In a private ceremony in anticipation of Daemen College’s upcoming commencement ceremonies, President Gary Olson conferred an honorary doctoral degree on Scott Bieler—philanthropist and president and CEO of West Herr Automotive Group—who will give a formal address to the college’s graduating seniors at commencement.
“Daemen College values personal initiative, civic engagement, and the entrepreneurial spirit,” said Olson, in announcing the honor. “We value hard work, and the personal and professional success derived from it. We value giving back to society and to causes that promote these values.”
“These are values exemplified by Mr. Scott Bieler,” Olson added. “He’s a true role model to our students and to all of us.”
First joining West Herr as a salesman in 1975, Bieler was promoted, eventually becoming president and a majority owner of the automotive group—the largest in New York State and 25th in the country—that employs more than 2,300 people.
Bieler’s involvement in the community has been extensive; he’s vice chair of the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Board—co-chairing the capital campaign to build the Bieler Clinical Sciences Center—and has served in leadership roles for Visit Buffalo Niagara and the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, among many other organizations.
“You’ll always be an important part of the Daemen community, and we are forever grateful for all you have done and continue to do for our institution,” said John Yurtchuk, chair of the Daemen College Board of Trustees, in conferring the degree.
“Considering the impact that Daemen College has on Western New York, and what this college means to this area, and all the good that’s been done here for many, many people, to be recognized like this is a true honor,” said Bieler. “I will remember it for the rest of my life very proudly.”