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FALL 2017

President Dr. Zvi Szafran Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Douglas M. Scheidt

SUNY Canton Public Relations Director of Public Relations/Web Designer Travis G. Smith Media Relations Manager Gregory E. Kie Public Relations Manager Lorette A. Murray Graphic Designer Matthew J. Mulkin '04 & '11 Secretary Ellen M. Prashaw

Canton College Foundation Vice President for Advancement Anne M. Sibley Director of Major Gifts/Senior Philanthropic Advisor Peggy Sue Levato Director of Financial Operations Keith R. Rosser Director of Planned Giving Geoffrey C.S. VanderWoude Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement Jamie L. Burgess '06 Associate Director of Individual Giving Bradford Catling Gift Steward/Foundation Accountant Stephanie J. Fay Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs Elizabeth F. (Irvine) Gravlin '02 & '08 Assistant Director of Individual Giving Amanda Stopa Goldstein Secretary Lisa St. Germain

College Council Grace Y. Burke • Timothy J. Currier • Cecily L. Morris Chloe Ann O'Neil • Ronald M. O'Neill '63, Chair Marie C. Regan • Joseph L. Rich • Thomas R. Sauter '81 Roger J. Sharlow • Rachel Nikki Zeitzman '18, Student Rep/Student Government Association President

College Foundation Board of Directors Bernard C. Regan '65, Chair • Christine D. Gray '93, Vice Chair Anne M. Sibley, Executive Director • Edward N. Coombs '86, Treasurer Karen M. Spellacy, Secretary • Chloe Ann O’Neil, Past Chair

Directors Dr. D. Anthony Beane • Lisa E. Colbert '97 • William D. Demo '57 Joan M. Eurto '82 • Daniel G. Fay • Kevin Fear '87 • Walter J. Haig '89 Sylvia M. Kingston '78 • Marti King MacArthur '74 & '78 • Dr. Kasheed Mohammed '60 • Michael A. Noble '85 • Robert B. Raymo '58 • Jon A. Richardson '67 • Dr. Zvi Szafran, ex officio • Carl W. Trainor '77 Rosella Todd Valentine '68 • Grace E. Jones-Vesper '88 • Thomas V. Walsh '96 •Guilford D. White '68 • Barbara R. Wilder '53 & '70 Thomas P. Woodside '66 • Katherine M. Wyckoff '77

Honorary Directors D. Edgar Cloce '59 • Thomas F. Coakley • Charles F. Goolden Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy • Dr. Earl W. MacArthur • Robert A. Noble, Jr. Jay F. Stone '62 • Ronald L. Woodcock '59

Alumni Association Board of Directors Kelly Obermayer '79, President • Anne Boulter '79, Vice President Cynthia L. Young '85, Secretary • Ann Marie Brewer '85 Jamie Burgess '06 • Jennie (Ramsay) Flanagan '90, '93, '06 Major General Fergal I. Foley '80 • Elizabeth F. (Irvine) Gravlin '02, '08 William T. Jones, J.D., M.S. • Caroline C. Kingsepp '09 Chris Kirkpatrick '11 • Peggy Sue Levato • John Maines '77 William A. Myers • Arthur W. Rankin '55 • Lindalee Sawyer '83 Lawrence Vaughan '73 • Steven Wozniak '09 Grace E. Jones-Vesper '88 • Rachel Nikki Zeitzmann '18



LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT Want to keep up with the life of a college president? Check out the Weekly Blab at

Five decades ago, a bold vision came to fruition when the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical Institute at Canton was relocated from St. Lawrence University to a new, stateof-the-art campus. After years of planning and advocacy by local officials, college administrators, and community members, the first classes at our present-day location commenced in the fall of 1967. The rest, as they say, is history. As we begin our celebration of “50 Years on the Hill,” the cover story on Page 11 chronicles the series of events that led up to that transformative year. As you’ll see, there are moments of drama, humor, and tragedy–an inspiring story that has ingrained a sense of determination and perseverance into our DNA. In this issue, you’ll also meet alumni and current students who have boldly forged their own path, much like the College did 50 years ago. I’m particularly proud to share the story of Laura (Brown) Casamento ’83, who is the first female President of Utica College. We also highlight Jessica L. Fischer ’18, who is on a mission to help the world end its

dependency on fossil fuels, and recent graduate Khaina A. Solomon ’16, who is helping an underprivileged community as a Teach for America corps member. One common theme throughout these–and many other–stories is the significant impact SUNY Canton has had on the lives of our students. It reaffirms the importance of our mission and reminds us that investing in education is essential to creating similar opportunities for the next generation.

The past 50 years have been a period of incredible growth for the College, while still remaining true to our heritage. As President, I feel privileged to lead such a storied institution into its next era. With your help and support, the best is yet to come.

To that end, we are launching a fundraising effort with a goal of 1,968 donors by next June in honor of our golden jubilee. Ambitious? Absolutely, but I have no doubt our alumni and friends are up to the challenge. To show my support, my wife, Jill, and I have made a pledge of $25,000 to kick off the campaign, and I invite you to join me in contributing any amount, large or small. Also, stay tuned for fun, exciting events throughout the year to commemorate our half-century anniversary. Check your email and be sure to “like” the SUNY Canton Alumni Association Facebook page to learn all the details.








In this 1962 photo by the St. Lawrence Plaindealer, then-New York State Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller (third from right), officially breaks ground on the SUNY Canton campus. Also pictured are Edson A. Martin (far right), who donated the land, then-Acting ATI President Glenn E. Wright (second from left), and other local community and college officials.

