This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

William Greiner dies at 75

Published: December 21, 2009

William R. Greiner, who spent 42 years at UB as president, provost and longtime Law School faculty member, died surrounded by family members in the Cleveland Clinic on Dec. 19 due to complications from heart surgery. He was 75.

A public memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Center for the Arts, North Campus.

Greiner, who joined the law faculty in 1967, rose through the faculty and administrative ranks, culminating with his appointment as UB’s 13th president in 1991. He served until 2003, and was named president emeritus on Nov. 17 by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

“We are saddened for the future generation of UB students who will never get to benefit from his knowledge and teaching, and his gift as an educator,” said Carol Greiner, who met her husband when they were young children in Meriden, Conn.

“He was first and foremost a family man. His grandchildren are at an age where they are beginning to accomplish their own achievements. It will be difficult for him not to be there enjoying and appreciating their accomplishments.

“Despite all his titles, accolades and accomplishments, he was always a teacher and educator. After his family, teaching is what he loved most.”

Greiner’s administrative leadership resulted in a period of unprecedented growth at UB. His extensive list of major accomplishments includes the expansion of the university’s research enterprise, including the creation of major research institutes and recruitment of world-class faculty, solidifying UB’s place as a top-flight research university. He transformed student life, including the development and construction of five state-of-the-art student apartment complexes. He established the university as a leading center of international education, and under his leadership UB developed pioneering collaborative educational programs with universities in Poland, Cuba and Turkey.

He built a worldwide network of UB alumni, and fostered a new cultural presence of the university in the community, including the opening of the Center for the Arts. Greiner also spearheaded UB’s drive to Division I athletics and oversaw the most ambitious fundraising campaign in university history.

Greiner will be remembered as much for his engaging, hands-on administrative style, and tireless advocacy on behalf of UB as for his long list accomplishments. He was known as the quintessential university citizen and he cherished his role as professor and mentor.

“The entire University at Buffalo family today mourns the loss of one of our most beloved members, and we send our sincere condolences to Carol and the Greiner family,” said President John B. Simpson, who praised Greiner’s many accomplishments and his passionate commitment to UB.

“Bill Greiner had a profound effect on every aspect of this institution, from academics and research, to student life and our engagement with our alumni and the community. His vision and leadership made UB the outstanding institution it is today,” Simpson said.

Simpson pointed to Greiner’s extraordinary ability to inspire support for UB. “He was a gifted leader with an abiding belief in the university,” Simpson said, “His devotion made others want to dedicate themselves to making UB the best it could become. We will miss him greatly.”

When asked a few months ago about the proudest accomplishment of his distinguished career at UB, Greiner told the UB Reporter: “It is the people and careers I was able to help over the course of these many years, at the university and in the community. I’m most proud of the people we were able to advance. I helped recruit some of them and hold on to some of them, and I’m very proud of that.”

News of Greiner’s death brought an outpouring of expressions of admiration and appreciation from UB and SUNY leaders.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher offered her sympathy to the Greiner family. “This is a great loss to all who knew him and learned from him throughout his career," Zimpher said.

"Professor Greiner was recently named President Emeritus of the University at Buffalo by the State University of New York Board of Trustees, and we are so grateful to have had the opportunity to bestow such an honor upon him.

“It was a privilege to call him a member of the SUNY family, as his work had a positive impact on so many of our faculty, staff, students and alumni in Buffalo and across New York,” she added. “Whether it was pushing UB into NCAA Division I sports, leading major construction projects that would change the face of the campus, expanding the university’s research footprint or effectively raising the funds necessary to keep UB strong, SUNY will continue to benefit from his tremendous legacy.”

UB Council Chair Jeremy M. Jacobs said, “It has been a great privilege and honor to count Bill as a close friend and important advisor, both to me personally and to UB. I had the privilege of working with Bill throughout his long and successful career at UB and during his retirement where he continued his active support of UB and the community.

“He was a visionary leader, who was committed to excellence and possessed an unwavering dedication to the people of the university and of the region,” Jacobs said. “Because of his efforts, the University at Buffalo took its place as one of the nation’s best research-intensive public universities. Its national acclaim and achievements were results of Bill’s vision. He had an ambitious plan and saw it through with courage and conviction, just as he approached each and every aspect of his life. I admire him as a friend and for all that he accomplished during his lifetime.”

UB Provost Satish K. Tripathi said Greiner’s accomplishments are living legacies.

“Looking across the University at Buffalo’s academic and physical landscapes, one can truly appreciate the indelible mark that President Emeritus Greiner had on our university,” Tripathi said.

“During his 42-year tenure at UB, he transformed our university in so many lasting and meaningful ways. His body of work has enabled us, as a university community, to be among the finest public research universities in the nation.

“We owe so much of our success and future successes to UB's 13th president,” he said. “He will be greatly missed, but, quite rightly, his legacy will endure."

Makau W. Mutua, SUNY Distinguished Professor and dean of the UB Law School, said the Law School has lost an invaluable ally and advisor. Greiner’s ability and willingness to mentor “countless” law students was typical of his “loyalty and selfless service” to the Law School and UB, Mutua said.

“He loved the law. His name is fondly remembered by UB Law alumni throughout the country,” Mutua said. “The Law School, university and community are all better because of Professor Greiner’s commitment and passion."

A native of Meriden, Conn., Greiner received a BA in economics from Wesleyan University and a MA in economics, JD and LLM degrees in law, all from Yale University. He joined the UB law faculty in 1967, serving as chair of the Legal Studies Program from 1968-70, associate provost of the Law School from 1970-75 and associate dean of the Law School from 1975-80. From there, he moved into university-wide administrative positions as associate vice president for academic affairs from 1980-83 and as interim vice president for academic affairs from 1983-84. He became UB’s first provost—its chief academic officer-- in 1984, serving for seven years until his appointment as the university’s 13th president in 1991.

During Greiner’s presidency, UB conducted the most ambitious fundraising campaign in university and SUNY history, “The Campaign for UB: Generation to Generation,” which raised $291.6 million. The university also returned to athletic competition at the NCAA’s Division I level and moved to Division I-A football, increased its cultural impact with the opening of the Center for the Arts and the donation of the UB Anderson Gallery, and reaffirmed its commitment to public service by establishing an Office of Public Service and Urban Affairs. During his tenure, the College of Arts and Sciences was reconstituted and the School of Public Health and Health Professions was established.

Greiner also oversaw the expansion of instructional and research space on the North and South campuses with construction of the Natural Sciences Complex, the Mathematics Building, the Biomedical Education and Research buildings, and additions to the School of Management and MCEER.

Greiner worked to persuade SUNY to adopt policy changes that benefitted UB and other campuses. He oversaw the UB-led initiative that allowed all SUNY campuses to manage their own earned tuition revenue from student enrollments, and was credited with discovering an obscure state law that permitted alumni organizations to build dormitories using private funding—which led to the construction of apartment-style living units for more than 2,100 UB students, as well as those at other SUNY campuses.

After stepping down as president five years ago, Greiner taught courses in the UB Law School and the Graduate School of Education, and continued his practice of counseling countless faculty, administrators and students who have gone on to make their own contributions to the university.

An accomplished academic, he authored “The Nature and Function of Law, “a seminal legal textbook still in use today. Last year, he published the thought-provoking book “Location, Location, Location,” which chronicles the factors leading to the construction of UB’s North Campus and debunks the urban legend that the decision to build in Amherst, rather than in Buffalo, was made for dubious or politically short-sighted reasons.

Greiner was the recipient of UB’s highest award, the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal, given for service to the university and the region. In awarding the medal to Greiner at the May 2003 commencement ceremony, UB Council Chair Jacobs said that Greiner’s “outstanding leadership has ensured UB’s place among the nation’s best public research universities, and his passionate advocacy for Buffalo Niagara has led directly to increased opportunities for greater regional economic development.”

In 2004, UB established the William R. Greiner Scholarship Fund in his honor. Nils Olsen, former law school dean, has said the reason Greiner received this honor highlighted one of his greatest priorities during his tenure as provost, president and professor: UB students.

Greiner is survived by his wife, the former Carol Morrissey; a daughter, Susan Keenan of Buffalo; three sons, Kevin of Florida, and Terrence and Daniel, both of Buffalo, and 13 grandchildren.

