Buffalo State celebrated the opening of its new Community Academic Center (CAC) Tuesday, November 15, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house.
The open house allowed members of the community to see the cheerful storefront, just off campus at 214 Grant Street.
The CAC will house a plethora of cradle-to-career programming for youth and families on Buffalo’s West Side. The programs and workshops run by Buffalo State and a consortium of community groups will include tutoring, literacy coaching, a middle school girls’ program, after-school art classes, and English as a second language programs for the city’s rapidly growing refugee community.
A $500,000 gift from longtime Buffalo State supporter Eleanore Woods Beals, who graduated from Buffalo State in 1950, and her husband, Vaughn Beals, made the center possible.
At the ribbon cutting, Buffalo State President Aaron Podolefsky discussed how the CAC fulfills Buffalo State’s mission and prepares the next generation of college students. Also on hand to speak was Paul Theobald, interim dean of the School of Education, and Susanne Bair, vice president for institutional advancement, who noted the importance of the Beals’ gift.
The ceremony was attended by several local dignitaries, including Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Buffalo Public Schools Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon.
The Beals, who reside in Arizona, donated $1 million to Buffalo State to establish the Woods-Beals Endowed Chair in Urban and Rural Education in 2002. Two years later, the couple donated $250,000 to support Buffalo State’s Center for Excellence in Rural and Urban Education. Vaughn Beals is the former chair of Harley-Davidson Inc.