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SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit welcome Hannah for Spring 2018 Speaker Series

Article by: Michael Farrell

BUFFALO—SUNY Erie Community College’s Men of Merit Program—established to foster excellence, distinction and integrity in the school’s male African-American, Hispanic and Native American students—kicked off its Spring 2018 Distinguished Speaker Series with Buffalo City Court Judge Craig D. Hannah inside the College’s City Campus Auditorium on February 14.  

After spending a decade as a trial attorney in city, state and federal courts, Judge Hannah was appointed to Buffalo City Court by Mayor Byron Brown in 2006. Throughout his tenure, the graduate of Canisius College (’92) and University at Buffalo Law School (’95) has been active and decorated. He presides over Buffalo’s Opiate Invention Court (the first of its kind in the U.S.) and serves on the City of Buffalo’s Ethics Commission and the Community Action Organization of Western New York—all while accepting accolades as recipient of the Minority Bar Association of WNY’s Legal Service Award. Outside the courtroom, Judge Hannah serves as co-director of the City Kids at Camp youth initiative.

His afternoon speech to SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit members focused on personal responsibility, social awareness, and the importance of overcoming failure to learn from your mistakes. Judge Hannah touched on his experience with silencing the discouraging voices while chasing his goals; asserted the need for mentors; and reminded the audience that college is a microcosm of real life.  

“Thanks to programs like Men of Merit, one learns the importance of standing out and distinguishing oneself,” said Judge Hannah. “Remember to always speak up, be recognized, and most importantly, make sure you have a mentor to help you master the skills you need to be successful in life, education, and the workforce.”

The Men of Merit program provides ambitious minority male students the chance to pursue excellence through a wide array of services designed to maximize academic success; and the opportunity to chart a course to graduation often hindered by poverty, crime and unemployment within local and national minority communities. Members have access to advisers, mentors and leaders—from both SUNY Erie and the school’s extended community—who strive to prepare students for college success.

Program members also have access to a support network comprised of vital College-guided services like academic readiness workshops, crisis counseling and career development necessary to achieve their desired goals. With this backing and a strict adherence to the aforementioned program tenants of excellence, distinction and integrity, members are guided to stay in college, advance academically and serve their community, as they become the men they aim to be. 

For more information on this event, future Distinguished Speakers Series guests or SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit Program, please call (716) 270-6439 or email Dr. Marvin Wilson at wilsonma@ecc.edu.

Since 1946, SUNY Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, SUNY Erie’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu or call (716) 851-1ECC.