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Muriel A. Moore, the newly appointed president of Buffalo State College, promised Thursday to place students first, and make the college "a larger presence in the lives of Western New Yorkers."

She also pledged to continue programs, begun when she was interim president, to deal with gender and race problems on the Elmwood Avenue campus.

"All of us in society, not just we at Buffalo State, have to begin to communicate and work with one another," she said during a press conference in Rockwell Hall.

Mayor Masiello, who was at the press conference, proclaimed Ms. Moore's appointment "a home run for the college and for the city." Common Council President James W. Pitts who said State University of New York officials "couldn't have chosen a more wonderful person."

Ms. Moore was flanked by Brenda Williams McDuffie, co-chairwoman with Donald P. Quinlan of the search-advisory committee that recommended the new president, and SUNY Trustee Arnold P. Gardner, who was present Wednesday when the university system's board of trustees named Ms. Moore president.

Mrs. McDuffie, a member of the College Council, noted that Ms. Moore "clearly received the endorsement and support of every constituency we have at Buffalo State, and from the entire community. We are fortunate to have her leadership, her grace and her intelligence."

"We have a lot of (SUNY) appointments," Gardner said. "I cannot recall an occasion comparable to Muriel's. It was almost joyous. She has made such a quick impact on this campus, and has influenced people beyond this campus. She is a very savvy lady."

Ms. Moore, the seventh president of the 125-year-old college, said she has the same immediate goals that she had when she assumed the interim presidency Jan. 2 -- to address the problems of enrollment, the state budget and the institutional climate at Buffalo State.

She also emphasized the advantage of having a "cluster" of both SUNY and independent colleges and universities in the Western New York area.

"We will be working together" to improve education in New York state, she said.

"We will (each) be finding our niches and bringing them to one education table."

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