Daemen College President Gary A. Olson announced the opening of two new buildings on campus among many recent accomplishments that he reported on in his fall State of the College Address delivered on Sept. 22. Both of the new facilities are former single-family residences on Getzville Road that will house important campus offices.
Alumni House, once the college’s presidential residence, will be home to the college’s fundraising, alumni relations and publications operations. Next to the building is the newly opened Honors House that includes the Honors Program Office, a lounge, and various amenities available to all honors students.
“Alumni House will allow us for the first time to have our entire institutional advancement division in the same facility, a move that will be greatly beneficial to their efforts,” said Olson.
Daemen is also creating a new 60-space parking lot behind Alumni House, where cars can enter and exit from a roadway in front of the college’s Business Building.
“Mindful of the area’s environment, we are being careful to preserve all large, mature trees and landscaping so that the parking lot is tucked completely within the four walls of greenery,” said Olson. “A new footbridge will also be built over a culvert next to the parking lot to provide easy access to campus behind Schenck Hall.”
In his address, Olson pointed to the recent reaffirmation of Daemen’s accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as an indication of the college’s strength.
“Middle States issued a rare commendation of the college for the quality of our self-study report,” said Olson. “As our college continues to make great strides, it is immensely gratifying to have Daemen recognized for upholding national standards of excellence in higher education.”
In addition, Olson shared news of the successful completion over the summer to move Daemen’s Animation Program and International Center for Excellence in Animation (ICEA) from the Tri-Main Center to the college’s Amherst campus.
“Bringing this unique program to campus was an important step in centralizing our academic programs and will offer all our students a consistent, integrated Daemen experience,” said Olson. “We’re pleased to have the animation program now fully established in our Visual and Performing Arts Building, and its state-of-the-art theater has been completely rebuilt in a designated space in our Research and Information Commons.”
Olson also discussed the implementation of a new chip-embedded identification card system that will boost building safety across campus. Key card access is currently available on exterior doors to selected buildings, including the college’s main residence hall, with plans to install updated readers in other buildings over the next several years.
“The programmable identification cards can manage door lock access from a central system, which is a major safety improvement for the campus and a convenience for our students, faculty, and staff,” he said.
Other technology enhancements were highlighted, including the installation of Internet redundancy for the entire campus to safeguard against fiber optic line damage or Internet service outages, and new high-definition projectors and video screens in more than 25 classrooms, a high-tech audio system in the Wick Campus Center Social Room, and a top-quality audio and video system in the Lumsden Gymnasium.
Olson also provided an overview of multiple renovation and improvement projects that were finished in time for the start of fall classes, including The Den, a new campus dining and entertainment space; an updated science classroom, which is the first of other renovations to come for the college’s science facilities; and the conclusion of a three-year long campus beautification project.
He closed his address by emphasizing that Daemen’s progress and growing reputation have positioned the college for a successful future.
“As we build on these many achievements, we will continue to raise the quality, profile, and excellence of this outstanding institution,” said Olson.