Children endow concert series as memorial to UB staff member

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Arts and Letters

Children endow concert series as memorial to UB staff member

THE FAMILY OF the late Bernice Poss has made a $25,000 gift to the university's Faculty of Arts and Letters to support what will become an annual event in memory of Poss, a member of the UB professional staff for more than 20 years.

A performance by the Mozarteum Orchestra, considered the foremost ensemble dedicated to 18th-century music, was presented at the first Bernice Poss Memorial Concert on Nov. 3 at UB's Center for the Arts, North Campus.

"Bernice Poss' children have chosen a fitting and generous way to honor and remember their mother," said Kerry S. Grant, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Letters. "They have taken the first step to ensure that Mrs. Poss' love of the arts will be shared by scores of audiences for many years to come."

Supporting the gift are Poss' children: Ellen M. Poss, M.D., and Stephen Poss of Boston, Mass.; Katherine Salazar-Poss of San Francisco, Calif.; and Robert Poss of New York City.

"Mrs. Poss' memory and values will be perpetuated through this generous gift," noted Robert Chumbley, director of the Center for the Arts. "On behalf of the university, I thank her family for making this wonderful event possible."

Poss began her association with UB as a graduate student in the department of history. During her tenure, she held appointments as assistant to the chairs of the departments of sociology and history, assistant to the provost in the Faculty of Social Sciences, assistant dean in the Faculty of Arts and Letters and assistant to the vice president for academic development. At the time of her death in 1988, she was executive assistant to the university provost.

In addition, Poss served on the Professional Staff Senate, as well as several university task forces and committees. Her outstanding work performance and dedication to the university were recognized in 1978 when she received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Poss also was known as a strong advocate for the advancement of women. She was one of the founders of the Women's Studies College, and she taught some of the first courses in women's history ever offered at a major university. Chair of the President's Committee on the Recruitment and Promotion of Women, Poss was an active participant in the American Council on Education's programs for the advancement of women in higher education administration.