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George D. Crofts Hall

photo of building
Location: North

Historical Note:

Crofts Hall currently houses many UB administrative offices including Student Life, University Communications, Finance and Administration, and University Business Services. 


George D. Crofts was born in Buffalo in 1880. His career at UB began in 1904 when he was appointed a lecturer in the UB Law School. That same year, Crofts was named the Law School’s secretary and treasurer, a position he would hold for sixteen years.

On July 11, 1921, Crofts became the university’s first paid administrator when he was appointed treasurer and comptroller for UB. During Crofts’ tenure, the position was at the same level as the chancellor of UB, both of whom reported directly to the UB Council. Prior to 1920, UB’s professional schools and the College of Arts and Sciences operated independently with no uniform means of budgeting or accounting. Crofts centralized these operations through his office and instituted a unified accounting system for the entire university.

Crofts was responsible for the UB’s fiscal stability through the Great Depression and World War II. Between 1920 and 1932, he took out loans to cover budgetary shortfalls, loans that would not be repaid until the early 1940s. In 1921, UB’s operating budget was $290,000 and the university had $150,000 in endowments. By the time Crofts retired in 1951 (eleven days before his 30th anniversary as UB’s treasurer and comptroller), the operating budget was $4 million and endowments totaled over $8 million.

George D. Crofts described UB as Buffalo’s greatest enterprise. UB Chancellor Samuel P. Capen likened Crofts to “the chief engineer of an ocean liner, who lives below decks, who is not very often seen on the decks, who sometimes dines with passengers, but is responsible for making the ship go.”  George D. Crofts died on February 15, 1954.

  • 1974 -- (April) State University Construction Fund awards the Crofts Hall building contract to J. Migliore Construction Company, Inc.
  • 1976 -- (May) Construction completed.

Original Architect: Pfohl, Roberts and Biggie, Inc.
Original Contractors: J. Migliore Construction Company, Inc.
Construction Cost: $3,632,000
Original Size: 78,457 gross sq. ft.