Reader Comments

Joseph K. Quarshie says:

President Emeritus William R. Grienerwas always a wonderful person since the moment I met him for the first time in the Fall of 1994. He and his family had hosted a welcoming reception for the incoming International students at their residence. It was very wonderful interacting with him, his family and other UB administrators. Further I had the opportunity of meeting him at few other functions when I served as the President of the African Graduate Students Association. He got to know me and would wave anytime he drove past me on campus. We, the African Graduate students liked him very much. I was, especially, extremely happy when he presided over the Engineering graduation ceremonies in 1998 at which I participated. When I was robed and I got to him, we both smiled and looked at each other in the eyes, and I said “thank you” and he replied “you are welcome”. I could sense the satisfaction in his face. It was a wonderful feeling of joy for me, since we had met when I first got to UB to start my Ph.D at the reception at his residence and we were meeting again at the ceremony marking the completion of my degree. It is a feeling that remains with me today.

My last visit to UB was in September 2009, to attend one of the distinguished Speakers series. I visited the law school, but I was told that he was not at his office. I miss President-emeritus William R.Greiner, he was a great leader and a fatherly figure who encouraged every student, especially the students who have traveled far from their native countries. The African Graduate Students who were at UB during my time, join in wishing him a good and peaceful rest in the house of God.

Posted by Joseph K. Quarshie, Ph.D (1998), Professional Engineer (CalTrans), 02/15/10

Anthony Rozak says:

Now, as I walk around campus, I can’t help but see Bill Greiner in the people he hired and in the campus buildings he planned for. They all remind me of the last time I saw him. On leaving the Center for the Arts, most likely last spring, I spotted Bill approaching the Center entrance to participate in some event. He walked over to me, and with a warm welcoming expression, he extended his hand and with unaffected concern said, “Tony, how are you?”

Posted by Anthony Rozak, Associate Professor, Department of Visual Studies, 02/13/10

Anthony Rozak says:

In my first meeting with Bill (early 1980s) he did not tell me what I had hoped to hear. I inquired when the Art Department would move from the Buffalo Meter building (on Main St. near Hertel) to the Amherst campus. From across the table, Bill looked me in the eye and said “Tony, not in your lifetime or mine.” In this meeting and Bill’s regular group meetings with department chairs, I learned that he was a realist struggling with Albany imposed constraints and that he was not given to building false hopes. Contrary to his prediction, and thanks to Bill’s and others efforts and unfailing support over the years, we have enjoyed not only being at the Amherst campus since 1993, we benefited richly from our new home in the splendid Center for the Arts.

Posted by Anthony Rozak, Associate Professor, Department of Art, 02/13/10

Anthony Rozak says:

On other Sunday mornings we witnessed Bill Greiner’s enthusiastic support for the UB community, especially its students at the May commencement ceremonies. At one, I particularly recall Bill commenting in his address to the audience about how proud and impressed he was at seeing the accomplishments of the graduating class. He then in his self-effacing manner acknowledged how at that moment he felt upstaged by them.

Posted by Anthony Rozak, Associate Professor, Department of Art, 02/13/10

Anthony Rozak says:

Along with my deepest sympathies to Carol and the Greiner family, I extend a sincere thank you for sharing Bill with us!

I well remember early on one Sunday morning in the late eighties, when Bill generously accepted our invitation to open the Illustrator’s Workshop with his welcoming comments at the Center for Tomorrow. Bill, in his warm congenial fashion, remarked at how alert we all appeared because of our enthusiasm for the visual arts that brought us together so early on a Sunday morning. This event that brought top national illustrators and designers along with art students to our campus would not have been possible if it were not for Bill unhesitatingly hiring in 1987, Alan E. Cober, president of the Illustrators Workshop, as a Professor in our Department of Art.

Posted by Anthony Rozak, Associate Professor, Department of Art, 02/13/10

Salvatore R. Esposito says:

Our department offers our condolences to the Greiner family. Bill was a true friend whose help and gratitude was greatly appreciated by all. I am especially happy to know that a building is being named in his honor. No one is more deserving, especially he whose devotion to the studens and the university was always uppermost in his mind and heart, to be honored with a building with his name for all generations to see.

Posted by Salvatore R. Esposito, Associate Professor, Chairman of Recration and Athleitics, 02/04/10

Russ Miller says:

Carol - Bill and I spent a fair amount of time together during the hey-day of the Center for Computational Research (CCR: UB's supercomputing center). While I knew Bill a bit during his tenure as Provost, we got to know each other quite well during the second half of his presidency. Bill made regular visits to CCR in the 1999-2004 timeframe: sometimes with dignitaries in tow and often to just hang out and talk.

<p>We also traveled together a fair amount to Albany and Washington during this time. During these trips, Bill was very gracious with the time we had with elected officials, allowing me to discuss the benefits to the regional, state-wide, and international communities of appropriations that would allow CCR to continue on its growth path to become the largest academic supercomputing center in the world. After encouraging us to bring high-end 3D visualization systems to Albany and Washington on several occasions, we found that the traffic of our elected officials to the campus increased significantly.

<p>After the initial set of trips, we (including Janet Penksa and Bruce Holme) started to talk to our elected officials about using CCR as the foundation for a proposed Bioinformatics Center. The proposed Bioinformatics Center would bring UB, HWI, and RPCI together both physically, through appropriations for new buildings, and intellectually, due to the proximity that scientists would have to one another. Again, Bill gave us plenty of time to discuss our plans for national prominence and local growth with our elected officials.

<p>My fondest memories, however, are of the times that my wife and I were at your house for various and sundry events and the time we got to spend together at football, men's basketball, and women's basketball games. These memories bring me great joy.

<p>In addition, Bill served as a mentor to me, both during his tenure as UB Provost, while I was developing some large projects, and during his tenure as UB13, while I was Director of CCR.

<p>I have collected a set of videos and photos that are available at I hope they bring you some comfort.

<p>My deepest condolences. I miss Bills arm around my shoulder and his thoughtful, comforting, insightful, and enlightening words.

<p>All my best.

<p>Russ Miller

Posted by Russ Miller, Founding Director, Center for Computational Research, 02/04/10

Jack Peradotto says:

Bill Greiner and I both came to UB at about the same time and stayed as long. During my tenure as Dean of Undergraduate Education I reported to Bill, who was then Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Witnessing at close quarters with what consummate skill he blended intellectual rigor, verbal felicity, relentless energy, patience and an easy-going, almost folksy manner, I found a living paradigm of academic statesmanship and realized how few people can live up to it. We at UB were fortunate in having one. There is an Italian expression, "sprezzatura," that is hard to translate but means something like "the talent for doing something unusually difficult with unaffected ease and grace." Bill Greiner had that gift.

I had another occasion to see his qualities, this time ranged not locally but against some of the best candidates in this country's academic ranks, who aspired to the office he held for thirteen years. In the summer and fall of 1991, during the search that led to Bill's appointment as President, I was asked to step in as chair of the advisory search committee, when Bob Koren was sidelined by illness. It is a point of pride and honor to have played a small role in Bill's appointment.

Few colleagues' passing will, I believe, ever weigh as heavily on me as his. I count myself a charter member in the host of those who share is family's grief.

Posted by Jack Peradotto, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus, 02/04/10

Mark Karwan says:

The Celebration of Professor Greiner was absolutely stunning and, if possible, still somehow an understatement of Bill's impact on our lives. Sabina and I are thrilled that our four children received their UB degrees with Bill (and Carol) at the helm. Our picture with Bill and the whole family (including two UB son-in-laws) is one we cherish. We all knew that Bill bled UB blue like know one else before or since. Personally, there is so much to say about Bill's informal mentoring of me as he once introduced me to an audience of 350+ business folks as 'the boy dean' of Engineering. He intrusted me with both the School for twelve years, and a university-wide reorganization of our interaction with industry (UB Business Allinace, now STOR). My family has been blessed by his presence!

Posted by Mark Karwan, Praxair Professor in Operations Research and Emeritus Dean, 02/03/10

Sandra Fazekas says:

Please accept my deepest sympathy. Professor Greiner -- Bill -- influenced on so many lives at UB. Mine included. I had the privilege of working near him twice -- at the Law School in 1972 and again on the 5th floor of Capen Hall with Bob Wagner. So many wonderful things were said at the memorial celebration that reflect my feelings and thoughts. I remember being invited to a meeting with the leaders of WNY arts and cultural community before the opening of the Center for the Arts. I wanted to make a good impression and wore a brand new suit. I was standing nervously awaiting the start of the meeting when Bill walked in, gave me a hard slap on the back and said "nice suit." He knew. I'll miss him very much. Sandy

Posted by Sandra Fazekas, Associate Director, Center for the Arts, 02/03/10

Joanne Plunkett says:

Bill Greiner cared deeply about everyone in the UB Community -- his faculty colleagues and administrators, the front-line and back-office staff, and most importantly students, especially undergraduates. He hated inane rules that caused students incredible stress. That's how he first connected with me, enlisting me to help untangle some red tape on the behalf of those students. Bill always showed me respect and personal concern, and even praise. I was humbled by his kindness. I am so grateful to have known him.

