Daemen University held a ceremony in October to officially name its building at 39 Getzville Road the “Girard House” in honor of Jay and Sue Girard, who have dedicated much of their lives to the university.
Daemen President Gary Olson shared opening remarks outside Girard House, now home to the university’s Marketing and Communications offices.
“Both Sue and Jay have done so much for Daemen,” said Olson. “Their work and dedication have been amazing for the growth of this institution.”
Former president of Daemen, Martin J. Anisman, who worked with both Sue and Jay, also shared a few words. “If they were assigned a task, we never had to worry if it would be done right,” he recalled. “Beyond that, they are two of the best people I know.”
Stories to Share
Surrounded by family, friends, and former colleagues, Jay and Sue both said the dedication was a true honor.
“It’s fitting that we are outside of the home of marketing and communications,” said Greg Nayor, senior vice president for strategic initiatives at Daemen. “Our job in marketing and communications is to tell the stories that comprise this institution. There are perhaps no two people better to articulate those stories than Sue and Jay Girard.”
An alum, Sue enrolled at the then Rosary Hill College after her dear friend, Sister Denis Flood encouraged her to attend the school.
“I was already planning to attend St. John’s University, but two weeks before the start of school, Sister, on her deathbed, asked me to go to Rosary Hill. I thought that she must have had good plans for me, so I went off,” said Sue.
Over the years, Sue would return to work at Daemen in different stages of life between raising her family. She worked in the library, Student Affairs, and became the Director of Health and Insurance Services.
“I worked under five of Daemen’s six presidents,” said Sue. “I enjoyed the collegiality of a very collaborative staff across all divisions of Daemen, and have made life-long friends with so many faculty, staff, and students.”
Her husband Jay, who she met while at Daemen, began working at the university in 1985. “Jay has touched everything on the physical campus – whether he was building something from the ground up or making repairs for improvement,” said Olson.
“I have jokingly called Daemen ‘the college Jay built,’ so I am particularly proud that the name Girard will have its place on the university campus signifying his hard work that truly was a labor of love for him,” said Sue.
“I have been in business for 37 years and 150 of my employees are related to Daemen in some way, whether they are a student, an employee’s relative, or alum,” said Jay. “I have spent more time in more rooms on this campus than anybody ever has or will. My ties to this school are overwhelming. In addition, I was so lucky to meet my wife here. I love this place, the buildings, but mostly I love the thousands of people I’ve met over the last several years who have touched my heart.”
Following the ceremony, a reception was held and Jay and Sue toured the Girard House.
“We are truly honored and humbled and will treasure this day always,” concluded Sue.