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Transforming Lives Co-Chairs Continue Commitment to Buffalo State

Posted: October 24, 2012

Linda Dobmeier, '71, and James Brandys, '71, '73, epitomize extraordinary commitment to an alma mater. Over the years, both alumni have generously shared their time, leadership abilities, and financial resources with Buffalo State, and they continue to do so.

Brandys and Dobmeier stepped up to serve as co-chairs of the $20 million initiative, Transforming Lives: A Campaign for Buffalo State, which extends over the next three years. Additionally, they each have personally contributed to the campaign by making gifts of life insurance, naming Buffalo State as the beneficiaries.

"Buffalo State offers a variety of programs in a user-friendly, urban campus, and this campaign affords us the chance to give opportunity to people who may never have had that opportunity otherwise," Dobmeier said. "You don’t know the potential of a student until he or she is given the chance to start. Once they start, there’s no telling where their education will take them."

Before her gubernatorial appointment to the Buffalo State College Council, Dobmeier served as chair of the Buffalo State Foundation Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2012. During her tenure as chair, the foundation increased funding support to the college, and raised a single-year record-breaking $8 million. Dobmeier also served as a member of the Foundation’s Executive Committee and was a previous chair of the Nominating and Governance committees.

After receiving a degree in elementary education, Dobmeier devoted 11 years to teaching second grade in Grand Island. She earned a master's degree in education from the University at Buffalo and a masters in business administration from Canisius College before leaving teaching to assist in managing her family-owned business, Dobmeier Janitor Supply Inc., which now employs more than 40 people. Dobmeier and her company have been consistent financial contributors to Buffalo State and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Brandys, the managing director-investments for the Wealth Management Group of Merrill Lynch, chaired the "Endowing the Future" campaign. His work helped the planned giving program increase its expectancy endowment to more than $22 million, surpassing its $10 million goal before its official end on June 30, 2005. Brandys also was instrumental in establishing Buffalo State’s Bridge the Gap Scholarship, which raised more than $80,000 for junior and senior students who are financially at risk.

In 1997, Brandys was appointed by the governor to the College Council, an appointment that has been renewed twice. He also served as a member of the Buffalo State Foundation Board of Directors, serving as both chair of the board and the Development Committee. He is an active member and former chair of the Burchfield Penney Art Center Board of Directors.

Both Brandys and Dobmeier are members of the Peterson Society, Buffalo State’s legacy giving society, and the President’s Circle, the annual giving leadership group.

This type of commitment is unparalleled.

Brandys noted the value that Buffalo State not only brings to students' lives but also to the community as a whole.

"The student-faculty relationship you get at Buffalo State is not like at larger universities where you can feel overwhelmed. Buffalo State welcomes you in like a village within the Elmwood Village," Brandys said. "And that sense of belonging extends to the boundaries of the campus because we are also such an active part of the Buffalo community. We bring value to the community and opportunity. Opportunity transforms lives, and you cannot have opportunity without education."


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