Students use new high-definition microscopes.

As the Drive to 75 moves forward, momentum is building for a campaign that will transform Daemen’s future.

Daemen College’s Drive to 75 campaign has an ambitious goal – $22 million by 2022, the year the college will celebrate its 75th anniversary. Publicly launched in 2017, the Drive to 75 campaign builds on Daemen’s unwavering commitment to improving educational offerings, enhancing campus facilities, and strengthening the college’s endowment.

“We are tremendously grateful for the overwhelming support from all our donors who have generously given to the Drive to 75 campaign, which is vital to our college’s sustaining a high level of excellence,” said Daemen President Gary Olson. “This is the most ambitious fundraising initiative the college has ever undertaken, and each and every gift is crucial to reaching our goal. As we move ahead with this effort, making a commitment to the campaign sends a powerful message about the belief in the value of a Daemen education and will support our students for generations to come.”

Olson added, “This campaign is a testament to the student-centered focus that Daemen has provided for more than seven decades. To further our academic excellence, we must invest in our college’s future and support the educational vision of this exceptional institution.”

The three key priorities for the Drive to 75 campaign, which is being co-chaired by Nancy Haberman Gacioch ’62 and Thomas M. Reynolds ’00, are:

  • Endowed scholarships and professorships to provide sustainable support for the brightest campus minds.
  • Enhanced program funding to elevate the academic success of students and to enrich international experiences, undergraduate research, internship options, and other learning opportunities outside the classroom.
  • Enhanced facilities across campus to provide the highest quality academic, student life, and athletic experiences.
Students use new high-definition microscopes.
Students use new high-definition microscopes.

Progress Making and Impact

The Drive to 75 campaign will mark the next major milestone in Daemen’s progress as an institution, with tangible results from the campaign becoming visible on campus, like those highlighted in this story.

Science Facilities Upgrades

Extensive improvements and updates to Daemen’s science facilities are critical to elevating the college’s academic programs and to attracting and retaining first-rate faculty and students. To ensure students have access to modern, state-of-the-art science learning environments, the Drive to 75 campaign has funded major upgrades to the institution’s science facilities located in Duns Scotus Hall, with several spaces completed and more to come as the campaign progresses. The first phase of this major initiative included substantial improvements to two science classrooms and two laboratories.

The renovated classroom spaces feature state-of-the-art classroom technology and modern seating that allows for easy transition from a traditional teaching format to an interactive learning environment. Each classroom now features a high-definition projection screen and other technology upgrades, including better student work spaces to accommodate laptops and other electronic devices, and three-tiered spacious seating. Improvements to a third classroom are expected to be completed in time for classes in the fall.

Another key aspect of this major initiative included the completion of renovations to the general biology laboratory, making it the first science lab space to be improved as part of the campaign. The college created a high-tech biology laboratory to significantly advance the educational experience in the natural sciences curriculum.

The facility has been outfitted with high-definition microscopes, desktop computers paired with science equipment, high-definition flat screen monitors, and upgraded wireless access.

“These state-of-the-art facilities have enhanced the world-class science instruction we provide at Daemen and have greatly improved my ability to provide our students the best science instruction possible,” said Dr. Sarah Whorley, assistant professor of biology. “With the sophisticated computer technology and integrated microscope cameras, we are able to offer a high level of technical training for our students.”

Recent renovations in another lab will make the space more conducive to multipurpose research by students and faculty, and better facilitate collaborative learning.

“All of these enhancements will further position Daemen as a leader in science education, making the college highly competitive with other institutions to help attract students and faculty in the future,” said Olson.

In addition to the generosity of private donors, the science facilities improvements have been funded by grants from the George I. Alden Trust, James H. Cummings Foundation, and the Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program.

Curtis Hall Renovations

As part of the campaign, Daemen received a $350,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation for the Institute for Government and Nonprofit Innovation, Training, and Evaluation (IGNITE), which is housed in the college’s historic Curtis Hall.

Established in 2014, IGNITE connects Daemen’s social work faculty with non-profit organizations, foundations, schools, and community groups to provide expertise, professional assistance, and other support. Training sessions and continuing education for licensed social work professionals are also offered to community providers through IGNITE on a range of topics such as child welfare, homelessness, economic self-sufficiency, and cultural competency.

Funding from the Oishei Foundation and a private donor provided support toward nearly $1 million in major facility enhancements that will maximize IGNITE’s use of Curtis Hall in service to the community, including additional training and conference rooms, upgraded technology infrastructure, improved accessibility, a new heating and cooling system, and other modifications.

Built in 1918, the two-story Curtis Hall was purchased by Daemen (then Rosary Hill College) in 1956 and became a part of the college’s main campus. Recent improvements made to Curtis Hall ensure the integrity of the building’s Italian Renaissance Revival characteristics have been retained.

Continuing the Momentum

“We are at a pivotal moment in the life of our college, a moment that will define our direction and success for the future,” said Glenn. “The Drive to 75 campaign will bolster our success as an institution and generate critical funding that will support the hallmarks of the great Daemen experience that we provide.”

For information on making a gift to the campaign, please contact Mary C. Glenn, vice president for institutional advancement, at 716-839-8212 or email