NEWS New Agribusiness Degree Takes Root

Lawrence County and beyond trace their roots back to our agricultural programs, so I’m glad we’re offering programs in this area once again,” said President Zvi Szafran. “Our faculty members have developed a new degree mirroring the advances in the industry.” Although SUNY Canton phased out its traditional agriculture program in the early 1990s, the North Country’s economy still relies heavily on dairy and farming. Several alumni have expressed interest in working with future students, including David B. Elliott ’80, a Quality Control Membership Manager for AgriMark Dairy Farm Cooperative.

The College is paying tribute to its heritage as an agricultural school by launching a new Bachelor of Business Administration in Agribusiness Management degree this fall. The program will prepare graduates with the skills to manage small- to

large-scale operations in a variety of industries. Students will have the flexibility to complete the degree online, with the exception of a semester-long internship option that will provide them with real-world experience.

Elliott believes the new program will fit the educational needs of many in the area. He has established the David and Tracy Elliott Endowed Scholarship, which will be awarded to a student enrolled in the program.

“Many of our successful alumni in St.

Bridge Team’s Man of Steel The SUNY Canton student Steel Bridge Team is getting a little extra support from Eric S. Tessmer ’91, owner of Riverside Iron, LLC in Gouverneur. The former Civil Engineering Technology major learned about the team’s need for sponsors last fall and was immediately inspired to lend a helping hand.

15 regional titles and a 2009 national championship.

“Since graduation, my entire career has involved steel in one way or another, so it’s kind of my thing,” he laughed. “And I’ve always kept track of the team over the years, so when the opportunity to become a sponsor opened up, I jumped in.”

Tessmer donated the material the students would need for the 2017 competition season: a high-strength steel known as chromium molybdenum. The team began the design stage last fall, and by April, they were ready for the regional competition in Syracuse. They placed second, which automatically qualified them for the national championship. In May, they arrived at Oregon State University determined to continue the team’s legacy of excellence and finished strong in seventh place.

Every year, the Steel Bridge Team faces off against some of the most prestigious schools in the country–and internationally–to design and build the best scale-model bridge. SUNY Canton has traditionally been a force to be reckoned with, earning an impressive

“Mr. Tessmer’s support of the Steel Bridge Team was instrumental in our success this year,” said Faculty Advisor Paul D. Hitchman. “His involvement has enriched the educational experience of our Civil Engineering Technology students, and we look forward to

continuing our partnership in 2018.”

Tessmer holds a portion of the model bridge used during the 2017 competition season.



Police Academy Sets New Enrollment Record Law Enforcement Leadership program completed their degree through the academy. Held on campus annually each spring, the academy is the only one of its kind for sworn law enforcement officers in St. Lawrence County.

Academy Director of Operations Joseph W. Brown stands with the largest class in the school’s 22-year history. This spring, the St. Lawrence CountyDavid Sullivan Law Enforcement Academy saw the largest class in its 22-year history.

Twenty-eight cadets were sponsored by area law enforcement organizations to become police officers, and an additional three students from SUNY Canton’s

The Power of Poetry

has brought a host of world-renowned writers to campus, including George Saunders, Mary Karr, Bill McKibben, and William Rhoden.

A previous guest speaker of the College’s popular Living Writers Series has been chosen as the nation’s official poet. The Library of Congress announced in June that author Tracy K. Smith is the 22nd Poet Laureate—a position that has previously been held by some of the most gifted American writers, including Robert Frost, Rita Dove, and Billy Collins.

"Some of the most talented authors in the country have shared their thoughts and ideas with SUNY Canton students and the greater community,” said

The training is offered in two phases. Phase one offers pre-employment training and encompasses the majority of skills necessary to become a police officer. Cadets then are eligible to complete phase two upon becoming a sworn police officer. Phase two includes firearms and counterterrorism training and advanced police arrest techniques, among other topics.

Associate Professor Phil K. LaMarche, who created the series. “The Canton College Foundation has been a generous contributor to the program from the very beginning, and their support remains crucial to continuing the work of bringing a diverse group of creative minds to our campus.”

Smith, who visited campus in February, read from her 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection “Life on Mars” and memoir “Ordinary Light.” Traditionally, the U.S. Poet Laureate seeks to foster a greater appreciation of the art. Smith said she plans to focus on poetry access in underserved communities during her yearlong tenure. The Living Writers Series, which is funded in part by a grant from the Canton College U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith (center) visited SUNY Canton in February as part of the Living Writers Series. Also pictured is Foundation, began in 2012 and Associate Professor Phil K. LaMarche, who created the program. 5


Game On: SUNY Canton Launches Game Design Degree If you think designing video games isn’t serious business, consider this: the video game industry generated $91 billion in global revenue in 2016– surpassing Hollywood. And with that economic power comes job opportunity. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, gaming software developers earn roughly $63,000 annually, and job growth is expected to increase at an average of 6 percent per year until 2024. SUNY Canton is joining this booming industry by launching a new fouryear Game Design and Development program this fall. “This high-tech degree will give students hands-on experience with the latest industry software used to create 3D, virtual reality, and interactive games,” said Dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology Michael J. Newtown ’84. “In addition to learning design and programming fundamentals, students will study business, sociology, and

creative writing to round out their knowledge.” One of the most innovative aspects of the program, Newtown said, is a new state-of-the-art lab in Nevaldine Hall where game design students can work independently or as a team.

“This lab will be the nerve center of the new program,” he added. “It will give students a space where they can learn, collaborate, and work on transforming their ideas from concept to finished product.”

