9 to Be Honored By UB Alumni Association

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: April 8, 1997 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The president and CEO of one of Asia's largest multinational conglomerates, the chairman and CEO of Praxair and a co-founder of the national Muscular Dystrophy Association are among nine individuals to be honored at the UB Alumni Association's annual awards dinner.

The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 2, in the Center for Tomorrow on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Tickets for the dinner are $50 per person. For further information and reservations, call 829-2608 by April 18.

This year's event will be dedicated to Philip Wels, M.D., (B.A.,'37; M.A.,'39; M.D.,'41) for his lifetime service to UB.

An Eggertsville resident, Wels is chair emeritus of the UB Council. A well-known and respected area physician, he was a member of the UB Council from 1980-96 and its chair from 1992-96. A charter member of the UB Alumni Association's Athletic Hall of Fame, Wels was a varsity fencer who represented the U.S. at the 1936 Olympics.

UB President William R. Greiner and Jean C. Powers, chair of the awards committee, will present awards to the nine honorees.

Louis R. Reif (B.A.,'48), Williamsville, will receive the Samuel P. Capen Award for notable and meritorious contributions to the university and its family. Former chair of the executive committee of the UB Foundation, Inc. and national chair of the UB annual fund drive in 1988-89, Reif is a strong supporter of UB's intercollegiate sports program and a member of the UB Foundation Board of Directors and the UB Foundation Investment Committee.

The Walter P. Cooke Award recognizing non-alumni who have made notable and meritorious contributions to UB and its family, influencing growth and improvement for the university, will be presented to Calvin G. Rand and posthumously to S. Mouchly Small, M.D. A Buffalo civic leader and philanthropist, Rand has been a supporter of the UB School of Management and an advocate of the arts who has created a vital connection between campus and the Western New York arts community. Small, former chair of UB's Department of Psychiatry for 27 years, was a founder and multi-term past president of the national Muscular Dystrophy Association. His widow, Sophie Small of Williamsville, will accept the award.

Craig R. Cirbus of Getzville, UB's head football coach for the past two years, will receive the George W. Thorn Award, presented to a UB graduate under age 40 in recognition of outstanding national or international contributions in their career field or academic area. Cirbus received a bachelor's degree in engineering from UB in 1980. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Cirbus was assistant football coach for 10 years at Penn State. This past season, the UB Bulls football team posted an 8-3 record and Cirbus was named national Division I-AA Independent Coach of the Year.

Lanny S. Liebeskind (B.S.,'72) of Atlanta, Ga., will receive the Clifford C. Furnas Memorial Award, presented to a graduate of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences or the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Liebeskind is a prolific research scholar and chair of the Chemistry Department at Emory University. Associate editor for Organometallics, the most prestigious journal in his research area, he has an international reputation for excellence in the area of organometallic chemistry.

Distinguished Alumni Awards, given in recognition of exceptional career accomplishments, community or university service or research and scholarly activity, will be presented to four recipients:

- Tanri Abeng (M.B.A.,'68) of Jakarta, Selatan, Indonesia, is president and chief executive officer of P.T. Bakrie and Brothers, one of Asia's largest multinational conglomerates. Well-known and respected throughout the Far East, Abeng is founding president of UB's alumni chapter in Jakarta.

- Arthur E. Levine (Ph.D.,'76), is one of America's foremost leaders in higher education and president of the Teachers College of Columbia University. Levine's "Handbook on Undergraduate Curriculum" is considered a landmark in the field. Holder of a dozen honorary degrees, he chaired the graduate higher education program at Harvard University prior to joining Columbia.

- H. William Lichtenberger (M.B.A.,'66), is chairman and chief executive officer of Praxair, one of the largest producers of industrial gases in the world. He lives in Ridgefield, Conn.

- Muriel A. Moore (M.A.,'73; Ph.D.,'85) is the first woman to be president of the SUNY College at Buffalo. A Buffalo resident with a 23-year career in education at UB, she served as UB's first vice president for public service and urban affairs.