Daemen College will kick off its annual Founders Celebration, a tradition to mark its rich history of academic excellence and the college’s founding, with a ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell at 11 a.m. Sept. 19 on Founders Walkway, located outside of Rosary Hall. Activities for the 2019 Founders Celebration will be held from Sept. 19 to 21.
The opening ceremony will feature a symbolic ring for each decade since the college was founded in 1947. This year’s bell ringers will be Daemen President Gary Olson; John Yurtchuk, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees; Catherine LePage-Campbell ’84, board trustee; Ricardo Marquez, Student Government Association president; Dr. Greg Ford, Faculty Senate president and chair of the physical therapy program; Jo-Anne Grabowski, O.S.F. ‘73, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, the college’s founding congregation; and Dr. Alex Pleshkewych, emeritus faculty member. An all-campus luncheon in the Wick Campus Center Dining Hall will immediately follow the ringing ceremony.
“Each ring of the bell will give us the opportunity to reflect on the academic success that has been the foundation of a Daemen education for more than seven decades and the many scholarly achievements of our dedicated faculty,” said Olson. “Our longstanding presence in higher education and in the Buffalo Niagara region is a credit to our founders’ vision, which we are pleased to celebrate with this special ringing ceremony.”
Founders Bell was initially crafted in 1858 by the acclaimed Meneely Bell Foundry, one of the greatest bell makers in U.S. history. Known for their rich tone and high quality, Meneely bells may be found in churches and other locations around the world.
In other events on Sept. 19, a college memorabilia exhibit featuring a range of items from Daemen’s history, including photos, clothing, and other historical pieces, will be on display from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Research and Information Commons.
As part of this year’s Founders Celebration, Daemen will hold an official opening at 2 p.m. for the college’s newly renovated science classrooms and labs in Duns Scotus Rooms 301, 302, and 305. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2:10 p.m.
To date, a total of $2.1 million in improvements and upgrades have been made to Daemen’s science facilities in a major initiative to ensure students have access to modern, state-of-the-art science learning spaces. The multi-phase project has included renovations to science classrooms, a general biology laboratory, and most recently, a second biology laboratory and research space.
In another grand opening, Daemen’s refurbished Curtis Hall will be formally unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for 3 p.m. Nearly $1 million in major facility enhancements were made to the historic building, which houses the college’s Institute for Government and Nonprofit Innovation, Training, and Evaluation (IGNITE). Established in 2014, IGNITE connects Daemen’s social work faculty with nonprofit organizations, foundations, schools and community groups to provide expertise, professional assistance, and other support.
Other events on Sept. 19 will include a reception at 3:30 p.m. in the Wick Center Social Room to honor faculty and staff celebrating various years of service to the college; intramural basketball and volleyball tournament finals at 6 p.m. on the Wick Center North Lawn; and a bonfire at 8 p.m., also on the North Lawn.