan

  • Co-chairs the Diocese of Buffalo's current Upon this Rock $100 Million capital campaign, is an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, is a Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo trustee, serves on the Gala 22:6 committee and is a member of the Many Faces of Mercy Giving Circle
  • Serves as BISON Children's Scholarship Fund board member, Sacred Heart Academy Parent Guild volunteer, Canisius High School volunteer and co-chaired Sacred Heart Academy's 2011 Celebrate our Tradition, Build our Future $4.4 million capital campaign
  • Currently serves in a leadership role with Buffalo Truck Center, Inc. and in the past, held a senior management position with The CID Group, Inc.
  • Is an avid photographer, enjoys flying, travel and reading, has been married for 23 years and has three children, Abigail '13, Joseph and Rebecca '17

Living the Spirit Award


Crisis Services of Erie County

  • Dedicated to promoting the health, safety and well-being of the community through prevention, education, immediate intervention and access to community-wide resources 24 hours a day
  • In the first half of 2016, answered 34,430 crisis calls, conducted 1,337 mental health outreach visits, responded to 435 domestic and sexual violence hospital cases and provided 3,073 individuals with education and training
  • In 2015, trained nearly 150 Erie County police officers to ensure their ability in responding to individuals with mental illness

Learn about past honorees here