My heart goes out to Carol, his children and grandchildren. May the Lord give you the strength to endure.

Blessings, Joanne Plunkett

Posted by Joanne Plunkett, Alumna and Staff Member (Retired), 02/03/10

Kerri Jasen says:

I am one UB employee of thousands, and never would I have thought I'd be personally affected by UB's 13th President, Mr. William Greiner. Bill shared his personal success with everyone he could. He impressed upon me to take the chance to be passionate about what I believed in, and that a warm smile is as sincere as you want it to be. I am so proud to have known him. I send my deepest condolences to Mrs. Greiner and the Greiner family for your loss.


Kerri Jasen

Posted by Kerri Jasen, Senior Systems Consultant, 02/02/10

Elizabeth Lidano says:

To the Greiner family, my deepest sympathies. When I worked in campus housing, some of my favorite memories of President Greiner were at the dedication ceremonies for each of the new apartment complexes on campus. Students were so excited about these complexes and Bill clearly shared their excitement. At one ceremony, while making his remarks, something reminded him of a song and he sang a little line from the song "Wonderful World"...."Don't know much about history, don't know much biology..." It was such a fun and spontaneous moment.

Posted by Elizabeth Lidano, Director, Office of Judicial Affairs & Student Advocacy, 02/02/10

Russ Miller says:

Bill Greiner was a wonderful person, an excellent mentor, and an extraordinary leader. As Provost and President of this University, Bill made numerous decisions on a daily basis, which always seemed to be guided by the simple principle of providing the most benefit for his extended family – i.e., the UB community.

<p>Bill rose to the challenge thrust upon him of enhancing the environment for students living and taking classes on the North Campus. It was clear to anyone who knew Bill that he put the UB students first and foremost in his planning process. He focused on providing students with a world-class education, as well as a positive and comprehensive environment. Bill worked hard to create a student-friendly and diverse environment, which resulted in a nationally-recognized athletics program, regular activities, campus shops and eateries, as well as access to world-class research and scholarship, to name a few.

<p>Bill Greiner was in his element when he was interacting with students – at a ball game, discussing the events of the day around campus, hosting regular events at his home, or simply discussing and debating national, international, or local issues with groups of students.

<p>As a leader, Bill worked hard to create a sense of “ownership” among the students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Bill believed in giving credit to those who did the heavy lifting, building on excellence, and leveraging areas of existing strength. He restricted bragging rights to being smart enough to hire and retain excellent people. This style of leadership included big-ticket items and opportunities, research, education, scholarship, as well as improving the general student environment. He certainly provided an ego-free workplace in which he conveyed to campus leaders that the idea of building on excellence was healthy and the idea of tearing down high-quality investments only to create a legacy for the sake of a legacy was unacceptable.

<p>It is a rare person who can show this level of love for an institution and this level of leadership and confidence.

<p>I have great memories of Bill enthusiastically leading tours of dignitaries through the Center for Computational Research on a regular basis and correctly explaining to his guests what the various supercomputers were used and the possibilities that existed by utilizing the high-end, 3-D, and immersive visualization equipment. He was always quick to point out the opportunities such an enterprise could provide to the students, staff, faculty, and WNY community, even as the center was leveraged to provide national prominence for the university in a large number of scientific, engineering, and technology areas.

<p>I thoroughly enjoyed all of the time I spent with Bill and Carol over their house at various functions, as well as the time we spent before, during, and after his presidency at various athletic events (“Carol, please sit down and stop yelling at the refs”).

<p>A gentleman and a scholar does not begin to describe Bill Greiner. Bill, you will be sorely missed and I feel privileged to have known you. Carol – thanks very much for sharing such a wonderful human being with those of us at UB.

<p>With all due respect, love, and admiration.

<p>Your friend,

<p>Russ Miller
UB Distinguished Professor

Posted by Russ Miller, UB Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, 02/02/10

William H Baumer says:

Thanks and appreciation forPres. Greiner's many and irreplaceable contributions to UB.

Posted by William H Baumer, Professor, Philosophy, UB, 02/01/10

Mary E. Randolph says:

I feel blessed to have known President Greiner. He was a leader, educator and builder. He truly made a difference in student life at SUNY at Buffalo. Through his vision, wisdom and unique ability, he developed state-of-the-art student housing.

President Greiner brought the University to the community in so many ways. He served on many boards and his impactful contri- bution made Buffalo a better place to work and live. His concern for Child Development was shown by he and his wife Carols" con- tributions and support to the Head Start Program as well as other Child Development Programs. His legacy of caring will be realized many years to come.


Posted by Mary E. Randolph, Friend and UB Council member emeritus, 02/01/10

Lucinda Finley says:

WIth the untimely passing of Bill Greiner, UB and Western New York have suffered a staggering loss -- but nothing compared to the loss his family has experienced. It is hard to imagine UB without Bill as part of it, but it is gratifying to look around the campus and see so many signs of his enduring legacy, in the faculty and staff he helped attract here, in the students he inspired, both current and past who are now passionate alumni, and in the buildings and campus housing that thanks to him have transformed the campus into a vibrant community full at all times of the day and night with the energy of students. His deep love and enthusiam for UB were infectious, and every time I had the pleasure of running into him I always came away with a renewed appreciation for UB.

Posted by Lucinda Finley, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs; Frank Raichle Professor of Law, 02/01/10

Albert (Al) Ermanovics says:

My deepest sympathy to Mrs. Greiner and the family and my sincere gratitude to Bill for allowing and supporting the establishment of an academic link and a student/faculty exchange program in Riga, Latvia. He will be missed by many, both here and in Riga. Al Ermanovics

Posted by Albert (Al) Ermanovics, Associate Director, Student Life, UB, 02/01/10

Wynnie Fisher says:

Professor Greiner was my teacher during the Fall 2005 semester for the Readings in Higher Education course. He had a gift for making you feel very important. No matter what you said - he listened and often guided you into a debate to explore your thoughts even deeper - something a true teacher will always strive to do. I'll always treasure the opportunity and honor of being one of his students. He will be missed -

Posted by Wynnie Fisher, PhD Student - ELP Department, 02/01/10

Rebecca Bernstein says:

Bill Greiner was a unique and special individual. He knew the value of laughter. I enjoyed my interactions with him, especially when I had the opportunity to work with both Carole and Bill because I enjoyed watching the give and take between them. They were a true partnership. Bill built a strong foundation for UB with passion and selfless devotion, a sense of humor and caring for the people he worked with and vision for the people he worked for. My deepest condolences.

Posted by Rebecca Bernstein, Web Strategist, University Communications, 02/01/10

Gene Morse and Kathleen Tornatore says:

Bill was a wonderful part of our lives at UB. When we were young faculty he made us feel welcome. As we grew at UB, Bill made us feel special. We will cherish all of the moments we enjoyed with him.

Posted by Gene Morse and Kathleen Tornatore, Professors, 02/01/10

Michel Bruneau and Parize Michaud says:

President Greiner was the consummate UB advocate: a fully dedicated supporter of academic excellence, ready to support, and celebrate the accomplishments of its students and faculty members. His charisma and warmth made all feel welcome within the UB family and willing to work together for its success. We cherish the memory of his genuine determination to create opportunities for all those that strived toward scholarly excellence.

Posted by Michel Bruneau and Parize Michaud, Bruneau: Professor and former MCEER Director. Michaud: Former Women's club President, 02/01/10

Ellen Grant says:

Thank you President Greiner for your Leadership and keen insight in making UB a successful partner to its UB Family, the WNY community, the World!

Your legacy will live on even though we will Miss You!

Posted by Ellen Grant, Foundation Board Member, 01/30/10

Jack and Janet McGrath says:

Bill was my first cousin. Our mothers were sisters. I have many fond memories from the late 1940's and early 50's of our family enjoying the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays together.

Bill and my older brother, Gerry, went through school together, both graduating from Meriden (CT) High School in 1952. He spent many hours at our house on South Avenue during those years playing whatever sport happened to be in season.

