AMHERST, N.Y. – Daemen College President Gary A. Olson highlighted the strength of the institution’s growth and its emerging national reputation, and he lauded the completion of several vital campus projects at his fall State of the College Address on Sept. 24.
“Daemen has much to be proud of, and we are making rapid and substantial progress,” said Olson. “Our institution continues its rise as a college of national distinction, which is a credit to the hard work and steadfast dedication of all of our faculty and staff.”
In his address, Olson pointed to Daemen’s steady and strong enrollment momentum, having this fall achieved a 4.5 percent increase in total enrollment, exceeded its goal for transfer students, and welcomed more academically talented students to the college community.
“This enrollment increase is a sign of Daemen’s positive trajectory and is a testament to the high quality of our academic programs and the exemplary college experience we provide our students,” said Olson. “Our student retention rate also continues to rise, which is a major accomplishment for our college.”
Seeking to build on this positive momentum and growth, Daemen recently opened its new Academic and Wellness Center, a $5.6 million complex located across the street from the main campus. The building, which was completely refurbished inside and out, houses high-tech classrooms and labs for the college’s well-regarded physical therapy, athletic training and health care studies programs. It also contains a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, plus new locker rooms and a renovated gymnasium.
With the completion of this project, Olson announced that renovation of the science facilities housed in Duns Scotus will now be a major institutional priority. Planning will begin immediately for this next phase of capital improvements in an area that is an essential component of academic life at Daemen.
Olson also pointed to ongoing campus improvement efforts, noting that “the campus beautification program is not merely about aesthetics. It’s about fostering pride in the campus by all constituents, even our neighbors, and it’s about enhancing our competitiveness, not only for prospective students but also for new faculty and staff.”
Turning to another major initiative, Olson discussed the upcoming launch of Daemen’s new Web site and its key role in student recruitment.
“A modern, attractive, informative Web site is perhaps the single most important factor in making a college competitive in the eyes of young prospective students, and I believe our new site will go a long way to showcasing the college to this audience,” he said.
Olson also cited multiple accolades the college, faculty and staff have garnered since his spring State of the College Address, saying “these successes help raise the college’s visibility and reputation. Across our campus, there is excitement and a palpable sense that Daemen is going to new levels of prominence.”
Amidst all the progress that has occurred at the college, Olson emphasized the life-changing impact Daemen has on its students as the primary purpose for reaching these goals.
“We give hope to thousands of students every year, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college,” he said. “We give these students a chance to become a success. Each and every one of us at Daemen are essential to helping change the lives of our students.”