Gary A. Olson President

While the past year has been full of unexpected challenges, the Daemen community has shown resilience, heart, and continues to push ahead with an ambitious vision. 

It’s no coincidence that the same aspirational and enterprising spirit we encourage and cultivate in our students is at the core of the college’s many initiatives. 

In this issue of Daemen Today, you will learn about the realization of many pursuits at the college—and the promise of our coming endeavors. 

This summer, we announced the Todd & Leslie Shatkin Institute for Mobility Innovation and Technology (IMIT). Opening in 2022, this comprehensive rehabilitation facility will feature the latest robotic-assisted technologies to help patients of all ages and abilities recover from a range of illnesses and injuries. 

Made possible by the tremendous generosity of the Shatkins, a diverse coalition of funders, and the leadership of Senior Vice President Michael Brogan, IMIT enhances the college’s reputation as a leading health sciences educator and establishes Daemen as a rehab destination not only in the region but nationwide. 

This spring, our Daemen Wildcats brought national distinction to our college—becoming the only athletics program in the country to have both men’s and women’s basketball teams earn trips to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. 

Western New York’s Premier Division II Team also welcomed a new sport to the family, women’s lacrosse, which will take the field in spring 2023. And, our athletes also continue to excel in the classroom—posting an average 3.23 GPA during a year of uncertain schedules and seasons. 

Daemen also continues to make strategic academic enhancements that position our graduates to make unique contributions to society and drive economic growth. 

As you’ll read in our cover story, a new degree program—Leadership and Entrepreneurship in the Arts (LEA)—will be launched this fall and will provide students with skills and experiences to succeed in one of the country’s fastest-growing areas of professional opportunity: in arts and cultural-based organizations and with creativity-based entrepreneurship. 

It’s no small accomplishment (and no accident) that Daemen pushes ahead during a difficult time in higher education. Together, we’ve ensured integrity of our mission, and our common cause—providing transformative educational experiences and opportunities—is stronger than ever. 

For a testament to this resolve, look no further than our Class of 2021. This spring, we recognized their persistence and achievements with safe, in-person commencement ceremonies—the first on our Amherst campus in 60 years. These graduates have earned a special place in the institution’s history for their exceptional journey to join our community of alumni, who are proud to welcome such an accomplished and determined group into their ranks. 

Meanwhile, excitement builds for the college’s 75th year in 2022 and the celebrations to come. I look forward to commemorating this special occasion with you all, while reflecting both on how far we’ve come together, and on our path ahead. 

While our founders could not anticipate the world of today, no doubt they would be proud to have built the foundation of such a strong institution that is poised for an even brighter future. 

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment. My best wishes to you and your family. 

With pride in Daemen, 

Gary A. Olson Signature

Gary A. Olson