14 to be honored by UB Alumni Association

Jim and Jill Kelly among UB alumni and friends to be recognized

By Barbara A. Byers

Release Date: March 20, 2012

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Entrepreneur Jack Davis will receive the UB Alumni Association's highest honor, the Samuel P. Capen Award, at a ceremony to be held April 13.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo Alumni Association will honor an entrepreneur and a former Buffalo Bill and NFL Hall of Famer during the UB Alumni Association Achievement Awards ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. April 13 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the UB North Campus.

Entrepreneur John R. "Jack" Davis, BS '55, will receive the UB Alumni Association's highest honor, the Samuel P. Capen Award, and Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, friends of UB, will receive the Community Leadership Award. They are among the 11 individuals who will be honored, along with three university volunteers and one association. UB President Satish K. Tripathi and UB Alumni Association President Tim Lafferty, BS '86, 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 1-800-284-5382.

Jack Davis, of Akron, N.Y., is founder and owner of I Squared R Element Company, a manufacturer and seller of heating elements for high-temperature furnaces. He is widely known for keeping manufacturing jobs in America as well as for providing a generous profit-sharing program for his employees, including his plan to leave the company to them upon his death. Crediting UB for much of his success, Davis and his wife, Barbara, made an initial gift to UB in 2008 of $1.5 million for the naming rights to the state-of-the-art "clean room" for the new engineering building on the North Campus. The largest gift in the school's history at the time, the Davises increased their gift by $3.5 million, and in 2011 UB proudly opened a new 130,000-plus-square-foot building called Barbara and Jack Davis Hall.

Jim and Jill Kelly, of East Aurora, N.Y., have been advocates for medical research and newborn testing since the 1997 birth of their son, Hunter James, who died of an inherited fatal disorder of the nervous system at the age of 8. Through their unceasing efforts and the couple's Hunter's Hope Foundation, the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute was opened in 2004 in collaboration with UB. Located in UB's Center for Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences in downtown Buffalo, the HJKRI is working toward a cure for Krabbe Disease and other leukodystrophies.

Additional 2012 awardees include Distinguished Alumni Award recipients C.L. "Max" Nikias, PhD '81 & MS '80, of San Marino, Calif.; and Frank B. Silvestro, MA '68, & BA '62, of Clarence, N.Y.

International Distinguished Alumni Awards will be presented to Seong-Kon Kim, PhD '84 & MA '81, of Seoul, Republic of Korea; and Robin Yanhong Li, MS '94, of Beijing, China.

The Walter P. Cooke Award, which recognizes notable and meritorious contributions to the university and its family by non-alumni, will be given to Esther Takeuchi, of East Amherst, N.Y.

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 Dexter Johnson, PhD '95, MS '89 & BS '87, of Cleveland, Ohio.

The Dr. Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to Linda Heim McCausland, EdD '90, MS '78 & BS '74, of Amherst, N.Y.

The George W. Thorn Award, given to distinguished alumni under 40, will be given to Daniel G. Gibson, BS '99, of LaJolla, Calif.

The Dr. Philip B. Wels Outstanding Service Award will be given to the UB Engineering Alumni Association, for the organization's contributions to the university, academia, the community and the profession.

In appreciation of outstanding volunteer contributions to the university, Volunteer Recognition Awards will be presented to: Rita Andolina, MSW '88 & BA '80, of West Seneca, N.Y.; Raymond P. Poltorak, MBA'68 & BA'65, of Montgomery, Texas; and Roger Roll, friend of UB, of Williamsville, N.Y.