Archive Notes - January 2013

Welcome Back

Welcome back to all faculty and students who are returning from the long winter break. I hope your time away was restful and relaxing, and that you are as excited as I am to begin the new semester. Don’t forget to take the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues during the first Happy Hour of the spring semester at Dexter’s Café on Wednesday, January 30 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. This monthly event features hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and music.

Spring Semester 2013

This semester may go down in history as one of the busiest. There is much to look forward to.

  • Our triennial Academic Festival will run April 10 – 13. The theme for the Festival is “Making the Future,” and will feature lectures, panel discussions, workshops, seminars, displays and performances, including:

    • John Warner, President & Chief Technology Officer of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry. “Green Chemistry: New Eyes and New Ideas in Science.” Dr. Warner is one of the two founders of the green chemistry movement, which has made sustainability a central theme of modern chemistry.
    • Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland: “Women Taking Power Seriously.” Townsend is an attorney and writer, and is also the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, and niece of John F. Kennedy.The second annual Lougheed Festival of the Arts is scheduled for April 26 – May 4, and will include
  • The second annual Lougheed Festival of the Arts is scheduled for April 26 – May 4, and will include

    • A lecture by Roberta Smith, art critic for The New York Times
    • An illuminated sculpture garden in the Academic Quad
    • A multimedia performance by renowned American artist Carrie Mae Weems
    • Crane Chorus & Orchestra presentation of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, conducted by Maestro Christof Perick, the 2013 Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor

There will be many additional events and activities throughout both of these Festivals. Please stay informed through the various websites and participate as much as possible in all of the festivities.

The Academic Festival website is

The Lougheed Festival website is

Joint Chief of Police

I am pleased to announce that Chief John Kaplan will assume the position of Chief of Police for both Potsdam and Canton beginning on Jan. 19. Last semester, SUNY Canton’s Police Chief Lisa E. Colbert announced her intentions to return to the classroom as an Associate Professor in the College’s Department of Criminal Justice. The University Police forces will soon conduct a comprehensive assessment of both departments’ operations. After a careful assessment, the departments will evaluate opportunities for sharing services. As the two campuses have done in their conversations regarding shared services in areas such as human resources and environmental health and safety, this study will also help identify ways that the forces can improve upon how they operate.

Shared Services

Interim President Schiffner and I are working together with our Public Affairs staff to prepare and send on a regular basis an electronic shared services newsletter. Watch for the first of these newsletters to be delivered to your email in February. Additionally, we are preparing to present a series of open forums with more information about the progress of shared services, which will include question and answer sessions. In preparation for these forums, the next joint leadership meeting for SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam will be held on Monday, January 28 in Canton.

Potsdam College Foundation Welcomes New President and Vice President

At the fall 2012 meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Potsdam College Foundation, a new President and Vice President were elected.  Lynne Boles ’74, who has served on the Foundation Board since 2005, replaced Stephen Immerman ’75 as President.  Michael Galane 74’, who has served on the Foundation Board since 2004, replaced David Johnson ’77 as Vice President.  I am incredibly grateful for the service provided by Steve and David, who served in their respective leadership roles for the past six years, and am very pleased that both will continue as regular members of the Board.  You can learn more about the Foundation trustees by visiting the Board’s website page.


Recent Major Gifts Impacting Campus

The following are some recent major gifts that will significantly benefit faculty, programs, and students here on campus.  Our alumni donors routinely tell us that they are motivated to make these gifts because of the extraordinary experiences they had while students... thanks to you as faculty, emeriti and staff for playing an important role in creating these fond memories.

  • Gail '64 and Richard Stradling have established the Gail and Richard Stradling Technology Endowment for The Crane School of Music.  This significant fund will allow Crane to purchase audio/video equipment for live streaming of performances in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater and Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall, as well as provide ongoing resources for the upkeep/upgrade of required equipment.  The live streaming will begin in the fall of 2013. 
  • Michael Messitt '73 has pledged a major deferred gift (a gift in his will) that will establish The Dr. Frederick H. Lowenstein Memorial Fund.  This fund will help meet the greatest opportunities and needs of the Department of English and Communication.
  • Marcia K. Murphy '61 has established the Marcia K. Murphy & Gary J. Northrup Scholarship to provide a generous scholarship to an incoming freshman from the Central New York area who is a declared social studies secondary education major, and who has a deep passion to teach history. 

Don’t Miss Bear Pride Night!

Show your Potsdam pride by attending Bear Pride Night on Friday, February 8, 2013 at Maxcy Hall.  The Women’s Basketball Team faces Geneseo at 6 p.m.; the Men’s Basketball Team faces Geneseo at 8 p.m.  There will be a raffle drawing for two $500 prizes, a 50” flat screen television and numerous door prizes throughout the evening.  There will be a special reception in Maxcy Hall Room 220 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., exclusively for alumni and athletic donors (who also get into the games for free!).  If you are an alum or a donor to the Athletic Department, please RSVP for this reception by February 1 via email, at

Director of Graduate Studies

I am pleased to announce that Joshua LaFave has accepted the position of Director of Graduate Studies at SUNY Potsdam, effective January 15. Joshua is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam's Business Administration program and Clarkson University's MBA program and comes to us from Syracuse University, where he served as Director of Graduate Enrollment for the Whitman School of Management. Prior to that he worked at Clarkson University as Associate Director of graduate business programs. Joshua serves on the Business Administration program's Business Advisory Council and has been very active in the NYGAP professional organization, including serving on their governing board. Please join me in welcoming Joshua to SUNY Potsdam.  

Student Health Services to Offer Weekend Hours

SUNY Potsdam’s Student Health Services will be open for weekend hours, starting with the Spring 2013 semester. Patients will be seen from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays for the 15 weeks of the semester, beginning on January 26 and 27 and ending on May 11 and 12.  Visits are by appointment only. Students can call (315) 267-2377 to make an appointment.

Flu Season

The flu seems to be hitting people quite hard this year. It’s not too late to get a flu shot if you haven’t already received one. See your medical provider or one of the area pharmacies. Remember that if you are truly ill, you should stay home to recover and to avoid spreading the germs that my cause others to become ill. The New York State Department of Health has put together a fact sheet with a great deal of information, which you can access online at