Archive Notes - March 2013

SUNY Potsdam at the Oscars

Junior theatre and dance major ChaRon Brabham ’14 made SUNY Potsdam very proud when she took a turn on red carpet and on stage at the Academy Awards on Feb. 24. As a winner of the national Oscar Experience College Search, ChaRon and five other college students from across the country presented Oscar statuettes to presenters and winners. The aspiring filmmaker also got to tour the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Library, visit Disney Animation Studios, meet the nominees in the short film category, and was invited to the Governor’s Ball following the ceremony. Brabham was fitted with a designer dress for the occasion and got to meet a “who’s who” list of stars. Notably, she presented the Oscar for Best Director to Ang Lee – a fitting honor for ChaRon, who has directed theatre productions on campus. The Brooklyn native did SUNY and all of New York State proud!

SUNY Potsdam at the Grammys

Three SUNY Potsdam alumni took home Grammys on Feb. 10. The graduates included superstar soprano Renée Fleming ’81, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe ’92 and accomplished recording engineer Pete Reiniger ’72. Fleming ’81 earned her fourth Grammy Sunday night, taking home the award for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album “Poèmes,” featuring the music of Ravel, Messiaen and Dutilleux. Stephanie Blythe ’92 earned her first Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, as part of the cast of the “Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen” album recorded by Deutsche Grammophon. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Sound Production Supervisor Pete Reiniger ’72 won his third Grammy Sunday for his work on the album “Imaginaries” by Quetzal, in the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album category.

Greek Life Task Force 
The SUNY Potsdam President’s Council has appointed Dr. Alan Hersker as chair of the College’s Greek Life Task Force. Dr Hersker serves as chair for the Department of Anthropology and has been a member of the faculty since 2005.

The other members are as follows:

Kathy O’Rourke, Community Health
David Pittman-Jennings, Crane School of Music (Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia)
Romeyn Prescott ’92, Computing & Technology Services
Erin Wilson ’05, Career Planning (Alpha Sigma Tau)

Amy Kellogg ’99
Peter Galloway ’83 (Prometheus)
Glen Zagorski ’87 (Psi Phi)

Robert Barber ’14 (Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia)
Sara Behuniak ’14 (Arethusa)
Tara Bohon ’12, graduate student
Updates on the task force’s findings will be posted at

Individuals wishing to provide information to the task force about related issues and concerns are encouraged to send them to

Additionally, the task force will hold at least one open public forum to gather insights and perspectives from the campus and local community. The task force meeting schedule will be determined at the first session.

My sincere thanks go to Dr. Hersker and all the members of the task force for your willingness to assist the College in determining the best course of action for all our students.

Shared Services

The Shared Services Forums at SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam which were held a few weeks ago were both well attended, and I would like to thank those of you who participated. As we identify more issues from these broad consultative measures, we will schedule additional forums.

In response to the SUNY press release on February 14, I can tell you that conversations are underway in the areas of Advancement, IT and Student Affairs, but no final decisions have been made about how services might be shared between our two institutions.

Interim President

We anticipate an official announcement from the SUNY Board of Trustees identifying the Interim President sometime next week, following the Board meeting on March 19. More information will be forthcoming at that time. I feel confident that the College will be in excellent hands during the transition. We expect that a search for the next President of SUNY Potsdam will be initiated in the fall.

St. Patrick’s Day Happy Hour

All faculty and staff are invited to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at this month’s Whine & Jeez. There will be door prizes, Irish music, a cash bar and a special St. Paddy’s Day menu featuring: Corned Beef "Sliders", Irish Cheese assortment, Smoked Salmon Tray and Shortbread Cookies.

Join the fun on Wednesday, March 20 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. at Dexter’s Café.

More information and a list of dates can be found online

Festival Events

Please be certain to mark your calendars and arrange your time to make the most of out of the upcoming festivals and activities taking place on campus.

The Academic Festival runs April 10 – 13, 2013. More information can be found at

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.” Wednesday April 10 at 7:30 p.m., in Kellas Hall Room 106
    • 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.” Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m., in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at The Crane School of Music.
    • Townsend is an attorney and writer, and is also the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, and niece of John F. Kennedy.

The Lougheed Festival of the Arts runs April 26 – May 4, 2013. More information can be found at

The second annual festival will include:

  • A lecture by Roberta Smith, art critic for The New York Times
  • A reading by celebrated author T.C. Boyle ’68
  • An illuminated sculpture garden in the Academic Quad and a graffiti wall near the Library
  • 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, along with the American Boychoir on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall.

Lougheed Festival Of The Arts Proposal Deadline For 2014

Although this year’s Lougheed Festival has yet to take place, it is already time to be thinking about next year’s Festival. Proposals for the 2014 Lougheed Festival of the Arts are now being accepted, and are due by Friday, April 12, 2013.

The Lougheed Festival of the Arts includes theatre, dance, vocal and instrumental performances, visual arts exhibitions, creative writing programs, and guest artists and lecturers. The funding application and information on the Festival’s mission and vision, as well as funding parameters can be found online.

There will be drop-in Lougheed informational sessions on Wednesday, March 27 and Thursday, April 4 from noon to 1 the 7th floor boardroom of Raymond Hall to answer questions about the proposal process and the Festival in general.

Crane School of Music Visiting Artists

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music welcomed guest artist-in-residence Frank Battisti to campus from March 11 to March 14. This is the inaugural guest artist residency to be underwritten by the Band Guest Artist Fund, which was established by Col. Thomas H. Palmatier '75. Additional support comes from the Rebekah C. Covell Band Program Fund, provided by Professor Emerita Rebekah C. Covell.

Crane will welcome the 2013 Visiting Guest Composer, Libby Larsen, to campus the week of April 1. Works by the Grammy-winning contemporary American composer will be presented in a concert featuring faculty and students on Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater.

Campaign Update

Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam continues to see remarkable and early success. To date, we have raised $16.7 million!  On behalf of the countless students and programs who benefit from the generosity of faculty and staff donors, thank you!  With this early success of the Campaign comes exciting news. The Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees recently approved increasing the fundraising goal to $27 million, to be raised by the College’s Bicentennial in 2016.  (The original working goal was $25 million.)  You are among the first with whom we will share this news, as we will not make the Campaign or the goal public until April 2013. 

Campaign Launch – April 26

The entire campus community – faculty, staff and students – are invited to celebrate the public launch of Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, on Friday, April 26 in the Barrington Student Union Multi-Purpose Room:

  • 6:30 – 8 p.m: Campaign Launch Celebration
  • 8:15 – 11 p.m.: Dancing with the band Double Axel

We’ll be honoring all of the donors (including faculty, staff, and students) that have helped make this Campaign possible.  You won’t want to miss this exciting and unforgettable event!

Recent Major Gifts Impacting Campus
Following are some recent scholarship funds that have been established to benefit students.

  • Dr. Michael ’80 and Jill ’80 Komar have established the Komar Family Scholarship to provide a scholarship to an incoming freshman with a declared major in Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry or Biochemistry.
  • Irving and Shirley '62 Crane have established The Crane Family Endowment for Math and Science Education for a rising junior majoring in math or science education.
  • T. Urling and Mabel Walker have established The T. Urling and Mabel B. Walker Family Fund for Native American Students to provide scholarship support for Native American students in Northern New York.         

SUNY Video

Rising hip hop artist and UAlbany alumnus B. Martin recently released the first SUNY music video! Watch the "SUNY Anthem" and listen for the Potsdam shout-out here: