BUFFALO, N.Y. – When President Barack Obama addresses an
audience at the University at Buffalo on Thursday, Aug. 22, it will
mark the first time since 1853 that a sitting U.S. president has
spoken at the university.
“President Obama’s visit to the University at
Buffalo will be a historic occasion for our university and our
community,” said UB President
Satish K. Tripathi, “and we are happy to provide a forum
for the president to address issues important to our nation.
“On behalf of the entire Buffalo-Niagara region, we look
forward to welcoming the president of the United States to our
university and our community.”
Obama’s address to the nation from the UB campus is
expected to focus on issues important to America’s middle
class, such as the rising cost of higher education. As a major
public research university and a leading voice in the national
conversation about issues vital to higher education, UB is an
appropriate setting for such a discussion, Tripathi said.
A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities
(AAU), UB was praised this year as a
national model for higher education reform by the New America
Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy
The New America Foundation report highlighted UB as one of six
“next generation” universities nationwide, citing the
university’s innovative approaches to controlling costs and
expanding student access while improving the quality of education.
UB was noted, in particular, for working with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
and SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher to enact the historic NYSUNY
2020 legislation, and the report praised UB’s “Finish in
4” graduation pledge to students.
The university also is at the forefront of other issues
important to the Obama administration, including health care,
improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
education, and economic revitalization through development of
For example, the university is building a new
medical school in downtown Buffalo to strengthen the
region’s health care, pioneer new medical treatments and fuel
job creation. And last year, UB launched the New York
State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, modeled
after the Obama administration’s Materials Genome
Initiative, to spur discovery and development of new materials
important to national security and essential to the manufacture of
innovative products and technologies.
“Fostering a public space for discussing these and other
pressing societal issues is vital to our mission as a leading
research university focused on advancing the greater public
good,” Tripathi said. “We are delighted to have the
opportunity to host such a timely and meaningful conversation here
Millard Fillmore, who served as the nation’s 13th
president, was university chancellor from 1846-74, h0lding the
title even while serving as U.S. vice president from 1849-50 and as
president from 1850-53. Since then, four former presidents have
spoken at the university.
Further information regarding the timing, location and topic of
Obama’s address at UB will be forthcoming from the White
House, as well as additional details about the availability of
tickets for this event.
The university will provide updates about Obama’s visit on
its website, www.buffalo.edu.