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UB Alumni Association Sets Annual Awards Dinner for April 23

By Barbara A. Byers

Release Date: March 18, 2004

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness in Washington, D.C., has been selected to receive the University at Buffalo Alumni Association's most prestigious award at its Celebration of Excellence Dinner on April 23.

Erich Bloch, B.S. '52, a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Competitiveness and principal in the Washington Advisory Group, LLC, will receive the Samuel P. Capen Award, presented for notable and meritorious contributions to the university and its family.

Nineteen other distinguished guests also will receive awards at the dinner at 6 p.m. in the Buffalo/Niagara Marriott, 1340 Millersport Highway, Amherst.

UB President John B. Simpson and UB Alumni Association president Jennifer B. Wozniak (M.B.A. '96, B.A.'92) will present the awards. Susan Banks, news anchor for WKBW-TV, will emcee the event.

Corporate sponsor for the Celebration of Excellence dinner is Digicon Imaging. Tickets are $80 per person. Call 716-829-2608 for further information or to make reservations before April 12.

Throughout his illustrious career, Erich Bloch has received national acclaim for contributions to the advancement of technology, and has continually supported UB, its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the community by freely lending his leadership to the school's Dean's Council and by benefiting 10 students annually through a generous endowed gift in the name of his granddaughter, Rachel Rosen. Bloch lives in Washington, D.C.

Sal Alfiero, chairman and chief executive officer of Protective Industries, Inc., will receive the Walter P. Cooke Award, presented to a non-alumnus for notable and meritorious contributions to the university. Alfiero is highly regarded in the UB community. Over the years, he has taken an active role serving as a member of many boards and councils, and generously giving at the Million Dollar Round Table level during the recent Campaign for UB, making a $2 million gift to the School of Management to establish The Alfiero Center, now under construction on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. This gift influenced other alumni and friends to lend their support to the center and other university programs. Alfiero lives in Snyder.

The Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award will be presented to Hatim A. Tyabji (B.A. '67 & M.S. '69). Tyabji has distinguished himself as one of the world's leaders in e-business, and is currently chairman of DataCard Group and ByteMobile, Inc. In addition to his professional achievements, he is a loyal alumnus to his alma mater, as evidenced by his valued service as a Dean's Council member for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and his generous giving at the Million Dollar Round Table level to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in the name of his wife, Durriya H. Tyabji. The Furnas Award is given to a graduate of either the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences or the disciplines of natural sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences who has distinguished himself or herself in a field of science, thereby bringing honor to the university. Tyabji lives in Los Altos Hills, Calif.

Salman Akram (M.S. '89) will receive the George W. Thorn Award, presented to UB graduates under the age of 40 who make outstanding national or international contributions to their career field or academic area. For the past 10 years, Akram has been working with Micron Technology, Inc., and has made outstanding technical contributions to semiconductor technology. In addition, he is one of the top inventors in the country (and one of the youngest, at the age of 37, with more than 410 U.S. patents). Among his UB graduate peers, Akram is a leading patent-holder. Akram lives in Boise, Idaho.

Professor and Mrs. William R. Greiner will receive the Dr. Philip B. Wels Outstanding Service Award, inaugurated last year, given to an individual or individuals who exemplify outstanding long-term service and dedication to UB. As UB's first provost and most immediate past president, Bill Greiner is a tireless advocate for the values of public higher education and UB's unique role in bringing those intellectual, economic and moral values to the local, regional, national and global communities. Bill and his wife, Carol, have proven to be two of UB's staunchest and passionate advocates and most effective ambassadors, leaving an indelible mark on the university and the many people it serves. The Greiners live in Williamsville.

Seven individuals have been selected to receive Community Leadership Medals for their participation on the Presidential Search Committee, which recommended John B. Simpson for UB's 14th president. They are: Jonathan A. Dandes of East Amherst (B.S. '74), president, Rich Baseball Operations; Willie R. Evans of Buffalo (Ed.B. '60), former president of the UB Alumni Association Board of Directors; Edmond J. Gicewicz of Getzville (M.D. '56 and B.A. '52); Jeremy M. Jacobs of East Aurora ('60), chairman and chief executive officer, Delaware North Companies; Ross B. Kenzie, former chairman and CEO of Goldome; Gerald S. Lippes of Buffalo (J.D. '64), partner, Lippes, Silverstein, Mathias and Wexler, LLP, and Reginald B. Newman, II, of Williamsville, president of the board of directors for the NOCO Energy Co. Community Leadership Medals are given in recognition of and appreciation for outstanding contributions to the university community over an extended period of time or for a single, truly remarkable contribution.

Three alumni will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards for their exceptional career accomplishments, community or university service, or research and scholarly activity. They are:

* Paula G. Allen-Meares, Ph.D. (B.S. '69), dean and professor of social work at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, the highest-ranking school of social work in the United States. Allen-Meares is one of the most respected administrators, researchers and educators in the field of social work. She lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

* Diana M. Bonta, R.N., Dr.P.H. (B.S. '74), rose to the highest health office in one of the largest states in the U.S., as former director of the Department of Health Services in the State of California. She has been a positive influence on the national level in public-health policy through her participation on the American Public Health Association board and as a member of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bonta lives in Los Angeles.

* J. Mason Davis, Jr. (J.D. '59), a retired professor of law from the University of Alabama Law School and a senior partner in the Birmingham law firm of Serote & Permutt, P.C. Davis has maintained a distinguished and unique legal career. He is one of the first African Americans to practice in the state of Alabama, and his trailblazing 40-year legal career, his accomplishments as an attorney and his continuous community service to his local community distinguish him as one of the most respected African American graduates of the UB Law School. Davis lives in Birmingham.

Several UB students will receive J. Scott Fleming Scholarships at the dinner in recognition of the dedication of student leaders who have helped promote student involvement at UB.