Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

M. Dolores Denman Fund for Community Needs

Blazing a Trail for Community Change

Honorable M. Dolores Denman

Pioneer. Trailblazer. Groundbreaker. All of these words describe Dolores Denman, who truly defines what the Community Foundation considers a change maker. As the first woman to serve as the presiding judge in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, Dolores left an indelible mark on the legal community. As a tribute to her inspiring leadership, the Appellate Division Courthouse in Rochester bears her name.

“Dolores broke the glass ceiling for young women aspiring to be a judge and was a great boss, mentor and writer,” said Les Greenbaum, who served as a Confidential Law Clerk for Dolores in the Appellate Division and is an attorney at Gross Shuman, P.C. “And she had a great sense of humor.” Her family felt it was important to honor Dolores’ legacy beyond the legal community when she passed away in 2000.

“Dolores was a change maker in her own right and by designating her fund to address the changing needs of the Western New York community, where she got her legal start, I know she would be pleased to see how we are honoring her legacy as an agent of change,” said James Denman, Dolores’ widower. James’ trust in the Community Foundation runs deep. He is a past chairman of the board and knows first-hand the vital role that Changing Needs Funds play in building the cross-sector relationships that drive change in the community.

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