Bird is the Word Bird enthusiasts from every corner of the North Country flocked to campus this spring to attend a guest lecture by David Allen Sibley, a veritable rock star in the birding world. Kn o w n a s A m e r i c a’s l e a d i n g ornithologist, he wrote and illustrated one of the most celebrated field manuals of its kind, “The Sibley Guide to Birds.” His appearance served as the kick-off event for the College’s annual Scholarly

Activities Celebration, where students and faculty showcase their research endeavors.

1970s, and his sister Anne M. Sibley is the College’s Vice President for Advancement.

Fans lined up for book signings and packed the Kingston Theater to hear Sibley discuss his life’s work, which included anecdotes about his time as a child birdwatching in Canton. He has ties to the College: his grandfather Lorence F. P r i e s t a u g h t electrical engineering at SUNY Canton from the 1940s to the



HALL OF FAME A Class of Their Own

Created in 2011, the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame celebrates alumni and friends who have demonstrated integrity, innovation, leadership, public responsibility, and citizenship. Inductees include founders, faculty, alumni, staff, and community members, all of whom have noteworthy accomplishments and have made inspiring contributions to the college and community.

As part of an exciting Alumni Weekend celebration in June, the College inducted SUNY Canton’s Hall of Fame Class of 2017. This year’s honorees join a group of individuals who will forever be remembered for their contributions to their field, their communities, and to SUNY Canton. Preston C. Carlisle Carlisle is the founding attorney of The Carlisle Law Firm, P.C., in Ogdensburg. In addition to an accomplished law career, which includes serving as the first District Attorney for St. Lawrence County from 1967-1975, he has generously supported a number of organizations in the North Country, including SUNY Canton. Edward N. Coombs ’86 Coombs is a Marine Corps veteran and a Certified Public Accountant. As a member of the Canton College Foundation Board, he has provided financial guidance that has allowed the organization to maintain fiscal stability. He and his wife, Christine (Howard) Coombs ’85, established the Coombs-Muscarella Endowed Scholarship in 2013 to benefit a student who is active in extracurricular activities and shows exemplary leadership skills.

The O’Neill family/A.W. Collins Corporation The O’Neill family have been supporters of SUNY Canton for more than 30 years. They are the owners of A.W. Collins, an amusement and vending company serving all of St. Lawrence County. The O’Neill family, including Don P., Sandra L., Kelly P., and Terra M., were lead donors for the College’s athletic turf field lighting and contribute their time and assistance to Canton youth sports, among other community projects.

Former SUNY Canton President Joseph L. and Dine Kennedy The Kennedy’s contributions brought transformative change to SUNY Canton and benefits to the community for 20 years. During Joseph Kennedy’s presidency, enrollment doubled and baccalaureate programs were added to the College’s academic offerings. Dine Kennedy is a dedicated volunteer who has worked with a number of organizations in the North Country. They both remain connected to SUNY Canton through their scholarship support and membership in the Payson-Martin Society.

Daniel J. Sweeney ’75 Sweeney worked in many capacities at SUNY Canton during his career, including Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. In all of his roles, he was an innovator and mentor to young adults. A longtime advisor to the Delta Kappa Sigma Fraternity, two alumni created a scholarship in his name: The Daniel J. Sweeney ’75 Delta Kappa Sigma Fraternity Leadership Endowment.

Richard F. Layo ’76 Layo is a successful businessman who played hockey for SUNY Canton from 1974 to 1976. As captain, he led the team to claim their third and fourth consecutive national championship titles. Thanks to his generosity, SUNY Canton erected a statue of his coach, Terry L. Martin, outside the Roos House Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center. 7

David R. Nichols ’63 Nichols is a world-renowned guitar maker who has crafted instruments for famous musicians such as Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and ZZ Top. He gives back to the community by generously teaching his craft out of his shop in Malone, which has become a mecca for visitors from all over the world.


Rosella Todd Valentine ’68 Valentine worked for 31 years as an Office Technology Teacher for BOCES and also served as New York State’s first “Teacher Ambassador for Occupational Education.” A dedicated volunteer for many organizations, she joined the Canton College Foundation board in 1977, is a past President of the Alumni Association, and is a member of the Payson-Martin Society.

A Love of Learning The SUNY Canton Tutoring Center was renamed last fall for a retired teacher who has been a lifelong education advocate. “I’m proud to announce the Betty J. Evans Tutoring Center,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran at the dedication ceremony. “This warm, friendly, and supportive environment brings students together around learning. The peer and professional tutors do everything they can to help students excel in their courses. That’s the same thing that Betty Evans did every day of her teaching career. She found ways to help students see their potential and succeed.” Evans is well known as an ardent supporter of education, health care, her church, Former Canton educator Betty J. Evans and SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran unveil a plaque naming the and community in the North Country. tutoring center in her honor at a ceremony in SUNY Canton’s Southworth Library. Evans was joined by her She taught students with disabilities for companion Ken Masters (far left). 18 years in the Canton Central School District. In 2014, she was inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame. The naming recognized her contribution to the Canton College Foundation. She said sponsoring the center was a good way for her to stay involved in young scholars’ lives. “I hope this is an example for others of how they can invest in the future.”

Connecting Generations SUNY Canton played a part in helping a North Country family solidify a legacy of entrepreneurship. Marcel J. Lauzon ’64 of Fort Covington majored in Agriculture and went on to a successful career at the Robert Moses State Park in Massena. His son, Kenneth C. ’92, built his first auto shop on his father’s farm. Ken earned a degree in Automotive Technology and worked at several premier North Country dealerships before launching his own enterprise, Lauzon’s Auto Tech in Malone. The family business sells used luxury automobiles in addition to providing towing and repair services. Ken’s son, Brandon J. ’14 & ’17, chose a slightly different educational path by enrolling in the Electrical Engineering Technology program. He now works alongside his father at the family business. He said his education prepared him to work with today’s hybrid and electric cars.

Marcel, Brandon, and Ken (from left to right) stand together in front of their family business.

While none of the three generations of Lauzon alumni studied business specifically, all credit the coursework, instructors, and atmosphere of the College in encouraging an entrepreneurial mentality preparing them for building, running, and expanding their award–winning business.




These graduates combined their SUNY Canton experiences with passion, determination, and vision to create successful entrepreneurial ventures.

Carlos Villamar ’99

Tamara R. Bullock ’01 Bullock earned an associate degree in Mortuary Science and worked as a Funeral Director in New York City before launching her own business, Bullock Funeral Services, LLC, in 2017. She recently established a scholarship to benefit students in the Funeral Services Administration degree program. What motivated you to start your own company? “I had the dream of owning a funeral service since I was 15. After working for 13 years for other funeral homes, I felt like I wasn't growing as a professional, so I decided to take a leap of faith.” How did SUNY Canton help you prepare for the industry? “SUNY Canton gave me the skills I needed to pursue a career in mortuary science. I didn't have anyone in my family who owned or worked in a funeral home, so I was truly the definition of ‘ignorance on fire.’ I had a love for something that was foreign to me, and SUNY Canton made my dream a reality.” Tell us about your decision to establish a scholarship? “I came from a poor family, and I struggled through college not knowing how I would even pay for books. It's a small scholarship, but I know as a college student, every penny helps.”

Jonathan T. Pinckney ’15 & ’18 and Justin M. Cummings ’15 & ’18

Photo courtesy of the Watertown Daily Times

What services do you offer? “Landscaping is our specialty, but we’ve branched out into hardscaping (patios and walkways),” Pinckney said. “We also offer snowremoval services in the winter.” Attending school full-time and running a business must be a challenge. “That’s where SUNY Canton really helped out,” Pinckney said. “Since Justin and I are both online students, we have the flexibility to complete our coursework when it’s convenient for us.” What’s the plan after graduation? “We’ll continue to grow and build the business,” Pinckney said. “Establishing a landscaping and supply location is a goal of ours. A place where customers can pick out a new outdoor space or plants to beautify their homes.” 9


Word has it you played one of your first parties in Canton. “That’s true. One of my friends said I should DJ a back-to-school party at Herring-Cole Hall at St. Lawrence University. I let everyone in for free, and I remember thinking, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’” When did things start to take off professionally? “Around 2010, but to be honest, it’s a process and there’s always something new around the corner. I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of major artists, and now that I’ve crossed over to the Latin world, I’m also working with a lot of those musicians as well.”

Pinckney and Cummings are the President and Vice President, respectively, of J&J Groundworks Inc., a landscaping company based in Canton. They met while they were both enrolled in the twoyear Construction Technology: Management program. They will also graduate from the online four-year Management program next year. How did J&J get started? “My uncle owned a landscaping company in Gouverneur, so I had some prior knowledge of the business,” Cummings said. “I started helping Jon mow lawns in between my classes, and it grew from there.”

Villamar, aka DJ C-Lo, is one of the most sought-after DJs in the nation. He has played at exclusive events for top music artists like 50 Cent, Cee Lo Green, and Fabolous. He also appears on New York City’s Hot 97.1 FM and X 96.3 FM. He returned to his roots for a special live performance on campus this spring.

What’s the secret to keeping a crowd entertained? “If I tell you, it won’t be a secret (laughs). All you have to do is learn your environment. Sometimes DJs get hired to play events and they think people are there to see them. Not true. The audience wants the DJ to play what they want to hear.” What’s next? “I own a recording studio in Queens, so I have a couple of artists I’m working with right now. On the hip-hop side, I’m working with a super-talented kid called Moe Dutches. On the Latin side, I’m working with a kid called El Futuro. All positive things.”






The 50 year logo celebrates SUNY Canton’s rich history by incorporating elements from previous logos and identities.








1. The "leaf and parallelogram" emblem is the one constant throughout the years. The leaf represents life, growth, and sustainability. The parallelogram symbolizes the symmetry and exactness of technology. 1 3

2. The circular design and font style represent SUNY Canton’s heritage and echoes both the 1960s ATC logo and the College Seal. 3. Blue background with white text comes from 1993 SUNY Canton logo. This represents the present and future. 4. The green banner is drawn from the Centennial logo. It is symbolic for a "hill" overlooking the river. 5. The gold comes from the Kangaroo logo and represents our 50th Golden Anniversary.

Create a Lasting Legacy You can leave a gift in your will or receive income for life while benefiting SUNY Canton. The College welcomes gifts directly or through any of the following models, which in many cases can provide tax benefits and even income: • • • •

Bequests Beneficiary Designation Gifts Charitable Remainder Trusts Retained Life Estate

There are many options available, and a member of our planned giving team can help you find the right model for you. Call us at (800) 811-6727 or send an email to You can also find details at

Payson-Martin Society

The Payson-Martin Society is an honorary society for alumni and friends who have made plans for the College through trust, estate, or future gifts. Named for two extraordinary benefactors, the society recognizes the vital role donors have played in helping SUNY Canton remain the pre-eminent College for affordable higher education in Northern New York. AFTER CANTON










The modern SUNY Canton campus was born on a shovel full of dirt tossed by an unknowing elected official on land donated by a Canton businessman while the College president was overseas.

"By his words, and above all, by the vigor of his shovel, Governor Rockefeller had made it certain that an expanded ATI The College used to be housed in a will rise on its own campus." small cluster of buildings adjacent to St. Lawrence University. By the late 1950s, both colleges had grown significantly, necessitating new buildings and overall expansion. SUNY Canton, which was then known as the Agricultural and Technical Institute (ATI), would have to move to another location. Historical records indicate that state officials considered moving the College to Ogdensburg, Sackets Harbor or Waddington. The move would have led to a drastic decline in the population and the economy of Canton. Several well-known community leaders of the time took it upon themselves to ensure that the College remained in Canton. College Council Chairman William D. Stalder surreptitiously brought an unknowing Nelson A. Rockefeller to an undeveloped plot of land near a water tower. The enterprising businessman didn’t tell the New York State Governor that they would be touring a proposed site of a new ATI Campus. St. Lawrence University Dean Joseph J. Romoda, Acting ATI President Glenn E. Wright, and the owner of the land, Edson A. Martin, joined them and handed Rockefeller a freshly-painted gold shovel. A somewhat confused Rockefeller asked, "What's going on?" Stalder replied, "Governor, we'd like to have a picture of you turning over the first dirt for the new State College." By all accounts, Rockefeller had no idea that he would be breaking ground for the modern ATI campus but stood behind the decision to make Canton its permanent home.

-Plaindealer Editor Ralph Heinzen

According to “70 Years of Change,” a definitive SUNY Canton history book authored by the late Camille Howland ‘76, the groundbreaking ceremony was not on the Governor’s agenda during his campaign visit to Canton. According to the text, a photo taken of Rockefeller holding the shovel for the St. Lawrence Plaindealer circulated widely throughout the state and solidified the College’s roots in Canton. A portion of a caption authored by Editor Ralph Heinzen for the Oct. 3, 1962, Plaindealer said, “By his words, and above all, by the vigor of his shovel, Governor Rockefeller had made it certain that an expanded ATI will rise on its own campus on a hilltop which the Governor declared to be one of the most magnificent sites for a university in the whole of New York State.” Dr. Albert E. French, the College’s President, was in Pakistan on a Ford Foundation assignment with two of the College’s esteemed professors. Although absent, his intense enthusiasm for higher education had a strong impact on those who strove to make certain that the ATI hill campus would be built. AFTER CANTON


John A. Goetze, who was hired in 1964 to teach in the Construction Technology Department and who later became the Facilities Project Coordinator, is widely regarded as one of the College’s best sources for institutional history. “As we expanded, the whole community realized that the College should stay in Canton,” Goetze said. “Canton was a party town. We had bars and restaurants where the kids would all go to. Main Street was a hub of activity–and that would have been lost if the College were to leave.”

SPEED OF PROGRESS Robert R. Burns, the College’s Facilities Project Coordinator, recalled lightheartedly that he began his career in a pigpen that had been converted into office space at the St. Lawrence University campus. He worked with the College from 1964 to 1968 through the initial construction phases. “We did everything within three years,” he recalled incredulously. “What we




built would normally take ten years to complete. There was nothing here to begin with, just a big hill overlooking the river.”

“We had plenty of room to build, but we didn’t have any level space on this campus to do anything. So, they decided to put them in the side of the hill.”

Bryan J. Felitto, who served as the College’s Purchasing Agent in 1965, and who held several other positions during his career, said that the administration’s arrangements with St. Lawrence University caused them to race against the clock to complete the new campus.

He also said that the placement of the buildings was very deliberate, which led to almost everything falling into straight line, rather than the haphazard arrangement of buildings at colleges that had grown organically over many years.

“We had to get the thing built, we had to ramp it up really quick,” he said. “It was an insane schedule. We were pulling doubles. We were working 60-hour weeks. We were all young and crazy, and it was our first job so we said, ‘let’s get it done.’”

William E. Fisher ’65, the Assistant Facilities Program Coordinator who worked for Burns, said, “The campus is fairly well designed. The admin building overlooks the campus, the library is the heart of the campus, the dorms are all in a line, which would make programming activities easy, and the footbridges are the connection to town.”

ON THE HILL The existing landscape defined the campus, according to Burns. “The first two dormitories and the dining hall were built at the same time, I think by the same contractor,” he recalled.

During the year of 1965, the College also underwent its second name change. It moved from ATI to SUNY Agricultural and Technical College at Canton (ATC).

UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE The ATC campus was designed to be today’s college for tomorrow’s future. The College was designed by Jay Fleishman, an architect with New York City-based Carson, Lundin & Shaw. Notably, the firm also designed 666 Fifth Avenue, 399 Park Avenue, and 4 New York Plaza. They were included in the 1979 Museum of Modern Art Exhibition “Transformations in Modern Architecture.” According to College history, Martin drove Fleishman on the back of his snowmobile so he could tour the site. Fleishman’s daughter, Nina Fleishman Reed, said her late father was always very proud of the ATC campus. “It was one of the first large projects that was uniquely his,” she said. “He was very fascinated with how people experience light within his buildings.” The architect was also responsible for much of the campus foliage and shaped the buildings around the trees and wooded areas. The forest islands between the residence halls and the academic buildings were left intact to create a division between the classrooms and residential life.

An early view of the walkway between the Faculty Office Building (now MacArthur Hall) and Payson Hall. example in modern logo and branding development. The green and blue logo is one of the elements that remained consistent as the College changed names and athletic identities. It was even adopted into the College’s new 50-year celebratory logo.

Johnson, Johnson & Roy, a landscape architecture firm, received a Merit Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for their work on the ATC campus in 1970. The annual award was given to recognize their outstanding work in landscape design and environmental improvement.

