The Daemen College community commemorated this year’s Founders Celebration with several new events that included the official opening of renovated science facilities and an inaugural Day of Service.

The celebration, which was held Sept.19 to 21, kicked off with the ceremonial ringing of Founders Bell, one strike of the bell for each of the seven decades since the college was founded in 1947.

Added to this year’s Founders Celebration was the official opening and ribbon cutting for Daemen’s newly renovated science facilities in Duns Scotus Hall. The $2.1 million project includes upgrades to science classrooms, a general biology laboratory, and a second biology laboratory and research space.

“As we continue to work on improving our science facilities, this multi-phase major initiative will ensure that our students have access to the best and most advanced science learning environments,” said Daemen President Gary Olson.

The first day of festivities also featured the unveiling of Curtis Hall, which has undergone nearly $1 million in major facility enhancements. Improvements to the historic building will maximize use of the space for the college’s Institute for Government and Nonprofit Innovation, Training, and Evaluation (IGNITE).

The second day of Founders Celebration started with a dedication ceremony for the Megan Racinowski Memorial, named in honor of a Daemen student who passed away in 2018. Also, the fifth annual Daemen Day in Amherst, a special celebration to connect the college community with Main Street’s thriving business district, provided faculty, staff, and students a chance to visit, shop, and dine at establishments in the Amherst and Williamsville business districts.

Founders Bell ringers (L-R) John Yurtchuk, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees; Dr. Alex Pleshkewych, emeritus faculty member; President Gary Olson and Dr. Lynn Worsham; Ricardo Marquez, Student Government Association president; Jo-Anne Grabowski, O.S.F. ’73, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity; Catherine LePage-Campbell ’84, board trustee; and Dr. Greg Ford, Faculty Senate president and chair of the physical therapy department.

In the evening, Founders Celebration continued with the annual Scholarship Gala, the college’s signature event to raise scholarship support for students (see story on page 3). The gala also featured the presentation of the Community Excellence Award to Stuart Angert.

On the last day of the celebration, faculty, staff, and students pitched in to assist various local organizations for the first Daemen Day of Service. Volunteers helped out at 716 Ministries, Family Promise of Western New York, and The Teachers Desk. Participants also worked on projects on campus grounds, and made reusable bags for the campus food pantry available for students in need.

Other events held during Founders Celebration included a memorabilia exhibit that highlighted Daemen’s history; a reception to honor faculty and staff marking milestone years of service to the college; an intramural basketball and volleyball tournament; an on-campus student organization and community fair; a TGIF tent party and bonfire; and the Daemen Volleyball Classic.

Mark your calendar for next year’s Founders Celebration taking place on Sept., 17, 18, and 19, 2020.