Memorial Service Set for Mary Beth Spina

By Arthur Page

Release Date: September 6, 2001 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A memorial service for Mary Beth Spina, a member of the University at Buffalo's Office of News Services staff for 27 years, will be held at 1 p.m. Sept. 13 in 250 Baird Hall on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Spina died July 8 in her Clarence home. She was 59.

Serving as radio/television coordinator at UB at the time of her death, Spina was known throughout Western New York -- and by many press outlets throughout the country -- for her writing, professional expertise and ability to "find an expert" for reporters on virtually any subject at any hour of the day or night.

Armed with a sense of humor, raspy voice and a Southern accent that became more pronounced the longer she lived in the Buffalo area, she was dogged in her pursuit of press for her "stars" -- UB faculty members whose media savvy and expertise in pertinent fields kept Spina hot on their tails.

Although she suffered for years with chronic and increasingly debilitating illness, she played out her professional life with panache and boundless energy. She rarely missed work and was at her desk the Friday before her death.

A native of Johnson City, Tenn., Spina joined the staff at UB in 1974, working as health-sciences editor until 1982 when she assumed the responsibilities of radio/television coordinator. Her previous professional experience also involved working in public relations and as a general assignment reporter for several newspapers, including the former Buffalo Courier-Express in 1969.

The UB Office of News Services has established a memorial fund in Spina's honor with the intention that the funds raised will be used for an annual prize in her name to an outstanding UB student pursuing a career in journalism or public relations.

Donations may be made payable to the UB Foundation, in care of the Mary Beth Spina Memorial Fund, and sent to the UBF, Box 900, Buffalo, N.Y. 14226.