EDITORIAL: Podolefsky’s positive influence will have everlasting effect

On Sunday, family, friends, colleagues and students of former President Aaron Podolefsky gathered from all over the country at the Performing Arts Center inside Rockwell Hall to celebrate the life and legacy of a man who, in one form or another, impacted their lives for the better.

Between the sounds of Bob Dylan that greeted guests and the who’s who of speakers who took turns sharing their memories of Podolefsky, it became apparent why the 200 or so folks in attendance took two hours out of their Sunday afternoon to come together for one last goodbye.

It was a fitting tribute to a man universally revered for his dedication and compassion.

When Podolefsky came to Buffalo State in 2010, most of our editorial board had also just arrived to campus as wide-eyed freshmen or transfer student. Since then, we’ve been witness to a great deal of transformation across campus.

Construction has obviously been a mainstay on campus the last three years, and students are now starting to experience the significance of that.

Podolefsky initiated a $300 million capital project early on in his tenure to renovate campus buildings and construct new buildings. The result is an augmentation in campus aesthetics and functionality.

The campus revamp includes the completion of the new Student Apartment Complex and Student Union rehab in the spring and the recent opening of the Technology Building.

Now, when students walk the campus, even though Podolefsky no longer does with them, traces of his ultimate enthusiasm to better the climate for students can be found all over.

Podolefsky was always been all about the students. He embraced shared governance and more importantly, student input. If there was an issue that raised concerns — big or small — among students, his door was open to discuss possible solutions.

When he wasn’t postponing the occasional lunch to listen to student worries or chasing ambitious — and eventual successful — initiatives, it wasn’t uncommon to see him at sporting events cheering one of Buffalo State’s varsity sports teams. Podolefsky, effectively known to students by the nickname A-Pod, truly bled orange and black since his inauguration, and it was contagious to anyone who had the pleasure of coming in contact with him.

After The Record published multiple stories in the semester’s first issue that illustrated Podolefsky’s worth to Buffalo State and the surrounding community, some readers took to the comment section of our website under the articles.

“I remember at our May 2012 graduation someone yelling out “WE LOVE YOU, A-POD!” one commenter wrote. “And you know what? We really did.”

Thank you, A-Pod, for making Buffalo State a better place to receive an education.