It's kind of like a pep rally. For a university. At a museum.
Some of the University at Buffalo's biggest names will be on hand to celebrate the university's new year on 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Buffalo Pierce-Arrow Transportation Museum. They include university President Satish Tripathi, Athletic Director Danny White, football coach Jeff Quinn and basketball coach Bobby Hurley.
A similar event last year, held at Hotel @ The Lafayette, drew a crowd of more than 600 people, and UB officials said they expect more this year.
UB is in the midst of several major initiatives, including imminent construction of its $375 million medical school on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. UB has been involved in a number of other medical campus projects -- its Clinical Translational Research Center, part of a $291 million joint project with Kaleida Health, opened in September 2012 -- and there's more to come.
"We're only a stone's throw away from the burgeoning medical campus and the site of our new medical school," said Jay Friedman, UB's associate vice president for alumni relations. "The downtown renaissance is happening, and we're honored that we, and our alumni, are part of it."
UB has also seen major change recently in its athletics department. White fired popular former basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon and replaced him with Hurley, a former college star and National Basketball Association player, and has embarked on the "New York Bulls Initiative," seeking a broader identity for UB athletics and an associated fundraiser for various facilities.
Registration for the event is closed. The Pierce-Arrow museum is owned by Jim Sandoro, who received a bachelor's degree from UB in 1971.