Daemen Colleged Hosted the PII Buffalo Chapter’s 7th Annual Friendship Dinner and Award Ceremony.

7th-Annual-Friendship-Dinner-and-Award-CeremonyPII Upstate NY, Buffalo Chapter and TCC Buffalo organized its Annual Friendship Dinner and Award Ceremony in Buffalo on Nov. 11, 2015. Leaders from throughout the Buffalo Niagara region gathered at the Daemen College at the Dinner that promotes diversity, unity and peace.

This year’s event theme, “On Whose Shoulders? Violence and Extremism,” was addressed by keynote speaker Dr. Hasan Arslan, assistant professor of criminal justice and security at Pace University, who discussed the threat of Violent Extremists to global peace and communities.

Daemen President Gary A. Olson gave the opening address at the Host to welcome more than 100 guests to the college’s campus, including U.S. Attorney William Hochul and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw and many other distinguished members of the community.

Noting the importance of higher education in building international peace, Olson said, “Education, and specifically higher education, can play a key role in uniting nations and reshaping the world. Such institutions, like Daemen and Peace Islands Institute have the intellectual capacity to promote peace and a unified environment through international partnerships, open dialogue, research collaborations, and other cooperative initiatives.”

The award ceremony included special honors to President Olson, who received the Leadership in Higher Education Recognition Award; and Dr. Andrew Kier Wise, chair of the Daemen History and Political Science Department and director of the Polish Studies Program, who was presented the Service to Diversity and International Relations Recognition Award. Also recognized at the ceremony was Robert M. Bennett, who was honored for his 20 years of service on the New York State Board of Regents and other contributions to education.