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Chancellor King Gives Keynote Address at Annual Academic Convocation

Posted: October 1, 2001
State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King delivered the Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Academic Convocation Address at Buffalo State College on Sept. 13, 2001.

The annual convocation, which formally marks the beginning of the academic year, was preceded by a procession - with a traditional Scottish bagpiper leading the faculty in full academic garb - from the college's Butler Library to its signature Rockwell Hall.

In his remarks to the assemblage, Chancellor King noted he had planned to talk about the globalization of our society, but "didn't anticipate talking about the globalization of terrorism" two days after the tragic events of September 11.

But, he said, "it is the tradition of the academy that I will talk about because the underlying power of that tradition and the connection to the message of the moment is that we cannot permit terrorism to succeed by succumbing to its obvious purpose.

"And if it is our long-term and constituted commitment in this country to build a just and diverse and free society, then what greater rebuff to the terrorists than to demonstrate that we will not be deterred. And central to those principles and the evolution of those principles has been the academy."

The academy, King said, is a tradition that "has withstood political assault, war, disease, famine and 11 centuries of all sorts of debate. Apart from the great organized religions, it is the longest standing and most durable of human institutes. And while we call it a tradition, and traditions are things that tend to make us look back in time, it stands alone as the pinnacle of activities that looks forward, that will take mankind to that next important, positive plateau to advance humankind."

During the ceremony, Buffalo State College President Muriel A. Howard, Ph.D., presented several President's Awards for Excellence, and made a special presentation to the college's six SUNY Distinguished Professors.

Frederick Howe, professor of Educational Foundations, received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Karen Johnson, director of the Success Track for Academic Readiness program, received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Michaelene M. Meger, assistant professor of Exceptional Education, and Evelyn Rosario, a counselor in the Educational Opportunity Program, received President's Awards for Excellence in Academic Advisement. Donna J. Davidoff, an associate librarian, received the President's Award for Excellence in Librarianship. Thomas E. Coates, events manager in the Events Management Office; Beverly J. MacKenzie, a secretary in the Human Resource Management Office; and Tim G. Ngo, a staff assistant in the Copy Center, received President's Awards for Excellence in Service to the College.

Susan M. Leist, humanities coordinator and associate professor of English, received the Presidentref="">William F. Wieczorek, director and research professor in the Center for Health and Social Research, received the President's Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creativity. Geraldine E. Bard, professor of English, received the President's Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Equity and Campus Diversity.

Buffalo State's six SUNY Distinguished Professors who were recognized at the ceremony are: Marvin J. Lahood, Distinguished Teaching Professor of English; E.O Smith, chair and Distinguished Service Professor of History and Social Studies Education; George T. Hole, chair and Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies; James D. Haynes, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biology; F. Christopher Tahk, director and Distinguished Professor of Art Conservation; and Dan A. Kushel, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art Conservation.
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