S P R I N G 2 0 0 9
Villa’s Fashion Design and
▲The new Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Fashion Design and
Merchandising is entering its second semester and early indications
of its success are very positive. Enrollment and enthusiasm are superseding
expected levels. This unique program focuses on both the
aesthetics of design as well as the art aspect of shapes and silhouettes.
It differs from other area programs by combining design and merchandising
skill through an artistic lens. Standard fashion industry
skills and concentrations in business programs give students a solid
background. Villa graduates will possess the creative, critical thinking,
technology, portfolio presentation and oral communication skills
necessary to the industry.
A PUBLICATION D EDICATED TO A LUMNI AND F RIENDS OF V ILLA M ARIA C OLLEGE OF B UFFALO
After their second year,
students will choose a design
or merchandising pathway
taking several courses that
cross over into both areas.
This structure will allow them
flexibility to enter various
areas of the fashion industry
upon graduation. According
to the US Department of
Labor, employment outlooks for the fashion industry are very positive
and career opportunities are numerous. The curriculum includes a
need for courses in other programs offered at Villa such as
Photography and Interior Design. Future interactions between Fashion Design and Merchandising
programs and the Music and Music Business programs are planned.
Students at work in the new Fashion and Sewing lab
Program Coordinator, James Siewert, is energized by the enthusiasm the Fashion Design and
Merchandising program has created. Particularly interesting is the Elements of Design course that requires
students to create a line of clothing. Encompassing all areas of fashion, including costing, sourcing,
developing a market plan from design to layout will be among the most exciting class offerings. Giving
students a taste of real life situations and developing the skills necessary to work together with other areas,
is very important in securing good jobs in the future.
The Fashion Design and Merchandising program fits well with the artistic mix of music and arts offered
at Villa. To learn more visit our website at www.villa.edu or call the Admissions Office at 716-961-1805.
“I don’t know what your
destiny will be, but one
thing I do know: the
only ones among you
who will be really
happy are those who
have sought and found
how to serve”
T W O
A Message from Villa Maria College President Sister Marcella Marie Garus
eritas, Unitas, and Caritas are the words that appear on the seal of Villa
Maria College. The Latin inscription translates as Truth, Unity, and Charity.
These are the ideals of the College expressed in
core values which engender knowledge, respect,
V I L L A M A R I A C O L L E G E
and service and are the foundation for the Mission
of Villa Maria College.
To promote the College Mission, the Mission
Integration Program was developed. The primary
focus of the program is to provide greater understanding
and education regarding the ideals and
core values as well as the educational components of the mission. Over the next
five years the College intends to expand the program. In addition to providing
quality educational experiences,-- the activities to continue the promotion of
ideals and core values of the mission will include presentations, opportunities
for shared vision and reflection, and service projects.
Villa Maria College will give recognition to “mission in action” through
implementation of the Blessed Mary Angela Award. Any member of the college
community who demonstrates living the core values may be nominated for
the award. The first Blessed Mary Angela Award will be conferred at the
May 20, 2009 commencement. Please email or call me if you would like
information on the guidelines of the award and wish to nominate a trustee,
administrator, faculty, or staff member for the honor.
ALUMNI DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
ith the busy holidays behind us and
the focus of a new year leading us in
2009, I can’t help but be energized by
the positive energy here at Villa. New
programs driving us to a baccalaureate
culture, a new housing project up and
functioning, and constant streams of
exciting events happening on or around
campus are drawing many interested
students from far and wide. This is a
time when you as alumni can join the
excitement, showing your support and
being supported by Villa. Not only are there opportunities to mentor students,
become a guest lecturer or host an intern, there are several ways Villa can help
you. Our Career Development Office is available for resumé and cover letter
review, online job postings and assistance with interviewing skills. The
Workforce Development and Life Long Learning Center hosts workshops and
development programs. For more information check out our website at
www.villa.edu or call me at 716-961-1852. Be a part of Villa again!!
The College is successfully carrying
out the educational elements of the mission
as evidenced in meeting enrollment
goals for 2008-09, preparing proposals
for baccalaureate programs in Graphic
Communications and Photography,
establishing several committees to
promote recruitment, marketing and
retention, and developing additional
associate and baccalaureate programs.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support that allows us to advance
the Mission of Villa Maria College. I urge all alumni, benefactors, and friends
to continue active support now more than even because of the economic
challenges facing our entire community. I invite all to visit our web site,
send me an email, or visit the College soon.
May God bless you and shower you with his abundant blessings during
this New Year 2009.
Sister Marcella Marie Garus
ANNUAL GIVING CAMPAIGN
he Villa Maria College Annual Giving Campaign is well underway. With the
new programs of study requiring more equipment and increased student body
seeking grants and scholarships, your support is more vital than ever. During
December we reached out to our Alumni and Benefactors with a written
pledge request. You may have also received a phone call from a Villa volunteer
asking you to support the college with a donation to the Annual Giving
Campaign. We greatly appreciate your generosity and support of the Villa
Maria College mission which provides a quality education to our students.
If you have not yet sent in your tax deductible donation to the College,
but would like to at this time, please contact the Development office at
716-961-1825 or send it to Villa Maria College Development Office 240
Pine Ridge Road Buffalo NY 14225. Your donations, at any level, help
support our students in many ways.
C A M P U S N E W S
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE:
BENEFITS TO ESTATE PLANNING
▲E veryone can benefit from an estate plan, regardless of net worth or financial ▲Villa Maria Caring and Serving is a
situation. Many people believe that estate planning is only about tax issues.
Actually, it covers much more. It can help protect an inheritance, keep taxes
to a minimum, and ensure care of your family when you are no longer able to
do so yourself. Estate planning is a process that can help you pass on your assets
in a way that reflects your values, dreams and the full life you have lived.
Despite the benefits of estate planning, about 60% of U.S. citizens do not
have one. That’s a mistake, according to investment professionals and attorneys
who see estate planning as wise and necessary.
Some goals of estate planning include:
Managing your assets in a manner that benefits you during your lifetime
Managing your financial and legal affairs should you become disabled
Helping protect your assets against the high cost of long-term care
Expressing your wishes with regards to medical care and designating
an individual to make medical decisions for you when you cannot
Providing for your family if you become disabled or die
Minimizing delays and frustrations of estate settlement
Helping your family avoid unnecessary estate taxability
Benefitting a charity
Controlling the distribution of you assets
Your estate includes all of your assets, including those held in your name
alone or jointly with others, such as bank accounts, real estate stocks, bonds,
furniture, vehicles, jewelry, life insurance proceeds, and retirement accounts.
The value of your estate is important in determining whether your estate will be
subject to estate taxes after your death and whether your beneficiaries could later
be subject to capital gains taxes. Ensuring that there will be sufficient resources
to pay such taxes is another important part of the estate planning process.
Federal Estate taxes are imposed upon estates that have a net value of
above $3.5 million in 2009. In 2010 that amount will disappear completely.
Then, unless Congress passes an extension, the exemption will revert back to
$1 million in 2011. In addition, New York State requires taxation on estates
that meet certain criteria.
Through your estate plan you will designate someone to manage your assets
and make health care and personal care decisions for you if you ever become
unable to do so. If your estate is small, you may simply focus on who will
receive your assets after your death, who should manage your estate, pay your
last debts and handle the distribution of your assets. If your estate is large, your
lawyer or financial planner can discuss various ways of preserving your assets
for your beneficiaries and of reducing or postponing the amount of estate tax
which might be payable after your death.
By including the College in financial and estate plans, donors can increase
their current income and provide additional retirement time, while reducing
income and estate taxes. Many friends of Villa Maria College have found that
through proper planning they can support Villa in a meaningful way while
maximizing tax benefits for themselves. Visit our website www.villa.edu/
development/planned giving/ for more details.
VILLA MARIA COLLEGE PARTICIPATES
T H R E E
new initiative at the college bringing
together our students, faculty, staff,
alumni and friends to serve the community
and put into practice the core
values of Villa Maria College. The
groups’ first activity was a partnering
day with fellow Franciscan college
St. Bonaventure University’s BonaResponds (a service group that volunteers for
local service days and travels to assist at disaster relief sites throughout the country.)
Front Row (l-r): Laurie Lachuisa, Lauren Contreras,
Pat Halliman-Hay, Sharod Smith, Ebonie Evans
Back Row (l-r): Don Monnin, Angelina Lim,
Jamila Jemes, Julia Rummel, Jessica Witkowski,
Alison Hess, Lloyd Mitchell
On Saturday October 4, 2008, thirteen Villa students, faculty, and staff
traveled to St. Bonaventure University (SBU) to participate in a local service day.
Villa Caring and Serving volunteers and the BonaResponds group worked on a
variety of projects near the Cattaraugus county campus including scraping and
repainting signs in the city of Olean; volunteering at the SPCA spending their
day walking dogs, feeding newborn kittens, and prepping the outdoor kennels
for painting; others built a house for a man who had lost his home (and dog) to
a fire in January; rebuilding of a porch on an elderly woman’s home; working in
“Bob’s Woods”, a wooded area on the St. Bonaventure campus, clearing the
existing hiking trails and forging a new trail through some waist high brush.
Following a busy workday, the Villa Caring and Serving team joined the SBU
community in celebrating the College’s 150th Anniversary with a Mass, dinner,
and New Orleans Jazz Concert. Our Villa volunteers returned, tired from a
productive day, and glad for the experience to help out in so many different ways.
On Saturday, March 28 Villa Maria College will host a Western New York
day of service. Villa’s Caring and Sharing Team invites all members of the college
community to join in with guests from BonaResponds to volunteer their time
for projects to help local non-profit organizations and enhance the quality of
life in Western New York. Volunteers will make new friends and have fun
while serving the community. The day will culminate with a debriefing session
followed by dinner and entertainment at Villa Maria College. Volunteers will
work on projects at the following organizations:
Moving Miracles Dance Studio- a dance studio for children and adults
with exceptional needs
Felician Sisters Mother House- painting and setting up their library
Cheektowaga Historical Association- cleaning the basement and preparing
it for painting
Sr. Mary Josette Food Pantry- cleaning and defrosting freezers
SIFE Club of VMC- assist in their carnival for children from a local Big
Brothers/Big Sisters program
The Bob Lanier Center for Educational, Physical and Cultural
St. Columba-Brigid Youth Center
CHC Learning Center
For more information or to join us in service to our community, sharing a
meal and friendship, contact Kim Kotz at email@example.com.
V I L L A M A R I A C O L L E G E
F O U R
VILLA ALUM DAWN QUINN PRESENTS IN
CONJUNCTION WITH THE BARBARA B.
LITTLE SPEAKER SERIES
he Villa Maria College Community was
privileged to have 1993 Alumna, Dawn Quinn
return to the campus to tell her wonderful
story as part of the Barbara B. Little Speaker
Series. Like many students Dawn came to Villa
as an “older student” when she realized she
wanted more out of life. In the beginning, she
struggled to adjust to academics and had bouts
of insecurity. With the help of her husband, her
faith and the teachers at Villa, she became determined to challenge all obstacles
and move full steam ahead.
After graduating from Villa, Dawn went on to get her BS and M. Ed. and
has been a teacher of the Visually Impaired and Blind for Orleans- Niagara
BOCES. In addition, Dawn has been married to Michael for 23 years and
together they have 5 adopted children, 4 of whom have special needs. In her
spare time Dawn is the choir director at her church and this year was the
recipient of the DDSO Caregiver of the Year Award.
Although Dawn has born with uncanny determination, she attributes the
awakening of that determination, to her time here at Villa.
The Barbara B. Little Speaker Series welcomes back alumni annually to share
their stories. If you are interested in participating, please contact Joyce Kessel at
716-961-1836 or Mary Merigold at 716-961-1852.
HEAL THE CHILD SEMINAR
n Monday September 29, 2008 the Villa Maria community
was privileged to have alumna, Laurie Moran (‘92) return to campus to
present a child abuse prevention and education project and training program
Heal the Child. What makes this program special is Laurie’s original music
which adds voice to the important subject matter. Alumni, students, faculty
and community members from various backgrounds were rewarded with an
educational and heartwarming performance. Learn more about Laurie and the
Heal the Child program by visiting www.healthechild.com.
V I L L A M A R I A C O L L E G E
A L U M N I N E W S
▲A shley Rucker
Ashley Rucker, a sophomore in the
Fashion Design and Merchandising
program at Villa Maria College feels
that fate has led her to the right place.
Ashley did not initially look at Villa as
a choice when making her college
decisions. She was focused on going
to a “big” school like her high school
friends. The Kenmore East graduate
had spent the first few years of high school in special education classes. She was
embarrassed to admit this to friends and felt inferior to other students. The
real difference in her special education classes meant a smaller class size and
more opportunity for individualized attention. In this environment Ashley
excelled and was placed in general education classes her senior year. While at
Kenmore East, Ashley was captain of the Dance Team and was a member of
the Race Unity Club.
When it came time to apply to colleges, Ashley submitted applications to
Canisius College, Buffalo State College, SUNY at Buffalo and the Fashion
Institute of Technology in New York City. Unfortunately, all these colleges
rejected Ashley’s applications. Realizing her success in high school started
when she was in smaller settings, Ashley applied to Villa after hearing of the
impending Fashion Design and Merchandising program. Once again she was
on the road to academic success. Ashley now realizes that she never would have
succeeded in other colleges. Villa Maria College provides the learning
environment that allows students to be successful. Ashley states, “It is ok to
be in smaller classes, since in reality, smaller classes are better for my learning
habits.” The teachers help and truly care about the students at Villa. “I can go
to any of them at anytime for help and that is a big factor in my success here.”
When not in the classroom, Ashley lives and works at Collegiate Village as a
leasing Assistant. She enjoys shopping and hanging out with friends and family.
Ashley’s goal is to open her own store in New York City and become a stylist.
With her ambition there is little doubt she will be successful.
Ashley is pictured with her Dad and Sister Marcine Borowiak, College
Vice President of Development, at the President’s Council Dinner where
GINA VANCE CHAIRS SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL DINNER
he President’s Council Benefit Dinner was held on October 12, 2008 at the Millennium Hotel. Chair of the event was Gina Vance,
member of the Council and an alum of the College. In addition to the address by Sister Marcella Marie Garus, College President,
Fashion Design and Merchandising major and resident student, Ashley Rucker, shared her experiences at Villa and Collegiate Village.
Over $11,000 was raised for student scholarships and grants. Charles Evingham, a member of the Council, presented the College with
a President’s Council Banner that was displayed in the banquet room for the event and will be used at future Council functions.
A L U M N I C O N N E C T I O N
▲ Shakora Harrue Banks received his Ph.D. in Educational Studies from
Capella University. He also moved from Coordinator of Students with
Disabilities to instructor of Social Science and holds membership on
▲ Carmen Aquila instructor and program coordinator of the music programs
is a successful composer. He had two of his piano compositions premiere in
Beijing, China last October by pianist Dr. Bryan Boyce. Another piano piece
was premiered by Dr. Boyce at Buffalo State College. Carmen had a third piece
for Soprano and Piano premiere on Long Island in December.
▲ Jaime Lorenz, a 1997 Interior Design graduate of Villa Maria College, and
currently a full-time instructor in the program successfully completed the
National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam in
October, 2008. Congratulations!
VILLA JOINS INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES
▲P rior to Barak Obama taking the oath of office as the 44th President of the
United States, the Villa community gathered to celebrate America and this
historic event. Members of academia read speeches from American History
including the Preamble to the US Constitution, The Gettysburg Address,
Franklin D. Roosevelt
and John F. Kennedy’s
inaugural addresses and
the “I Have A Dream”
speech by Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. The group
then watched history in
the making as Barak
Obama was sworn in.
ALUMNI TOUR CHOCÓ LOGO
▲A group of Villa Maria
College Alumni took a
tour of local specialty
Chocó Logo in early
February. The tour introduced
the alumni to interesting
processes and some
unique products made at
Chocó Logo including Obama Bark “Waves of Change”. After the tour, owner
and chocolatier, Dan Johnson paired a variety of chocolates with wines as the
group learned some tips on different confections.
Sister Mary Julia Witkowski, an educator, missionary
and former Provincial Minister of the Felician Sisters in
Buffalo, died February 24, 2009. She was 91.
