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October 13, 2020

The SUNY Niagara Alumni Association has selected two recipients for their 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. This year’s recipients are Muriel Anderson ’83 and JoAnn Pellegrino ’97. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the 2020 award recipients will be honored during the rescheduled SUNY Niagara Foundation Scholarship Gala. There is currently no new date at this time.

Muriel Anderson graduated from SUNY Niagara in 1983 with her Associate’s Degree in Accounting. She continued on to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accounting from the University at Buffalo. While earning her degrees, Muriel worked as the Vice President and Deputy Auditor for M&T Bank. In 2000, Muriel joined UB as a faculty member dividing her time between the School of Management Departments of Accounting & Law and Organization & Human Resources. In 2014, Muriel joined SUNY Niagara’s Accounting Program Advisory Committee. Her experience provided SUNY Niagara with important information to help students transfer and continue their education at UB. She has also served on SUNY Niagara’s Program Excellence Evaluation Review (PEER) Committee in 2015 and 2020. In addition to her dedication to education, Muriel manages her own business where she provides tax and account services to approximately 50 clients. She also volunteers her time as the treasurer for Hope for Sisi’s Kids, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and education of children in a rural area of Ghana, Africa.

JoAnn Pellegrino graduated from SUNY Niagara in 1997 with her Associate’s Degree in Nursing. She continued on to receive her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Roberts Wesleyan College in Nursing Education. While earning her degrees, JoAnn worked as an ICU nurse at Medina Hospital and Lakeside Memorial Hospital. She was promoted at Lakeside Memorial Hospital to Director of Nursing Surgical Services in the Maternity and Central Sterile Processing unit. After many years of applying her education in hands-on nursing roles, JoAnn went on to inspire the next generation of nurses as an Adjunct Instructor at Niagara University and Roberts Wesleyan College. In 2017, JoAnn was named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Throughout her time, JoAnn has never forgotten her start at SUNY Niagara. She continues to remain involved by attending the annual SUNY Niagara Foundation Scholarship Gala and Leadership Luncheon, serving as the keynote speaker for the SUNY Niagara Nursing and Allied Health graduation ceremony in 2018 and is a current member of the SUNY Niagara Nursing Advisory Board.

To read SUNY Niagara’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient’s full biographies and for updates on the Foundation Scholarship Gala, please visit

Media Contact Information

Allison Korta
Foundation Assistant Director
Phone: 716-614-6231