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Daemen receives $1 M gift -- largest in college's history



AMHERST -- Daemen College has received an unprecedented $1 million gift from the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation to support the institution’s Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, making it the largest private gift in the college’s nearly 70-year history.

In honor of this historic gift to the college, the center has officially been renamed the Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement.

“Robust civic engagement contributes to many positive social outcomes, so it is my honor and privilege to support Daemen College as it prepares students to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make a difference in society,” said Saffrin.

In praising the generosity of Saffrin, Daemen President Gary A. Olson said the gift will have a powerful and transformative impact on the center and the college itself.

“Mr. Saffrin’s gift will enable us to advance the center’s exceptional work and help foster the spirit of civic responsibility in our students, faculty, and staff, while improving the sustainability of our communities for generations to come,” said Olson. “We are profoundly grateful and indebted to Mr. Saffrin for his gift, which is a historic moment in the life of our college.”

Dr. Michael Brogan, vice president for academic affairs, added, “With this generous donation, the center will have the resources needed to develop new efforts that emphasize the importance of sustainability, inspire global citizenship, support healthy communities, and enhance student learning.”

Established in 2001, the CSCE promotes a lifelong commitment to civic responsibility and environmental sustainability through various initiatives, including service learning opportunities with partner organizations in underserved communities, and sustainability activities and programming.

The endowed gift has been designated specifically to advance the center’s efforts and to create new opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to engage with communities. It will also allow the center to enhance its highly successful efforts in building a more sustainable future and addressing environmental issues to promote the well-being of communities around the world.

With Saffrin’s gift, Daemen will be well-positioned to become a regional and national leader in facilitating civic engagement and sustainability efforts.

“We deeply appreciate Mr. Saffrin’s generous support and belief in the center’s dedication to civic engagement and sustainability,” said Maureen Millane, associate vice president for community engagement. “Thanks to this gift, we will have the opportunity to develop new initiatives and collaborations that will continue the strong momentum the center has established over the past 15 years.”

Photo of Daemen President Gary A. Olson, Paul Saffrin, and Dr. Thomas Stewart, chair of the Daemen Board of Trustees, contributed. 



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