Daemen College’s Founders Celebration, a tradition to commemorate its rich history of academic excellence and the college’s founding, will officially begin with the ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell at 11 a.m. Sept. 6.
For the ceremony, Daemen’s Founders Bell will include a symbolic ring for each decade since the college was founded in 1947 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity.
Official bell ringers will include Daemen President Gary Olson; Dr. Thomas Stewart ‘74, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees; Catherine LePage-Campbell ’84, board trustee; Mikayla Otero, Student Association president; Dr. Matthew Ward, director of the Honors Program and associate professor of chemistry; Edith Wyss, O.S.F. ‘66, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity; and Dr. Lynda Cessario, emeritus faculty member.
“The ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell joins together our entire campus community for a shared celebration of the vision and founding of this exceptional college,” Daemen President Gary Olson. “Each time the bell rings will serve as reminder of our long tradition of excellence in teaching and the many scholarly accomplishments of our distinguished faculty over the past 71 years.”
Initially crafted in 1858 by the renowned Meneely Bell Foundry, the bell is located adjacent to Founders Walkway outside Daemen’s historic Rosary Hall, site of the college’s earliest commencement ceremonies. The bell’s decorative stone base, which matches a stone wall on the front of campus grounds, is designed to represent the college’s strength and stability.
An all-campus luncheon in the Wick Campus Center Dining Hall and Social Room will immediately follow the ringing ceremony.
Also on Sept. 6, a college memorabilia exhibit showcasing items from throughout Daemen’s history will be on display in the Research and Information Commons, where a new permanent display for the historical items is being housed. The exhibit will feature photos, clothing, mugs, and other mementos. Kathryn Hammer, alumni relations director, will be on hand from 2 to 3 p.m. to answer questions about the college’s history.
This year’s exhibit will also feature several antique items discovered on Daemen’s campus as part of an ongoing search by Michael Farley of Amherst, a metal detecting enthusiast and former Daemen student. Since last fall, more than 35 items have been unearthed on campus grounds, including a vintage shoe buckle estimated to be from the 1700s, 19th and 20th century coins, a Model T Ford hubcap, keys, toys, and a 1940s makeup compact made by cosmetics tycoon Helena Rubenstein.
The day’s festivities will also include a reception at 3 p.m. in the Wick Social Room to honor faculty and staff celebrating various years of dedicated service to Daemen. A bonfire scheduled for 8 p.m. outside the Wick Center will conclude the day’s events.
For a list of all Daemen Founders Celebration events scheduled for Sept. 6 and 7, visit daemen.edu/founderscelebration.