The design firm responsible for the iconic Leaf and Parallelogram, Gerald Stahl and Associates, also designed the 3M Company logo in 1961. The design was partially inspired by noted cubist painter Piet Mondrian and is listed as an

In the fall of 1966, the facilities staff hurried to prepare the campus for the first class of incoming students. “We had truckloads of furniture, beds, mattresses, chairs and couches, lounge furniture, and everything else coming in, and they had just finished right before the students arrived,” Burns said. “Everybody who worked for the College was there, and they helped the students carry their belongings down and get them into their rooms.”

NEW STUDENTS Rosella M. Todd Valentine ’68 was one of the first students to live on the new campus, in what was called Dorm A (now Heritage Hall). She also mentioned the conditions that greeted the new students and their families. “It was such a muddy mess,” she said.

A NEW IDENTITY Goetze said Fleishman advised that the school adopt a new logo, to aid in continued branding. “He said, ‘I’ve got a good friend in New York City who could design it.’”


Jay Fleishman “The green was for agriculture and growth and the blue parallelogram was for technology and precision,” Goetze said. “The designer wanted people to see the leaf and parallelogram and say, ‘That is Canton College.’”

Valentine decided to live on campus because she wanted to experience living away from home. She said that she would take the bus from the dorms to the old campus at St. Lawrence University for her classes and then return home. It was so cold during the winter, the dean allowed the young ladies to wear pants, rather than the mandatory skirt. Valentine remarked on her own rather unique perspective of seeing the



Rolling Sod – The campus opened before the grounds were complete. Students moved into the residence halls via an extensive boardwalk to keep them out of the mud. College exist on two campuses at the same time. “I don’t know that we knew that we were trailblazers, being a part of the first class to graduate from the new campus, but we knew we were experiencing something really special,” she said. Guilford ‘Gil’ D. White ’68 attended classes at the new campus and helped build it. “Gil was a student of mine,” Goetze said. “When he came on board he was just a year or two younger than I was. He was probably one of the sharpest students I’ve ever had.” In 1955, while White was still attending High School in Massena, he lied about his age to work on the St. Lawrence Power Dam. He had become a member of the Iron Workers Union, so he would often get called to do skilled labor at large projects. White said he worked on the steel reinforcement on several of the cast concrete buildings, which was very 15


typical of the time period and era of design. He had a very modern and practical view of his education at the time. “This school had courses you could go out and use in the real world,” he said. “The people who did the teaching had practical experience and knew what they were talking about. It wasn’t theoretical for them.”

PHASES OF CONSTRUCTION By Felitto’s estimates, there were about 18 active projects between the years of 1965 and 1972. These buildings, grounds, and fields would define the entire campus until the addition of the Newell Veterinary Technology building and the Campus Center in the 1990s. In 1966, only one residence hall and the dining facility were completed, but construction was underway on nearly every other building on the campus. By September 1967, Rushton Hall, Mohawk Hall and the Technology

Building (now Nevaldine Hall) were opened. Then in December of 1967, the Administration Building (now French Hall), Cook Hall, Payson Hall, Dana Hall, the Campus Center, and Southworth Library all went online. Smith Hall, the final of the four residence halls, was completed in 1968. Wicks Hall and the Faculty Office Building (now MacArthur Hall) were started after these projects and were completed in 1972. The Cooper Service Building wasn’t finished until 1979. All of the Facilities Offices, including shipping and receiving, were run out of Nevaldine Hall. Although construction was moving along as planned, something went terribly wrong in the fall of 1966. On Oct. 10, Merlin L. Rafter and two other workmen descended into a trench to lay a pipe between Dana, Payson, and Cook halls, according to Goetze. The trench suddenly collapsed, interring Rafter completely and burying another man to the waist.

“How wonderful it was to go to that new campus, and instead of just dorms and a dining hall, we had all these classrooms up on the hill,” Valentine said, recalling her final year at college. “Brand-new classrooms with wonderful views looking out over the countryside. It was a beautiful thing.”

Merlin L. Rafter Rafter, 36, who was a resident of Norwood, was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in Norfolk. He was survived by his wife, Geraldine; two sons, Terry and Ricky; and two daughters, Linda and Judy. “To the best of my knowledge, this tragic event was the only major accident during the construction of the entire new campus,” Goetze said. “It was an unfortunate freak occurrence.” A ceremony to recognize Rafter’s contributions to the College will be held later this year.

GRAND OPENING The campus was dedicated in the fall of 1968. Valentine and White were among the rare group who attended both the old and new campuses.


The College was small and students were close with most of the faculty and administrators. “The best teachers I ever had were at SUNY Canton,” Valentine said. Felitto said that the growth was not limited to buildings during the time. “During 1967 to '68 it was insane,” he said. “We hired 80 faculty members in one year.” Gordon L. Myers, who served as the Assistant to the President for Community Relations, recalled the time with great fondness. “In addition to the impressive new campus and its beautiful setting overlooking the Grasse River, my fondest memory of the move was the awesome combination of the ideal new facility for my assigned tasks, the freedom to break new creative ground especially in publications, and the joys of working very closely with motivated, involved students during my first three years with the College,” he said.

SUNY Canton’s senior-most faculty member, Professor Daniel G. Fay, will be sharing his 50th anniversary with the College in Sept. 2018. He is one of the most memorable professors and is highly regarded as an outstanding educator and community leader. “There was a lot of pride because we finally had our own campus,” Fay said about his first years with the College. “The word of the time was that if Edson Martin hadn’t given us the land to build the campus, we would have ended up in Ogdensburg.” “I’m really proud of the way they’ve kept up these facilities,” he said. “Over the 50 years I’ve been here, the campus has been maintained and continually upgraded.” Fay met his wife Linda (Lahey) Fay in 1972 shortly after she began working in the College’s Nursing Department. “Virginia McAllister [the Nursing Program Director] checked me out completely to make sure I was the type of teacher that she wanted to marry one of her Nursing faculty,” he said.

p  John A. Goetze (left) shows the ATC Campus to guests circa 1968 in his role as Facilities Project Coordinator. His extensive knowledge of the new campus and its history made him the go-to for campus tours.

