Campus News

Pandemic, protest highlight UB's year in photos

A person waits at a marker on the floor that reads, "Please wait here.".

Gentle reminders on how to stay safe while on campus helped reinforce UB’s health and safety guidelines. Photo: Douglas Levere


Published December 21, 2020

University Communications photographers Douglas Levere and Meredith Forrest Kulwicki were a busy team in 2020, photographing more than 350 assignments over the course of what turned out to be a rather unique year.

The COVID-19 pandemic quickly changed how they photographed their subjects and assignments, and what they covered. Meanwhile, the nation’s racial reckoning resonated on campus, prompting protests and rallies in support of Black Lives Matter.

This gallery features a curated collection of just some of the most memorable images Levere and Forrest Kulwicki created in 2020.


Irish Senator Billy Lawless visits the Special Collections for a tour of the UB James Joyce Collection in January 2020. NYS Sen. Tim Kennedy and Lawless’ wife were also in attendance.
Susan Snyder, director of student health services; John DellaContrada, vice president for university communications; and James Roorbach, formerly UB's senior emergency planning coordinator, discuss UB's coronavirus response at a media briefing in January 2020.
Snow-covered berries make for a picturesque backdrop to a winter selfie.
Geology students enrolled in a paleoclimate class extract core samples from an Elba, N.Y., bog.
The ASME team celebrates their victory in Bot Wars, the marquee event of Engineering Week in February.
Five-time Emmy Award winner and UB alumnus Alan Zweibel held a three-part workshop with students as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Visiting Professor in the Arts endowment in February.
The ninth annual Life Raft Debate did not disappoint as students were entertained listening to a select group of faculty members state their case.
UB and the dental profession lost a leading figure when Sebastian Ciancio, pictured here with his wife Marilyn in UB's Center for the Arts in March, passed away in October at age 83.
Members of UB's Latin American Student Association (LASA) compete at the International Fiesta in late February.
Dancers' graceful movements are reflected on the International Fiesta stage.
A team member reacts with joy as the Latin American Student Association is announced as the winner of the 2020 International Fiesta.
Canada geese sweep across Lake LaSalle near Baird Point on a foggy March morning.
The fourth annual Three Minute Thesis competition looked a little different in 2020, with no audience, social distancing among a limited number of facilitators, and hand sanitizer.
A student studies in an empty classroom in Knox Hall in March.
An inside look at how one UB family, the Matthews, navigated the transition to remote work while juggling parental duties.
Professor Kerry Ring hosts a remote modern dance class among the blocks and columns of North Campus’ Baird Point in March.
Dan Ryan, director of veteran services, found a way to raise his neighbors' spirits in the spring by playing his bagpipes throughout the neighborhood.
The ceremony may have been online, but for newly minted MD Grace Guadalupe and her family, the pride and joy remained the same.
Graduates in blue robes walk through South Campus in May.
A graduate celebrates with a time-honored UB tradition: posing next to — or on — the Bronze Buffalo outside the Center for the Arts.
UB’s newest grads, fresh from beating the challenges posed by an unprecedented spring 2020 semester, were more than ready for takeoff.
In June, more than 250 students, faculty and others from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences marched from UB’s downtown campus to Niagara Square to protest the police of George Floyd.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic derailed traditional high school graduation ceremonies in 2020, graduates had the opportunity to take part in a different kind of celebration at a Drive-Thru Graduation held June 6 on the UB South Campus.
This message in support of Black Lives Matter adorned the “Paint-a-Bull” statue outside the Student Union for several weeks earlier this year.
Gentle reminders on how to stay safe while on campus helped reinforce UB’s health and safety guidelines.
Warm weather during the summer provided plenty of opportunities to meet outside.
Even the bronze bull outside Alumni Arena got into the act, displaying school spirit with its face covering.
In August, UB renamed Putnam Way in honor of Mary Talbert, a civil rights pioneer from Buffalo.
Wearing a mask is a requirement. So is looking cool. That’s what les some students to tie dye their masks during Welcome Weekend in August.
UB limited in-class student instruction and the number of students living in residence halls to keep a safe level of density on campus.
Most classes were taught online; however, some were able to meet in-person such as this School of Management class inside a cavernous room of the Natural Sciences Complex.
In many cases, teachers reimagined the classroom space. Here, an art class meets on the lawn outside of the Center for the Arts.
The first of more than 36,000 on-campus tests for COVID-19 began in September, when UB launched its surveillance testing program.
Visiting professor Michael Mwenso (conducting) works with students in a jazz combo class in Slee Hall.
Students test physical distancing devices they created in professor Joyce Hwang’s media architecture class outside of Crosby Hall on South Campus.
Stormy skies over Lake LaSalle and Baird Point in October.
Students rehearse for the Department of Theatre and Dance's “Home and Away: A Virtual Dance Concert” in October. The show featured 50 undergraduate dance majors, and works and performances by MFA students.
Built in 1903 as a dormitory for nurses, Townsend Hall on South Campus underwent an extensive renovation and how houses UB's Human Resources office.
A march organized by the Black Student Union protests systemic racism and empowers students to have a voice — and to vote — on Election Day.
Alumni Arena served as a mass pre-Thanksgiving testing site before nearly all students returned home to complete classes and finals remotely.
Panoramic view of South Campus with snow.

Photo: Douglas Levere