The Early Years

Shin Yokoyama

Shin Yokoyama

Meet some of the students and scholars who traveled to UB from afar for learning and opportunity

Among UB’s earliest international students were Shin Yokoyama of Japan, Class of 1903; and Grace Ilahi-Baksh of India, Class of 1913.

One of the first female members of the UB faculty was also an international citizen. Nathalie Kavaleff Mankell of Finland began teaching at the School of Pedagogy (a forerunner of today’s Graduate School of Education) in 1895.

Grace Ilahi-Baksh

Grace Ilahi-Baksh

By 1910, the university had trained doctors and other professionals from Syria, India, Egypt, China and Japan.

UB’s early history was shaped and influenced by members of Buffalo’s immigrant population. For instance, Francis E. Fronczak (1874–1955), a Buffalo native who held both medical and law degrees from UB, gained international fame as president of a central relief committee that brought aid to Poland. Fronczak Hall is named for him.

Several faculty came to UB as a result of Nazi persecution in the 1930s. Among them was Arthur Lenhoff (1885–1965), who had been a member of the Austrian Constitutional Court. Lenhoff narrowly escaped arrest by the Gestapo after the Anschluss in 1938. He began a new career as a member of the UB law school faculty. Today, Lenhoff’s books in German and English can be found in the UB Libraries.

Nathalie Kavaleff Mankell

Nathalie Kavaleff Mankell

With the establishment of the Melodia Jones Professorship in 1932—UB’s longest-running program in international education—French academics began to teach at UB for a semester. Today, the chair is held by Gérard Bucher.

In 1952–53, UB enrolled 38 foreign students, 30 of whom were Canadians. Also in this group were one student each from Germany, India, Japan, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Philippines and Uruguay.

In 1962–63, UB enrolled 100 international graduate students. By 1967, there were organized clubs representing African, Chinese, Indian and Slavic students. Today, there are about 25 international student clubs on campus.

SOURCE: UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

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