My Last Word

President Daan Braveman reflects on his tenure and what the role has meant to him.

by Daan Braveman, J.D.

Daan Braveman

It is truly difficult to imagine that it has been nearly 15 years since I began as president. I clearly remember my start, which was quite memorable. I arrived bright and early on July 1, 2005, excited about beginning my new position as the ninth president of Nazareth College. Unfortunately, the door to my office was locked, a problem that an aspiring president should be able to solve. I discovered, however, that this door was not like most. It had no keyhole on the outside. The lock was a button along the side of the door, and for some strange and unknown reason the keyhole was on the inside. After a few failed attempts to remove the hinges and pry open the door, I called the security and facilities staff. They were able to fix the problem by getting a ladder, placing it on an outside building wall, and climbing through a window to my office. And so it began.

Now, 15 years later, I feel so very fortunate that those staff members were able to let me enter, both literally and figuratively. I have grown to love the College and am proud of all that we have achieved over the past years. For starters, many will point to the wonderful new facilities — the renovated Arts Center, Peckham Hall, Glazer Music Center, new nursing facilities, York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute, and Golisano Training Center. For me, however, the significance of these structures lies not in the buildings themselves but rather in the new opportunities they created for learning and discovery, enabling our faculty to provide the highest quality educational experiences for our students.

We accomplished much more in addition to building or renovating these facilities. Nazareth provides many new academic offerings, expanded international experiences, award-winning community service programs, internship opportunities, the unique Center for Life’s Work, the Hickey Center, the Konar Center, new athletic programs, and Community and Belonging, to name just some of the achievements. Most importantly, throughout all the changes, we remained focused on the students, our mission, and our values.

I want to stress that these successes truly required a College-wide effort. I learned long ago that no single person or small group of people can change an institution. It requires the hard work of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, and donors. It has been a privilege for me to have worked with such a dedicated group over the past years.

As I begin to pack up my office, I have very mixed emotions. I will miss greatly the Naz community and the people with whom I have worked. But I am very hopeful about the College’s continued successes. I am very pleased that Dr. Beth Paul will be replacing me. She has the experience, understanding, skills, passion, personality, and values needed in a leader as we move forward in the coming years. I just hope she won’t need a ladder to get into her office!

Daan Braveman served as Nazareth's ninth president from 2005 through June 2020.