Published September 12, 2013
The first classes in what eventually would constitute UB’s College of Arts and Sciences were offered 100 years ago as the university developed from the Buffalo Medical College to a broad-based academic institution.
Within a short time, the college was home to 600 students and 31 faculty members.
Today, in its centennial year, the college is UB’s largest and most diverse school, comprising 25 departments, 16 academic programs, 23 centers and institutes, two art galleries and major theater and music performance venues. There are 450 faculty members, 220 professional and clerical staff, and 6,000 undergraduate and graduate majors.
The college will celebrate its 100th year with a series of on-campus events and others that will take place in cities in which many UB alumni live and work. Campus events this semester will include lectures by such visiting luminaries as popular cosmologist Rocky Kolb, Harvard psychologist Daniel Schacter, mathematician Percy Deift and metaphysician David S. Oderberg.
“For one hundred years, the College of Arts and Sciences has provided a vibrant core to this great university,” says Provost Charles F. Zukoski. “We celebrate the college’s excellent faculty who are committed to delivering a quality education and performing important, socially impactful research. As it embarks on its second century, the college is poised to become an even more extraordinary place to learn, collaborate and create.”
The faithful study of what are considered the “liberal arts” was extolled by Ovid as that which “humanizes character and permits it not to be cruel.” Their essential purpose continues to be the production of virtuous, knowledgeable and articulate individuals who will want to take a meaningful part in civic life. The term is interpreted in different ways, but most frequently embraces the courses of study pursued in the UB college: the humanities, arts and social and natural sciences.
“Highlighting and studying the history of the college itself, as we will do during this centennial year, is just one way to appreciate and improve our understanding of how our students and faculty have influenced the world and made it a better place,” notes Dean E. Bruce Pitman. “Continued success would not be possible without the support of our loyal alumni and friends who understand the value of public education and the importance of enriching the lives of our students and the greater community. With their help, we are offering more scholarships, research internships and study abroad opportunities.”
Some highlights of the centennial celebration for the fall semester are described below; more can be found on the college’s website: