Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner is hosting a ceremony to honor Horace “Hank” Mann, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Exceptional Education, on Tuesday, October 20, at noon outside of the Donald Savage Theater and Communication Building.
The entire campus community is invited to attend the ceremony that will be followed by a reception in the Flexible Theatre.
During the ceremony, the Horace Mann Quad (formerly Rockwell Quad), located on the east side of the Savage Building and adorned with a small garden and sculpture, will be formerly dedicated to the beloved educator who passed away in 2010 after teaching at Buffalo State for more than 40 years.
“Dr. Mann symbolized what is best about Buffalo State. He had an insatiable desire for knowledge and emphasized teaching to the whole person and giving back to the community. He loved all children and recognized the intrinsic value of society’s exceptional ones,” Conway-Turner said. “I feel honored to hold a ceremony recognizing his gifts to the field of exceptional education and to the college.”
In 2014, the Fine Arts Department opened a competition to students and alumni to create a sculpture that would reflect Mann’s legacy. Philip Ogle, chair and professor of fine arts, oversaw the competition in which Kevin Eichner, ‘92, artist-in-residence and executive director of the Moncure Museum of Art in North Carolina, emerged the winner.
His sculpture, which was installed over the summer, is treelike and composed of multiple beams. Eichner said in a previous news story that “the tallest beam represents Mr. Mann. The others represent the students and community that continue to grow around his work and legacy.”
Susanne Bair, vice president of institutional advancement, said she envisioned the sculpture as a cornerstone of the quad, something tangible to represents Mann’s indelible spirit.
“Hank Mann gave of himself in innumerable ways for four decades, inspiring many students to carve out impressive careers in exceptional education,” she said. “He also gave generously to Buffalo State with donations through the years that exceeded that of any other individual.”
In total, the professor gave more than $7 million to the college for scholarships, to establish the Horace Mann Endowed Chair and to help grow the exceptional education program. He also established the Hank Mann Award that recognizes the campus’s physical plant workers with citation awards and monetary gifts.
Along with Conway-Turner and Bair, individuals leading the dedication ceremony will include Ogle; Larry Maheady, the Horace Mann Endowed Chair in Exceptional Education; and Linda Dobmeier, ’71, president of the Buffalo State College Council. Faculty from the School of Arts and Humanities and Exceptional Education, along with members of the Foundation Board, the College Council, and the President’s Cabinet are expected to attend.
Parking is available in Lot R-4, accessible from Rockwell Road.