Linda retired in 2005 after teaching more than three decades at the College. She was inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame in 2014. Dan was inducted two years later and is the only nonretired faculty member to receive the esteemed honor. AFTER CANTON


WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! REMEMBERING 9/11 Students continued a tradition by holding a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony on the Roselle Academic Plaza.

NIGHT LIFE - The College held a fireworks display as part of its 50 Years on the Hill celebration during homecoming weekend.



LIGHTS IN THE GRASSE – Associate Professor Matthew J. Burnett floated 100 lighted pods down the Grasse River as a performance piece during Sustainability Day.

HELPING VETERANS – The Wicks Hall Veterans Lounge was renamed to honor Raymond G. Modell ’62 of Syracuse. Modell served in the U.S. Air Force before enrolling at SUNY Canton.

COFFEE CONNECTION – The Cyber Café in the Southworth Library Learning Commons recently reopened following a major renovation.

ROCKING REUNION – The 35th anniversary of Delta Kappa Sigma fraternity reunited a record number of brothers and their Delta Sigma Tau sisters during Alumni Weekend.

NICE MOHAWK – Mohawk Hall received a $4 million upgrade before students started classes this fall.

Check out our 50 Years on the Hill video on the SUNY Canton YouTube channel. AFTER CANTON


ATHLETICS ROOS SCORE BIG DURING 2016-2017 SEASON Fire on Ice The women’s hockey team finished their season with the best win percentage in its five-year history, in addition to earning an impressive cumulative team GPA of 3.67. The Roos remained undefeated for four weeks, posting a 7-0-1 record from the end of January through February and a 14-11-2 overall record. Goalie Brooke Susac ’20 also set a program record with four shutouts and finished her rookie campaign with a 14-9-2 record.

Follow the Roo teams at Roo Athletics @rooathletics rooathletics




Home Run Season

The softball team set a new school record for wins in a season finishing 24-18, which eclipsed the previous mark of 20. They also made their first-ever appearance in the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association National Tournament.



Remembering ‘The Great One’ In one of the most anticipated Living Writers Series events of the year, Luis Clemente, son of late Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, visited campus in April to discuss the life and career of his famous father. He shared deeply personal anecdotes, many of which are chronicled in the family’s book “Clemente: The True Legacy of an Undying Hero.” He recounted the story of his father’s last days organizing a trip to deliver aid to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua in 1972, as well as his brother Roberto Jr.’s premonition about the fateful flight that would ultimately claim the baseball legend’s life. Despite the devastating loss, Luis said they were determined to keep Roberto Sr.’s philanthropic spirit alive through charitable work. Luis’ son, Bobby, inherited a love of the sport and plays infield for the SUNY Canton baseball team. Upon graduation in 2018, he said he hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps by joining the fight against world hunger.


Repeat Defenders The men's basketball team built on an incredible 2015-2016 season by once again turning in one of the best records in school history during the 2016-2017 campaign. They finished the year with 20 wins, which included an American Collegiate Athletic Association tournament championship and the first Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoff victory in school history. The Roos posted 15 wins in their final 17 games, and standout performances by forward Romario Fletcher ’17 and point guard Sam Annorh ’17 earned them prestigious spots on the ECAC First and Second All-Star Teams, respectively.

SUNY Canton men’s basketball team record on Stan Cohen Court.

Home Court Tribute A former SUNY Canton coach and professor has been memorialized in the College’s athletic facility. A ceremony was held in December 2016 to name the main basketball court for Stanley W. Cohen, one of the most successful coaches in school history. His leadership helped the men’s basketball team capture three Empire State Conference Championships and secure a NJCAA tournament bid in 1965.

Rogers, who with his wife, Margaret, made the generous lead gift to celebrate Cohen’s legacy. Other former players and alumni also made supporting contributions. In addition to his roles as accounting instructor and coach, Cohen later served as Athletic Director, during which time he expanded the College’s sport offerings. He retired in 1996 after 39 years of service and passed away in 2015.

“Our family was very honored and humbled by the tremendous outpouring of love and support for the naming of the Stan Cohen Court,” said Cohen’s son, Hal. “We are forever thankful to everyone who donated to the naming, especially to Bob Rogers for his generous support. We are hopeful the court will serve as an inspiration for student-athletes to achieve excellence in sports, academics, The family of Stan Cohen stands on the court named for the longtime coach. and in life."

He coached 10 athletes who went on to play at Division I colleges, including Robert C.

Driving Force Golfer Nolan Reid ’17 completed his final season with the Roos by leading the team to an alltime best second-place finish at the U.S. Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championship. He received the prestigious SUNY Chancellor Scholar-Athlete Award in 2016, most notably for maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. A two-time USCAA Student-Athlete of the Year, he was named a USCAA First Team All American twice and made the conference’s AllAcademic Team three times.



Head of the


If you asked Khaina A. Solomon ’16 a year ago what her career goals were, she would quickly tell you she aspired to work for a Fortune 500 company. As an ambitious undergraduate, she took advantage of every opportunity to learn the skills that could help her stand out in a competitive work force. She was involved in student government, interned in SUNY Canton’s Public Relations and Financial Aid offices, and worked as a College Ambassador. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Management, she continued to build her resume with skills that would prepare her for the corporate world. However, fate intervened one day while she was chatting with a friend and mentor, Ornella T. Parker ’14. “Ornella began sharing her experience as a Teach for America (TFA) corps member in New York City,” Solomon said. “After listening



to her explain the social injustices of the education system, I felt inspired to help.”

