UB to Commemorate 203rd Birthday of Millard Fillmore

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 26, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The 203rd anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, the University at Buffalo's first chancellor and 13th president of the United States, will be observed in ceremonies to be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 7 in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Jennifer A. McDonough, UB vice president for university advancement, will deliver this year's memorial address at the annual event.

Fillmore, born Jan. 7, 1800, who played a major role in the founding of numerous cultural, civic and community organizations in Erie County. He was instrumental in the founding the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Club and the Buffalo General Hospital. His activities also led to the creation of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.

Some historians credit the former teacher, postmaster, lawyer and member of Congress with establishing the White House library.

Col. James W. Kwiatkowski, commander of the 107th Refueling Wing of the New York Air National Guard, based at Niagara Falls International Airport, will place a wreath from President Bush at the gravesite.

George J. Lopos, dean of UB's Millard Fillmore College; MaryJane Gallo of the Millard Fillmore College Student Association, and Joseph J. Castiglia, president of the Buffalo Club, also will place wreaths.

Special guests will include members of the Abigail Fillmore chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and members of Forest Lawn's board of directors.

Also participating in the ceremony will be William H. Siener, executive director of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and Donald H. Dayer, Aurora town historian, and Warren C. Moffett, former Aurora town historian, both representing the Aurora Historical Society, which administers the Millard Fillmore Museum housed in a building where Fillmore and his wife once lived. The Rev. Joel Miller of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, where Fillmore was a member of the congregation, will deliver the invocation.

Flags will be presented by the UB Department of Public Safety under the direction of Richard C. Linde, assistant director. Also participating will be the honor guard of the Buffalo Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus. Taps will be played by Mark Filsinger.