College Prepares for Founders Celebration

By | August 22, 2018

Founders Bell

Daemen College will commemorate its rich history of academic excellence and its founding with several special events, including the traditional ringing of Founders Bell, at the college’s annual Founders Celebration planned for Sept. 6 and 7.

“This annual tradition honors the legacy of our founders who shaped Daemen into what it is today and celebrates our rich history of academic excellence,” said Daemen President Gary Olson. “For our Daemen community, Founders Celebration is a wonderful opportunity to come together to connect with our college’s origins as we look forward to a bright and successful future.”

Founders Celebration will kick off at 11 a.m. Sept. 6 with the ceremonial ringing of Daemen’s Founders Bell with one ring to signify each decade since the college was founded in 1947 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity. Official bell ringers will be President Olson; Dr. Thomas Stewart ‘74, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees; Catherine LePage-Campbell ’84, board trustee; Mikayla Otero, Student Association president; Dr. Matthew Ward, director of the Honors Program and associate professor of chemistry; Edith Wyss, O.S.F. ‘66, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, the college’s founding congregation; and Dr. Lynda Cessario, emeritus faculty member.

The bell, which is located adjacent to Founders Walkway outside Daemen’s historic Rosary Hall, was initially crafted in 1858 by the renowned Meneely Bell Foundry. An all-campus luncheon will immediately follow the ringing ceremony.

Also on Sept. 6, a college memorabilia exhibit featuring items from throughout Daemen’s 71-year history will be on display in the Research and Information Commons, where a new permanent display for the historical pieces is being housed. Photos, clothing, mugs, and other mementos are among the many items that will be on display. Kathryn Hammer, alumni relations director, will be on hand from 2 to 3 p.m. to answer questions about the college’s history.

Daemen Day Trolley 2017The exhibit will also feature several antique items discovered on Daemen’s campus as part of a search by local metal detecting enthusiast and former Daemen student Michael Farley of Amherst. Since starting the search last fall, more than 35 items have been unearthed on campus grounds, including a vintage shoe buckle estimated to be from the 1700s, 19th and 20th century coins, a Model T Ford hubcap, keys, toys, and a 1940s makeup compact made by cosmetics tycoon Helena Rubenstein. 

The day will also include a reception at 3 p.m. in the Wick Social Room to honor faculty and staff celebrating various years of dedicated service to Daemen. Activities on Sept. 6 will conclude with a bonfire at 8 p.m. outside the Wick Center.

On Sept. 7, Founders Celebration festivities will kick off with the fourth annual Daemen Day in Amherst, a special celebration to connect the college community with Main Street’s thriving business district.

Free trolley rides will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. up and down Main Street to give the Daemen community the opportunity to visit, shop, and dine at a number of establishments in the Amherst and Williamsville business district. Complimentary t-shirts will be distributed to the first 100 visitors at the Daemen Day booth located at the Irishman Pub’s outdoor patio at 5601 Main St.

As part of the celebration, students, faculty, and staff with college ID will receive substantial discounts at businesses displaying Daemen Day in Amherst window signs. Maps showing participating businesses and discounts will be distributed at an on campus Daemen Day booth or will be available at

Willy the Wildcat, the college’s mascot, will join in the celebration, which will also include prizes, giveaways, and contests, and a wellness walking challenge for college employees.

Other Founders Celebration activities scheduled on campus for Sept. 7 will include a student organization and community fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a TGIF patio and tent party from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., both being held outside the Wick Center; and a Free Money Game Show at 8 p.m. in the Wick Social Room.

This year’s Founders Celebration will conclude with the annual Daemen Scholarship Gala at 6 p.m. at The Buffalo Club. 

The gala will include the presentation of the 2018 Community Excellence Award to Joan Cooper Stovroff, president of Stovroff and Taylor Realtors.

A long-time entrepreneur, leader, and philanthropist in the Buffalo Niagara region, Stovroff has been active in the community throughout her career and has served on several boards.

She is a strong supporter of Daemen and is a member of the college’s Community Advisory Board. Her family established the Joan Cooper Stovroff Endowed Scholarship for Women named in her honor.

All Daemen Founders Celebration events, excluding the Scholarship Gala, are free and open to the public. For more information or to purchase gala tickets, visit