College Expands Founders Celebration Festivities

By | September 6, 2019

Founders BellDaemen College’s rich history of academic excellence and its founding will be commemorated with an expanded slate of special events, including the official opening of newly renovated science learning spaces and a Daemen Day of Service, at the college’s annual Founders Celebration scheduled from Sept. 19 to 21.

“Founders Celebration is a wonderful opportunity to come together to pay tribute to our past and to celebrate the impressive momentum that Daemen is currently undergoing,” said President Gary Olson. “As a Carnegie classified doctoral institution and a state-designated multi-campus college, Daemen continues the long tradition of academic rigor first introduced by our founders over 70 years ago.”

Daemen’s Founders Celebration will officially kick off at 11 a.m. Sept. 19 with the ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell, which will include one ring to signify each decade since the college was founded in 1947. Bell ringers will be President 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.

The bell, which was initially crafted in 1858 by the renowned Meneely Bell Foundry, is located adjacent to Founders Walkway outside Daemen’s historic Rosary Hall. An all-campus luncheon will immediately follow the ringing ceremony.

Also planned on Sept. 19, a college memorabilia exhibit showcasing items from throughout Daemen’s 72-year history will be on display from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Research and Information Commons. Among the many items in the exhibit will be photos, clothing, and other mementos.

The first day of Founders Celebration will also include an official opening at 2 p.m. for Daemen’s newly renovated science classrooms and labs in Duns Scotus Hall Rooms 301, 302, and 305. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 2:10 p.m.

At a 3 p.m. ribbon cutting, the college’s refurbished Curtis Hall will be formally unveiled as home to the Institute for Government and Nonprofit Innovation, Training, and Evaluation (IGNITE), which connects Daemen’s social work faculty with non-profit organizations, foundations, schools, and community groups to provide expertise, professional assistance, and additional support.

In other activities on Sept. 19, a reception at 3:30 p.m. in the Wick Center Social Room will honor faculty and staff celebrating a range of years of service to Daemen; intramural basketball and volleyball tournament finals are set for 6 p.m. on the Wick Center North Lawn; and a bonfire will close out the night at 8 p.m., also on the north lawn.

Activities on Sept. 20 will begin at 10 a.m. with a dedication ceremony for the Megan Racinowski Memorial, named in honor of a Daemen student who passed away during the last academic year. The memorial dedication will take place in the Sabatino Reflective Garden, located outside of Alumni House.

The fifth annual Daemen Day in Amherst, a special celebration to connect the college community with Main Street’s thriving business district, will kick off at 11 a.m. Free trolley rides will be available until 3 p.m. up and down Main Street to give the entire Daemen community the chance to visit, shop, and dine at several establishments in the nearby Amherst and Williamsville business district.

Also, a student organization and community fair is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Wick Campus Center, and a student TGIF tent party will start at 6 p.m. on the Wick North Lawn.

The day will conclude with Daemen’s annual Scholarship Gala at 6 p.m. at The Buffalo Club. This year’s event will include the presentation of the 2019 Community Excellence Award to Stuart Angert, a long-time business and community leader and philanthropist in the Buffalo Niagara and Adirondack regions.

On Sept. 21, the final day for Founders Celebration will include the inaugural Daemen Day of Service from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Daemen students, faculty, and staff will participate in community service activities at 716 Ministries, The Teachers Desk, and Family Promise of WNY, as well as help out with projects on Daemen’s campus.

The 2019 celebration will conclude on Saturday with the Daemen Volleyball Classic presented by Millennium Buffalo at 1 p.m. in the Lumsden Gymnasium.

Visit the Founders Celebration site for more information.