Daemen College will welcome more than 500 new students and their families and officially open the 2019-20 academic year at the college’s annual Convocation ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 31 in the Wick Campus Center Dining Room. The total number of new students invited to this year’s ceremony represents a 22 percent increase in the incoming class compared to last year.
“This increase in the number of new students being welcomed to our campus community speaks to the strength of our enrollment and the high-quality education that we provide,” said Daemen President Gary Olson. “The Convocation ceremony is a wonderful tradition to mark the beginning of each student’s collegiate experience at Daemen and to celebrate the start of the academic year.”
Convocation is one of the main events during Daemen’s Welcome Weekend before fall classes begin on Sept. 3. The event will feature remarks from President Olson; Dr. Michael Brogan, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college; John Yurtchuk, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees; and others from the college’s administration, faculty, and student body. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony in the Wick Social Room.
The welcome at Convocation on behalf of the Daemen College/Rosary Hill Alumni Association will be presented by Anibal Soler, Jr. ’00, associate superintendent of strategic alignment and innovation for the Buffalo Public Schools.
Soler, who has more than 18 years of experience in urban education, earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Daemen. A former student-athlete, he was captain of the college’s men’s basketball team.
Soler started his career in education as a middle school art teacher in Rochester. He quickly moved up the ranks, serving as instructional technology teacher, academic director, and then principal. He was recognized as a 2014 White House Champion of Change.
After returning to Western New York, Soler served as principal at North Park Academy and was later promoted to his current position as associate superintendent in Buffalo.