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Law School Scholarship Fund Will Honor William R. Greiner, UB's 13th President

By Mary Cochrane

Release Date: April 24, 2004

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The William R. Greiner Scholarship Fund has been newly established in the University at Buffalo Law School to honor UB's 13th president, who retired as UB's chief executive officer at the end of last December.

To date, nearly $225,000 has been raised for the fund, which will support an endowment for a full-tuition scholarship to the UB Law School for a meritorious student who exemplifies leadership ability, dedication to public service and commitment to the Western New York community as a whole, according to Nils Olsen, dean of the UB Law School, and Jennifer A. McDonough, UB vice president for university advancement.

Establishment of the fund was announced Friday evening at the UB Alumni Association's Celebration of Excellence Awards Dinner held at the Buffalo/Niagara Marriott.

The announcement came as a surprise to Greiner and his wife, Carol, who were at the dinner to receive the Dr. Philip B. Wels Outstanding Service Award, given to individuals who exemplify outstanding long-term service and dedication to UB.

Greiner's 36-year affiliation with the university began in 1967 when he joined the faculty of the UB Law School. He served for seven years as the university's first provost before his appointment as president in 1991. He plans to return to the Law School's faculty this fall.

The fund was created as a result of discussions between Olsen and McDonough focusing on a lasting and special tribute to recognize Greiner and his contributions to UB.

Olsen said the answer focuses on one of Greiner's greatest priorities during his tenure as both provost and president: UB students.

"Professor Greiner has always been driven by his dedication to the students of the university, and he led the way to many changes at UB that greatly improved the lives of students both on and off campus," Olsen said. "After examining this legacy of his, the next step -- establishing a scholarship in his honor -- was a natural."

McDonough said she is impressed by the notable group of donors who have stepped forward early to give to the scholarship fund.

"We wanted to keep the scholarship fund a secret so it would be a special surprise for Bill. Those very generous early donors made gifts from their hearts as will many others who carry strong affection, gratitude and respect for our 13th president, now that the fund is open for additional contributions," McDonough added.

Reginald B. Newman, II, chair of the University at Buffalo Foundation's board of trustees and chair of NOCO Energy Corp., is the lead donor to the Greiner Scholarship Fund, having personally committed $100,000. Newman said he gave in admiration of Greiner and is confident that others will follow suit.

"I can't express enough how pleased and proud I was of Professor Greiner for building the new student housing program at UB, which was perhaps his greatest accomplishment as president," Newman said.

Other donors contributing $10,000 or more to the fund to date include Joseph W. Carosella (J.D. '72, B.A. '70), Lawrence P. and Joan J. Castellani, Erma R. Hallett Jaeckle (J.D. '36), Francis M. (J.D. '79) and Cindy Abbott Letro, Hodgson Russ LLP, and the Seymour H. Knox Foundation.

In May 2003, UB awarded its highest award, the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal, given for service to the university and the region, to Greiner during commencement ceremonies. At that time, UB Council Chair Jeremy M. Jacobs remarked that Greiner's "outstanding leadership has ensured UB's place among the nation's best public research universities, and his passionate advocacy for Buffalo Niagara has led directly to increased opportunities for greater regional economic development.

"Bill's countless accomplishments and wise stewardship have positioned UB well for the future," Jacobs added. "The university community has truly been fortunate to have had the benefit of his service over more than three decades."

One of Greiner's first assignments when he returns to the Law School will be helping to inform the criteria for recipients of the William R. Greiner Scholarship.

"No doubt it will be an assignment that he will enjoy," said Olsen.

This scholarship is open to additional contributions. For information on how to make a gift, contact Deborah J. Scott, vice dean for development, UB Law School, at (716) 645-2113 or djscott@buffalo.edu.

Checks should be made payable to: Professor William R. Greiner Scholarship Fund. Mail to: University at Buffalo Foundation, PO Box 1232, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.