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Daemen president Gary Olson presents State of the College Address

STAFF REPORTS

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Daemen College President Gary Olson reported at his spring State of the College Address on April 20 that the institution is strong and thriving, emphasizing the college's continued success in several new initiatives and its emerging national distinction. 
               
"Despite several challenges private colleges like Daemen have been facing, we are continuing on a very positive and productive path, and we are implementing many innovations and improvements that will make us a stronger, more effective institution," said Olson. "These strategic steps are vital to ensuring our college remains a strong institution both in the short and long term."
                
In his address, Olson announced the college has received a $350,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation. As part of Daemen's continuing commitment to campus enhancements, the grant funding will be used toward capital improvements to space used by the Institute for Government and Nonprofit Innovation, Training, and Evaluation (IGNITE), which is housed in the college's historic Curtis Hall.
                
Olson also announced that overall giving thus far this year has increased a remarkable 162 percent over 2016-17. In addition, Daemen's "Drive to 75" campaign, the college's first comprehensive campaign that was publicly launched last September, has reached nearly 81 percent of its $22 million goal.
               
During his address, Olson cited some newly established student-centered initiatives, including efforts to centralize support services for veterans, which has resulted in a 30 percent enrollment increase this semester in new student veterans compared to last spring. With this, a new educational partnership between Daemen and SUNY Erie Community College will provide student veterans and military aligned students a seamless transition from earning a SUNY Erie associate's degree to completing a bachelor's degree at Daemen.

Also in student services, he pointed to the establishment of a new Daemen College Rescue Squad, which is one of only 250 student-run rescue squads in the country and the only one in Erie County.
               
In athletics, Olson reported Daemen enrolled a record number of student-athletes in the current academic year, and he noted that the college's athletes compose 70 percent of Daemen's international student population.

Also in his address, Olson recapped several recent institutional distinctions and designations, and faculty and staff achievements as a clear indicator of Daemen's increasing prominence in higher education.

In conclusion, Olson said, "We are strong, we are thriving, and we are confronting our challenges with typical Daemen determination. For a number of years we have been experiencing substantial forward momentum, and that momentum continues to this day."