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Friday, June 09, 2023
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Infamous alumni

The most notorious students to step foot at UB

UB has a very solid alumni record. From graduates like Wolf Blitzer, Khalil Mack and Terry Gross to dropouts like Ronnie James Dio, the school has plenty to be proud of when it comes to past students.

But not everyone lives a life to be praised. 

Some students went on to be at least controversial after college and some down-right evil. UB’s infamous alumni have made national headlines and embezzled thousands. Here are some names you won’t see on any donation list soon:

Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein went from an ultra-influential film producer to the poster boy for disgraced Hollywood giants in 2017. 

As a student from 1969-74, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from UB in 2000. He even wrote a column for The Spectrum in 1971. UB revoked the doctorate after The New Yorker and The New York Times reported on dozens of women who said Weinstein sexually assaulted them. Weinstein was considered one of the most successful film producers since the 1990s and had a net worth of $300 million in 2017. He was stripped of more honors and taken to court in wake of the #MeToo movement, before pleading not guilty to the New York Supreme Court in June 2018. Weinstein currently faces criminal charges in New York and pending suits in other states and countries.

Steve Butcher

Butcher’s time at UB saw him rack up 48 goals in just three seasons on the soccer team. 

His time after saw him rack up a $45 million insurance scam in New Jersey. 

Butcher, a North Tonawanda native, went to UB from 1996-99 and broke several UB soccer records. He was the Bulls’ all-time leading scorer and was inducted into the UB Hall of Fame in 2007. 

But Butcher also faked insurance claims for prescriptions that defrauded benefit programs of millions, according to The Buffalo News. He owned MedMAX LLC, a pharmaceutical company located in Niagara Falls and the company would target consumers into buying unneeded prescriptions. Butcher admitted in court that the company ran the scheme from 2014-16. He forfeited close to $4.6 million to the U.S. and has his next sentencing hearing on April 29.

Dennis Black

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Some alumni like to keep their scheming close to home. 

Black was the vice president of UB in 2016, before it was revealed that he had embezzled $320,000 from the school. 

He would later admit to using the money to pay for personal expenses like his son’s bachelor party. Before his conviction, Black was considered a well-liked administrator among students. 

Black still holds a 4.5 rating on Rate My Professor despite the scandal and did not receive jail time. He received both his BA and MA at UB and held many positions while working at the school. Black had been a fixture at UB for close to 40 years before retiring in 2016. Black’s involvement in an embezzlement scheme was revealed in October 2017. 

Marc Olschok

Olschok was an international grad student at UB during the ‘90s and is perhaps the most wicked student to end up on the list. 

Olschok was arrested for killing his mother, Waltraud Olschok, with a hammer while being home for the summer in July 1996. Olschok tried to conceal the murder by wrapping his mother in a sleeping bag and hiding the body in the cupboard. Police reported that the blood-stained walls were painted over. Olschok, 32 at the time, said he planned to return to Buffalo at the end of August and commit suicide, according to TheAssociated Press. Prosecutors said Olschok had no emotion when he confessed.

Thomas Zafonte is the senior features editor and can be reached at:


 Thomas Zafonte is a senior English major. He is a UB sports fan and enjoys traveling around Buffalo. 




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