Founders Celebration Bell Ringers
President Gary Olson and Dr. Thomas Stewart.
President Gary Olson and Dr. Thomas Stewart.

Daemen College’s annual Founders Celebration brought together the campus community for several exciting events to mark the college’s rich history of academic excellence and to pay tribute to its founding.

The celebration officially started with the ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell that included a symbolic ring for each decade since the college was founded in 1947 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity.

At the ringing ceremony, Daemen President Gary Olson said, “This two-day festival celebrates our origin, our heritage, and, most importantly, our long tradition of academic excellence. Daemen’s excellence is rooted in the vision of our founders and has been nurtured in the quality of our programs and the personal attention each and every student has received by a succession of talented and dedicated faculty.”

Dr. Michael Brogan, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, noted, “Over the last 71 years, we have come a long way from a small liberal arts institution to a large master’s and doctorate degree granting college that is respected and recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally.”

The first day of activities also included an exhibition that highlighted Daemen’s history and many historic pieces discovered on campus during a metal detecting endeavor by a former Daemen student.

In addition, faculty and staff celebrating a range of milestone years of service to Daemen were recognized at a special reception. The day wrapped up with a bonfire for the campus community.

Founders Celebration’s second day kicked off with the fourth annual Daemen Day in Amherst, a celebration to connect the college community with Main Street’s thriving business district. A trolley took faculty, staff, and students up and down Main Street, where they had the opportunity to shop, dine, and visit various establishments.

Daemen Day in Amherst activities also included a wellness walking challenge for Daemen employees, a student organization and community fair, and other campus events.

Founders Celebration concluded with the annual Scholarship Gala, the college’s signature fundraising event for student scholarships. Proceeds from the Scholarship Gala will contribute to the $22 million goal for Daemen’s “Drive to 75” campaign, the college’s first-ever comprehensive campaign that was publicly launched last fall.

The gala also included the presentation of the 2018 Community Excellence Award to Joan “Joni” Cooper Stovroff, president of Stovroff and Taylor Realtors (see story on page 3).