Alumnus Creates New Theatre and Dance Scholarship at UB

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: October 27, 2008 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robert O. Swados,'38, of counsel with the law offices of Phillips Lytle LLP, has given $25,000 to the University at Buffalo to establish the Elizabeth Swados Award in Theatre and Dance at UB, in honor of his Obie Award-winning daughter. The Swados Award will provide merit-based scholarship support to an undergraduate student in the Department of Theatre and Dance in the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

"This gift allows me to honor my daughter and provide opportunities in theatre and dance for talented students who choose to pursue these academic programs at UB," said Swados, who is a well-known member of the Buffalo arts and sports communities. At Phillips Lytle LLP his wide- ranging practice covers federal and international taxation, negotiations of mergers and acquisitions, professional sports, trusts and estates, construction financing and anti-trust.

"We are grateful to Mr. Swados for recognizing the importance of theatre and dance in our culture and in Buffalo," said Bruce D. McCombe, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "His gift underscores the fact that performance and production are essential parts of the education we offer in the Department of Theatre and Dance."

After graduating cum laude with a degree in economics from UB in 1938, Swados earned a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1941. He was admitted to the bar in 1942, and his long career in law has focused on practice in corporate, tax, television and professional sports. He is co-founder of Buffalo's Studio Arena Theatre; a former commissioner of probation for the State of New York; vice chairman and counsel for the Buffalo Sabres from the origin of the franchise in 1969; and secretary of the board of governors of the National Hockey League and its special counsel from 1976 to 1993.

His daughter Elizabeth Swados is the author of three novels, two non-fiction books and nine children's books. A renowned musician, director, and composer, she has received five Tony Award nominations and three Obie Awards for her theatrical productions both on and off Broadway. She lives in New York City, where she is a faculty member at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Swados is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Ford Fellowship, a Covenant Foundation Grant, a Special Pen Citation, a Cine Award and a Mira Award.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.