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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Winter 2009





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Alumni News

The Main Event


Since its earliest days, the university has cultivated and counted on a group of faithful friends for support and guidance. Often these friends weren’t UB graduates, yet their devotion to the institution made them de facto alumni. Their numbers have now grown dramatically, especially through Facebook, MySpace and other forms of social networking. By making these connections, UB friends enlarge the role of graduates who are members of the UB Alumni Association.

To learn more about the benefits and how to join, visit the alumni web site.

To formalize this growth and to recognize nonalumni who have shown their affinity for UB, the alumni association has launched a new membership level, “Friend.” Previously open to graduates only, membership in the alumni association is available to those who wish to show their support for UB. Whether student, parent, spouse, community member or Bulls fan—anyone in Western New York or around the world— who is intent on making a difference to the university is welcome to officially join our network. Membership is $50 a year and supports programming and events for students, while helping with student recruitment, Homecoming, legislative advocacy and recognition of academic excellence.

“It’s all about pride—pride in UB, pride in being affiliated with the alumni association and pride in supporting programs that make a stronger university, particularly at this critical juncture of UB 2020,” says Marc A. Adler, MA ’83, MBA ’82 & BA ’79.

In exchange for their support, Friends will receive a number of valuable benefits, including discounts for alumni events in Buffalo and around the country; campus discounts, and privileges, such as parking permits. In addition, members will receive discounts at hundreds of retailers, such as,, Sterling Optical, Jos. A. Banks and Dunn Tire.

“I’m joining because I want to be part of UB’s rise to the top, like other big schools around the country.” Kevin Horrigan, Director of Public Affairs for People Inc.

“I’m joining because I want to be part of UB’s rise to the top, like other big schools around the country,” says Kevin Horrigan, director of public affairs for People Inc., a nonprofit human services agency in Western New York. In fact, by implementing a Friends membership, the UB Alumni Association joins an elite group having such a program, including the University of Connecticut, the University of Florida, Penn State and the University of Nebraska.

And in Chapter News...

To see photos of other alumni friends
from recent chapter meetings, go to Alfred Hollis (DDS ’99) and Kelly Hollis (BS ’98).

In Denver, a crowd of 75 alumni, family and friends met at Lodo’s Bar & Grill on July 3 for a pregame reception, and then watched the Colorado Rockies defeat the Florida Marlins in extra innings across the street in Coors Field. Following the game, attendees enjoyed the grand fireworks display.

Hey, that’s me! To see photos of other alumni friends from recent chapter meetings, go to

On August 1, the Albany chapter kicked off its first official event as a formal alumni chapter with its second annual Day at the Races at the Saratoga Race Course. Thirty alumni, friends and family members from as far as Pennsylvania attended an afternoon filled with a little luck, fun, excitement and great conversation. Guests dined under the Paddock Tent and had the chance to watch the race from the Saratoga Race Course Clubhouse.

Baseball—and meeting fellow alumni—were the attractions in Seattle on August 4, as a crowd of 35 met at the Pyramid Brewing Company before the Seattle Mariners defeated the Minnesota Twins, 11–6, in Safeco Field.

The UB Employee chapter comprised a large portion of the 130 members of the UB community who volunteered for the annual United Way Day of Caring August 20. The following day, the UB Employee chapter joined members of the UB Alumni Association board of directors during the annual New Student Move-in Day event.

UB By The Numbers

Alumni Connections*

Facebook members
LinkedIn connections
MySpace profile views
UB Connect total registrants to date
Alumni Web site visits

You can access UB alumni social networks at http:// socialnetworks

*May 1 to August 31, 2008

Association Billboard

And the winners are...

Michael Balter with his parents, Ronald Balter (BA ’80) and
Nancy Balter. Mark Webb with his parents, Donna Webb(MBA '90 & BS '88 and Kent Webb (MBA '88) (Top) Michael Balter with his parents, Ronald Balter (BA ’80) and Nancy Balter. (Bottom) Mark Webb with his parents, Donna Webb (MBA ’90 & BS ’88) and Kent Webb (MBA ’88).

The UB Alumni Association announced its first Legacy Scholarship recipients during the pregame party at Homecoming, October 18. Michael Balter and Mark Webb, both UB sophomores, each received $1,250 from the UB Alumni Association board of directors. Balter, a Brooklyn native, is the student manager for the UB Bulls football team, as was his father, Ronald Balter, BA ’80. Webb is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars; both his parents, Donna (MBA ’90 & BS ’88) and Kent (MBA ’88) are UB alumni.

The Legacy Scholarship program was established to assist currently enrolled UB students who are children or grandchildren of UB alumni, and thereby demonstrate appreciation for alumni who contribute to the growth and enrichment of UB through their active membership and participation in the association.


