Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients Named

By | January 9, 2017

Daemen College will honor five accomplished graduates at its 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on Nov. 4 that will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. in the college’s Wick Campus Center Social Room.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize the growth, achievements and societal contributions of the college’s outstanding alumni. Recipients exhibit the ideals expressed by the Sisters of St. Francis when they founded Rosary Hill College and that remain strong at the institution known today as Daemen College.

Daemen President Gary A. Olson will present the Distinguished Alumna Award, the highest honor presented to a graduate, to Pamela Ryan Jacobs Vogt ’62. The award recognizes a graduate who has achieved distinction in their career and in the community and has shown outstanding dedication to the college.

This year’s other Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, who were selected by the National Alumni Board of Governors, are Col. Jean Anderson ’92, Advancement in Career; Jeanne O’Grady Ryan ’63, Dedication to the College.; Toni Smith Wilson ’69 (posthumously), Service to the Community; and Lisa Schimdt ’13, Graduate of the Last Decade.

Distinguished Alumna Award

Pamela Ryan Jacobs Vogt ’62

Jacobs Vogt earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Daemen (then Rosary Hill College) and went on to teach English at Bennett High School in Buffalo. Her extensive contributions as a member of the Daemen Board of Trustees and as a strong supporter of the college have been recognized with the college’s President’s Medal and an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

A devoted philanthropist and education advocate, Jacobs Vogt has been active for more than 40 years with a number of organizations and educational institutions throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. She has also served on several area boards, including the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western New York, Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, and the BISON Fund.

Jacobs Vogt is a lifelong resident of Buffalo.

Advancement in Career

Col. Jean Anderson ’92

Anderson received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Daemen, and became commissioned as a U.S. Army officer shortly after graduation. She is currently chief of the Reserve Component Physical Therapy Section and was recently selected to serve as the individual mobilization augmentee to the chief of the Army Medical Specialist Corps.

During her military career, Anderson has served both in the U.S. and abroad, including Korea and Germany. Since graduating from Daemen, she has earned a master’s degree in management with a concentration in human relations management.

Anderson resides in Chesterfield, Va.

Dedication to the College

Jeanne O’Grady Ryan ’63

Ryan received a bachelor’s degree in English from Daemen (then Rosary Hill College) and later earned a degree in accounting, which has led to a more than 25-year career providing accounting services to a variety of clients.

An active member of the college’s New York City alumni chapter, Ryan has hosted and attended many events in the city as well as participated in alumni events in the Adirondacks, where she spends most of her summers. She has also served on several reunion committees for the Class of 1963.

She resides in New York City.

Service to the Community

Toni Smith Wilson ’69 (posthumously)

Wilson earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Daemen (then Rosary Hill College). A leader in the Western New York theater community for nearly 50 years, she was co-founder of the Theater of Youth, a groundbreaking theater company dedicated to area children.

In addition to teaching theater at the Buffalo Seminary for four decades, Wilson served as director of Brazen-Faced Varlets and the Subversive Theater until only a few months before her passing in 2016. She also served for several years on the Arties Committee to select recipients of the Buffalo area’s theater awards.

Her husband, Christopher Wilson, will accept the award in her memory.

Graduate of the Last Decade

Lisa Schimdt ’13

Schimdt, who earned a master’s degree in executive leadership and change from Daemen, is vice president/chief operating officer of core services at Buffalo General Medical Center, a part of the Kaleida Health system.

During her nearly 30-year career with Kaleida, Schmidt has held various management positions, including vice president of strategic initiatives and implementation and senior director of ambulatory services, among other roles.

She resides in Grand Island.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner is being hosted by the Daemen Office of Alumni Relations and the National Alumni Board of Governors. For tickets and more information, contact alumni@daemen.edu or call 839-8364.