Daemen Announces 2018 Commencement Speakers

By | April 13, 2018
Dr. Candace Johnson

Dr. Candace Johnson

Dr. Candace S. Johnson, president and CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Paul A. Saffrin, chief executive officer of Vanocur Refractories, will address the Class of 2018 at Daemen College’s commencement ceremonies on May 19 in Kleinhans Music Hall.

Johnson will serve as commencement speaker at the undergraduate ceremony scheduled for noon, and Saffrin will speak at the 4:30 p.m. graduate ceremony. Each speaker will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters at Daemen’s 67th annual commencement ceremonies.

Johnson is the first woman to serve in the leadership role as CEO and president of Roswell Park, where she is also the Wallace Family Chair in Translational Research and professor of oncology. She was previously deputy director and chair of the department of pharmacology and therapeutics. Before joining Roswell Park, she was deputy director of basic research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Active in the Buffalo Niagara region, Johnson serves on the Daemen Community Advisory Board and the boards of the Catholic Health System and Buffalo Niagara Partnership, among others. She is also a member of the National Institutes of Health Reviewers Reserve and many professional and scientific societies.

She earned a doctoral degree in immunology from Ohio State University, Columbus.

Paul Saffrin

Paul Saffrin

In his role as CEO of Vanocur Refractories, Saffrin, who co-owns two U.S. patents in the corbel repair of coke ovens, oversees a company that is a leading innovator in the manufacture and repair of coke ovens. He also serves as CEO of Tonawanda Coke and the Erie Coke Corp., and is a key stakeholder in technology-based companies, including impulseGUIDE.com, a digital signage business.

A strong supporter of the Western New York community, Saffrin is a trustee of the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation and a member-at-large of Buffalo’s Explore & More Children’s Museum. He is also a Daemen trustee, having formerly served on the college’s Community Advisory Board.

Saffrin, a Midwest native, earned a bachelor’s degree in international marketing and psychology from Bradley University.