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Science Center

Three years of construction, tractor trailers and traffic detours were well worth the wait as students returned this fall to experience the breathtaking Science Center. The 92,000-square-foot, four-story facility serves about 500 students majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics, Environmental Science, Medical Technology, Exercise Science and Science Education.

Dr. Jeffery Kelly, ’82 (with scissors), is chairman of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from Fredonia, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina. At Scripps, he leads a very active research team which, among other highlights, discovered a drug that cures a rare amyloid liver disease — part of a class of diseases that includes Alzheimer’s. Dr. Kelly honored his family in naming the Science Center’s new auditorium, to thank them for their support. He was joined by, from left, Fredonia Science Center Project Shepard and Associate Professor of Chemistry Holly Lawson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean John Kijinski, Thomas Mack, Fredonia President Virginia Horvath, Jan Kelly-Mack, Jilly Kelly, Julie Kelly-Cuhn and Sandra Encalada.
Dr. Thomas Storch was a passionate aquatic ecology researcher and professor at Fredonia from 1973 to 1990. He took returning probationary student Frank Priznar under his wing, working long days with him in labs and on Chautauqua Lake. Dr. Storch saw potential in Priznar, who was surprised a professor was willing to invest in him. Priznar soon developed a passion to improve the environment and, in 1976, became Fredonia’s first Environmental Studies graduate — his first step in a long, fruitful career. Priznar dedicated the new Ecology Laboratory in Dr. Storch’s honor, in hopes that many more life-shaping experiences occur as a result of Fredonia professors releasing the untapped potential of their students. From left are Dr. Lawson, Dean Kijinski, Frank Priznar, Christine Priznar, Dr. Storch, Biology Chair Patricia Astry, Nancy Storch, Jenny Storch and President Horvath.
Dr. Shari Yudenfreund-Sujka graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fredonia in 1978 with a degree in Biology. After earning her Ph.D. from St. George’s University School of Medicine, she became a board-certified anesthesiologist and worked at Erie County Medical Center and the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. She credits Fredonia’s Dr. Kevin Fox and Dr. Allen Benton for leading her down a path to science. As a show of thanks, she dedicated the Biology Chair’s new office in their honor. From left were President Horvath, Dr. Yudenfreund-Sujka, Dr. Stan Sujka, Professor Emeritus Fox and Department Chair Astry.
Dennis Costello (far right) graduated from Fredonia in 1972 with a degree in Economics. With the help of his faculty advisor, he received a full fellowship to Ohio State University, where he completed his master’s in Economics. Today he has more than 30 years of experience in the energy and venture capital industries, is a managing partner with Braemar Energy Ventures, and sits on the board of directors of numerous energy efficiency and alternative energy production companies. In appreciation for all that Fredonia gave him, he and his wife, Kathryn (left of him), dedicated the Costello Reading Room and Garden Waterfall. They were joined by (from left) President Horvath, Dean Kijinski, Dr. Lawson and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Terry Brown.



Dr. Peter Gavin, ’92, and his wife, Julia, ’93, decided to build their “dream home.” The house they designed had amazing features, many of which Peter planned for his daughters, Nicole and Claire. Peter passed away unexpectedly just as they began interviewing builders. Disregarding all sensibility — and with his daughters’ insistence — the project moved forward, and the “Gavin Girls” moved into their new home 18 months later. One of their favorite spaces in the house is the balcony that their dad insisted on for his “two princesses.” Nicole and Claire hope Fredonia’s Science Balcony will allow students to enjoy the same “escape” to nature that they get to experience at home... thanks to their dad. Here, Nicole (left) and Claire, joined Julia (far right), President Horvath and Peter’s parents, Jerome, ’63, and Natalie, ’60, in dedicating the Gavin Balcony.
Family members gathered to dedicate the Major Alice Conference Room in memory of Major Alice Sam and Adele Sam. Here, Susan Sam (second from left) joined daughters Barbara (left) and Grace (right), along with Senior Director of Development Karen West, to celebrate the memory of Susan's late sisters, Alice and Adele.
President Emeritus Dennis Hefner returned for the celebration, and showed off a framed photo of one of his trademarked homemade caramels — which state legislators jokingly credited as being key to obtaining funding for the building. The photo, a gift from President Horvath, is now part of the first floor Hefner Seminar Room which he and his wife, Jan, dedicated to students over Homecoming weekend.
The Science Center dedication ceremony was, fittingly, kicked off by a student. Ramses Rodriguez, a Biology master’s degree candidate who also earned his undergraduate degree at Fredonia in May 2014, welcomed those in attendance. “My experience in the sciences at Fredonia has been amazing,” he said.
Celebrating the naming of a lab in the new Science Center in honor of Emeritus Professor Philip Kumler were family members (left to right): Rosemary Kumler, JoJo, Melissa and Bella Schweitzer; Dr. Kumler and President Horvath.



Dean Kijinski (left) and President Horvath (right) join Jane and Joseph Falcone in the dedication of the Science Center's new Falcone Greenhouse. As the owners of Falcone Farms, they have established an endowment
fund with the Fredonia College Foundation to provide scholarships for Biology majors.
To see more of the nearly 30 spaces named by benefactors through the Fredonia College Foundation in honor of many accomplished alumni, retired professors, and friends of Fredonia, please visit


posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2015 10:58 AM by Pamala Colon

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