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D’Youville Appoints Two New Board Members

D’Youville Appoints Two New Board Members

The D’Youville Board of Trustees has appointed two new members. Sister Julia C. Lanigan ’73 GNSH and Blair Severn will serve three-year terms beginning this fall.

No stranger to campus, Lanigan earned her bachelor’s in nursing from D’Youville in 1973 and previously served on the board from 1993 to 2002. From 2008, Lanigan served as president and general superior of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, having just recently stepped down and is also a former general treasurer.

Lanigan has seen D’Youville grow into what it is today and is looking forward to being more involved again.

“D’Youville has had a very positive impact on the West Side for many years as a stable anchor and a compassionate neighbor. I see this impact continuing to grow as more students engage in delivering direct services as a key part of their educational experience,” said Lanigan. “I’m excited to be on the Apostolic Mission Committee and look forward to helping to sustain and promote the mission here.”

Lanigan has been a consultant for the Resource Center for Religious Institutes (RCRI), the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO), and the LCWR Collaborative Viability Project focusing on planning, finance, leadership, and eldercare. She also serves on the American Sector Finance Committee and the Medical Mission Sisters.

Lanigan received an associate’s degree in theology and philosophy from Sacred Heart Junior College in Yardley, PA in 1970.  After D’Youville, she went on to earn her Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981. 

Severn is currently the chairman and president of Enabling Ideas, an executive consultancy company in Toronto, Ontario which he co-founded in 2011. Severn received his Bachelor of Arts in business and sociology from Brock University. He also earned an Honors Bachelor of Administrative Studies degree from York University as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toronto.

Self-described as a “disinterested student” in high school, Severn was fortunate to have a mentoring boss early on in his professional career who preached continuing education. “His gentile push to get me excited about education changed my life. Earning additional degrees propelled me personally and professionally further than I ever expected. This experience resulted in me becoming a huge advocate for education,” said Severn.

As his company became more involved in the Buffalo area, Severn learned more about D’Youville’s philosophy of helping those in need and serving the community, both locally and globally. Severn will look to be “a voice for Canadian students” and continue to broaden D’Youville’s global reach.

“I’m excited to be an advocate for the great things D’Youville can offer to Canada and internationally,” he said. “I see the graduates of D’Youville providing this region with a talented workforce that will continue to elevate and serve as an important economic contributor.”

Severn is a member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, serving as executive-in-residence of the CanAm Council and is also the president and managing partner of Azure Corporation which was founded in 2004 as a prominent business strategy consultancy. 


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