St. Bonaventure University is a truly special place, tucked away in the western corner of New York State. Once you’re there, you can’t help but fall in love with it. It may seem strange to some why anyone would love a small, private university in an extremely rural area, but once you leave, you’re left with a basketball-sized hole in your heart. I’m sure every Bonnie misses the same things.

1. How beautiful it was in the fall. And winter. Okay, every season. There is a certain magical quality about fall that makes everything gorgeous. But it’s amplified in Cattaraugus County in a way that takes your breath away. In the winter, when everything is inevitably covered in a blanket of snow, it’s so peaceful. Maybe it’s just me, but I used to half-expect Hagrid to walk by dragging a huge Christmas tree through the snow of Hogwarts…I mean Bonas.


2. The absolutely electric feeling of being in the Reilly Center during a basketball game. ESPN named the RC one of the five toughest places to play college basketball. That is because students are literally on the floor, antagonizing opponents. Even if you didn’t like sports, you had to be at the games, because they were energetic, exciting and never dull. Bonas has certainly had a roller coaster of basketball seasons, but even if the team sucked, it was impossible to not get pumped up.


3. Speaking of the RC, the wraps. Spicy chicken please. Those delicious, cheap bundles of goodness that I am now paying for, with interest.

4. And Kyle the omelette man, and Patty the Francis Cafe order taker.  Possibly the best people to know you by name and food preference.

5. Professors who knew your name, who you enjoyed spending time with outside of class. What are lectures? No one at Bonas is ever a number. I think my largest class had 30 people in it. If you skipped class, you were probably tracked down by the professor to make sure you’re feeling okay. Bonaventure profs are the best. Okay, I’m biased.

6. The Hickey jukebox. The bar, not the dining hall. You have to clarify for outsiders. I still know all the words to “American Girl” and “Cecilia” and still get excited when they come up on Spotify or the radio. Best $1 you could ever spend, picking your favorite oldies for the whole bar to sing.

7. Only having a handful of bars to choose from, therefore nights out were easy decisions. If all else failed, the Skeller probably had something going on, or at the very least, pizza logs.


8. Spring Weekend. The one weekend when professors (usually) recognized students would likely not show up to class on Friday, and when Walmart and the bev center across the street welcomed the extra business. When you headed to the softball fields after class that you may or may not have attended, spending all the time you could outside since that was usually the first weekend that wasn’t arctic. When water bottles didn’t contain water but no one said anything.

9. The longing feeling during winter and summer breaks. Everyone dreaded going home for breaks, because they were away from the Bona Bubble. It was not a countdown to breaks, it was a countdown till breaks were over. Duh.

10. And finally, the Bona family. Everyone in the Bona bubble, in some way, became your family in your time there and beyond. They’re a certain type of people, different from your high school friends, different from your work friends, different from any other friends. There are no words to describe Bonnies!



Liz Witter is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she majored in broadcast journalism with a (useless) minor in French. She is originally from Rochester, NY but moved to Boston for a job...then another job. She spends her free time sleeping, going to Sephora or doing crafts. She plays volleyball recreationally and refuses to believe she peaked in high school. She’ll take Tim Hortons over Dunkin, and Wegmans over basically anything. You can follow her on Twitter at @lwitta6.


  1. Looks like a beautiful campus. I went to Elon and was lucky to enjoy many of the perks you mention above of being at a smaller school in a small town! I loved it..wish I could go back.


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