The progress we have experienced at Daemen College has been remarkable. With insightful planning, we continue to reach new heights and strengthen our institution to enrich the student experience in ways that will help foster their success.
Certainly, one of the most exciting recent developments at Daemen has been our transition to NCAA Division II, which you will read about in this issue of Daemen Today. In our first year as a Division II institution, we’ve already had exceptional success and are well on our way to being a major competitor nationally. In fact, the men’s basketball team earned a spot in this year’s East Coast Conference playoffs, making it the first Daemen team to secure a conference tournament spot at the NCAA Division II level. Also, we applaud cross country team member Mackenzie Donahue as the first Daemen athlete to qualify and compete in a national championship event at the Division II level.
As Daemen’s legacy of excellence endures, we’ve taken many steps and have many initiatives in place to advance our institution. Our guiding principle has been to create a student-centered campus. Most notable is the opening of our Academic and Wellness Center, a new $5.6 million complex that houses high-tech classrooms, labs, and a fitness center in a completely refurbished building right across the street from our main campus. You can learn more about this wonderful facility in this issue of Daemen Today.
Our focus on developing the college’s campus spaces to best serve students will also include a complete renovation of the current Cyber Café to create the newly named The Den, a project that will be completed in the Wick Campus Center this summer. This multipurpose space will feature nearly twice as many seats in a renovated recreation area that will provide great flexibility for the Daemen community and will offer a rotating dining experience with more variety along with evening and weekend entertainment.
Further improving the quality of Daemen’s educational experience, our many campus improvements and extensive beautification efforts are benefitting the entire college community. These initiatives have also helped raise Daemen’s visibility, improved our facilities, and created a more welcoming, inviting campus for our prospective and current students, families, alums, faculty, staff, and other visitors.
In another measure to improve our college setting, following a yearlong analysis Daemen will transition to a tobacco-free campus effective at the start of the 2016–17 academic year. This tobacco-free policy is an important step to providing a healthful campus environment and will contribute to the overall well-being of our entire college community.
Overall, we continue to make tremendous strides with Daemen becoming a college of national distinction, a rising prominence that’s resulted in many prestigious designations and accolades. These recognitions are indicative of our overall excellence and our college-wide pride built on collegiality, collaboration, and steadfast commitment.
As we look to Daemen’s future, I would like to share that beginning this year Daemen Today will move to an annual print edition to allow us to focus on and streamline our efforts into one high-impact issue. We’re excited about the change as the magazine continues to evolve in ways to best meet the needs of readers. Changing to one issue per year will also help maximize our resources and save on printing and paper costs, all of which supports the college’s environmental sustainability efforts. Rest assured, each annual issue will include all the great content you’ve come to expect and read in our magazine.
To our alums, donors and friends, I extend my gratitude for your belief in and strong, steady support of Daemen. Your contributions have had a meaningful impact on our students and have added to the exciting momentum we are experiencing.
Gary A. Olson