Jand and I were very pleased to have Carol and Bill stop to visit us when we lived in Singapore in the early 1980's. They were on a trip to China, and we have always appreciated them taking the time to spend a few days with us.

To Carol and family, our family expresses our deepest sympathy. Your husband, father and grandfather will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.


Jack and Janet McGrath

Posted by Jack and Janet McGrath, 01/30/10

Van and Gloria Miller says:

Bill Greiner is the finest man we've ever known.A great university president who did so much for U.B. in so many areas including elevating the football program to division 1 status...a labor of love...he never missed a play. Gloria and I were privleged and honored to be his and Carols guests at all of the U.B. games.A great educator,a great family man and a great friend.He will be sorely missed by all those lives he touched.

Posted by Van and Gloria Miller, Voice of the Bills, 01/29/10

John T Ho says:

I had the good fortune of working in various capacities with Bill when he was Provost and then President of UB. I will always remember Bill's personal warmth, his passion for everything UB, and his tireless efforts to move us forward in good or bad times.

Posted by John T Ho, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor of Physics, 01/28/10

Jack and Lee Baker says:

We have nothing but positive feelings and memories for the 13th president of UB. The signature of the blended UB will always be Bill's and that legacy is everywhere--a little thing compared to all he touched and was involved in during his presidency and the many years preceding those 13. Probably most recent memory is seeing Bill and Carol sitting courtside at UB BB games, always the UB cheerleaders! When Jack retired, Bill wrote the most personal, sincere note to him---it amazed us both and we've never forgotten that. All happy, good memories, like thousands of others who have had the good forture to have some association wih Bill. That in itself is a legacy to be envied.

Posted by Jack and Lee Baker, Retired Assoc. Prof. PT and Exercise Science; HR Manager, REV-UP, 01/27/10

Margie P. Hewlett says:

The first instance of knowing William R. Greiner was at his inauguration as UB's 13th president. We knew this was a special man when he read from 1 Corthians 13 as part of his inaugurational speech, known as the 'love chapter' and often quoted. Bill and Carol Greiner were always a class act from the minute you met them, and treated everyone as if they were delighted to know them. In particular they treated Don and Esther Davis, of Don Davis Auto World with the utmost respect and attention. As the first development officer hired (as a result of that inauguration day) my husband Ed was assigned to Don and Esther Davis, and had the priviledge of accompanying them to many UB events, in particular to the Don Davis series of events which they funded, spotlighting reknown speakers, as well as the Mini Medical School which they also funded. We would wait on the lower floor of the Center for the Arts for 'pictures' with Bill and Carol and the spotlighted featured speaker (Carol Burnett and John Glenn among many). The Greiners would always make everyone feel comfortable. The memories of seeing them at football games, and the ease with which they mingled with faculty and guests alike was admirable. You could tell that Bill doted on Carol and she on him. He was indeed a gentleman and a scholar. His example will certainly remain as a standard to which one could aspire.

Posted by Margie P. Hewlett, Special Programs Administrator, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 01/27/10

Regina Toomey says:

Thank you, Bill, for making me feel that doing my job was always possible because you believed -- by teaching, coaching, and providing the support we needed. You provided a big boost to UB and to my own career when you provided the tools we needed to change UB's position in the recruitment game. This was the kick off to get us going in the right direction -- one that continues to bear fruit today. I found it very meaningful that you always remembered to say thank you without fanfare and in countless different ways. Fondly, Regina

Posted by Regina Toomey, Sr. Associate Vice Provost - Undergraduate Education, 01/27/10

Joseph A. Gardella, Jr. says:

Bill and Carol Greiner have had a many influences on my family and my career at UB. Two very important ones stand out. When my community environmental work took me to Hickory Woods in Buffalo, where the politics could have stopped the work, despite political threats to me, Bill Greiner, as President of UB, not only supported the work, but promoted it as an example of how faculty research should be translated into difficult community issues. I am grateful that he was willing to do that, and supported my work no matter how threatening or controversial to political power. A second memory is marching behind Carol and Bill as I was to receive the Newman Award from the UB Newman Center. Carol whispered to my young son that this award was truly one that was meaningful, among all the recognition academics receive. My son and I will never forget that thought and lesson. I will deeply miss battling with and working with Bill Greiner. No one has stood so strong for a research university and it's betterment of collaboration with our host city and region.

Posted by Joseph A. Gardella, Jr., Professor and Larkin Chair of Chemistry, 01/27/10

Robert J. Yetto, DDS says:

It was 1993 and Buffalo was to host the World University Games. I volunteered to work and was made Chief of Protocol at Alumni Arena, as host to all of the foreign dignitaries. At both the diving and volleyball venues, the prime seats were reserved for these dignitaries, and part of my crew's assignment was to keep these seats clear of all others. George Steinbrenner (on the USOC at that time) came in with his entourage, and after I seated him an onslaught of folks tried to take a seat nearby, in the reserved seats. Just after chasing them away (and dealing with their verbal abuse) a gray haired man came in at the far end of the section. I ran down to him yelling "Now who the hell are you?" Imagine my horror when he turned, extended his hand and said "I'm Bill Greiner, the president.

Posted by Robert J. Yetto, DDS, Clinical Instructor, Dept. of Restorative Dentistry, 01/27/10

Mendel Sachs says:

I am sorry that i will not be able to attend the ceremony in remembrance of William Greiner. I spend the winter in Florida. William Greiner was one of the most excellent University presidents I have had the pleasure of serving. He will be sorely missed.

Posted by Mendel Sachs, Emeritus Professor of Physics, 01/27/10

Catherine C. Cyrulik says:

Dear Mrs. Greiner,

Please accept my deepest sympathy to you and your family in your loss of President Greiner. My heart goes out to all of you. I will continue to remember each of you in my thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely, Catherine Cyrulik

Posted by Catherine C. Cyrulik, Retired, Annual Programs, Division of Vice President for Development, University at Buffalo, 01/26/10

Danielle ("Danni") Miller-Juliano says:

I will always remember "Mr. G's" kind smile and welcoming attitude. Whether it was hosting parties for professors or shaking the hands of students at football and basketball games, you never felt that you could not approach him. He always remembered your name and always took the time to see how you were doing. The years I spent working catered events at the Greiner's home and office are some of my most treasured times at UB. I will forever cherish the moment of walking across the stage to receive my MSW and finding Mr. G with his arms outstretched for a hug. May he rest in a well deserved peace and heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Greiner and the family. He is greatly missed and fondly remembered.

Posted by Danielle ("Danni") Miller-Juliano, Social Worker, BA '96,MSW '00, 01/26/10

Robert and Eileen Fine says:

Bill Greiner was devoted to this family, his university and his community. He contributed much in many ways and he did it without a sense of ego. He simply wanted to get things done - and he did. Bill was comfortable at business meetings and black tie galas with titans of education, business and government but also comfortable at coffee tables with UB students. He was unique and well respected. Eileen and I were fortunate to have him as a friend and we extend our most sincere condolences to Carol and the Greiner family. Bill will be missed by so many people in so many ways.

Posted by Robert and Eileen Fine, Hurwitz & Fine, PC, 01/26/10

Andrea Costantino says:

I will never forget the support and admiration President Greiner gave the UB Cheerleaders and Marching Band. It is without question their programs wouldn't exist without his support and encouragement. I will never forget the great fun we had celebrating thier accomplishments. Pres. Grenier meant the world to me. I can only hope that you know he will be treasured forever by many. My thoughts and prayers will be with you forever. Andrea

Posted by Andrea Costantino, Director, Student Life, 01/25/10

Taylor Hawes says:

Last Spring, I had the privilege of being taught by Professor Greiner. In our small class, he posed thoughtful questions, encouraged us to dig deeper, provided invaluable life experience, and made the learning more intriguing. It was my first class with him and I was disappointed when he couldn't make our final class because of his health. I never really got to thank him for his time and knowledge. I'm glad I listened to the advice of another Professor to take a course from him and I'm glad I did it early on in my schooling. It was an honor and pleasure to meet him and receive his feedback.

Posted by Taylor Hawes, 01/25/10

John and Elizabeth Zaepfel says:

Liz and I will always fondly remember Bill Greiner. We were part of the marching band when it was reorganized in 1999, at his request. We made our premier performance at the freshman picnic. I can remember his reaction when he was asked to dismiss the band. We shouted "Bull!". Our director at the time, Mark Flynn, asked him to try again. We should "Bull!" Mark said "How about one more time." We shouted "Bulls, Bulls, Bulls!" What a great big warm grin he had on his face!

