Daemen Alums live in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. But the university’s campus in Amherst has received its fair share of visits from writers, politicians, religious figures, activists, scholars, athletes, and performers over the years.

While this list by no means exhaustive, the notable names who have come to 4380 Main Street in the past three-quarters-of-a-century have given speeches, met with and taught students, recited poetry, danced, and made us laugh – all part of a Daemen education that strives to foster a world of opportunity.


Dorothy Day social activist

Nelson Rockefeller Governor, NY; eventual Vice President, U.S.


Eugene McCarthy U.S. Senator, MN; 1968 candidate for president

Kenneth Keating U.S. Senator, NY

Eminence Laurean Cardinal Rugambwa first modern native African Cardinal of the Catholic Church

W. D. Snodgrass Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Agnes de Mille dancer

Tricia & Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower

Pierre Salinger press secretary, Presidents John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson; U.S. Senator, CA;
campaign manager, Robert Kennedy

Pearl Buck (Sai Zhenzhu) Nobel Prize-winning author John Barth writer


Julian Bond* civil rights activist

Kenneth Curtis Governor, ME

David Halberstam Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter

Robert Bly New York Times-best-selling poet

Galway Kinnell Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Louise Gluck Nobel Prize-winning poet and essayist

Maxine Kumin Pulitzer Prize-winning poet

Fred Harris candidate, U.S. president; U.S. Senator, OK; former chair, Democratic National Committee

Wilma Rudolph Olympic gold medalist Alan Watts philosopher

Adelle Davis nutritionist

Dom David Steindl-Rast Benedictine Monk


Abbie Hoffman political and social activist

Donald Johanson paleoanthropologist known for discovering “Lucy”

Allen Ginsberg beat poet

Sam Donaldson ABC News anchor

Alfonse D’Amato U.S. Senator, NY

Dennis Miller comedian

Roy Innis National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality

Kurt Vonnegut writer


Wolf Blitzer CNN correspondent

Pauly Shore movie star known as “The Weasel”

10,000 Maniacs performer

Dan Rather* CBS News anchor

Coretta Scott King author, activist, civil rights leader


Ice T rapper, actor

Spike Lee director

Byron Brown* Mayor of Buffalo

Drake rapper, singer

Pat Buchanan political commentator

Nadine Strossen ACLU President

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. environmentalist

Dave Coulier Full House actor, stand-up

Michael Ian Black comedian


Erin Brockovich environmental activist

Mo Rocca CBS News reporter

Kirsten Gillibrand* U.S. Senator, NY

Chris Matthews MSNBC anchor

Chuck Schumer U.S. Senator, NY

Lilly Ledbetter women’s rights advocate

Stanley Fish literary theorist, public intellectual

Debbie Wasserman Schultz U.S. Representative, FL; former chair, Democratic National Committee

Jean Marie Keevins* Muppets producer

Eric Cantor U.S. House Majority Leader

W. Kamau Bell stand-up comic and television host

Kathy Hochul* Lieutenant Governor, now Governor, NY

Andrew Card chief of staff, President George W. Bush

Bill Siemering co-founder, NPR

Mark Emmert president of the NCAA

Baratunde Thurston** activist, comedian, and host of America Outdoors on PBS

* visited more than once

** coming Fall 2022