Let’s get together

Reunions in the works 1 From left: Kathleen Heckman (MBA ’95 & BA ’92) with Jessica Juliano Schimert (MBA ’01) at the USAB reunion.

Haven’t seen your UB friends in a while and wondering what they’ve been up to? Then think about bringing them back together for a reunion. Whether by class year, club or sport, any interest group is welcome to reunite, and the alumni office is here to help. Several reunions took place in 2008, including the Old School Greeks, the Class of 1958 Pillars Society and the University Student Alumni Board. For 2009, reunion planning is under way for a number of groups such as Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity, former Spectrum staff, the Black Student Union and Class of 1959, whose members will be inducted into the Pillars Society as part of Homecoming 2009.

It’s fun, nostalgic and it reconnects you with UB. For more information on these reunions or to learn more about planning one of your own, contact Patty Starr in the Office of Alumni Relations at

Achievement Awards

Save the date

Alumni Association

The UB Alumni Association will hold its annual awards ceremony on Friday March 20, 2009 in the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo. All alumni, friends and supporters of the university are invited to attend the alumni association's signature event and pay tribute to a group of outstanding individuals for their accomplishments in their field, for bringing honor to UB and for their extraordinary volunteer efforts. Single tickets are $100; tables of 10 are also available for $1,000. For more information contact the UB Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-284-5382.

Ways to make a difference

UB Employees caring enough to volunteer

From left: UB employees Mechelle Lumpkin, Melissa Jernigan and Kathy Garcia take part in
Day of Caring activities at a local elementary school on August 20. From left: UB employees Mechelle Lumpkin, Melissa Jernigan and Kathy Garcia take part in Day of Caring activities at a local elementary school on August 20. Photo: Douglas Levere, BA ’89

UB is fortunate to be the beneficiary of the time, talent and generosity of innumerable alumni and friends who volunteer throughout the university community.

There is another side to UB’s volunteer culture that is just as important, however. This is the time and effort put forth by UB employees for the betterment of not only the university, but also the greater Western New York community.

For example, more than 50 members of the UB Employee chapter participated in the annual United Way Day of Caring on August 20, 2008. Joining approximately 80 other UB faculty and staff, the team mobilized for various projects, including putting a much-needed fresh coat of paint on several spaces within the Buffalo Museum of Science, working with Buffalo ReUse to create community gardens, and helping teachers at two local elementary schools prepare for the start of the new academic year and also cleaning up an outdoor science learning lab.

The following day, August 21, the Employee chapter was at it again, this time volunteering to help new students move on campus. Approximately 20 alumni set up shop in Wilkeson Quadrangle to hand out bottled water, tote boxes and luggage, shuttle students and their families, provide directions, and most important, to make the students and their families feel welcome at UB.

UBAA Member Spotlight

Why am I a member of the UB Alumni Association?

Mike Reilley Mike Rielly

“Throughout my 26 years as UB’s head athletics trainer, I fostered lifetime relationships with faculty, staff, and thousands of students and student athletes. In many ways, my role with athletes, coaches, physicians and parents made us grow as one. I gained tremendous respect for the efforts of each student athlete I encountered. Throughout my career, my primary purpose has been to serve our student athletes. The support I am now able to provide the alumni association will help ensure that our most valuable assets—alumni and students—continue to be served.”

John Rielly, friend, North Tonawanda, NY

Rielly close-up

Friend since January 2009; served as UB’s head athletic trainer for 26 years, also served as an assistant and adjunct professor of physical therapy and exercise science; was instrumental in supporting the development of University Sports Medicine Institute

Oozefest Turns 25

Still muddy after all these years

Craig Caplan, BA ’92 (front row, third 
	from left) with his team in 2007 Craig Caplan, BA ’92 (front row, third from left) with his team in 2007.

During the last 25 years, literally tons of mud have been generated, competed in and hosed off thousands of participants in Oozfest, the mud volleyball tournament sponsored by the university Student Alumni Board (USAB).

Held in the Mud Pit on St. Rita’s Lane on the North Campus, Oozfest attracts more than 100 teams with thousands of participants and volunteers each year. From one-time adventurers to teams with nearly 20 years of experience, Oozfest has become one of the most beloved traditions on campus. Each year, the tournament gets bigger and better, the team names more clever, the costumes increasingly elaborate. “It’s just so much fun. You really have to see it to believe it,” says Patty Starr, assistant director for student and reunion programs and USAB adviser. “Though it is a tournament and there’s definitely competition, it’s always friendly, and at the end of the day it’s all about the mud!”

Team in wet suits Oozfest competitors luxuriate in full mud bath during the 1992 contest.

Back in 1985, a small but hardy group of UB students decided it needed an activity that would help blow off some steam during exam time. The idea came from the university of Connecticut, which had launched its own version of mud volleyball the year before.