Posted by John and Elizabeth Zaepfel, Marching Band Alumni, 01/25/10

Joe Gardella says:

I am proud to say Professor and President Greiner was a major reason for my success. 2 (of many) stories from my 28 UB years stand out. Bill Greiner stood by me during the politically risky work in Hickory Woods; he understood my commitment and instead of retreating under political pressure, supported my work publicly as an example of how university faculty should contribute to difficult community issues, linking research with community problems. The second is when Carol and Bill were marching as I received the Newman Award from the Newman Center. Carol leaned over to my son and whispered to him that of all the awards we might receive, this one was the most important one. Our family is saddened to lose him as a friend and role model. No one cared so much for UB and Buffalo. Miss you

Posted by Joe Gardella, Professor and Larkin Chair of Chemistry, 01/23/10

Kevin and Lisa Pieters says:

Your Dad was always so gracious and kind and he and your Mom made quite a team. The whole family remains in our thoughts and prayers as you celebrate your Dad's life. We were lucky for having known him! Much love, Kevin and Lisa Pieters

Posted by Kevin and Lisa Pieters, 01/23/10

Gerald W.Nolan ( Jerry) says:

Bill and I are products of the Year 1934. We worked together in the early years to arrive at solutions to disputes between individual School Alumni Associations and the UB Foundation. Came together in The Blue and White Club to Upgrade University Athletics and much more over the Years. A True Friend to be missed. My heart is with you Carol.

Posted by Gerald W.Nolan ( Jerry), Friend & Member General and Management Alumni Assoc., 01/22/10

Jack Wagner says:

I first worked with Bill in our respective capacities as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of CUBRC, the Calspan UB Research center. Bill taught me a lot about developing collaborative relationships with diverse members of industry, government and academia. Our relationship developed further based on Carol and me serving together on the Board of Directors of Summit Educational Resources. I am proud to have both of them as dear friends and will miss Bill very much. Without question, Bill is one of the finest people I have had the privilege of knowing and working with. A true Leader and a great loss to Western New York.

Posted by Jack Wagner, Retired President, Calspan Corporation, 01/22/10

William Thomas Jr. says:

Dr. Greiner was the professor I had for my first semester Honors Seminar. The way he taught about the law was different from anything I had ever encountered. He taught us using actual cases and experiences. He would use Supreme Court opinions and decisions to lead us in a direction of learning how to understand the decisions of the law and how and why they were being made. His skills as an educator put him far above and beyond most of the teachers and professors I have encountered during my schooling. He was also one of the friendliest men you would ever want to meet. Every Thursday he would bring in cookies as long as we promised to discuss the issues at hand. He would always be willing to joke around with his students. He was a great man, and I will miss him greatly.

Posted by William Thomas Jr., Student majoring in Mathematics, B.S., 01/21/10

Uday Sukhatme says:

I got to know Bill Greiner during the 2002-2006 period when I served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He had all the attributes university presidents should have. He understood the importance of a strong academic mission while recognizing the value of extra-curricular activities. Right from the first time that my wife Medha and I visited UB, Bill's warmth made us feel welcome. Bill took special pride in the successes of CAS, since the college was his baby, created by merging three existing colleges. I enjoyed hearing Bill talk about the history of UB, and describe how he spotted a legal loophole which permitted the construction of additional student housing! Carol and Bill were always delightful hosts, both at formal events held at the President’s home, as well as at informal events in the football stadium with a group of excited alumni. I will miss Bill’s big smile and warm, unwavering encouragement!

Posted by Uday Sukhatme, Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Faculties, IUPUI, Indianapolis, 01/21/10

Julia and Christopher Cohan says:

Dear Carol, We always felt so comfortable with you and Bill. Right from the first reception you held for Women's Club "Newcomers" through all the lovely dinners you hosted together for Women's Club board members, you both made everyone feel valued. I remember our first year here, when Bill was Provost, and we attended a dinner you held for a few couples in your home - pre-LeBrun. Claude Welch presented a very informative slide show about the history of Buffalo, with particular attention to architecture. That spurred our interest in Buffalo architecture and has led to our involvement with the Binational Tourism Alliance's Doors Open Niagara. The other Buffalo appreciation that we have because of Bill, is our respect for the UB athletic teams. Whenever we attended a sports event, you and Bill were always there. You were clearly the number one fans of all the teams. UB has lost its most loyal supporter, and we have lost a man we thought of as a friend. With love, Julie and Chris Cohan

Posted by Julia and Christopher Cohan, UB Supporters, 01/21/10

Eric Rochman says:

I can express enough my gratitude for President Greiner and his support of the Marching Band. I feel privileged to have met him my Sophomore year at one of our performance's. I remember that day very well, specifically the praise and congratulations on the band and how far it has come since he brought it back to the University. If it wasn't for him, the band wouldn't have progressed to where it is today. He will always be remembered.

Posted by Eric Rochman, UB Marching Band Head Drum Major, 01/20/10

Dr. Lawrence Shulman says:

Bill hired me as Dean of the School of Social Work in 1997. I remember my interview in his office and was struck by the Greek pedestal standing in the corner. Instead of the head of a Greek god or Homer or some other figure it held a Buffalo Bills helmet. I told Bill that if I came to UB I would work make sure the SSW was seen by the community as part of the University at Buffalo, not the University at Amherst. He immediately and enthusiastically made clear that he wanted that as well and thus began a great relationship with Bill (and Provost Tom Headrick) providing the support to expand the school, to develop a research center, to open an on-campus Center for Buffalo students suspended from school for violence, etc. Bill was a great cheer leader and mentor and he will be missed.

Posted by Dr. Lawrence Shulman, Professor and Dean Emeritus, UB School of Social Work, 01/20/10

Deborah A. Silverman, Ph.D., APR says:

I served as President Greiner's assistant for communication from 1998 to 2001, drafting speeches and correspondence and serving as his "voice" on many UB publications. Bill was a wonderful boss with a folksy, conversational, direct style of communication who loved Mark Twain's works. In his communication, he was careful and precise, always searching for the right words and putting drafts of letters aside for a day or two to make sure he had the wording he wanted. Sometimes we went through eight or nine drafts! He was deeply devoted to his family and to UB, his "second family." As its president, he had a very demanding work week, attending meetings and numerous events involving students, faculty, parents, business and legislative leaders, and of course, UB's sports teams. And he never forget his roots as a professor - he truly enjoyed teaching and talking with students. As I worked with Bill on writing projects, I felt privileged to be sitting at his conference table discussing higher education administrative issues. He inspired me to pursue my own mid-life career change - to become a SUNY professor, just as he did, once again, after stepping down from the UB presidency. He left behind a solid legacy of accomplishments at UB, and I personally am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with him. Rest in peace, WRG - you were taken from us far too soon!

Posted by Deborah A. Silverman, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor of Communication, Buffalo State College (former assistant to President Greiner), 01/20/10

Maria Runfola says:

Bill was a great mentor to me when I worked in central administration. I have many powerful memories of Bill but there is one in particular that stands out among them. After one meeting in his office, he commented to me that I would make a good lawyer. When I asked him why, he responded "you didn't play all your cards at the meeting but rather only showed those that were absolutely necessary". I have always remembered this in my dealings with individuals.

I'm also grateful to him for having confidence in my ability to make a new home for myself in the university. I could have been retrenched when the music education programs were closed in the Department of Music but instead he arranged for me to join the faculty of the Graduate School of Education, a place where I could thrive. I'm happy I met him in the Alfiero Tim Hortons shortly before he became ill and that I was able to tell him that though I fussed and hollared at the time, his decision was a good one and very much appreciated.

His support, guidance, and friendship will always hold a special place in my heart.

Posted by Maria Runfola, Associate Professor of Music Education, 01/20/10

Jill Rexinger-Kuhn says:

Game days and road trips will never be the same. We will miss Bill's support, smiles and cheering. And his many faces directed towards the game officials. Go Bulls!

