The Promise of Niagara

Saying Thank You: Ed Riedlinger, '71

Ed Riedlinger

Ed Riedlinger wants fellow alumni to know that Niagara University is on the move. A member of the Class of 1971, Riedlinger admits he had little contact with the university for many years aside from dutifully sending a small gift to the annual giving campaign. Today, however, he’s impressed with the continued beautification of the campus, the growth he sees in both academics and facilities, and the vision for the future fostered by the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque and his board of trustees

“Some people in my era need to realize that a change has taken place. This is not the Niagara of old that is happy with the status quo,” he said. Riedlinger, who recently retired as managing director/senior vice president with GMAC Commercial Mortgage, has made an initial contribution of $50,000 to the university’s capital campaign.

“As one gets a little bit older in life, you realize you could not be where you are, but for the assistance of various institutions and individuals,” he said.

Back in 1967, Riedlinger traded the Jesuits (high school) for the Vincentians when he came to Niagara from Jersey City, N.J. After graduation from NU, Riedlinger spent two years in the Army, earned an MBA at the University of Connecticut, reluctantly turned down teaching offer at Niagara, and ended up in the Philadelphia area where he still lives today.

It was a turbulent time to be in college. Minority rights, the changing role of women and the Vietnam War had an effect on everyone. Niagara also had exciting basketball, and the Little Three rivalry. Riedlinger fondly recalls the long drive with friends to Princeton in 1970 to watch underdog Niagara triumph over a Top 10 University of Pennsylvania at the NCAAs, and then on to South Carolina where Eastern Regional hopes were dashed by Villanova. The following season, Niagara finally downed the Bonnies after losing each year since 1961-’62.

Most of all, Riedlinger remembers the gift Niagara gave him for the future: “I think I would have been lost at a larger school. The small school atmosphere and the value-based education was extremely important in my development. This gift is one way to say thanks.”