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Published November 3, 2015

To:              University Community 

From:          Charles F. Zukoski
                  Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Date:           November 3, 2015

Re:              Vice Provost Mary H. Gresham

Dr. Mary H. Gresham, Vice Provost for Educational Collaboration and Engagement, has informed me of her plan to retire from the University at Buffalo at the end of the Fall 2015 semester.

Mary has served as Vice Provost for Educational Collaboration and Engagement since 2012 following 11 years of service as Dean of the Graduate School of Education. She began her career at UB in 1970 as a counselor in the Educational Opportunity Center and has served in several senior leadership positions including Vice President for Public Service and Urban Affairs from 1997 to 2006. In her 45 years of service to UB, Mary enhanced academic support structures and access to higher education for disadvantaged and nontraditional students, strengthened the university’s local partnerships and commitment to and presence in the city of Buffalo, and significantly contributed to an engaged culture and identity at UB.

As Vice Provost for Educational Collaboration and Engagement, Mary leads UB’s campus-wide efforts to connect our university resources with community needs and also oversees the Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) and Millard Fillmore College, which provide workforce development, training opportunities, and academic programs for disadvantaged and nontraditional students.

Mary excels in creating relationships with our communities in order to increase economic and educational opportunities in Buffalo and, in recent years, has focused on building partnerships with the community surrounding the Buffalo Niagara Medical Center (BNMC). In an effort to highlight paths to jobs, fulfilling careers, and educational opportunities for residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the BNMC, she developed UB’s partnership with more than 45 agencies and organizations involved in workforce development. Earlier this year, she joined with several local and national organizations to host the “Anchor Institutions and the New Economy in Buffalo: Toward a New Paradigm for Urban Regeneration” conference featuring national leaders and community members focused on creating  economic opportunities for local residents and helping build a more sustainable and equitable city.

Mary has also been integral in facilitating and promoting engagement activities across campus. She convened and leads a university-wide Internal Engagement Committee to provide enhanced coordination, communication, and advising on UB engagement. Led by Mary, the committee has assumed the daunting task of compiling a comprehensive inventory of faculty and staff engagement activities in order to better understand, recognize, and communicate the engagement activities taking place across campus. The committee has also worked to recognize and promote engaged scholarship and created a UB Award for Excellence in University-Community Engagement.  

A recognized leader in urban education programs and devoted advocate for PreK-16 education, Mary served as Dean of the Graduate School of Education from 2001 to 2012 before being appointed Vice Provost. Her significant accomplishments as dean include the creation of the Dr. Jean M. Alberti Center for the Prevention of Bullying Abuse and School Violence, expansion of relationships in professional and local communities, introduction of online programs in the school, increase of international opportunities for GSE including the creation of a master’s degree in school counseling in Singapore, and incorporation of the Department of Library and Information Science into the GSE.

From 1997 to 2006, Mary served as Vice President for Public Service and Urban Affairs. Previous to that, Mary served in various positions, including Associate Vice President in the Office of Public Service and Urban Affairs and Executive Director in the Office for University Preparatory Programs.

A psychotherapist with expertise in multicultural issues, Mary holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University at Buffalo. She is the recipient of numerous awards – including the Athena Award from the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Values Award for Diversity from Leadership Buffalo, William Evans/Whitney Young Humanitarian Award from the Buffalo Urban League, and National Sojourner Truth Meritorious Service Award from the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club, to name just a few – and has held leadership positions on an array of community boards and initiatives.

Colleagues, please join me in thanking Mary for over four decades of dedicated service to the university. Because of her significant contributions, our university and Buffalo communities are stronger and more closely connected. We wish Mary continued success and enjoyment in her well-earned retirement.