Several teams have made return appearances. In fact, Poached Trout in White Wine Sauce will celebrate its 20th consecutive appearance in 2009. We asked original Poached Trout team member Craig Caplan, BA ’92, about his favorite Oozfest memories.

Costumes: Santas and Clowns Costumes designed to provoke mirth amid the mud are a big part of Oozfest. Santa celebrators in 1997 were followed by clown revelers a year later.

Where did your team name come from?

It’s taken from a Monty Python sketch.

Considering your team members are now established alumni, where does everyone travel from to play at Oozfest?

A few are still in the Western New York area, but others come from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and California. Overall, 21 people have played on our team during our 20-year history.

What’s your win-loss record?

We’ve never won the competition itself. Our best finish has been tied for seventh place (in the 96-team format). However, we often won the “best costume” contest. Our costumes have run the gamut from 1970s leisure suits and Santa outfits to astronauts, mad scientists and killer bees. My own favorites include wet suits (which kept us warm and dry), old-time golfers (the vintage gear and clothes we found looked great) and chefs (we brought an actual trout—amusing at first, but unpleasant as the day wore on).

What keeps you coming back year after year?

For many years, the weekend of Oozfest served as a mini-reunion of good friends from college. By about our 10th year, participating started to take on additional meaning—we’d been doing it for so long, it had become a tradition. As students, we joked about how we’d play until our children could join in (or form their own team). Little did we realize at the time that we’d still be playing 20 years later. The “junior team” of our kids is still a few years out. In the meantime, it’s a pleasure to get together each year with other long-running teams, like the fabulous Sheepherders (who have actually won the competition several times).

What’s your favorite Oozfest memory?

There are so many. In our 11th year, we dressed as escaped convicts and one team member surprised us by renting a limousine to bring us all to the tournament. As we rolled in and parked beside the fields, all eyes turned to see who was going to get out of the car. We filed out, one by one, to the applause of the crowd. That was the same year we had our best finish.

Any advice for first-time players?

USAB does a great job these days with the Oozfest prep tips we’ve been using for years (for example, garbage-bags and duct tape). I’ll offer this to new players: Dive into the mud at least once for the experience, but don’t do it first thing in the morning, or you’ll be in for a long, cold day.

Alumni Roam and Travel Program

Ukraine and Romania
June 23-July 6, 2009

Ukraine and Romania

Steeped in tradition but driven by a vibrant modern spirit, Ukraine is rapidly forging a new identity within today’s Europe. Cruise the Dnieper River through the heart of Ukraine as you admire cultural cities and beautiful countryside. Explore the magnificent capital of Kiev, visit the Caves Monastery and learn about Cossack history in Zaporizhia. Journey to the Crimea and Yalta, whose Livadia Palace is the former summer residence of the Romanovs and site of the famous World War II conference. Admire elegant Odessa, the “Pearl of the Black Sea,” before exploring Bucharest in neighboring Romania. Second in size of all European countries only to Russia, Ukraine is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Discover the storied heritage of this fascinating land!

From approximately $2,495 per person, plus airfare and V.A.T. (value added tax), based on double occupancy.

Greece: Athens & the Island of Poros
October 9-18, 2009


Steeped in mythology and legend, Greece has been a muse to artists and writers for centuries. The magic of this ancient land is yours to discover. Explore the priceless treasures of Athens from the world-renowned Acropolis to the fashionable Plaka district. On the idyllic island of Poros, walk along charming, sea-scented streets and admire a breathtaking panorama of sun-drenched hills and sapphire waters. Examine the ruins of the palace at Mycenae and visit a local winery. See dramatic Nauplion, the former capital of Greece; marvel at the theater in Epidauros; and enjoy the cosmopolitan island of Hydra. Witness the glory of Greece—both past and present—on this exciting travel adventure.

Approximately $2,595 per person, plus airfare and V.A.T., based on double occupancy.

Chianti in a Tuscan Villa
October 18-26, 2009

Chianti in a Tuscan Villa

Imagine yourself amid the rolling hills of Tuscany, blanketed with verdant vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees. From the idyllic village of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, travel to the hilltop Etruscan town of Volterra. Visit San Gimignano, a medieval Manhattan; charming Castellina, dominated by its imposing fortress; the market town of Greve; and Castello di Monsanto, where you’ll sip the region’s distinctive wine. Walk inside the ancient walls of Lucca, and admire the spectacular artistic and architectural wonders of Florence, the “Cradle of the Renaissance.” In Siena, stroll along narrow cobblestone streets lined with Gothic buildings and visit the city’s magnificent Duomo.

Approximately $2,495 per person, plus airfare and V.A.T., based on double occupancy.