Daemen College Will Award Nearly 800 Degrees This Spring, in All Daemen Programs

Earle I. Mack, Former Ambassador to Finland, Philanthropist, Patron of the Arts, is Daemen College 2011 Commencement Speaker


May 9, 2011



Contact:     Mike Andrei

                 Director-College Relations




            Earle I. Mack, former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Chairman Emeritus of the New York State Council on the Arts, and current Senior Partner of the Mack Company, is the Daemen College 2011 Commencement speaker.  The Daemen College 2011 Commencement ceremonies will begin 2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 21, in Kleinhans Music Hall, in Buffalo.


            Daemen will award 798 degrees this spring, to graduates in all Daemen programs. The College will award Ambassador Mack an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.  


            Daemen President Dr. Martin J. Anisman, who is retiring after leading the College for 15 years, will also speak to the Class of 2011. Dr. Anisman is Daemen’s fourth president.


           Ambassador Earle I. Mack’s career has moved between the private and public sectors, sustaining a passionate commitment to the arts and arts education, with a special emphasis on Buffalo. In 1996, Governor Pataki appointed Earle Mack Chairman and CEO of the New York State Council on the Arts; in 1999 Mack was elected Chairman Emeritus. Under his leadership, the Council made a commitment to rebuilding the arts infrastructure throughout upstate New York.


           “Buffalo has always been near and dear to my heart,” said Mack. “I made it my first stop as Chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts. I was interested in building the arts infrastructure in Buffalo, and also helping to spearhead the effort for rebuilding Shea’s Buffalo.” As Chair of the Council on the Arts, Mack spearheaded the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Buffalo’s Frank Lloyd Wright landmark Darwin Martin House, and also provided needed assistance to numerous Buffalo arts organizations.


           Along with Governor Pataki, Mack developed the Empire State Partnership. He toured Buffalo schools, and brought the Partnership’s first pilot programs focused on bringing arts education back into the public schools throughout New York State, at levels K-12. The programs were funded by an approximate $25 million dollar grant from Governor George Pataki and the legislature.


           “The goal was to put arts education back into the public schools,” said Mack. “We helped to move more arts funding into upstate New York, and into Buffalo. Many studies have found that arts infrastructure help to revitalize communities and rebuild center cities. Buffalo did not have the private funding resources that are frequently available to arts organizations downstate, so the plan was to fill the gap with State funding and member items.”


           “In one especially memorable moment on that first visit to Buffalo, I discovered that my passion for the arts and arts education was shared by Seymour Knox, who, despite his poor health, toured the Albright Knox with me, serving as my escort. I was quite moved by that gesture on his part.”  



           Ambassador Mack returned to Buffalo in September 2010, to receive the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation’s International Community Service Award, recognizing his efforts as the first responder to lead 5 private rescue missions of doctors and medical supplies to Port au Prince after the Haitian earthquake in January and February 2010.


           Ambassador Mack has been a producer of feature films, as well as of Broadway theater. The Children of Theater Street, a documentary feature he produced in 1977 was nominated for an Academy Award and won the National Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence in 1978. A second feature film, She Dances Alone, also reaped multiple international awards. In 2006, Ambassador Mack was the recipient of the New York State Governor’s Arts Award. 


           Additional information on Ambassador Mack’s philanthropy and full details on his career can be found in his c.v.. 

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