Welcome to Daemen University

By | March 18, 2022

The newly named Daemen University was introduced to the world late last week during a standing-room-only press conference in Rosary Hall.

“I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the growth and sophistication of Daemen than by reaching this milestone during our 75th anniversary year,” said Gary Olson, president of Daemen University.

Last week, the New York State Education Department Board of Regents approved an amendment to Daemen’s charter to make the institution a university under the state’s recently revised definition.

“Clearly a formal designation of university is appropriate,” added Olson. “In every sense except in name, Daemen has been a university for many years.”

The name change took effect immediately.

The news was covered by nearly all media outlets and publications in the Buffalo-Niagara market, including The Buffalo News, WGRZ-NBC, Buffalo Business First, WBFO-NPR, WBEN 930,Spectrum News, and Buffalo Rising. Additional coverage was provided by WUTV-Fox, WKBW-ABC, and WIVB-CBS on live newscasts that were not posted online.

“It’s a great day,” said John Yurtchuk, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees and chairman of Calspan Corporation. “I couldn’t think of a group of people and a quality of education more deserving of a moniker of university.”

Brian Kulpa

Daemen was established in 1947 as Rosary Hill College by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity. In the 1970’s, the private institution became co-educational and independent, and changed its name to honor Magdalen Damen, the founder of the sisters’ order.

“The Town of Amherst is thriving because of the education system,” said Brian Kulpa, supervisor of Amherst. “It’s not just K-12 – it’s higher education, of which Daemen is an essential piece.”

Now a multi-campus university based in Amherst, N.Y. – with a branch in Brooklyn, N.Y. – Daemen offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the health sciences, liberal arts and other disciplines enrolling more than 2,600 students each academic year. 

Kulpa added, “At every turn, Dr. Olson and the university have been there to say ‘we’re with Amherst, we’ll partner together and take a step forward together.’”

“Today is an historic day,” said Karen McMahon, representative of District 146 in the New York State Assembly, “as Daemen adopts its new name.”

Achieving university status will support Daemen’s recruitment of international students, as universities are perceived as more prestigious than colleges in many countries.   

“Now as Daemen secures university status, Daemen can keep and attract even more students from far and wide, building on its reputation, and writing a new chapter in its history,” added McMahon. “As university status levels the playing field for recruitment we look forward to the future and the possibilities for growth at Daemen.”

Prior to revisions to the state’s definition of a university in January, New York was the only U.S. state requiring the operation of academic doctoral-level programs to be a university. Within days of the change, Daemen submitted its application to the Board of Regents – and is among the first educational institutions in the state to successfully petition to become a university under the new rules.

“Congratulations to the Daemen community,” said McMahon, “who surely have now a renewed sense of pride in their school Daemen University.”