Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, '83, declared February 26 as "Hal D. Payne Day."
On his Facebook page, Brown lauded Payne (pictured at left), Buffalo State's vice president for student affairs, for his efforts "…to make a college education possible for more than one million low-income, first generation students across the country."
Brown was referring to Payne's work with the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), a Washington-based nonprofit organization that works to advance and defend the ideal of equal educational opportunities for students. Payne served as the organization's first president in 1981.
COE now serves almost 800,000 students annually at more than 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States. At Buffalo State, approximately 90 Buffalo high school students have participated annually in Upward Bound, one of the programs under the COE umbrella, since its inception on campus in 1986. Last summer, the campus Upward Bound Program created the Hal D. Payne Upward Bound Scholarship Award and the Hal D. Payne Educational Opportunity Lifetime Service Award.
Additionally, Payne has been recognized for his outreach work in the community. In 2012, Payne was named the Man of the Year by the West Side Business and Taxpayers’ Association (WSBTA).