Archive Notes - Summer 2012

Potsdam Braves the Storm of 2012

For those of you who missed the storm on July 17th (as did I!), a sudden severe thunderstorm with high winds led to a power outage and isolated damage to campus and throughout the Village of Potsdam.  This caused all classes and activities to be cancelled for the remainder of the day.  Immediately following the loss of power, members of the Emergency Response Resource Group convened to monitor the situation, working far into the night to ensure that all students and employees were safe. I want to offer many thanks to the Emergency Response Resource Group for their expert handling of the situation. As the College was in the midst of an orientation session on the day of the storm, special arrangements were required to address the needs of the 200 plus incoming students and their families. Congratulations to Louise Tyo, the Orientation Leaders, and the faculty and staff who worked extra hours to be certain the students and families were well cared for. As always, the staff of Physical Plant and University Police did a great job managing the effects of the storm.

Shared Services

On July 16, 2012, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton submitted our progress report on the shared services initiative covering its first year, as required by the SUNY Board of Trustees.  Once the Trustees had a chance to read and consider it, the report was placed on the campus website. (  I am very proud of all the work from various groups that helped in providing the substance of the report.  It both documents what we have accomplished and provides a road map for future discussions.  In short, we are looking to achieve further administrative collaboration in the provision of some central services, such as Payroll and Purchasing.  In addition, we are hoping to explore how students from each campus can take advantage of unique curricular offerings of the other campus.  I will speak at greater length about the report and where we go from here as the semester gets underway.

Opening Convocation Breakfast

This year’s opening breakfast will take place on Thursday August 23, at 8:30 in the Barrington Student Union MPR. I will deliver my annual State of the College address.  We will formally welcome new employees and also recognize those folks who have attained continuous appointment or been promoted since last year. Please contact Diane Brown ( if you plan to attend.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Freshman Funnel

Each year at Commencement, the faculty line the sidewalks near the Crumb Library while our graduates walk through to receive our congratulations.  The Freshman Funnel provides the other half of this tradition, as we officially greet our newest students as they prepare for their first student convocation.  It is a wonderful event and I strongly encourage everyone to attend.  Please join me on Friday, August 24, at 3:45 p.m., in front of the Barrington Student Union, so that we can give a rousing welcome to our incoming first year students.

Reunion 2012

If you didn't make it to Reunion 2012, you missed a great party!  More than 560 alumni and friends were on campus, enjoying a variety of events and reconnecting with friends. Returning alumni always comment that one of the highlights of their Reunion is seeing faculty and staff, so many thanks to all of you who volunteered your time to help at events and participate in activities.

At the Reunion several recent major gifts were announced.  These gifts will significantly impact the students and programs here on campus.  These alumni donors were motivated to make these gifts because of the extraordinary experiences they had while students...thanks to you as faculty and staff for playing an important role in creating these fond memories.

  • Gary Jaquay '67 established the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize to provide financial support for the solicitation of new operatic compositions as well as the production of the winning compositions at The Crane School of Music.
  • Glen Zagorski ’87  and Jane Morale ’80 established the Morale-Zagorski Greek Life Internship Scholarship to support an annual student internship with the Greek Life office.
  • Diana Nole ’87 pledged a major gift in support of the Mathematics and Science Center in the School of Education and Professional Studies.
  • Shirley McNally ’62 and husband Jim pledged an estate gift in support of the Annual Fund for Potsdam to help meet the College’s greatest needs and opportunities.

Campaign Update

As of June 30, 2012, the close of our second year of the Leadership Phase of Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, we have surpassed our annual goal for the campaign and made tremendous progress toward our overall goal.  With more than $6 million raised this past year alone, we have now raised more than $14.3 million in gifts and commitments supporting our students and their experiences here at Potsdam. (Some of these gifts are for immediate use, others are estate/deferred gifts to build a strong foundation for the future.)  We are now 57% toward our $25 million goal!

Golf Tournament September 6

The 24th Annual SUNY Potsdam Scholarship Golf Classic is a major fundraiser for the College's general scholarship fund, raising a record breaking $93,000 last year.  If you are interested in volunteering for this event, please contact Beth Todd at  Everyone can participate in bidding on fabulous Silent Auction items on line (items will be posted by August 17th), and can participate in the Fox 101.5 Ball Drop contest by purchasing a ticket at The College Store.  Many thanks to the faculty and staff members of the Scholarship Golf Tournament Committee for your hard work in helping to plan and run this successful event!

Welcome Natalie Higley

I am pleased to introduce to the campus the new vice president for Business Affairs and Administration for both SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton, Ms. Natalie Higley, who began her duties on July 1. Following several months of work by our dedicated joint search committee, Natalie rose to the top as the most qualified candidate to assume this exciting new position.  Natalie comes to us with many years of experience as chief financial officer both in the corporate world as well as in higher education. Please join me in welcoming Natalie and her family to our campus community.

I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the members of the joint search committee who worked for many long months to discover the best possible candidates for this position. From Potsdam: Rick Miller, co-chair, Peter Brouwer, Walt Conley, Eric Duchscherer, Dan Scott, and Ana Thomas. From Canton: David Gerlach, co-chair, Kenneth Erickson, Michael McCormick, Karen Spellacy and Qualon Thorton.