Dr. Alvin Turner and Dr. Kate Conway-Turner at the gala

Buffalo State Celebrates Outgoing President, University Status during 2023 Bengala


Buffalo State University’s Bengala 2023—the 26th annual Foundation Scholarship Gala— welcomed 350 guests to campus on April 29, including faculty and staff members, students, and alumni from across the country.

Held in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall, this year’s Bengala also celebrated Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner, who is retiring at the end of May, and Buffalo State’s new status as a university.

Under the direction of Carlos R. A. Jones, associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, coordinator of Africana studies, and associate professor of theater, six undergraduates, one graduate student, and three alumni relayed the impact that Buffalo State has had on their lives in a bio-narrative and movement performance.

Other students contributed to the evening’s festivities as well.

Students from Buffalo State’s Alumni Engagement Office created centerpieces for the tables using plants from the campus greenhouse, and graphic design students, under the direction of Brent Patterson, associate professor of design, created animation that played throughout the evening, reflecting the gala’s Frida Kahlo theme.

All proceeds from the Bengala support Buffalo State students through academic scholarships and emergency financial assistance. Since the signature fundraiser began in 1998, the gala has raised roughly $6 million for student support.

Stacy E. Lewis Beauford, ’01, and Michael J. Garner, ’83, served as this year’s event co-chairs, while M&T Bank was the presenting sponsor.

Photos by Jesse Steffan-Colucci, Buffalo State photographer.