Daemen Scholarship Gala Raises Funds for Students

By | October 4, 2022

The Daemen University Annual Scholarship Gala held on Sept. 30 was a resounding success in helping raise funds for student scholarships.

“The gala is our annual scholarship fundraiser, which provides financial assistance for today’s Daemen students,” said Tony Fulgenzio, interim vice president for advancement. “Thanks to generous Daemen alumni, corporate sponsors, and friends of the University, the dream of achieving a college education becomes a reality for deserving students.”

The event was made extra special with the announcement that Daemen exceeded its Drive to 75 Campaign goal of $22 million by over $4.5 million.

Daemen President Gary Olson shared a toast at the gala, and several guests offered their support through last minute gifts during the event. 

“Our annual scholarship gala is a wonderful opportunity to not only grow the support for our students, but to celebrate what makes Daemen such a special place,” said Daemen University’s Chief of Staff Amanda Gross. “This year was particularly special as we celebrated our 75th anniversary and closed out our first-ever comprehensive campaign, far exceeding our goal.”

Launched in 2017, the Drive to 75 Campaign was the college’s first-ever comprehensive campaign with the ambitious goal of raising $22 million by the year 2022. The campaign focused on support for three key areas: endowed student scholarships and endowed professorships to provide funding in perpetuity for the brightest campus minds; enhanced program funding to elevate the academic success of students on Daemen’s campus and in international and co-curricular pursuits; and enhanced facilities to provide the highest quality academic, student life, and athletic Daemen University Gala presentation by Paul B. Iskalospaces. 

The gala also included the presentation of the 2022 Community Excellence Award to Paul B. Iskalo. Founder and president of Williamsville-based Iskalo Development Corp. and co-founder and principal investor of Big Ditch Brewing Company, Iskalo identifies investment opportunities that have the potential to improve neighborhoods. 

Notable Iskalo projects include the historic rehabilitation of The Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo, site of the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop; and the redevelopment of the former Lord Amherst Hotel property on Main Street at the I-290 interchange. Acquired in 2011, the property is now home to the Hyatt Place hotel, the award-winning Reikart House, and Jazzboline Restaurant and Bar. 

The evening also featured an address from current student and trustee scholar Kayla Lark. A native of Philadelphia, P.A., Lark is currently a student in the Cytotechnology Program in conjunction with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Upon graduation she hopes to go on to earn her doctorate and apply her skills and credentials to pursue her dream of opening a non-profit practice designed to help low income families receive the treatment that they need. 

Lark shared with attendees how impactful Daemen has been for her.

“I was fortunate enough to be put in the amazing situation I find myself in today,” said Lark. “But this would not be possible without caring people like yourself who believed in supporting that place that I now call home.” 

Learn more about how you can support Daemen student scholarships here.