Media Advisory: UB to commemorate Millard Fillmore’s 216th birthday

Annual commemoration of Fillmore, U.S. president and UB’s first chancellor, is a tradition dating back more than 50 years

Release Date: December 30, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo and community partners will mark the 216th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, UB’s first chancellor and 13th president of the United States, with a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, in Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Hosted by UB, the Forest Lawn Group and the Buffalo Club, the event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, visit

The program will begin at the Millard Fillmore gravesite with short remarks and wreath presentations to commemorate his life and legacy.

Col. Michael Bank, 107th vice wing commander at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, will present the White House wreath on behalf of President Obama.

A special legacy wreath will be presented by members of local organizations that Fillmore helped found and that continue to thrive today. These Fillmore legacy organizations include the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Buffalo Club, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Buffalo General Medical Center, The Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Public Schools, Buffalo Science Museum, Hodgson Russ LLP, SPCA Serving Erie County, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo.

At the conclusion of the gravesite event, the program will continue in the Margaret L. Wendt Archive and Resource Center in Forest Lawn, where Melissa Brown, executive director of The Buffalo History Museum, will deliver a memorial address about Fillmore’s involvement in the founding of the museum.

“The annual Millard Fillmore commemoration is a time-honored tradition that celebrates the life of a man who made monumental contributions to Buffalo and who served the United States from its highest office,” says William J. Regan, director of special events at UB.

The Rev. Joan Montagnes of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo will provide an invocation. The UB Police Color Guard will present the colors. To close the gravesite ceremony, SUNY Fredonia student Matthew Caputy will play taps.

This year’s commemoration marks the 51st consecutive year UB has organized the ceremony, a tradition that dates back to 1937. From 1937 until 1965, the anniversary ceremonies were organized by Charles Templeton, a UB alumnus who worked with the city of Buffalo and the Buffalo Board of Education to program the annual events.

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