This Day In Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

This Day in Bonaventure History

February 11, 1986

Samuel Lasser was born in 1895 to a relatively poor family. He was able to attend New York University, however, and graduated in 1918. For most of his life he was a certified public accountant for the firm, Seidmann & Seidman in New York City. He moved to Jamestown, N.Y. in 1920 to open a regional branch for the firm. He was chosen as one of the first five members of the New York State Regents’ Council on Auditing. 

Forty years later, he founded and served as the first chairman of the Institute of Federal Taxation at the University of Buffalo. That year he was also named Man of the Year by the Jamestown Chapter of the National Conferences of Christians and Jews. 

Throughout his life, Lasser gave countless gifts to Friedsam Memorial Library, including additions to the library’s New Catholic Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Judaica. He also donated many rare items to Bonaventure such as a 1574 Latin New Testament translated by Theodore Beza. Many of his letters to and from Fr. Irenaeus Herscher can still be found in the university archives.

Lots of times Lasser and Hugh Grant gave donations as a joint effort. They both paid for the new edition of the papers of Woodrow Wilson, and helped pay for bringing Dr. Aloyiis Ruppel and his wife from Germany. They also jointly donated a 14th century Latin manuscript Bible which had belonged to a Franciscan Friary in England and a famous printed version of the Hebrew Bible done in Venice in 1521. 

Lasser served on the board of trustees for many years. In 1963 Bonaventure awarded him with an honorary doctorate of commercial science.

It was on this day that Lasser died. 


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