Donation Establishes Buffalo State Community Academic Center on Buffalo's West Side

Donation Establishes Buffalo State Community Academic Center on Buffalo's West Side

Posted: October 5, 2011

Through a $500,000 gift from longtime Buffalo State supporters Eleanore Woods Beals, ’50, and her husband, Vaughn Beals, the university will establish and open the doors to the Buffalo State Community Academic Center (CAC) this fall. The CAC will be located at 214 Grant Street, just south of the intersection of Grant Street and Lafayette Avenue.

The CAC’s central mission will be to coordinate and provide cradle-to-career educational support programming for youth and families on Buffalo’s West Side. Programming will be developed and designed in collaboration with campus and community partners. Activities and offerings may include tutoring, literacy coaching, after-school art classes, and children’s story hours, as well as English as a second language programs for Buffalo’s growing refugee community.

“Buffalo State is proud to build on strong partnerships with its West Side neighbors by establishing the Community Academic Center,” said President Aaron Podolefsky. “The CAC will be a place for us to work with and serve the people of Buffalo by collaborating on outstanding cradle-to-career educational opportunities. We are enormously grateful to the Beals family for making this center possible.”

In 2002, Eleanore Woods Beals—a 1950 graduate of Buffalo State—and Vaughn Beals—the former chair of Harley-Davidson Inc.—donated $1 million to Buffalo State to establish the Woods-Beals Endowed Chair in Urban and Rural Education. The couple, who also made a $250,000 gift to support Buffalo State’s Center for Excellence in Rural and Urban Education (CEURE) in 2004, resides in Arizona.

“The Beals’ passion for improving urban youth education is heartfelt and inspiring,” said Susanne P. Bair, Buffalo State’s vice president for institutional advancement. “Their ongoing support of Buffalo State and youth education initiatives demonstrates an admirable desire for creating sustainable change. In a time of challenging budget scenarios, we are privileged that the Beals’ gift will enable the CAC to operate without any state funds as we open our doors to Buffalo’s youth. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Eleanore and Vaughn for their commitment to helping Buffalo State serve our community’s greatest asset: our children.”

An open house for the campus and community will be scheduled for later this fall. Details on the event will be posted in the Daily Bulletin.

Community Academic Center Vision
Buffalo State believes that education occurs within a social context and, for educational efforts to be successful, that context must be acknowledged and addressed. Children require support throughout their lives, both in and out of school, if they are to become successful citizens of our complex society. Providing children with the full range of support they need requires collaboration among a wide variety of groups.

To inspire and contribute to this vision, Buffalo State will open the CAC, an educational support center on Grant Street on Buffalo’s West Side. The CAC will serve as a site for listening and learning: Buffalo State will listen to community partners, families, and children to better understand what is needed for children to be ready, willing, and able to engage fully in learning.  Through innovation and partnership, the CAC will work to develop and promote family programming that will foster the ability to learn, to be responsible members of the community, and to contribute to the welfare of all.

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