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University at Albany Art Museum Establishes Jack Horan Memorial Endowment Fund

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150



Michael Boots

Michael Boots' donation will support student outreach and activities at the University Art Museum. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. (August 25, 2009) -- The University Art Museum today announced that UAlbany major gifts officer Michael Boots has pledged $25,000 to establish an endowment fund in honor of John "Jack" W. Horan. The Jack Horan Memorial Endowment Fund will support student outreach and activities that will help the museum become a more significant part of the student experience at the University at Albany.

A long time resident of Massena, N.Y., Jack Horan died on April 21 at the age of 87. He was born in 1921 in nearby Potsdam, the son of John and Catherine (Hourihan) Horan, and graduated from Massena High School in 1939. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1942 to 1946. In 1947, he married Gertrude Leonard, who predeceased him in 2004.  In 1965 Horan began working as Director of Computer Services at the State University of New York at Potsdam, retiring on June 30, 1981. He was named an Honorary Alumni of SUNY Potsdam.  Horan was active in Massena community affairs, having served as a member of Massena Memorial Hospital Board, the Massena Housing Authority, and Chamber of Commerce.  He was a trustee of Sacred Heart Church and Parish Council and a volunteer at several local organizations.

Michael Boots, who grew up in Massena, said “Jack was a long-time friend of the family, and his love for art and writing was the inspiration for my gift to the University.  I’ve been very impressed with the museum’s efforts to reach more students.  I think Jack would have applauded their goal of getting young people more involved in the arts."

In 2007 the museum created a Student Advisory Group, which has organized several student-focused events at the museum. Museum Director Janet Riker said, “In a few short years, we’ve learned so much from our students about the programs they would like to see here at the museum.  University and college museums across the country are finding exciting ways to get students involved.  The Jack Horan Memorial Endowment Fund will help us take our program to the next level.”

Contributions in Jack Horan’s memory may be made to The University at Albany Foundation, UAB 226, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12222 or on-line, specifying Jack Horan Memorial Endowment Fund at the University Art Museum.

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