BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The inaugural University at Buffalo Scholarship
Gala will be held on Nov. 4. to raise funds for undergraduate and
graduate student scholarships across the university.
Western New York business executives and civic leaders Paul J.
Harder and John N. Walsh, III, and their wives, Barbara Harder and
Connie Walsh, will host the gala at 6 p.m. in the Center for the
Arts on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.
Increasing scholarship opportunities for students is a priority
at UB, according to UB President John B. Simpson. Nearly half of
last year's UB undergraduates had financial need, and only about
half of these students received assistance through scholarships or
grants. The other students turned to student loans, work-study
programs and part-time work.
"Even in public universities, scholarship support is critical to
creating new opportunities for our students in every field and at
every level of academic study," said Simpson. "UB is
committed to ensuring access to the opportunities and benefits
afforded by a first-rate education. This gala, which we plan to
host annually, is one important way we can raise awareness about
student needs and increase resources for our students."
Harder is president of CHEP II LLC, a private investment firm
specializing in Western New York technology-oriented start-ups and
entrepreneurial enterprises. A member of several professional and
civic boards, Harder also serves on the UB Foundation board of
trustees and is a supporter of UB's efforts to develop a
knowledge-based economy in the region.
Harder said he and Barbara are co-chairing this gala because
"scholarships are critical in ensuring academic opportunities."
"As parents, we can personally attest to the value of an
education and the costs associated with being a student," he added.
"We understand the value of an education and the associated costs
because three of our children have earned undergraduate, graduate
or medical degrees from UB, and our son is not finished yet; he's a
Walsh is chairman and CEO of Walsh Duffield Cos., and a longtime
advocate for the university and its students. Active in
professional and community groups, Walsh is the vice chair of the
UB Foundation board and has served on various other advisory
committees in support of four UB presidents. He recently chaired
fundraising efforts for the university's Honors Program.
Walsh said he and his wife are honored to co-chair the gala
because "scholarships attract academically talented students,
encourage greater diversity among the student body and the faculty,
and raise the overall morale of a university."
He added: "Paul Harder and I were privileged to attend
universities that provided us with a strong foundation for future
success. Now is our opportunity to give back in a very small way to
benefit those who follow us."
The event will feature dancing to the Billy McEwen Band,
preceded by dinner and a live auction by Cash Cunningham. For
ticket or sponsorship information, contact Nicole Shepherd at
716-829-2632, ext. 257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.