(L-R): The Honorable Earle I. Mack, and former Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman
(L-R): The Honorable Earle I. Mack, and former Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman
(L-R): The Honorable Earle I. Mack, and former Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman

Daemen Awards 798 degrees to graduates in all Daemen programs

Well over 300 graduates walked across the stage to receive their degrees from Daemen College during the 2011 Commencement ceremonies, held Saturday, May 21, in Kleinhans Music Hall, in Buffalo.

A total of nearly 800 graduates earned degrees from the College at the end of the spring, 2011 semester.

Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman, who retired after leading the College for 15 years, was one of two commencement speakers for the 2011 ceremonies. The Honorable Earle I. Mack, a former U.S. Ambassador to Finland and Chairman Emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts, also spoke to the Class of 2011. Dr. Anisman and Ambassador Mack each were presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane letters degree.

College awards four special honors

Katherine M. Kapanek, a Business Administration major from Cheektowaga, received the College’s most prestigious academic award for maintaining a 3.94 grade-point-average throughout her undergraduate years.

Julie Marie Berger, an art education major from North Tonawanda, received the 2011 Daemen College President’s Award. The award goes to the student who has demonstrated an outstanding record of leadership and involvement in the College community.

The Mary Angela Canavan Award, named for the second president of the College, is presented to the student who best exemplifies a dedication to and enthusiasm for campus life. The 2011 award was presented to Laura B. Antoine, a health care studies major from Brooklyn, NY.

The Daemen College Alumni Senior Award, given by the Daemen College/Rosary Hill Alumni Association, went to Michael Wild, an athletic training major from Great Valley, NY.     The award recognizes an outstanding graduating senior who has made a significant contribution to the College.

Earle I. Mack, Former Ambassador to Finland, Philanthropist, and Patron of the Arts, urges graduates to become leaders

In his remarks, Ambassador Mack reminded the graduates that they are leaving college during a challenging time in the world, one with conflict all around. He urged them to become leaders, saying “Leadership is a concept that is often used and seldom understood. It is about the hard work and honed discipline required to solve problems to bring people together and build the future.

“Leaders learn from experience, and they learn from their failures. Speaking for myself, I have had many failures…but I never gave up. And neither should you. Learn from your mistakes, and move forward. As you go into the world, always remember that leadership means learning from experience.”

Former Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman reminds graduates of the words of Mark Twain

As he presided over his final Commencement, former Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman thanked members of the Daemen community for “15 wonderful years as president.”

“Commencement is always my favorite time of the academic year, and this year it is especially so. The Daemen community has been wonderful not only to me, but to members of my family. I will forever be grateful to Daemen College for having given me one of the greatest opportunities of my life, to be a part of the accomplishments and the great times we have had over the past 15 years.

“The connection to students has always been at the center of what I have valued about higher education, and nowhere more than here in Western New York. As Mark Twain once said, ‘Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.’ ”