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Retired Professor Pledges $1 Million to Buffalo State

Posted: September 27, 2001
Dr. Horace Mann, Buffalo State College distinguished service professor emeritus of Exceptional Education, has made a $1 million gift to the college.

The gift was announced at Buffalo State College's annual Peterson Society dinner, which honors donors who have made planned gifts to the college. Jim Brandys, a 1971 and 1973 graduate and chair of the Buffalo State College Foundation Planned Giving Committee, announced Mann's charitable gift annuity.

"Dr. Mann's contributions to Buffalo State as a teacher, scholar, and educational leader are extraordinary and unsurpassed," said Buffalo State president, Muriel A. Howard. "How fitting that this gift, the largest of its kind, should come, not only from one of our own faculty, but from Hank, a truly wonderful human being whose legacy at Buffalo State is already destined to endure for generations."

"Buffalo State is my family," Mann said. "It is a place that has given me intellectual and emotional enrichments, and I treat it as my family. What better place to return those gifts?"

Mann, an internationally known leader in the field and authority on exceptional education, retired from Buffalo State in 1992 after 38 years of service. He is credited with turning what was a small exceptional education program when he arrived in 1955 into one of the largest undergraduate and master's degree programs of its type in the United States.

Mann has worked tirelessly to improve services for people with disabilities and to make communities better understand the needs and capabilities of those with developmental disabilities.

At the time of his retirement, his colleagues established a scholarship in his name.

He has been a board member of or a consultant for many state and national agencies concerned with individuals with special needs, having served as president of the American Association on Mental Retardation and of the Foundation for Exceptional Children. In 1965 he was invited to the White House for the signing of a major bill on mental retardation.

This year, Mann received the Distinguished Alumnus Medal from Brooklyn College. He holds numerous honors, including the 1996 Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award, given by the Division on Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Council for Exceptional Children to an individual "who has exerted exceptional effort in furthering the cause of persons with mental retardation or developmental disabilities." In 1998 he received the Distinguished Educator Award of the American Association on Mental Retardation and in 1997 a State University of New York honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Mann holds bachelor of arts degrees in sociology and psychology from Brooklyn College, a master's degree in history from Columbia University and a doctorate in special education from Pennsylvania State University - the first such degree granted there.

He has lectured widely, and served on panels and consulted in Austria, China, India, Israel, Italy and Kenya. In 1988, he received the first distinguished service award of the International Council for Exceptional Children's Teacher Education Division, and in 1990, a New York State/United University Professions Excellence Award.

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