UB rededicates Cora P. Maloney College
Maloney committed her life to helping students
Published: Sunday, September 29, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 18:09
The portrait of a woman in a black suit jacket with a white corsage over her left breast pocket stood on the floor of a dim-lit stage, supported by a wooden painter’s easel.
In the crowd were community members, looking on to honor a woman who exemplified the history of African-American culture in Buffalo.
Each distinguished speaker commemorated her by sharing an anecdote to help describe the life she lived.
Her purpose was to build communities in Buffalo and Western New York.
Her name? Cora P. Maloney.
On Friday afternoon, the University at Buffalo rededicated the Cora. P Maloney College (CPMC), celebrating the life of Maloney and 37 years of assisting urban and inner-city students, and unveiled a new portrait of Maloney in her honor.
The CPMC, located in Capen Hall, “provides a combination of services, courses and support for students who come with backgrounds ranging from those of academic distinction to those who come from circumstances of financial and educational disadvantage,” according to the rededication event’s program.
Second Deputy Mayor Eileen E. Grant and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes were in attendance along with other community members.
“It meant a lot to me, one, because as an elected official, I was honored to be standing in the shoes of Cora P. Maloney,” Peoples-Stokes said. “And, two, it’s important for the university to rededicate itself to the mission of the Cora P. Maloney College.”
From 1945-59, Maloney, who died in 1961 at the age of 56, spent her time in the Buffalo community as an activist.
She was active in numerous area initiatives, including the Community Chest, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the American Cancer and American Heart associations.
In 1957, Maloney was sworn in as a committeewoman in the Sixth District of the 13th ward and also made history in the same year being elected as Buffalo’s first councilwoman, the first democrat to ever be elected in the Masten district and the first African-American to be elected to the district in 20 years.
In 1976, UB chartered the CPMC in honor of Maloney to create programs to help address the needs of UB students of color and residents of the City of Buffalo.
The program creates the connection for non-traditional students to enter a university through the help of academic support and faculty mentor research experiences.
“It pleases me that children are getting the opportunity that other children wouldn’t get,” said Laura Bishop, Maloney’s niece.
Dr. Keba Rogers, the associate director of Cornell University’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and her Ph.D., all at UB, with the help of the CPMC.
“I think going through the Cora P. Maloney College is more like a family,” Rogers said. “Being able to have not only academic support but emotional support and people who are truly encouraging you and really wanting you to do what’s best for you [helps]. I’m doing well because of the Cora P. Maloney family.”
The 11 programs that the CPMC harnesses help students experience academics from a community perspective.
The college also helps bridge the community and UB, offering internships and partnerships with local organizations.
“I had a scope: I started off in the sciences and technologies program on South Campus, which was the high school version of C-Step – the entry program in the science and technology program of CPMC,” said Christine D. Wingo, a senior level engineer at DuPont, who received her bachelor’s from UB in industrial engineering and a minor in African-American Studies before receiving her Master’s in industrial engineering in 2009. “I kind of got an introductory into these areas, but once I got there, I got more involved and dealt with a lot of different people and the programs offered.”
The painting will hang inside CPMC’s offices in 208 Capen Hall.