Daemen Receives Largest Private Gift in College’s History

November 01, 2016
$1 million to support sustainability and civic engagement initiatives

AMHERST, N.Y. – 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.”


Our Mission

The mission of the Daemen College Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement is to provide education and resources to the Daemen community and the community-at-large on issues of social, economic and environmental sustainability. We are dedicated to promoting a life-long commitment to civic responsibility among Daemen students, faculty and staff through a focus on building assets for future generations.

The Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement is supported by Daemen College and works to:

  • Facilitate partnerships with the Daemen community and underserved communities
  • Develop active, safe and thriving communities for future generations
  • Enhance student problem-solving skills and respect for diversity
  • Promote the value of service-learning in the college curriculum
  • Inspire global citizenship, increase social justice and improve economic viability
  • Respond to the needs of a changing environment by preserving precious resources

Our Vision

We envision the Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement as a catalyst for the development of synergy and trust among several underserved communities within the city of Buffalo. We will respond to the challenges of preservation and stay current on issues and trends in sustainability research and conservation practices. As a platform for change, we will increase access and equity by building self-sufficiency and dissolving social barriers.

Our Values

As members of the Daemen College community and an increasingly complex world, we recognize the importance of:

  • Listening and responding to our neighbors’ needs
  • Collaboration and cooperation among organizations
  • Exposing our students to a wider world
  • A strong recognition of the positive assets of diverse neighborhoods
  • Community interconnectedness and development of relationships
  • Environmental consciousness

In the past, we have received grants through these generous donors: The Providence Foundation, KeyBank, M&T Bank and the Office of Sustainable Development and Intergovernmental Affairs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For more information, please contact:

Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement

(716)-839- 8487
DS 226

Assistant Director
Justine Duquette

(716) 566-7877
DS 226