Daemen College President Gary Olson will confer degrees to more than 1,025 undergraduate and graduate candidates in the Class of 2018 at the college’s 67th annual commencement on May 19 in Kleinhans Music Hall.
The undergraduate ceremony will take place at noon and will include the presentation of the Charles Lumsden Award, Daemen’s most prestigious academic award given to the student with the highest GPA throughout their undergraduate years.
Dr. Candace S. Johnson, president and CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, will give the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony.
Johnson is the first woman to serve in the leadership role as CEO and president of Roswell Park, where she is also the Wallace Family Chair in Translational Research and professor of oncology. She was previously deputy director and chair of the department of pharmacology and therapeutics. Before joining Roswell Park, she was deputy director of basic research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Active in the Buffalo Niagara region, Johnson serves on the Daemen Community Advisory Board and the boards of the Catholic Health System and Buffalo Niagara Partnership, among others. She is also a member of the National Institutes of Health Reviewers Reserve and many professional and scientific societies.
She earned a doctoral degree in immunology from Ohio State University, Columbus.
For the 4:30 p.m. graduate ceremony, the commencement address will be delivered by Paul A. Saffrin, chief executive officer of Vanocur Refractories.
In his role as CEO of Vanocur Refractories, Saffrin, who co-owns two U.S. patents in the corbel repair of coke ovens, oversees a company that is a leading innovator in the manufacture and repair of coke ovens. He also serves as CEO of Tonawanda Coke and the Erie Coke Corp., and is a key stakeholder in technology-based companies, including impulseGUIDE.com, a digital signage business.
A strong supporter of the Western New York community, Saffrin is a trustee of the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation and a member-at-large of Buffalo’s Explore & More Children’s Museum. He is also a Daemen trustee, having formerly served on the college’s Community Advisory Board.
Saffrin, a Midwest native, earned a bachelor’s degree in international marketing and psychology from Bradley University.
During the commencement ceremonies, the keynote speakers will each be awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
Both undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be streamed live online at daemen.edu/commencement.