Wick Center Renamed John R. Yurtchuk Student Center

By | September 13, 2023

John R. Yurtchuk Student Center sign on buildingDaemen University honored Board of Trustees Chairman John Yurtchuk at a special dedication ceremony Tuesday evening, marking the official renaming of the Wick Campus Center to the John R. Yurtchuk Student Center.

During the intimate ceremony in the Alumni Lounge, President Gary A. Olson called the name change a passing of the baton from an old era to a new era at Daemen.

“In the early days of this institution, Charles Wick was perhaps the most consequential board chair the college had for many, many decades,” President Olson said. “The board chair of the modern era who has had the most impact is John Yurtchuk. He helped lead us to university status, to Carnegie doctoral university status, and to our multi-campus designation.”

Gary A. Olson and John R. Yurtchuk unveiling commemorative plaqueIn July, Yurtchuk became the largest single donor in Daemen’s history, committing $2 million to the President’s Excellence Fund, which ensures the university’s continued vibrancy and long-term stability.

Standing before fellow board members, his family, and friends, Chairman Yurtchuk helped President Olson unveil a plaque that will be hung in the newly renamed building.

“I’m honored to be a part of this great, great institution,” Yurtchuk said. “Daemen has shown great progress over the last decade, and I’m confident that will continue in the years to come.”

John R. Yurtchuk and his wife standing in front of renamed student centerYurtchuk was appointed to the Daemen Community Advisory Board in 2013, the college’s Board of Trustees a year later, and was elected board chair in 2019. He received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2016. Previously, Yurtchuk completed Ph.D. coursework at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he also earned an M.A. and B.A.

Until earlier this year, Yurtchuk served as chairman and co-owner of Buffalo-headquartered Calspan Holdings, a science and technology company founded in 1943 that he acquired with a partner in 2005. He also founded Matrix Development Corporation and has developed millions of square feet of commercial real estate across the United States, including New York City, Florida, and Western New York.

He serves as the Chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Trustees, is a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Western New York Chapter of the American Red Cross, and was a Founding Member of the American Red Cross’ National Loyalty Circle Leadership Society. He also serves as the Chair of the Switheart Animal Alliance, which he co-founded with actress Loretta Swit, was a Founding Board Member of Eyes Across America, and has served on the boards for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Friends for Felines.