F I V E
In 1976, Sister Mary Julia was named Director of the
Music Department at Villa Maria College of Buffalo, and
elected Provincial Councilor at the Immaculate Heart of
Mary Province, in Buffalo, NY, a position she held from
1976 to 1982. In 1982, she was again elected to leadership in the province,
this time as the Provincial Minister. She capably led the province until 1989.
During her service on the leadership team, Sister Julia was an active member
of the Villa Maria College Board of Trustees.
Sister Mary Justine, 93, a Felician Sister for 74 years, died in
the Felician Sisters Health and Wellness Center, Buffalo, NY,
on January 17, 2009.
Sister Mary Justine began her ministry in education as
a Catholic elementary school teacher in 1936. She taught
students on the junior high level in Buffalo for sixteen years
and in Syracuse for four years. In 1956, she began to teach
at Sacred Heart High School in Syracuse, NY where she remained for nine
years. She also taught at Villa Maria Academy in Buffalo from 1974 to 1976.
Her best years as an educator were spent at Villa Maria College of Buffalo.
Sister Mary Justine was a full-time Religious Studies Instructor at the College
from 1965 to 1974 and then again from 1976 to 1985. She was passionate
about her subject matter and had the opportunity to travel and experience
various religions first hand. This enabled her to share her knowledge with
her students from personal experience which made the material much more
interesting. Sister Mary Justine began teaching part-time in 1985 and served as
a tutor in the Villa Maria College Learning Support Center. She was honored
with the title of Professor Emerita at Villa Maria College on May 19, 1997.
Afterward, she continued ministering as a part-time tutor as well as volunteering
her services in the Development Office at the College. Overall, Sister Mary
Justine ministered at Villa Maria College for 38 years.
The Public Relations Office
Villa Maria College
716 896 0700
Art Direction & Design:
V I L L A M A R I A C O L L E G E
S I X
COLLEGIATE VILLAGE OPENING
COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER AND
RECIPIENT OF FOUNDER’S MEDAL
ichard S. Kwieciak, Esq. will deliver the address
at the 45th Commencement at Villa Maria College
on May 20, 2009. Mr. Kwieciak will receive the
Founder’s Medal for his services as College attorney
V I L L A M A R I A C O L L E G E
C O M M U N I T Y I N V O L V E M E N T
illa Maria College entered into an exciting new era on Tuesday, November 18
when President Sister Marcella Marie Garus joined members of the Collegiate
Village management staff and a number of local dignitaries at a ribbon cutting
celebration for the Collegiate Village student housing complex located less
than two miles from the campus.
Collegiate Village features newly renovated, state-of-the-art single, double
and quad-style apartments for college students throughout Western New York.
The campus features gated-security, a student center called the Lodge that is
equipped with a game room, HD movie theatre, cyber lab, gymnasium, workout
facilities, swimming pool and more. The Collegiate Village also offers free
shuttle transportation to and from the Villa campus five times a day. Thirty
students are currently housed in the designated Villa buildings on the grounds.
For more information on this exiting project, visit www.CVWNY.com
Mr. Kwieciak is managing partner of the law firm
of Kwieciak & Kwieciak, LLP specializing in corporate
law, elder law, estates, wills and trusts. Richard
is also a lecturer in Estate Practice and Procedures at the University of Buffalo
Law School. Mr. Kwieciak is Department of Defense Ombudsman under the
Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights and court certified
mediator of the Federal District Court of Western District of New York.
Richard Kwieciak is a graduate of Canisius College and the University of
Buffalo Law School.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AWARD
▲V illa Maria College was
recognized with the 2008
Award for 2008 in the
at the district’s January
meeting. Villa partners with
Cheektowaga Central on a number of projects including advanced placement
articulations, community career workshops designed for local college bound
students, and for the last two years Villa has played host to the school district’s
annual K-12 community art show.
College President Sister Marcella Marie Garus received the award from
district officials and its board of education and thanked the school district’s
administration and teachers for their continuous commitment to shaping
young minds in the community.
