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UB Today

A publication of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association

Spring 2010





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If you had a vanity plate for your car, what would it say?*

In My Opinion *Question posed in “In My Opinion,” a feature of the monthly electronic newsletter @UB, a portion of which also appears regularly in UB Today. To subscribe, go to the Stay Informed tab at

Karl Zalar, BA ’73
Tipp City, Ohio

My vanity plate says, UNIV BUF.

Ed Ostrowski, BS ’69
Simpsonville, S.C.

N0SUP4U—no soup for you!!!!!!!

Ronald Balter, BA ’80
Brooklyn, N.Y.

I am on my third vanity plate. The first was UB BULLS followed by BULLS UB. Now my car has the UB logo plate with BULLS1.

Bruce Moden, BS ’57
East Aurora, N.Y.

I have a vanity plate, PHARMR, this represents my profession as a pharmacist (co-owning a small regional chain of community pharmacies) and my avocation as a farmer, several years growing tomatoes and potatoes on our 65-acre farm, as well as helping in my father-in-law’s business of growing 10,000 tulips and hyacinths for the Buffalo-area Easter trade.

Tom Trinchera, MLS ’96 & BA ’94
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

I first bought a car when I was a master’s student, early in 1995. With the new car came my first auto loan, naturally, so I thought a great idea for a vanity plate would be ON LOAN. When the car was officially paid for, I thought I’d get a new plate that read PAID FOR. Never went through with it, though, but I am planning to buy another car in the next few weeks so perhaps I’ll get my chance!

Jill Sessa, BA ’94
Buffalo, N.Y.

FUN RZR—I’m a development officer for the UB School of Management and that should go on my little red convertible. Mmmm, I might head to the DMV this week!

Amy Nash, BA ’84
East Amherst, N.Y.


Patrick Ellingham, MA ’77 & BA ’74
Hollywood, Fla.

There are dozens of specialty plates in Florida. Every school, every team, and every cause has one. Aside from those, many thousands have vanity plates, as well. Mine is very simple and obvious to anyone who knows me: Dr. Elvis.

Paul Karas, MD ’87
Amherst, N.Y.

Either: “Fencer,” “Foilist,” “RowDad,” or “CrewDad.”

Ronald C. Fazar, BA ’92
Rochester, N.Y.

It’s a “vanity” plate—what else would I put? FAZAR9…my name and favorite number! Seriously, there are some other ideas—probably something related to the two hardball leagues I play in—or possibly something related to my vehicle, especially if I get another Jeep.

Chuck Swanekamp, MBA ’80 & JD ’79
Getzville, N.Y.

I’m a scuba diving and Caribbean fanatic, so my first automobile vanity plate was “Caribbe.” I was in the Caribbean with my dive buddies shortly after I bought my first Harley and we were having a few adult beverages after the dive. We were wracking our brains for ideas for a vanity plate for the bike when all of a sudden the waitress put down the next round of beers—it was the Caribbean beer “Carib.” When I got home I raced to the DMV to reserve “Carib” as the plate for my Harley. So in all honesty my bike is named in honor of a Caribbean beer!

Kevin Eye, BS ’01
Orchard Park, N.Y.

I looked into getting H4X0R (hacker), but somebody else got to it first.

Mark Ferguson, BA ’00
Williamsville, N.Y.

UB16—I’m planning ahead.

Amanda Rundell, BA ’07
Buffalo, N.Y.

My vanity plate would say GO VEG because going vegetarian is important for one’s health, the planet and the animals!



UB License Plate

New York State residents, add a little UB flair to your car with an official university license plate. Each plate includes the interlocking UB. Check it out here.

UB in the News

A surprising salve for New York's beleaguered cities


The New York Times looks at communities, such as Buffalo, that have benefited from an influx of refugees, and interviews Mohsen Daghooghi , an Iranian student who rejects the president's suggestion that he or other Iranian students are dangerous.

How an American bureaucrat became president of Somalia

An article in Politico Magazine about UB alumnus Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed , who was elected president of his native country, quotes Don Grinde who said they discussed the different models of democratic governance, warlordism and religious extremism.


These journalists are no enemies of the people

David Schmid tells USA Today that it is not unusual for the president to have a hostile relationship with the press. But Trump's description of the press is unprecedented, he says.

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