Daemen College’s inaugural Founders Celebration, a new annual tradition to commemorate the college’s rich history and origins, will kick off with a dedication and ringing ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 7 to officially unveil the institution’s Founders Bell.
In honor of the college’s 70th anniversary being marked this year, the ceremony will include one symbolic ring for each decade since the college was founded in 1947. Official ringers at the ceremony will include Daemen President Gary A. Olson; Dr. Thomas Stewart, ’74, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees; Sister Edith Wyss, ’66, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity, the college’s founding congregation; Nancy Haberman Gacioch, ’62, alumna; Dr. Matthew Ward, president of the Faculty Senate; Dr. Ned Cuddy, faculty emeriti representative; and Hugo Juarez, president of the Student Association.
“The first ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell will be a moment of celebration for our entire campus as we observe and honor the vision that inspired the founding of the college,” said Olson. “Coming together to hear the bell ring will serve as a formal reminder of our seven decades of academic excellence and pay tribute to our strong future both regionally and nationally.”
Founders Bell has been installed on campus 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 recently completed stone wall that graces the front of campus grounds, is designed to represent the college’s strength and stability.
“The ringing ceremony places a special focus on our long tradition of excellence in teaching and the scholarly achievements of our faculty since our college was founded, as well as the distinctive learning opportunities we offer our students,” said Olson.
Previously located at St. Margaret’s School in North Buffalo, the bell was first crafted in 1858 by the internationally acclaimed Meneely Bell Foundry, one of the greatest bell makers in American history. Meneely bells, known for their exceptional quality and rich tone, may be found at churches and other locales around the world.
A gift to Daemen from Iskalo Development Corp., the historic 159-year-old bell has been recently refurbished thanks to support from the college’s Class of 1967.
An all-campus luncheon will immediately follow the dedication and ringing ceremony.