▲T ALUM PRESENTS CREATIVE LEADERSHIP WORKSHOP
he Villa Maria College Alumni Relations and Life Long Learning offices co-hosted a leadership
workshop for business women focusing on “Using the Power of Creativity to Improve Your
Leadership Effectiveness on February 6, 2009. Workshop participants from the college and the
community were led by Villa Alum, Demaree Poole (’71), who holds a MS in Creative Studies,
Innovation and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies on Creativity at
Buffalo State College and is president of “Dream Big Creativity”. The focus of the day was on defining
creative thinking and problem solving techniques and breaking old patterns that hinder change.
Demaree was a powerful facilitor and left her audience with many inspiring ideas.
C O M M U N I T Y I N V O L V E M E N T
VILLA MARIA COLLEGE 21ST ANNUAL
SCHOLARSHIP GOLF BENEFIT IN 2009
hink green! Think golf and join us in on a day filled with great camaraderie
at the Villa Maria College 21st Annual Scholarship Golf Benefit at Chestnut
Hill Country Club in Darien Center, NY on Friday, June 12th, 2009. For
$100 golfers will enjoy golf with cart, lunch, 19th Hole and dinner. The hors
d’oeuvres and dinner only package is $40 for anyone who does not golf but
would enjoy participating in this event.
The day begins with registration from 11:15 am, lunch from 11:30 am
followed by a shotgun start at 12:30 pm. There will skill prizes on all par three
holes including a chance to win a 2 year lease on a Mercedes Benz and cash on
a Vegas hole! Carts with free refreshments will be making the rounds to all
players during the outing. At 5:30 pm, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will precede a
delicious steak dinner, presentation of trophies for skill prizes, hole-in-one prizes
and super raffle prizes.
Opportunities for sponsorships can be explored on our website. The outing
is open to all. To make a reservation or for more information please contact the
Development Office at 961-1851 or 961-1825. See you on the green!
CHEEKTOWAGA DISTRICT ART SHOW
▲V illa Maria College played host to the second annual Cheektowaga School
District (K-12) community art show this past January. Hundreds of students and
parents visited the Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery over a two week period
to view the many artistic talents of our community’s youth. The event kicked off
the 2009 Student Art Exhibition schedule which will culminate in June.
Special thanks to Villa Art Department members Brian Duffy, Fran Amaya,
Julie Zack and Adam Weekley who volunteered as judges for this year’s
omecoming, a recent exhibit in the Paul
William Beltz Family Art Gallery, evoked many
emotions. Original plans for an exclusive showing
of pieces by Andrew Toploski, a former
instructor of Fine Arts at Villa Maria College
were altered by his untimely death last February.
Instead the works of Andy’s friends, Lisa Toth,
John Toth and Robert Gulley, along with some
of Andy’s own pieces were brought together to create Homecoming.
S E V E N
Andrew has been credited with starting the first Art Gallery at Villa and has
many admirers both locally and abroad. Among them, Don Metz, Associate
Director, Burchfield Penney Art Center who wrote of Andy, “His work, like the
man himself, inspired hope, challenged individuals, and confronted difficult
issues – all with a love of mankind that was genuine and respectful”. Andrew
exhibited widely on an international level including the Auslands Institut,
Dortmund, Germany; Stadtmuseum, Schoengau, Germany; Galerie von Gril,
Vienna, Austria and Galerie Von Bartha, Basel, Switzerland to name
a few. His works could also be seen locally and throughout the United States.
At the time of his death, Andy taught at the Parsons School of Design in
New York City.
THE PAUL WILLIAM BELTZ FAMILY ART
GALLERY AT VILLA MARIA COLLEGE
Spring 2009 Student Exhibition Schedule
Fine Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .February 27 - March 13
Graphic Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .March 20 - April 3
Interior Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .April 24 - May 8
High School Juried Photography Show . . . . . . . . . . . .May 29 - June 12
Current students, family, Villa alumni and interested students are encouraged
▲Villa Photography students displayed their work in February. For opening
night dates and times, visit online at www.villa.edu
Standing (l-r): Shannon Gauthier, Laura Herby, Jill Seifert, Amy Tedesco,
Crystal Schroer, Andrea Zona, John Dunkleman
Sitting (l-r): Ashley Fischer, Sara Paul
V I L L A M A R I A C O L L E G E
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