BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Alumni Association
will honor a prominent local philanthropist and an internationally
recognized journalist at the UB Alumni Association Achievement
Awards ceremony to be held at 6:30 p.m. April 9 in Lippes Concert
Hall in Slee Hall on the North Campus.
Attorney Gordon R. Gross, JD '55, will receive the UB Alumni
Association's highest honor, the Samuel P. Capen Award, and CNN
host Wolf Blitzer, BA '70, will receive a Distinguished Alumni
Award. They are among the 11 individuals who will be honored, along
with a UB alumni group, students and volunteers.
UB President John B. Simpson and UB Alumni Association President
Larry Zielinski, MBA '77 & BA '75, will present the awards. A
post-award reception will feature premium food stations, an open
bar and entertainment in the Center for the Arts Atrium.
Tickets for the Alumni Association Achievement Awards are $75
per person and may be purchased online at http://www.alumni.buffalo.edu/events
or by calling the UB Office of Alumni Relations at
Gross, of Eggertsville, N.Y., senior partner since 1959 in the
law firm Gross, Shuman, Brizdle & Gilfillan P.C., has a long
history of community activism and commitment to UB.
A member of the State University of New York Board of Trustees
from 2001-08, Gross's significant gifts to UB include a $1 million
donation to establish the first endowed professorship in the
Institute for Jewish Thought and Heritage.
Working closely with UB and a group of local supporters on its
creation, the institute was established in 2008 in the College of
Arts and Sciences and is aligned with the university's strategic
strength in Cultures and Texts that has been identified in the UB
2020 strategic plan being implemented by the university with the
goal of rising among the ranks of the nation's public research
universities. The institute's multidisciplinary research focuses
scholarship on the critical role that Judaism has played in the
development and communication of Western thought.
The institute will become a full-fledged department that will
award undergraduate and advanced degrees and is the first of its
kind within the SUNY system to establish master's and doctoral
degree programs in the field of Jewish Studies.
"The university is the No. 1 economic engine in Western New
York. Not only is it an important employer, but it spawns new
businesses and attracts people to the region," Gross said. "I've
seen for quite some time that the university is the future of this
community, and the most important thing we can do for the growth of
the community is to help grow the university. It's just that
The UB Law School, School of Dental Medicine, School of
Architecture and Planning and the Division of Athletics are among
the units that have benefitted from his generosity. The Dr. Alan
Gross Dental Student Fund was created to honor his late brother,
whom the family lost to stomach cancer in 1998. The loss of his
brother, who had three UB degrees, prompted Gross's involvement
with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, where he serves as a committee
member for development and institute affairs and each year
participates in the Ride for Roswell, becoming as its top
fundraiser in 2009.
receive a Distinguished Alumni Award, given in recognition of
exceptional career accomplishments, community or university
service, or research and scholarly activity. The host of "The
Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," he received a SUNY honorary
doctorate in humane letters in 1999, and in 2003 he endowed the UB
David Blitzer Lecture Series in Jewish Studies in honor of his late
father David, a Jewish Polish refugee.
Additional 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Richard J. Ablin, PhD
'67, of Tucson, Ariz.; Laura L. Aikin, BFA
'86, of Basiglio, Italy; and Margaret G. McGlynn,
MBA '83 & BS '82, of Flourtown, Pa.
The Clifford C. Furnas Award, presented to engineering, natural
sciences or mathematics alumni who have distinguished themselves in
a field of science, is to be given to Norman R. McCombs, BA
'68, of Tonawanda, N.Y.
Gary A. Baker,
PhD '02, of Knoxville, Tenn., will receive the George W. Thorn
Award, given to alumni under 40 in recognition of outstanding
national or international contributions to their career field or
Reserved for non-alumni who have made notable and meritorious
contributions to UB, the Walter P. Cooke Award will be presented to
Janet H. Sung, MD, and
John J. Sung of Clarence, N.Y.
The Dr. Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching will
be presented to William
G. Wild Jr., MS '87, MA '85 & BS '83, of Buffalo, N.Y.
Elsenbeck, ME '96, of Orchard Park, N.Y., will be given the
Community Leadership Medal for his outstanding volunteer
accomplishments in making the community a better place to live and
The Dr. Philip B. Wels Award will be given to the University at Buffalo
Dental Alumni Association, for its contributions to the
university, academia, the community and the profession. Frank C.
Barnashuk, PMCert '81 & DDS '80, of Orchard Park, N.Y., will
accept the Wels Award on the association's behalf.
Four students will receive the J. Scott Fleming Scholarship, the
only student-to-student award at UB. They are Olivia Cox, from
Huberfeld, from Amherst, N.Y.; South Korean native Tae Hyun Moon; and
Getzville, N.Y., resident Kathryn Przybyla.
In appreciation of outstanding volunteer contributions to the
university, Volunteer Recognition Awards will be presented to: Marc A. Adler, MA '83,
MBA '82 & BA '79, of Williamsville, N.Y.; Catharine L. Dohn, MBA
'79 & BS '76, of Williamsville, N.Y.; Michael J. Dray, BS
'04, of Amherst, N.Y.; James C. McNally, EdM
'68 & BS '66, of Orchard Park, N.Y.; and Frances M. Sansone, MS
'91, of Eggertsville, N.Y.