UB to Commemorate 197th Birthday of Millard Fillmore

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: December 26, 1996 This content is archived.


The 197th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, the University at Buffalo's first chancellor and 13th president of the United States, will be observed in ceremonies to be held at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

The annual observance honors Fillmore, who played a major role in the founding of numerous cultural, civic and community organizations in Erie County.

John B. Sheffer II, UB interim vice president for public service and urban affairs, will speak at the ceremony, designated as one of the university's sesquicentennial events.

Fillmore, born Jan. 7, 1800, was instrumental in founding the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, the Buffalo Club and The Buffalo General Hospital.

His activities also led to the creation of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy and the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences.

Some historians credit the former teacher, postmaster, lawyer and member of Congress with establishing the White House Library.

A wreath from President Clinton will be placed at the gravesite by Col. Julius J. Thurn, commander of the 107th Refueling Wing of the New York Air National Guard based at Niagara Falls International Airport.

Wreaths also will be placed by George J. Lopos, Ph.D., dean of UB's Millard Fillmore College, and Patricia Rackle, treasurer of the college¹s Student Association, and Patrick P. Lee and Walter S. de la Plante, president and past president, respectively, of the Buffalo Club.

Special guests will include Jo Ellen Fasanello, regent, and other members of the Abigail Fillmore Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; the Rev. Daniel E. Budd of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, and William S. Bradley and Dean H. Jewett, members of Forest Lawn's board of directors.

Others participating in the ceremony will include Warren C. Moffett of the Aurora Historical Society, which administers the Millard Fillmore Museum housed in a building where Fillmore and his wife once lived; William H. Siener, executive director of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and the Rev. Maureen Thitchener of the Unitarian-Universalist ministry and a member of UB Campus Ministries.

Flags will be presented by the UB Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Douglas M. Wright, assistant director. Also appearing will be the Seneca Vocational High School Air Force ROTC color guard, directed by M. Sgt. Ronald E. Dodolak, and the Buffalo Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus honor guard led by Lt. Alexander J. McDougall.

Taps will be played by William G. Spear of Lockport, a UB senior and music education major.

Following the ceremony, a reception will be hosted by Forest Lawn President Fred R. Whaley, Jr. and officers of the Buffalo Club.