UB to Commemorate 201st Birthday of Millard Fillmore

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: December 22, 2000 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The 201st 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 10 a.m. Jan. 5 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.

UB Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi will deliver the memorial address.

Fillmore, born Jan. 7, 1800, was instrumental in founding the Buffalo and 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. James W. Kwiatkowski, commander of the 107th Refueling Wing of the New York Air National Guard based at Niagara Falls International Airport.

George J. Lopos, dean of UB's Millard Fillmore College; Lisa Bessing, president of the MFC Student Association, and John J. Hurley, president of the Buffalo Club, also will place wreaths on the gravesite.

Special guests will include members of the Abigail Fillmore Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and members of Forest Lawn's board of directors.

Also participating in the ceremony will be Donald H. Dayer, Aurora town historian, and Warren C. Moffett, former Aurora town historian, representing the Aurora Historical Society, which administers the Millard Fillmore Museum housed in a building where Fillmore and his wife once lived, and William H. Siener, executive director of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. The Rev. Joel Miller of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, where Fillmore was a member of the congregation, will deliver the invocation.

Flags will be presented by the UB Department of Public Safety under the direction of Kathleen Zysek, interim assistant director. Also appearing will be the Buffalo Assembly, Fourth Degree, of the Knights of Columbus honor guard. Taps will be played by Mark Philsinger.