For Ilene R. Fleischmann, a ’73 alumna of Buffalo State’s graduate program in English literature, words have shaped a successful career that has always had writing and editing at its core.
It all began with her first job crafting true romance, movie star, and detective stories for a group of national magazines based in New York City and culminated in her current role as vice dean for alumni, public relations, and communications for the SUNY Buffalo Law School.
In between, in the early ’70s, she served as editor of the Buffalo Jewish Review while working toward her master’s degree at Buffalo State.
“I had amazing, brilliant professors who inspired me—Fraser Drew, William Donnelly, and Charles Lefcourt. Occasionally, I would take page proofs from the Jewish Review to Donnelly for his input,” she said. “It was like having an independent study.”
She later worked as a features reporter with the Buffalo Courier-Express where she had her own column. When that newspaper folded, she became an editor for Woman’s World magazine. She also freelanced for the Buffalo News and national women’s magazines including Ladies’ Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, and McCall’s.
Throughout her career, Fleischmann has demonstrated how far a love of writing and a little determination can take you. Now Fleischmann wants to help the next generation of writers succeed. To this end, she recently provided an endowed gift for Buffalo State’s writing program.
“I want to help Buffalo State provide a deeper and richer experience for students,” she said. “If students develop better writing skills while in college, they will be able to perform at a higher level when they get into the real world. It doesn’t matter what field a student is studying. Writing and editing skills are essential.”
In recognition of Fleischmann’s generosity, the college is dedicating the Ilene R. Fleischmann Writing and Publication Suite located in Ketchum Hall.
“This naming is a tribute to the remarkable career achievements of Ilene Fleischmann and the excellence of the English Department’s faculty and curricula,” said Benjamin Christy, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. “Her generous gift will support the writing program’s student publications, visiting lecturers, and student presentations at conferences and other professional events. We are honored and deeply grateful for Ilene’s visionary commitment to developing the full potential of Buffalo State’s student writers.”