Daemen College President Gary A. Olson delivered his spring State of the College Address on March 30, during which he reported on an ambitious year full of many key achievements and highlighted institutional progress and new initiatives.
“Looking back on all that we have accomplished, this has indeed been a very busy and productive academic year,” said Olson. “As we continue to grow and develop as an institution, we are in a period of great momentum while remaining strong and committed to excellence.”
To illustrate this, Olson announced that this fall Daemen will launch the college’s first-ever Founders Celebration to commemorate the institution’s origins, mission, and history.
“This exciting new annual Daemen tradition will focus on and engage our entire campus community — faculty, staff, students, graduates, and trustees,” he said. “It will be a campus-wide celebration that we anticipate will become one of our most festive occasions throughout the year.”
The inaugural Founders Celebration, which has been scheduled for Sept. 7 and 8, comes at a time Daemen will mark its 70th anniversary since it was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity. The two-day celebration will incorporate several existing festivities, including Daemen Day in Amherst, Convocation, an alumni event, and a Wildcats home volleyball game, that will culminate with a Daemen Gala.
Olson also announced plans to establish the college’s first student-run campus rescue squad in partnership with local fire, rescue, and ambulance services. The Daemen College Rescue Squad, which will be comprised of specially trained student volunteers, will provide much needed emergency medical services to the campus community.
In another student-centered initiative, Olson noted the college has opened a newly created home for Counseling, Health Insurance, and Prevention Services, also known as the CHIP Center.
“With this initiative, we moved all of our health and wellness services under one roof in the Wick Campus Center,” he said. “This consolidation allows us to provide a one-stop shop for students seeking these types of services on campus.”
Olson also pointed out a number of recent national distinctions and designations Daemen has received as a sign of the college’s growing reputation in higher education. He emphasized that “over the past four years, we have made a concerted effort to raise Daemen’s national visibility. To attain these many honors is a testament to our institutional excellence among some of the most prestigious colleges in the country, and signifies that we are poised for even greater national prominence.”
Reflecting on the completion of many campus projects and notable achievements this academic year, Olson highlighted the opening of Alumni House; a historic $1 million gift from the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation; a new partnership with The Park School of Buffalo; and recent student-athlete and team successes at Daemen, which is the only NCAA Division II college in the Buffalo Niagara region.
“These accomplishments and many more would not have been possible without the tremendous dedication, hard work, and support from our highly engaged and collegial Daemen community,” said Olson. “I thank you for everything you do, every day, to make our great college such a special place.”