Daemen University’s Founders Celebration – an annual event honoring the institution’s origins, commemorating its rich history of scholarship, and continuing its momentum forward – was observed with a number of traditions and events throughout the last week of September.

President Olson and Chantal Moya, President of the Student Government Association

The ceremonial ringing of the Founders Bell marked the opening of the celebration.

“We are gathered here today to mark the college’s 76th anniversary and, in particular, 76 years of academic excellence,” President Gary A. Olson said. “Since its founding in 1947 as Rosary Hill College, Daemen has fostered a long and distinguished history of academic excellence and personal attention to each and every student.”

Seven distinguished members of the college community, representing each decade of its existence, rang the bell, including Sister Jo-Anne Grabowski, representing the Sisters of St. Francis who founded the college; John Yurtchuk, the chairman of the Board of Trustees; Elizabeth George Ivers, ’70; Chantal Moya, president of the Student Government Association;

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients and President Olson

Dr. Jay Wendland, president of the Faculty Senate; Dr. Shirley Peterson, faculty emerita; and President Olson joined by the first lady of Daemen, Dr. Lynn Worsham.

Building off of a tradition started during last year’s 75th anniversary celebration, students, faculty, and staff could sign up to ring the bell.

Daemen also honored five accomplished graduates of the university at the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner.

The honorees included Cathaleen Curtiss, ’16, Distinguished Alumni Award; Jaime Erksine-Pettit, ’00, Outstanding Service to the Community; Jeremy Voorhees PT, CCS, CCRP, ’00, Dedication to the University; Blanka Heary PA, ’02, Advancement in Career; and Molly Sievenpiper, ’15, Graduate of the Last Decade.

President Gary Olson and Community Excellence Award recipient Scott Bieler.

The Daemen University Annual Scholarship Gala, which was held at the Jazzboline Ballroom, was once again a resounding success in helping raise funds for student scholarships.

Scott Bieler, the President and CEO of West Herr Automotive Group and current member of the Board of Trustees, was honored with the 2023 Community Excellence Award, followed by the surprise announcement that the university’s College of Health Professions would be named The Scott Bieler College of Health Professions.