~ Jill

Posted by Jill Rexinger-Kuhn, UB Athletics Director of Promotions & Game Presentation, 01/20/10


I sincerely thank Dr. Greiner for his great contribution to our University and Buffalo Community. We will miss him very much. I was fortunate to get to know Bill and Carol more while I served as the President of UB Women's Club (1990-91) during which time Bill was inaugurated as the 13th President of University at Buffalo. Our Club members appreciated your generous support and and will remember you fondly for the coming years. My heartfelt condolences to Carol and family, Sun Mi Fung

Posted by SUN MI FUNG, Project Staff Assistant/Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences/UB, 01/20/10

Minnie Wyse says:

Carol and Family,

The Wyse family sends their deepest condolences. President Greiner was such a presence here at the University. He was quite the story teller, and was particularly captivating when he spoke of the past here at UB. He was funny, sincere, humble, a most genuine human being. The world shines a little less brightly without him. You are in our thoughts and prayers, Minnie Wyse

Posted by Minnie Wyse, Director of Development School of Social Work, 01/20/10

Dr. Lawrence A. Cappiello says:

During the twelve years I served as Secretary for the President's Board on Tenure and Promotion , Bill and I were in frequent conversation, first as he advocated for faculty of the law school, and later in his various roles in the office of Academic Affairs. Certainly we were not always on the same side of the argument but there was never a doubt that Bill had the best interests of the university in what ever position he defended. A well meaning man gone before his time.

Posted by Dr. Lawrence A. Cappiello, Professor Emeritus, 01/20/10

Pat Wilson says:

It is always with a great deal of warmth and kindness that I think of President Greiner and his most gracious "First Lady." Having been at UB for 30 years the memories include Provost Greiner happily speaking to a class of peer advisors, seeing he and his wife at Fr. Pat Kelleher's Chicken barbecues every year as my daughter was growing up and watching him at so many Men's and Women's Basketball games both at home and away, congratulating each and every player whether they won or loss. What a great sign of support!

President Greiner hosted many blue-chip recruiting visits for potential student-athletes and it was always special to be invitied to his home for these events. Bill cared about the UB Family and with the help of his wife Carolyn, they have been great ambassadors for the University at Buffalo for many precious years.

Posted by Pat Wilson, Athlete Academic Advisor, 01/20/10

Tom Feeley says:

Bill Greiner is my role model. He had a dogged work ethic, a passion for students, and always prioritized his family. At the the same time his sense of humor kept everything in its right place. I miss him already and his stamp on UB is permanent.

Posted by Tom Feeley, Associate Professor & Chair, Communication, 01/20/10

Edward W Bush says:

Thank You Dr Greiner for being the motivating force behind the expansion of on campus living at the University at Buffalo

Posted by Edward W Bush, Associat Director, 01/20/10

Don Erb says:

President Greiner's vision for the University set the table for where we find ourselves today. His interest in student housing and division 1 athletics has made the institution a more attractive and complete University. I appreciated his boldness, his vigorous sense of humor, his ability to challenge WNY, and mostly the personal interest he took in me. How a man of his stature has the time to mentor so many, is beyond me.

Posted by Don Erb, Director, Residential Facilities, 01/20/10

James Atleson says:

Many have spoken about Bill Greiner's selfless devotion to UB as President, and I wanted to also note his dedication to the law school as a faculty member and an administrator before moving to Capen Hall. From the time he joined the faculty, Bill was interested in modernizing the school, advancing its role as educator as well as being concerned about the service we might provide to western New York. In all his roles, he acted with good humor, humility, and spirit. He was where he wanted to be. He was a good friend, and as my grandmother would say, he was a mensch.

Posted by James Atleson, Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, 01/19/10

Sandra White says:

I remember meeting President Greiner and his wife at a reception for Attorney Johnnie Cochran, apart of the distinguised speaker series. The event was sponsored by my group the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists. He was gracious, warm and sincere. My sympathies to his family, he was a great man. PS- I loved looking at the white fluffy hair of his!!

Posted by Sandra White, Journalist, 01/19/10

Paul Vecchio says:

It took a man of unwavering passion to move UB from a relatively little-known commuter school to a driving force in higher education as witnessed by its inclusion in the Association of American Universities. It took a man with great courage to be willing to stake his reputation on moving UB to Division I athletics, where he believed the University could truly stand toe-to-toe with its AAU brethren. Fortunately, Bill Greiner had passion and courage in the abundance that the ocean has salt! My prayers go out to his wonderful wife Carol and his family...thanks for sharing him with us, we are all better for the legacy he has left at UB.

Posted by Paul Vecchio, Associate Athletic Director, 01/19/10

Carla Benz says:

I remember the day when Bill stood looking out his office window pondering whether he should accept an offer as President of another university or wait to see if he would be chosen President of UB. After several hours, he called me into his office to ask me what I would do under these circumstances. I told him I would follow my heart--the rest is history! His love for UB and his devotion to Carol and his family were paramount in his life. His legacy will never be forgotten.

Posted by Carla Benz, Executive Assistant to the President (retired), 01/19/10

Roger McGill says:

Bill Greiner's accomplishments on behalf of UB and the WNY community are legendary. Much has been written and said about his tremendous skills as a teacher, leader and administrator. As a result he will forever be remembered as one of UB's most respected and accomplished President and faculty member. While that is an amazing accomplishment, I am very pleased to be able to tell you that Bill Greiner will be remembered EVEN MORE for the loving and caring person he was. For anyone who had the pleasure of knowing or working with Bill Greiner personally, you can never forget how special he made you feel. Times spent with Bill and Carol Greiner are etched in people's hearts and minds as special "Kodak Moments" that will last a lifetime. Well done thy good and faithful servant!

Posted by Roger McGill, Assistant Vice President (retired), 01/17/10

WIlliam Thomas says:

Dr. Greiner was the professor I had for my first semester Honors Seminar. The way he taught about the law was different from anything I had ever encountered. He taught us using actual cases and experiences. He would use Supreme Court opinions and decisions to lead us in a direction of learning how to understand the decisions of the law and how and why they were being made. His skills as an educator put him far above and beyond most of the teachers and professors I have encountered during my schooling. He was also one of the friendliest men you would ever want to meet. Every Thursday he would bring in cookies as long as we promised to discuss the issues at hand. He would always be willing to joke around with his students. He was a great man, and I will miss him greatly.

Posted by WIlliam Thomas, Mathematics student in the Honors program, 01/11/10

Charles Bernstein says:

As a co-director and co-founder of the Poetics Program of the English Department, I want to acknowledge President Grenier's support for our work initially through his recognition of the importance of Robert Creeley for UB and then later supporting the work done by Susan Howe, Raymond Federman, Dennis Tedlock and myself in making UB an internationally acclaimed research center for 20th century poetry and poetics.

Charles Bernstein. Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania, Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Posted by Charles Bernstein, SUNY Distinguished Professor (till 2003), 01/11/10

Gerald Richardson says:

William Greiner was a great leader for UB and will be sorely missed. As a student, I met him several times, once as a RA when he and his lovely wife hosted us for dinner at their house. Great time. My most interesting memory of him was during the time when the basketball team was in turmoil over the coaching change (Cohane-Witherspoon). I was a walk-on player. During a team meeting in the locker room with the administration, President Greiner expressed his concern and tried to keep things light by joking that if it had to come down to it, he would coach the team... "heck, I already look like Lute Olson." He had us all laughing.

Posted by Gerald Richardson, BS '00, 01/04/10

Toshio Matsutani says:

[Continued from previous comment] I remember with much affection the Greiners visit to Japan. We Japanese alumni were very impressed by the Greiners warmth and friendliness, and how hard they tried to understand our county and culture. We will always remember Bill Greiner as a kind and good man and a great internationalist. On behalf of all Japanese alumni I express our deepest condolences to Carol Greiner and her family.

Posted by Toshio Matsutani, MBA '78, Ph.D.,'85; President, Japanese Alumni Chapter in Japan, 12/29/09

Toshio Matsutani says:

All of the members of the Japanese Alumni Chapter were very sad to learn that former President William Greiner passed away. When I was a student at UB I had the opportunity to get to know Bill Greiner, he was unpretentious, friendly, warm and very approachable. He was very student oriented. He laid the foundation for the continued development of UB, but most of all he helped UB become an internationally recognized institution throughout Japan and Asia. We are proud that UB is known around the world as an excellent institution of higher education, thanks largely to Bill Greiner's tireless efforts to promote it. [More in next comment]

Posted by Toshio Matsutani, MBA'78,Ph.D.,'85; President,Japanese Alumni Chapter in Japan, 12/29/09

Emre Colak says:

He was a great president and a very warm, welcoming person. I am very lucky to have met him in person, had lunch with him and been a student during his presidency. UB community will sure be different without him but his legacy will hopefully keep us together even closer than before. My deepest condolences go to his family and to the UB community.

