They both graduated from Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in Buffalo, albeit a few decades apart. But the Franciscan tradition they each learned there had an impact on both Christian Watts ’22 and Br. Ed Coughlin, O.F.M., Ph.D., Siena’s 11th president.

Each year, the NYS Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) awards a one-time $1,000 scholarship to a member college. This year they chose Siena, in memory of the late Br. Ed. 

The selected college gets to choose which student will receive the CICU scholarship, and Fr. Mark Reamer '83, O.F.M., D.Min., vice president for mission and guardian of Siena’s friary, saw a perfect connection – and a way to further support Watts’ education.  

Fr. Mark saw in Watts, a marketing and communications major, the same dedication to the Franciscan tradition – and Siena sports – that Br. Ed had. The fact that they both graduated from the same high school - Watts in 2018 and Br. Ed in 1966 – sealed the deal.   

The Siena friars generously added another $1,000 to the CICU scholarship and both checks were presented to Watts on February 19 here on campus. 

"I am grateful from the bottom of my heart. Siena College was a natural stepping stone after graduating from a wonderful high school like Bishop Timon - St. Jude. Br. Ed was such an inspiration to all of us. His dedication to our lacrosse team was so appreciated. He was there for us not just in words but also in action. Due to his heart for service and his joyful compassion for others, he has made a lifelong impact on my life and many students at Siena. His smile and soft hello as we walk through the campus is greatly missed. He was a generous and giving man who was an example for all."

Christian Watts '22

“The Franciscan friars are happy to join CICU in remembering and recognizing Brother Ed’s life and legacy. Christian is an outstanding student and athlete, and was a natural choice to receive this scholarship. Christian’s heart for service and compassionate leadership reflect his commitment to the Franciscan ideals that Br. Ed embodied throughout his life.”

Fr. Mark Reamer '83, O.F.M, vice president for mission