What does it mean to be bold? Being bold means addressing the toughest challenges, while turning hard working student into global leaders year after year. The We Are Boldly Buffalo series brings the stories of the bold students, faculty, alumni, and friends building our bright future together.
We all know about climate change and its effects on our planet. UB’s new Department of Environment and Sustainability was created to find solutions, and together with other disciplines, they’re leading the charge for a more sustainable and safer planet.
2020 was a disastrous year in more ways than one. In addition to a global pandemic that’s caused millions of deaths worldwide, a series of unprecedented natural disasters firmly positioned climate change at the center of our daily lives.
The world watched in horror as wildfires raged through Australia and the American West Coast, then in shock as hurricane after hurricane battered the U.S. Gulf Coast, with so many named storms the Greek alphabet was used for just the second time in history. Polar bears wandering into remote Russian villages in search of food highlighted a grim new chapter in the fight against climate change, and what is yet to come.
We all know the problem; we have for decades. Now isn’t the time for questions, it’s the time for solutions. The University at Buffalo’s Department of Environment and Sustainability was created to do just that, and together with other disciplines, they’re leading the charge for a more sustainable and safer planet.
Climate change is no longer just a theoretical discussion. We’re far beyond that. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that time is of the essence, and to combat real-life problems we need real-life solutions.
As College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robin G. Schulze observes, the university’s traditional approach to solving problems has been to think and operate by discipline, rather than by letting the problem determine which disciplines need to be at the table to solve them. Recognizing the pitfalls in this approach, she championed problem-based education. Under her leadership, a new kind of faculty, called “innovation professors,” are actively focused on creating experiential learning opportunities, allowing students to participate in a new world of applied learning where they can translate classroom knowledge into practical experience. As she observes, “This is a response to where students are in the 21st century. They look at education as a means to an end. They look at education as an idea of, ‘How am I going to apply this to solve problems?’.”
By wedding problem-based education with skills and subject-matter expertise across departments, students can solve problems in real-time. They don’t need to wait until graduation, nor do they want to.
If we were to ask you about art capitals of the world, chances are you’d say Paris or Rome. New York. Maybe even Los Angeles or Miami. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to add Buffalo to that list. There’s an urban renaissance happening in Western New York, and the University at Buffalo is driving the charge.
Lack of talent has never been the issue for Buffalo.The problem’s been keeping it here. Especially for our art students. Our Arts Collaboratory, conceived out of the Dean’s Office at the UB College of Arts and Sciences, was designed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration between the arts across campus, to build community, and, ultimately, to turn Queen City into a thriving hub for artistic expression.
This is ushering in a new chapter for Buffalo, creating opportunities for citizens and students alike, and revitalizing the city in the process.
After losing two sisters in childhood to a rare metabolic disease called homocystinuria, Margie McGlynn decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and enter the pharmacy profession. She earned her pharmacy degrees and MBA from UB, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for decades, helping identify unmet needs, bringing new products to market and maximizing patient access.
In 2016, she established a nonprofit organization called HCU Network America to help patients with the condition and related disorders manage their disease, with the goal of one day finding a cure. Now McGlynn has endowed a professorship in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to find holistic solutions to keep pushing towards that goal.
Bullying can transform even the best school into a forbidding environment for children who endure classmates’ taunting. The pain can last a lifetime, with hopelessness and powerlessness giving way to depression. Psychologist Jean M. Alberti, PhD ’70, EdM ’62, wants to break the cycle.
That’s why she gave the single largest gift ever made to the Graduate School of Education to establish the Jean M. Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at UB.
Tunney Murchie (MBA ‘76, BS ‘75), Deanna Murchie (BS ‘74) and their family believe in collegiate athletics. They also understand that while UB provides an outstanding education, student athletes didn't have the space they needed to hold practice no matter the Buffalo weather.
That’s why they gave the single largest gift ever made to the athletic department to help turn the long-awaited 92,000-square-foot fieldhouse into a reality.
When Stephen Still (BS ‘76) arrived at UB, he had no idea what his future held. Along the way, he bumped into the notion that you can change the world through how vehicles move and how cities develop.
Over four decades later, he still believes UB is one of the top transportation research universities in the world—which is why he gave $4 million to support the Stephen Still Institute for Sustainable Transportation and Logistics.
Watch his story and learn more about our bold vision to shape the future of transportation.
That’s the question David Hooper, Class of 2020, asked himself after realizing he was in a negative cycle that began with his father’s death. While he didn’t quite have the answer, he knew one thing: he’d begin to build his new life by earning his bachelor’s degree. For Jim Smist, BS ’80, it was honor his late father, Felix Smist, BS ’65, a non-traditional student who enrolled at UB as a working husband and father and then graduated 16 years later. Watch their stories and learn how one man’s legacy helped shape the lives of many others.
Forty years ago, Carol Brewer went on a trip abroad with her husband. Having the opportunity to experience life in an underdeveloped country opened her eyes to a global world view and had a profound influence on what she chose to do in her career—so she created the Carol S. Brewer Global Health Fund to provide similar opportunities for today’s nursing students.
In order for us to get to the next step—the next version of Western New York—we need to develop our next generation of leaders. That’s why Daniel Alexander, MD ‘99, BA ‘95, and Gail Alexander, BS ‘87, decided to give $1 million to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical sciences. Now, they’re helping underserved and underprivileged students achieve their educational dreams.
For 175 years, the University at Buffalo has made life better in Western New York and around the world with bold action and an unmatched tenacity. At UB, being bold means solving society's most complex challenges. Helping millions of people around the world accomplish what was thought to be impossible. And fostering more leaders to take the reins of the future. Together, we take pride in our place, celebrate our way, and build our bright future.
Boldly Buffalo: The Campaign for UB is the largest, most ambitious fundraising campaign in university history—a campaign that will transform UB in nearly every way imaginable.
Your investment in UB will make a difference for a cause that matters to you: whether you make a gift to the UB Fund, support a scholarship for one UB student, sustain the work of a professor who will inspire thousands, or fund a cancer cure that saves the lives of millions. Every gift counts!