Posted by Emre Colak, Software Engineer, UB Alumnus 2002-2008, 12/27/09

Hiroshi Ota says:

It was a shock for my wife and me (both of us graduated from UB) to hear this very sad news. I have a picture of him and me in my office, which was photographed at the graduation reception for international students when I completed my Master's program in 2001.

I worked for the Office of International Education as a graduate assistant and it was a great honor for me to serve as an interpreter for him a couple of times when UB hosted a delegation of a Japanese partner institution, particularly Konan University. He was very friendly and warmed visitors’ hearts quickly. I can only imagine what a great loss this must be for UB.

May his soul rest in piece.

Posted by Hiroshi Ota, EdM 2001, PhD 2008, Professor, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan, 12/27/09

Stephen Dunnett says:

Bill Greiner was an early champion of international education at UB and deserves much credit for UB's successful internationalization over the past three decades. As provost he supported UB's pioneering programs overseas, including those in China and Malaysia, which made UB a highly visible and well regarded university in Asia. Long before globalization became a buzzword, Bill had the vision to establish an office of international education in the provost's office-one of the first of its kind in the country-which centralized international programs and services and provided a coordinated strategic approach to institutional internationalization. I will miss Bill's friendship and counsel.

Posted by Stephen Dunnett, Vice Provost for International Education, 12/26/09

Mary Beth Dunn says:

To the Greiner family, My deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one. You should be very proud of a man who gave so much to others. May God bless all of you at this time of sorrow. Sincerely, Dr. Mary Beth Dunn

Posted by Mary Beth Dunn, Pediatric DDS & Eighth District Dental society president, 12/26/09

Mister Ali says:

Why is it that all the good die young?

Posted by Mister Ali, Doctor, 12/26/09

Albert Pautler says:

Bill was a great leader and a wonderful person. Along with his wife, Carol, they did so much for the University and the community. Bill will be missed as a member of the WNY community. May he rest in peace with the Lord.

Posted by Albert Pautler, Professor Emeritus, University at Buffalo, 12/26/09

Hassan Farah says:

President Greiner was a great leader who inspired many students, faculty and administrators to work towards a greater University. It was indeed an honor to meet him and we thank him for his selfless service to us-- the students, and his lengthy service to the greater University.

Posted by Hassan Farah, Former Student Association president, 12/24/09

John Grela says:

Bill Greiner was a good and great man. I had the opportunity to work with and for him since 1978. It was an honor for to have his friendship and support. My thoughts for Carol and his family are the fond memerories I shared with them. Bill will surely be missed, but not forgotten. The University at Buffalo is great because of Bill Greiner. God bless.

Posted by John Grela, Chief of UB Police-Retired, 12/24/09

Basak Kizildemir says:

All of us in Turkey were so saddened by the sudden death of Mr. Greiner. He was such a kind, productive, hard working gentleman and he dedicated 40 years of his life to our university with many excellent accomplishments. He left behind a legendary name with all the contributions he made to improve the standard of UB, and he will be remembered forever. We feel lucky that we had the chance to meet him personally and spent time together in Istanbul a few years ago. Our deep condolences to his family, friends and his colleagues in the university.

Posted by Basak Kizildemir, President of the UB Alumni Chapter in Turkey, on behalf of all UB alumni members in Turkey, 12/24/09

Emrah Keles says:

I would like to send my deepest condolences both to the Greiner family and to the whole UB family. I remember the day he invited us over for the luncheon at the President's Residence and the great time we shared all together. I feel lucky to have met him and feel really sorry for our loss. May he rest in peace!

Posted by Emrah Keles, Member, UB Turkish Alumni Chapter, Istanbul, Turkey, 12/23/09

Tom Ralabate says:

With a warm smile, Bill brought humaness to UB. Over the years, it was always a pleasure to see Bill and Carol Greiner grace the Center For the Arts with their presence. Bill was a dancer at heart; from watching him dance with Carol at UB Scholarship Galas in the CFA Atrium to attending Zodiaque Dance Company concerts in the CFA Drama Theatre. He repected the academic pursuits of scholars, atheletes, and artists. I am confident that he has found more golden floors beneath his feet.

Posted by Tom Ralabate, Associate Professor, Dance, 12/23/09

Jason Tan says:

It was with great sadness that I learnt of President Greiner's illness and his subsequent passing. I remember the visit of President and Mrs Greiner to Singapore to maintain ties with alumni. President Greiner's dedication to the betterment of UB was evident when he spoke with us. I have fond memories of my studies at UB and these are in no small part due to the efforts of UB at improving the academic experience of students. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Mrs Greiner and the Greiner family.

Posted by Jason Tan, Professor, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Polytechnic University, Singapore, and UB Graduate School of Education Alumnus, 12/23/09

Michael Pietkiewicz says:

Professor Greiner's love for UB was infectious. He was the original UB Believer! I was fortunate to work for him over the last 5 years of his tenure and to know him as a friend in that time and beyond. He loved a good debate and a good laugh, but most importantly loved a good teaching moment. Bill provided me with an opportunity to come back to WNY to serve this university and community and I will be forever indebted to him. My family and I offer our condolences, with much love, to Mrs. Greiner and her family during this difficult time. Bill, you wil be missed but your legacy is realized everywhere around us. Go Bulls!

Posted by Michael Pietkiewicz, Assistant VP for Government Relations, 12/23/09

Sargur Srihari says:

My three decades at UB coincided with Bill Greiner's presence on campus. For nearly two decades Bill was in the steward's seat, first as provost and then as president. Bill brought in a personal commitment to UB that made you forget that it is after all a public state institution. I will remember him for both the development of the campus-- he took pride in each new campus improvement-- as well as the time and effort he invested in the development of faculty colleagues.

Posted by Sargur Srihari, SUNY Distinguished Professor, 12/22/09

Carmella R. Hamley says:

It has been a great pleasure to know the Greiners since joining UB Women's Club in 1988. Actually my first gathering was at the home of the Greiner's. That first contact was very warm and welcoming. Since that day every meeting came with the same feeling. President Greiner was a great man and did wonderful things for UB. He will be missed . Respectfully, Carmella Hanley

Posted by Carmella R. Hamley, Dental Assistant UB School of Dental Medicine, UB Women's Club Member, 12/22/09

Pratheep Jagannathan, MS '01 says:

Though I had met Mr. William Greiner only a couple of times in the year 2000, his kindness and courtesy are still fresh in my mind. Rest in peace Mr. William Greiner. My deepest condolences to Carol and the Greiner family.

Posted by Pratheep Jagannathan, MS '01, managing director, Excell Engineering, India, 12/22/09

Jeff Levin, BS '72 says:

I am sorry to learn of the death of Professor Greiner. He was a terrific educator. He is partially why I chose to become an attorney. I took his course on the nature and functions of law as a junior in the 1970-71 school year. I enjoyed reading his textbook and his class lectures. His class turned me toward attending law school. He had the ability to clearly explain the applications of law in our society and to make it relevant to the turbulent times that were then the focus of the UB campus and the nation. His course was among the best that I took at UB. Please express my condolences to Professor Greiner's family.

Posted by Jeff Levin, BS '72, 12/22/09

Dale J. Clark, JD '81 says:

Professor Greiner was my Tax I professor. He asked me to help with an introductory course in accounting and finance for liberal arts students. We were thrilled to stand in front of a L1 Class and become the teachers. Through Professor Greiner, I was able to teach a Millard Fillmore evening course on Law and Society using his book. I have met Professor Greiner over the years at Law School functions and he always remembered my name. Thank you Professor Greiner. Godspeed!

Posted by Dale J. Clark, JD '81, professor emeritus, Corning Community College, 12/22/09

John N. Walsh III says:

Bill was, at his core, a man who loved teaching and students, and gave his life in service to UB. He so believed in this community and was devoted to the love and support of Carol and their family. Bill Greiner had no complicating ego and was always eager to find ways that his colleagues' lives at UB could be enriched. His warmth was genuine, and all of us at UB shall miss his loyal and happy friendship.

Posted by John N. Walsh III, vice chair of the UB Foundation and UB Council member emeritus, 12/22/09

Mark Scott says:

The entire WBFO family is saddened by the loss of Bill Greiner. His support of this public radio station was greatly appreciated. This is a painful loss for the university. Bill Greiner WAS UB. When the Bulls won their first MAC championship in football last year, I thought of Bill Greiner first and was so happy that he was able to enjoy it. But it was in the classroom where Bill made his greatest impact. I never had the privilege of taking a class from him. But I did spend countless hours in the WBFO studios for his call-in shows. And I could see the true passion he had for the students of this university. Carol, please know that you, your children and grandchildren, have our deepest sympathies. We will miss you, Bill.

Posted by Mark Scott, WBFO News Director, 12/22/09

Daniel Fynch says:

He will be surely missed. Dan Fynch.

Posted by Daniel Fynch, UB Alumni 1992-1999, 12/22/09

Brandon Bryant says:

I would like to take this time to thank President Greiner for everything he has done for the UB family. He will most certainly be missed, especially by the Marching and Pep Bands. I know that I would always look for him and Mrs. Greiner at our games, cheering and making their presence known. UB has certainly lost a gem, but heaven has gained an angel. Thank you again for your kindness and support you extended to the entire UB community. Your impact on me has been indelible. God Bless you and your family.

Posted by Brandon Bryant, Drum Major Emeritus, UB Marching Band '04-'09, 12/21/09

John Wood says:

Matt H. Yildizlar - Founder of YEF (Yildizlar Education Fund) wrote:

I have a lost a dear friend today who will be missed by so many all around the world. Bill was a wonderful man with great vision and was instrumental in the establishment of YEF and the programs between University at Buffalo and Istanbul Technical University.

During his tenure at the University he accomplished so many things that will be remembered forever. I consider myself very lucky to have known him and to call him a friend.

My sincere condolences go to Carol, Bill’s wonderful wife and companion for many years and their children Susan, Kevin, Terrence and Daniel.

Posted by John Wood, Associate Vice Provost for International Education, 12/21/09

Bridget Niland says:

President Greiner’s vision and perseverance provided a generation of UB student-athletes the opportunity to be both Division I athletes and earn college, graduate and even doctoral degrees. For those of us who had the chance to know him well, he inspired us to carry over our dedication on the playing fields to success in the classroom. He served as a mentor and role model for life beyond college. And, as so many others have mentioned, he never did stop teaching. My hope is that those of us who benefited from his determination and commitment to UB honor him by acting with the same integrity and compassion that he displayed. My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Greiner, his family and close friends. I will miss him greatly.

Posted by Bridget Niland, Assistant Professor, Daemen College, 12/21/09

Gerald Rising says:

The University at Buffalo was well served by this fine man who seemed able to carry out his responsibilities at all levels with aplomb and, above all, good humor. I knew him through the Faculty Senate which he served faithfully first as a contributing member and later occaionally on the opposite side of issues that could have but seemed never to strain our friendships. In both roles he served this university as he did so well with the public. Thank you, Bill, and my condolences to Carol.

Posted by Gerald Rising, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor, 12/21/09

Kerri Jasen says:

I am one UB employee of thousands, and never would I have thought I'd be personally affected by UB's 13th President, Mr. William Greiner. Bill shared his personal success with everyone he could. He impressed upon me to take the chance to be passionate about what I believed in, and that a warm smile is as sincere as you want it to be. I am so proud to have known him. I send my deepest condolences to Mrs. Greiner and the Greiner family for your loss.


Kerri Jasen

Posted by Kerri Jasen, Senior Systems Consultant, 12/21/09

Anthony J. Burgio says:

Professor Greiner was passionate about many aspects of UB, including the importance of the role student leadership plays in student life and University affairs. There was always a seat for the student at Bill Greiner's table. My deepest condolences to the Greiner family and many thanks for sharing such a wonderful person with your community.

Posted by Anthony J. Burgio, Tax & Financial Consultant, B.S. '05, SA President '04-'05, 12/21/09

Kari Terwilliger says:

I will never forget meeting President Greiner as a freshman when he and his wife opened their home to the UB Marching Band during the 2000 football season. I was overwhelmed by their generosity at inviting us to a private barbeque at their home where we spend hours talking and laughing together. President Greiner's support of both the Marching Band and the Football Team never waivered, he was there to greet us onto the field at every game and cheer us all on. I have never met a more dedicated administrator in all the years I have spent in a school system. To say that he will be sorely missed is an understatement. My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Greiner and her family during this difficult time.

Posted by Kari Terwilliger, Planner, 2009 MUP School of Architecture & Planning, 12/21/09

Wendy Irving says:

Bill Greiner, an incredible teacher and a good man. No matter how high he rose, no matter the demands on his time, he remembered your name, what you did, and always, always had a kind word. UB is a better place because of him.

Posted by Wendy Irving, Assistant Vice President for Gift Planning, 12/21/09

Scott Sobieraj, MD says:

President Greiner was always kind and generous. He helped us in the Buffalo Chips before any other administrator. I was able to perform at several official events, on campus and at the Presidential Residence. He gladly met with me and wrote a kind letter on my behalf which in no small part helped me into medical school. I will always be in his debt and my thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Greiner and the Greiner family.

Posted by Scott Sobieraj, MD, Cardiology Fellow, Danbury Hospital, CT. UB undergrad 1998-2002, UB Med School 2002-2006, UB Internal Medicine 2006-2009., 12/21/09

Mark Bortz says:

I first met Bill Greiner on my official visit to UB in early 2001. I was amazed by his presence and his passion for the University and for athletics. I have read all of the stories about how he helped bring UB back to Division 1, but his influence on me was much more than words on a page. He and his wife, Carol, would come to every game possible to support the basketball team first hand. Bill was never one to support us from a white tower in the sky, he was there in the trenches with us. Both he and his wife knew all the players by first name and always offered words of wisdom. Sometimes they cheered so loud from court side that I could barely here Coach Witherspoon. The personal touch that Bill Greiner brought to the presidency at UB is what I will always remember and miss most.

Posted by Mark Bortz, Professional Basketball Player - Former UB Student Athlete 2001-2005, 12/21/09

John Corcoran says:

Bill was a warm and loving person who nevertheless was an objective judge of human nature and an effective person of action. It was a joy to serve on committees with him over the years and to witness his string of victories for UB. I met him in 1970 when I first started teaching at UB. Before I arrived here I had taught at four other universities. After I was here for a couple of months I realized that I had never felt more at home anywhere else. At the time I wrote to one of my former colleagues: "This is my kind of place, these are my kind of colleagues, and these are my kind of students". Bill was one of the people whose leadership and character contributed to this wonderful atmosphere. I am sorry I never got to tell him these things.

Posted by John Corcoran, Professor of Philosophy, 12/21/09

Ezra Zubrow says:

Bill Greiner was my teacher (of property law), colleague, and friend as well as our president for many years. His view of the university was one of service to students, teachers, and the community. He believed in knowledge in all its forms. He was one of the most genial and gregarious men I knew, He loved to listen to or tell a good story--perhaps the latter a bit more than the former. He was a powerful man personally and a gentle man socially. He loved this university in all its forms and was its loyal champion in any and all forums. He believed that the University at Buffalo makes a difference for everyday people. We will miss you Bill and we will try to carry on your ideals.

Posted by Ezra Zubrow, Professor Anthropology, VP Academics UUP , 12/21/09

Matthew Bowers says:

I did not know you well, but from the few times I met you I could tell not only were you a great man, you were also a good person. You will be missed.

Posted by Matthew Bowers, EE/ME Undergraduate Student, 12/21/09

Joanne Plunkett says:

Bill Greiner cared deeply about people -- his faculty colleagues and administrators, the front-line and back-office staff, and most importantly students, especially undergraduates. He hated inane rules that caused students incredible stress. That's how he first connected with me, enlisting me to help untangle some red tape on the behalf of those students. Bill always showed me respect and personal concern, and even praise. I was humbled by his kindness. I am so grateful to have known him. My heart goes out to Carol, his children and grandchildren.

Posted by Joanne Plunkett, Alumna and Staff Member (Retired), 12/21/09

Ryan McPherson says:

Rest in peace WRG. Thank you for all you have done for this University and the opportunity you provided me. You will be missed my friend.

Posted by Ryan McPherson, Associate Vice President Government and Community Relations, 12/21/09

Gary Earl Ross says:

More than any previous president, Bill Greiner aided in the elevation of the UB Educational Opportunity Center from university stepchild to valued department, with faculty and staff recognized for their contributions to the community and the academy. We at EOC are saddened by this loss. Our deepest sympathies to Carol and the Greiner family.

Posted by Gary Earl Ross, Professor for EOC, 12/21/09