Delaware North's Chief Donates Buffalo Landmark to UB

Release Date: May 9, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Business executive and civic leader Jeremy M. Jacobs, Sr., has donated the landmark Butler Mansion -- now the Jacobs Executive Development Center -- to the University at Buffalo and its School of Management.

Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Delaware North Companies, last year offered use of the mansion and its carriage house on the corner of Delaware Avenue and North Street for university functions and for management-school classes, particularly executive training and professional-development programs.

"I am proud to help with a gift like this that blends Buffalo's rich history with the university's long tradition of excellent education by providing a unique setting for extending its educational and public-service opportunities," said Jacobs, one of three honorary co-chairs for the university's current $250 million campaign.

"As a campaign chair," he added, "I have come to realize that the quality of education and the vitality of research at UB are becoming increasingly dependent on private support, so this campaign serves as a launching pad for shaping UB into an extraordinary university."

Jacobs, a 1960 UB graduate, and his family have been longtime donors to the university with significant annual gifts to the university's general fund, money to fund two academic chairs and money to assist with the School of Management's China MBA program. On the UB Amherst Campus, the Jacobs Management Center bears the family name.

UB President William R. Greiner praised Jacobs as "a true leader in every sense of the word.

"As chairman and chief executive officer of Delaware North Companies, he has overseen Delaware North's growth into one of the world's leading food service, hospitality and recreational management companies. As a civic leader, his foresight, acumen and vision have greatly benefited Western New York, particularly the UB community.

"He has provided exceptional leadership to UB as chair of the UB Council, former chair of the UB Foundation and honorary co-chair of the Campaign for UB. We are very grateful to him for this beautiful and magnanimous gift to his alma mater, which will enrich our School of Management's educational offerings for business executives for many years to come."

Lewis Mandell, dean of the School of Management, said he is delighted that the historic building will become a permanent part of UB.

"This gift has been one of the best things that has ever happened to the School of Management," said Mandell.

"It has immeasurably improved our prestige in Buffalo and with visitors from throughout the world," he noted. "And it has allowed us to realize our dream of once again offering business courses in the City of Buffalo."

Mandell said the school's Center for Management Development has expanded its operations into the building, offering executive training, computer workshops and meeting space for companies and organizations. He added that several companies and organizations have used the building over the past year for community and development events, including American Axle & Manufacturing, Rich Products, HSBC, Samsung, the Buffalo Bills, Ernst & Young, Rand Capital, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and the Buffalo Public Schools.

In addition, the school has begun to offer some of its MBA courses in the building and there are plans to offer additional MBA programming specifically designed to meet the needs of the downtown business community.

The Center for Applied Technologies in Education, a unit within UB's Office of Public Service and Urban Affairs, is using the 8,000-square-foot carriage house that sits on the grounds and is included in the gift from Jacobs.

A Buffalo architectural landmark, the three-story, 40-room mansion was built in 1899 by Buffalo banker and leather manufacturer George L. William, who commissioned Stanford White of the prestigious New York City architectural firm McKim, Mead and White for its design.

Delaware North Companies acquired the mansion in 1979 and restored it, using it as the company's headquarters in the 1980s before selling it to Varity Corp. in 1991. Jacobs reacquired the mansion in 1999 because of the significant role it played in the history of Delaware North. The company's name is derived from the building's location at the intersection of Delaware Avenue and North Street.

As chairman and CEO of Delaware North, Jacobs oversees a company that has grown under his leadership into a $1 billion-plus private holding company with principal subsidiaries in food service, retail, sports-facility ownership and management, airport services, hospitality and parks-services industries, and pari-mutuel operations.

Jacobs currently chairs the University at Buffalo Council, the local governing council of the University at Buffalo. He also has served the University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc., as a trustee and director from 1972-96, and as foundation chairman from 1980-87. He was awarded a SUNY honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1996.

His gift is part of UB's $250 million campaign, the largest ever conducted by a public university in New York and New England. Although it's the fifth major fund-raising campaign conducted by UB, it's the first national/international campaign, the first university-wide campaign and the first to be alumni-driven with campaign volunteer leaders from all over the country. Funds raised will be used to enrich academic programs, support students ranging from undergraduates to post-doctoral students and to enhance university life.

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