Introducing Daemen University

The newly named Daemen University was introduced to the world during a standing-room-only press conference in March in Rosary Hall at the institution’s Amherst campus.

Just days prior, the New York State Education Department Board of Regents approved an amendment to Daemen’s charter to make the institution a university under the state’s revised definition.

Within days of the change, Daemen submitted its application – and was among the first educational institutions in the state to petition successfully under the new rules.

“Clearly a formal designation of university is appropriate,” said President Gary Olson. “In every sense, except in name, Daemen has been a university for many years.”

The news was widely covered by media outlets and publications in the Buffalo-Niagara market and beyond.

“We are proud finally to be able to call ourselves what we are,” said Olson, adding, “I cannot think of a better way to demonstrate Daemen’s growth and sophistication than by reaching this major milestone during our 75th anniversary year.”

Achieving university status will support Daemen’s recruitment of international students – as well as faculty – as universities are perceived as more prestigious than colleges in many countries and academic circles.

“The state’s revision of what makes a university helps level the playing field and promote fair competition,” said Provost Michael Brogan. “For many years, New York State colleges competed against universities from other states that benefited from different naming rules.”

Prior to revisions to the state’s definition of a university in January, New York was the only U.S. state requiring the operation of academic doctoral-level programs to be a university.

Carnegie reaffirms Daemen’s top-tier status

Daemen University spring campus exteriors. May 10, 2022.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education re-affirmed Daemen’s classification as a doctoral university. This distinction made Daemen one of only three institutions of higher education in the region to earn the highest category of this national designation.

First named a doctoral/ professional university in 2018, Daemen is one of only 193 institutions in the country to currently hold this particular distinction.

Other elite institutions across the country that hold the same classification include Hofstra, Pepperdine, Simmons, and Belmont Universities.

Daemen enrollment growth highest in WNY

Best photos from Daemen University's undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 21, 2022.

Daemen outpaced every institution of higher learning in Western New York in enrollment growth in 2021. With a 5.7 percent increase, Daemen bested Niagara University by more than a full percentage point – and doubled the gains of the next two institutions, Houghton College and St. Bonaventure University.

What’s more, 11 of 16 institutions in the region saw enrollment declines.

“To see such a strong upturn in our enrollment during a difficult time for higher education speaks volumes about our academic distinction and unique student experience,” said President Olson.

American Dad! debuts new season featuring Daemen professor’s character designs

When animated sitcom American Dad! debuted its 17th season on TBS earlier this year, it – like many of the show’s other 320-plus episodes – featured the work of Caleb Meurer, an adjunct professor for animation in the Visual & Performing Arts Department at Daemen.

Meurer, who has served as a character designer for the series for 15 years, has also directed seven episodes – earning a prime-time Emmy nomination along the way.

Recently renewed for its 18th and 19th seasons, the show is already one of the longest-airing animated series in television history – alongside such small screen staples as The Simpsons, South Park, King of the Hill, and others.

Another on that exclusive list is SpongeBob SquarePants, which also featured work by Meurer in three seasons of the TV show, its feature film spin-off – and on merchandise from the global franchise.


Margaret Phillips has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to teach and conduct research at the National Law University Delhi and the Human Rights Law Network in India.

Daemen will offset 90 percent of its electricity use – the equivalent of 400 homes per year – in a partnership with Fortune 500 energy company AES.

Daemen staffer Shantina Addison ’21 has been chosen as one of Buffalo Business First’s 30 Under 30 honorees for 2022, out of nearly 150 nominees.

Daemen Seeks to Open Dental College

Provost Michael Brogan, Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa, Board Chair John Yurtchuk, President Olson, Dr. Todd Shatkin, and Leslie Shatkin
Provost Michael Brogan, Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa, Board Chair John Yurtchuk, President Olson, Dr. Todd Shatkin, and Leslie Shatkin

Daemen University has entered the advanced stages of seeking accreditation for what could become only the second institution of higher learning in the region offering a doctorate in dentistry – the proposed Shatkin College of Dentistry.

The news was announced at an on-campus press conference in early April.

Daemen hopes to open the new college in the fall of 2023, if accreditation is granted by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) and approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). The university has filed comprehensive applications for both and has hosted an external reviewer from the state.

“Western New York has a clear and ongoing need for more dental professionals,” said Gary Olson, Daemen president. “If accredited and approved, our college of dentistry will help address this shortage, provide additional access to health care, and improvethe oral and overall health of citizens in the region.”

The announcement was praised by the editorial board of The Buffalo News, which wrote of plans for the dental college: “The result will not only increase opportunities for those interested in an in-demand medical field but help strengthen the growing health safety net around Western New York.”

A Fitting Addition

The college’s namesake, Todd Shatkin, will provide facilities in Amherst, as well as equipment and expertise in creating the new college.

“This will be the culmination of a dream come true,” Shatkin said. “We hope to bring the same world- renowned reputation to the dental school program that is enjoyed by the other health sciences programs at Daemen.”

Olson added, “It’s fitting, as we’re known as Western New York’s premiere health sciences educator,” he said. “This really will be the next step for Daemen, and a logical one at that.”

Daemen would join the University at Buffalo as the only dental programs of their kind in the region, if approved.

Plans call for the college to accept 40 students per year and carry an enrollment of 120 students in the three-year program.

Instead of the traditional four academic years common in most dental programs, Daemen’s college would be year-round for three years, allowing graduates to enter the profession earlier.

“We are seeking to create a unique educational experience,” said Shatkin. “Students will be treated like colleagues from the first day forward.”

NCAA selects Daemen athletic director for historic national committee

Traci Murphy

Daemen Director of Athletics Traci Murphy was selected to a special National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) committee to aid the organization in implementing historic changes to its constitution.

Murphy has been chosen to represent the East Coast Conference (ECC), of which Daemen is a member, on the Implementation Committee. By restructuring the governance of college sports, the NCAA is seeking to better benefit student-athletes and streamline decision-making.

Led by All-American Titus, women’s basketball nationally dominant

Katie Titus

With a 22-5 record, the Daemen women’s basketball team captured both the ECC regular season and tournament championships – and made a deep run to the NCAA Division II East Regional finals – upsetting favored teams along the way and missing the Elite Eight by only two points.

The stellar season comes on the heels of last year’s appearance in the tournament’s final round. Since 2019, coach Jenepher Banker has compiled a 73-15 record.

Senior forward Katie Titus was named to the 2022 NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball All-America First Team by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.

Titus’s selection comes on the heels of the strongest season of her already stellar career. This season, she averaged 20.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and recorded a team-high 10 double-doubles. Titus was also named to the All-ECC First Team for the third time in her career, while also garnering ECC and East Region Player of the Year honors.

Sischo cements place in basketball history

Andrew Sischo

Andrew Sischo became the all-time leading scorer in the history of college basketball in Western New York in January – surpassing Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA All-Star Calvin Murphy, of Niagara University.

In 133 games for the Wildcats, the 6-foot-9 forward scored 2,888 points, averaging nearly 22 per game over his career. In NCAA Division II history, Sischo ranks fifth all-time in rebounding (1,478) and 17th in scoring.

A Guilderland, NY native, Sischo helped lead the men’s program to its first-ever NCAA D-II Elite 8 in 2021. He also holds the distinction of being a three-time D2CCA All-American, two-time D2CCA East Region player of the year, four-time All-ECC and three-time ECC player of the year.