UB's School of Social Work to Celebrate 75 Years of Caring and Accomplishment

Release Date: October 23, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo's School of Social Work will conclude its 75th anniversary celebration with a gala evening to be held in Salvatore's Italian Gardens Restaurant in Depew on Oct. 24.

The gala brings to a conclusion numerous activities held throughout the year to celebrate the School of Social Work, whose national ranking, faculty accomplishments and community presence have all significantly increased in recent years.

"This gala celebrates the achievements of generations of School of Social Work alumni, and the impact they have had on our region, the nation and the world," says Nancy J. Smyth, dean of the school.

"Seventy-five years ago, the School of Social Work introduced the first professional social workers into communities struggling with the consequences of the Great Depression," she said. "As caseworkers assisting poor families, they provided services through agencies, hospitals and schools -- services imbued with social work values, knowledge and skills. Those workers were committed to making a difference in individual lives as well as in the future of their communities."

The school has educated more than 5,000 social workers since it began 75 years ago.

"Each alumnus has been living proof that social workers make a difference in countless lives during the course of their careers," Smyth said. "What's more, the clients and organizations they helped have, in turn, improved the lives of innumerable others through successive generations."

Smyth cited the school's recent doctoral program its students have enrolled in, programs that complement the work of many researchers and faculty members.

"These faculty members envisioned and built a school to educate thousands of social workers who could transform more thousands of lives, thereby bringing full circle the legacy of our first graduates," she said. "Thanks so much for celebrating this important milestone with us."

Saturday's gala follows a yearlong series of activities to commemorate the distinguished past and promising present of the UB School of Social Work, whose recent activities include cultivating one of, if not the, most innovating cyberspace presences of any of the nation's graduate schools of social work.

In March, the school celebrated Alumni Day and welcomed alumnus Bernie Tolbert, who spoke about how the skills he learned as a social work graduate helped prepare him for his job as FBI agent and his present role as chief of security for the National Basketball Association. In June, the school premiered the screening of its DVD, "Living Proof: Reflections on 75 Years of Social Work," a feature-length documentary that included interviews with 60 graduates and faculty members compiled over four years.

More information (including how to order the commemorative DVD) is available by going to the school Web site (http://www.socialwork.buffalo.edu) and clicking on the 75th Anniversary Events entry.

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.

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