It is my pleasure to write to you on the other side of what was certainly one of the most difficult years the world has experienced in over a century. It has been an honor to weather this storm at the helm of such a remarkable and resilient institution. Even before the pandemic hit, colleges nationwide were facing a number of serious challenges. Daemen was not immune to these challenges, but, thanks to our strong academic programs and dedicated students, faculty and staff, the college was able to move forward with perseverance and resilience. I am proud to say that Daemen is well positioned for the future and continues to solidify its national recognition as an institution of academic excellence.

This issue of Daemen Today is a special one as it highlights our tremendous momentum and growth despite a global pandemic that rocked the world of higher education like nothing before. Our strength and stability as a college is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the entire Daemen community, and we thank you for your steadfast support.

This issue highlights several recent examples of national distinction demonstrating why Daemen remains a destination institution for students. I am happy to report that for the second consecutive year, the college has been ranked among the best universities in the country in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report’s prestigious Best Colleges rankings – specifically, in its national universities category. Money magazine also ranked Daemen as one of the “Best Colleges in America” for educational quality, affordability, and student outcomes. Daemen is one of only five private institutions in the Buffalo-Niagara region named to the 2020 list.

Daemen has also strongly maintained its position as Western New York’s premier health sciences educator with the completion of a major capital project to aid these programs – the Center for Interprofessional Learning and Simulation (CILS). This state-of-the-art simulation center is a 2,400-square-foot replica of a professional health clinic where students can be immersed in simulated patient scenarios that mimic real life. CILS houses eight modern examination rooms, a counseling room, and a space for telehealth, telecounseling, and face-to-face interprofessional learning experiences. This cutting-edge facility came to fruition despite the complications presented by the pandemic – yet another testament to Daemen’s determination and resilience in the midst of a crisis.

Determination and resilience are common themes in this issue as we also highlight the collaborative work of our entire campus on the completion of our 2020–25 Strategic Plan, A Shared Vision: Daemen’s Emerging National Distinction. This was a successful, cooperative effort that clearly articulates the college’s bright future. This newly launched plan outlines the college’s systematic blueprint for continued growth, innovation, and resiliency as we strengthen our reputation as a college of national distinction.

As I look back on the past year, I can say that the Daemen family has much to celebrate in its perseverance and strength during the complete disruption of life as we knew it. This issue presents an opportunity to reflect on the difficult path we have forged and all that was accomplished together. We are stronger, wiser, and better prepared for what lies ahead than ever before. Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.

With pride in Daemen,

Gary A. Olson Signature

Gary A. Olson