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UB to Commemorate 207th Birthday of Millard Fillmore

By Arthur Page

Release Date: December 27, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The 207th 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. Jan. 5 in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

The annual observance honors Fillmore, who played a major role in the founding of numerous cultural, civic and community organizations in Erie County.

Michael E. Ryan, UB vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, will deliver the memorial address.

Fillmore, born on Jan. 7, 1800, was instrumental in 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 F. Atkinson, maintenance group 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 George W. Bush at the gravesite.

Larry Gingrich, associate dean of UB's Millard Fillmore College; Paul J. Koessler, president of the Buffalo Club; and Joseph P. Dispenza, president of Forest Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum, 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 Warren C. Moffett, former Aurora Town historian, of the Aurora Historical Society, which administers the Millard Fillmore Museum housed in a building where Fillmore and his wife once lived, and Cynthia Conides, acting executive director of the Buffalo and

Erie County Historical Society. The Rev. Joel Miller of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, where Millard Fillmore was a member of the congregation, will deliver the invocation.

Flags will be presented by the UB Department of University Police under the direction of Lt. Mark R. Gates. Also appearing will be the Buffalo Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus honor guard and the Air Force Junior ROTC color guard of Buffalo's Math Science Technology Preparatory School at Seneca. Taps will be played by UB student Stephen Biggie.

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