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Five Decades of Buffalo State Siena Alumni Return to Campus

Posted: October 19, 2011

Buffalo State alumni who immersed themselves in the art, architecture, and culture of Italy through the Siena Program have the chance to reconnect on campus during the Siena reunion, October 21-23.

The reunion starts Friday, October 21, at 7:00 p.m. with a reception in Upton Hall's Czurles-Nelson Gallery for Cinquanta Anni. This invitational exhibition features works on paper, canvas, video, ceramics, metal, and bookbinding by 11 professional artists who also are Siena Program alumni and represent five decades of its existence. Stephen Saracino, professor of design, curated the show.

Following at 8:00 p.m., the visitors can get a taste of current Buffalo State theater by attending the Casting Hall production of Enron, a musical by Lucy Prebble, in Upton Hall's Warren Enters Theatre.

Saturday’s events start at 10:00 a.m. with memory sharing in the Bulger Communication Center, and include a tour of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, followed by dinner in Bulger. On Sunday, the reunion will wrap up at 10:00 a.m. with a gala brunch in Campbell Student Union Social Hall.

Now in its 50th year, the Siena Program is the oldest continuous study-abroad program in the SUNY system and encompasses students from other campuses as well. Since its inception, a total of 2,117 students have participated.

About every five years, Buffalo State hosts a reunion, and this one is drawing participants from as far away as Washington state and Florida, said Lee Ann Grace, assistant dean for International and Exchange Programs. Five decades of students will be represented.

“A lot are coming from fall 1969, and fall/spring 1970 is giving us quite a few,” Grace said. “The 1970s in general are well represented.”

The Siena Program remains popular on campus, even with the expanded choices in study-abroad options that weren’t available to students decades ago. It especially attracts students majoring in the visual arts, art history, art education, and students of Italian heritage, Grace said.

For more information or to register for the weekend events, contact the International Education Office at (716) 878-4620 or


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