The start of a new year is a time to reflect on the successes of the past as well as look to the opportunities of the future. I can say with confidence that the future at Daemen College is bright thanks to the accomplishments and progress of this past year. As we begin a new decade, I am proud to say that Daemen has been resilient in overcoming a range of challenges facing higher education today. Our strength and stability as a college is a testament to the support of our dedicated Daemen community.
This Daemen Today issue highlights many recent examples of national distinction, but I also encourage you to consider how far Daemen has come in just the last seven years. We have shown considerable forward momentum in key designations such as being named one of only three doctoral institutions in Western New York by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Daemen was also designated a multi-campus university by the state of New York and became the only NCAA D-II institution in the region. All of these designations elevate the profile of the college not only regionally, but nationally.
Daemen has strongly maintained its position as Western New York’s premier health sciences educator. A sure sign of our national competitiveness is when the entire graduating class in a particular discipline passes their national certification exam on the first attempt. In our Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Nursing and Athletic Training programs, Daemen has consistently had several graduating classes with 100 percent first-time pass rates. Daemen remains a destination institution for students in the health sciences disciplines.
We have also transformed the look and feel of the physical campus through a campus beautification program; expanded the breadth and depth of our educational offerings to include new graduate programs and partnerships in cyto-technology, pharmacy, public health, social work, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, and applied behavior analysis, and just this year we graduated our largest graduating class in the college’s history. These accomplishments are only a few examples highlighting the upward trajectory of the college.
To illustrate our high level of excellence even further, this issue of Daemen Today showcases the blending of innovative teaching approaches with traditional classroom teaching that is providing our students with an especially robust, integrated learning experience. The faculty included in this cover story help represent the many innovative educators on our campus who have introduced tools and high-impact practices that are augmenting learning and preparing students to make a meaningful impact on the world once they graduate.
This issue also highlights the kick off of our “22 for 22” campaign with the goal of planting 22 new mature trees on campus. This special fundraising effort, which we launched in partnership with the Town of Amherst’s “1 Million Trees” initiative, will support our $22 million goal for our Drive to 75 campaign. You can learn more about the “22 for 22” campaign in the magazine’s Campus News section.
We are also pleased to include a special Annual Report section that acknowledges all those who made gifts to Daemen in 2018-19. Our donors are helping to create a transformative college experience for our students by providing scholarships, enhanced learning spaces, and other additional resources imperative to their growth and development. I invite you to visit our campus to experience the impact your support has had on the college and the lives of our students who learn here every day.
Daemen is a special place. The pressures on higher education, especially private higher education, currently are insurmountable for many small colleges, but not Daemen. Together, we are defining our college’s future and showing that we are not simply weathering the storm, but thriving and flourishing. Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.
With pride in Daemen,
Gary A. Olson