Board Chair Yurtchuk Makes Largest Donation in University History

By | July 26, 2023

Daemen University Board of Trustees' John Yurtchuk headshotBoard of Trustee Chair John R. Yurtchuk has committed $2 million to Daemen University, the largest single gift in the institution’s history. The donation will support the President’s Excellence Fund, which ensures the university’s continued vibrancy and long-term stability.

In recognition of Chairman Yurtchuk’s decade of dedication to the university—beginning as an active member of the Daemen Community Advisory Board, progressing to a full term as a member and then chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees, and culminating in becoming the institution’s most consequential donor—Daemen’s Wick Center will be renamed the John R. Yurtchuk Student Center.

“Through his continued generosity, Chairman Yurtchuk has had an impact on nearly every aspect of life on the Daemen campus,” said President Gary A. Olson. “And because of that, it’s only right to name our student center in his honor. Students, faculty, and staff will now be reminded of Trustee Yurtchuk’s unwavering support of Daemen University every day.”

An official renaming ceremony will take place at the start of the fall semester on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.

“I am delighted to play a role in Daemen’s continued forward momentum as a distinguished university,” said Chairman Yurtchuk. “The institution has shown great progress over the last decade, and I am sure that will continue for years to come.”

Yurtchuk was appointed to the Daemen Community Advisory Board in 2013, the college’s Board of Trustees a year later, and was elected board chair in 2019. He received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2016. Previously, Yurtchuk completed Ph.D. coursework at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he also earned an M.A. and B.A.

Until earlier this year, Yurtchuk served as chairman and co-owner of Buffalo-headquartered Calspan Holdings, a science and technology company founded in 1943 that he acquired with a partner in 2005. He also founded Matrix Development Corporation and has developed millions of square feet of commercial real estate across the United States, including New York City, Florida, and Western New York.

He serves as the Chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Trustees, is a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Western New York Chapter of the American Red Cross and was a Founding Member of the American Red Cross’ National Loyalty Circle Leadership Society. He also serves as the Chair of the Switheart Animal Alliance which he co-founded with actress Loretta Swit, was a Founding Board Member of Eyes Across America, and has served on the boards for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Friends for Felines.