Donor Profile

Donor Profile

BUFFALO, NY - Daniel Ulmer ‘13 thought he was just “humoring his mother” when he agreed to a campus tour of Canisius. Then a student at Forestville High School, “Dan had his sights set on Stanford or Yale,” recalls his mother, Phyllis. “He spent a summer taking classes at each while he was in high school and thought he wanted an Ivy League education.”

But Phyllis felt Canisius, “with its smaller campus, Catholic, Jesuit tradition and reputation for academic excellence,” would be a better fit for her son. She took matters into her own hands and requested information from Canisius on behalf of Dan.

“I received this nice big package in the mail from Canisius and thought, ‘Wow, they must really be interested in me, so I agreed to a campus tour,’” says Dan.

That’s all it took. Afterwards, Dan told his mother he would only apply to one school – Canisius.

“The people and the campus really impressed me,” he recalls. “Right away, it felt like Canisius was where I belonged.”

Dan came to the college on a Presidential Scholarship, awarded to students for academic achievement. The financial relief enabled him to fully immerse himself in campus life. Dan became a member of the Undergraduate Student Association, the Student Programming Board and the Contemporary Music Ensemble. His involvement with Campus Ministry, the Christian Life Community and the Jesuits not only “deepened his faith” but “influenced his future.” The English and political science major, who once planned to pursue a law degree at Georgetown University, is now a second-year seminarian at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora.

“Dan had a tremendous experience at Canisius, as did I,” says Phyllis, who recalls the “outpouring of support” she received when her husband, Richard, suddenly passed away at the start of Dan’s senior year.

Grateful for Dan’s “Canisius family,” Phyllis recently made a generous commitment to the college with the establishment of the Phyllis M. and Richard D. Ulmer Scholarship Fund. The fund provides merit-based scholarships to students who demonstrate a record of volunteer service, and active involvement and participation in the Catholic Church.

“Dan was blessed to receive a Canisius education through the Presidential Scholarship,” says Phyllis. “Hopefully, this scholarship can help do the same for future students.”

“The opportunity my mom is providing is amazing,” adds Dan. He speaks from experience when he continues, “because you never know where a Jesuit education will take you.”