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Daemen graduates from 'college' to 'university'

Daemen University President Gary Olson stands between flags in front of a background with Daemen University logos.
Mike Desmond
Daemen University President Gary Olson made the announcement Thursday.

The trend for local colleges to re-brand as a university continues. Daemen announced Thursday it will now be Daemen University.

The announcement is a long way from the small Catholic college started in 1947 by an order of nuns and follows a similar announcement from D'Youville last month.

"More or less, university designation is thought of as more prestigious," said Daemen President Gary Olson.

The name change is actually a complex process, since it requires Albany approval. In most other states, the school simply does it.

The crowd listening to the announcement.
Mike Desmond
Daemen announced its name change during a press conference in its original building.

Olson said the new name reflects the college graduate programs up to doctorates and a branch in Brooklyn. At the same time, he said the key is the Daemen name.

"We've always tried to be classy at Daemen and, in fact, we're more interested in branding the word Daemen," he said. "So if you're noticed in the new sort of logo that you see, the word 'university' is smallish because we want people to remember the word 'Daemen.' So you won't be seeing a big giant 'U' anywhere."

Olson said that word "university" will be important as Daemen expands the quest for students.

"One of the really concrete ways this will help is abroad," he said. "The word 'college' is not thought of with the high esteem that it is here. So if you are trying to recruit students to come to your institution, they're going to shy away from a place called a 'college,' whereas, they will flock to one called a 'university.'"

One of England's oldest and most notable schools is Eton College, but that's the equivalent of an American high school.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.