“I learned a lot about stepping out of my comfort zone and taking chances in college.” TFA is a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains college graduates to teach in low-income communities across the country. The program requires a two-year commitment, and participants earn a salary and benefits. The organization boasts an impressive group of alumni – CEOs, politicians, entrepreneurs, social activists, physicians, and attorneys. Solomon said getting involved with TFA was a perfect way to leverage the leadership experience she gained in college to help create change. When it came time to select a city, she passed on larger metropolitan areas in favor of Memphis, where she thought she could make the most difference.

You might imagine packing up and moving from New York City to Tennessee could be an intimidating endeavor. Not the case, said Solomon, crediting her experiences as an undergraduate. “I learned a lot about stepping out of my comfort zone and taking chances in college. My time at SUNY Canton helped make the decision to move to Memphis much easier, because I had already developed a mindset of taking advantage of every opportunity, no matter how different it may be.” Shortly after arriving in Memphis, she began a rigorous summer training program to acclimate her to the classroom. This fall, she is in charge of a pre-K special education class for students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical needs. It’s too early to say whether she’ll remain in the education field beyond her two-year commitment. Right now, she’s focused on doing her part to level the playing field for those in an under-resourced area. “Students in low-income communities like Memphis are not being served by our education system,” she said. “I believe that every student has the right and ability to achieve, regardless of their background or zip code.”

22 PhotoCANTON by Taylor Canerday Khaina Solomon ’16 with a student from the Memphis Business Academy AFTER



Pure Energy Jessica L. Fischer ’18 is part of She joined a team of 11 other campus conservation efforts a new generation of engineers engineers from around the globe like composting and recycling. who want to end the world’s to manufacture a wind turbine in Most recently, she spent the dependence on fossil fuels.

Her passion for sustainable “I was able to take my education one step energy led her on a journey further and see first-hand how providing access to a remote area of Peru last to environmentally friendly power can change winter to volunteer with the someone’s life.” WindAid Institute, a nonprofit organization that builds wind turbines for developing just four weeks. The team was summer at the University of supervised by a small staff, and Massachusetts conducting communities. material costs were paid for research on a wind energyIn many respects, the trip was by the volunteers themselves, based system that desalinates a lifelong dream. As a child, she primarily through fundraising. seawater. This groundbreaking was intrigued by the wind farms In Fischer’s case, she received technology has the potential to cropping up along the shores of generous donations from the make a significant impact on Lake Erie near her hometown of Canton College Foundation, areas where access to fresh Buffalo. However, it was a visit Thomas P. Woodside ’66, and water and electricity is scarce. to the famous Maple Ridge Wind the offices of the President and She said innovative studies like Farm in Lowville that proved to Provost. this one, similar to her work be a transformative moment. “Thanks to their support, I was with WindAid, have given her “I recall being mesmerized by the able to take my education confidence about the future intense power of the wind,” she one step further and see first- of renewable energy. After said. “From that day forward, hand how providing access to graduation, she plans to join I knew that wind energy would environmentally friendly power other like-minded engineers in be a major influence on my can change someone’s life,” she their mission to power a cleaner academic career and beyond.” said. “When we turned on the world, one community at a time. lights, we could feel the sheer Fortunately, SUNY Canton’s gratitude from the community Mechanical Engineering members.” Technology program offered her an opportunity to specialize The WindAid experience in alternative energy. When further fueled her passion she learned about WindAid’s for sustainability. She helped mission, she jumped at the c r e a t e S U N Y C a n t o n ’s chance to put her knowledge E n v i r o n m e n t a l Change into practice. Organization, which spearheads



All in the Family Lea-Ann W. Berst ’82 has never been one to shy away from taking risks. It was her sense of adventure that led her to accept a oncein-a-lifetime assignment for computer giant Lenovo nearly 10 years ago. Her company, Sleddogg Marketing, was hired to lead a marketing effort for the company’s torch relay sponsorship that preceded the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. At the time, she was living in China with her husband and three children, and working with Lenovo would require an intense work schedule and extensive travel. But, her skills were perfectly suited for the project: prior to owning her own firm, she worked as a worldwide brand manager for IBM and had accumulated more than 20 years’ experience in global activation marketing. Berst said the job was one of the most challenging of her career; however, also one of the most rewarding. It further fueled her global curiosity, something which she can trace back to her time at SUNY Canton while she was earning an associate degree in Business Management. She recalled Professor Daniel G. Fay’s encouragement to stay informed about international news, primarily by reading the Wall Street Journal every day. Berst said she echoes Fay’s advice when speaking to college students about global marketing. “I start off by asking who has read the Wall Street Journal, 25


“I start off by asking who has read the Wall Street Journal, and I’ll typically see zero hands go up. Then I’ll explain why they should read the front page of the Journal every day–it’s like a cheatsheet for what’s going on in the world. It’s too bad they didn’t have a Professor Fay in their lives.”

and I’ll typically see zero hands go up. Then I’ll explain why they should read the front page of the Journal every day–it’s like a cheat-sheet for what’s going on in the world. It’s too bad they didn’t have a Professor Fay in their lives.” She also remembers assistant directing and producing a student play called “The Clumsy Custard Horror Show and Ice Cream Clone Review.” Oddly enough, it was an experience she would draw upon 30 years later when she teamed up with her daughter Ashley to make a documentary film. Four years in the making, “Pioneers in Skirts” seeks to answer the question of why women in the workforce experience burnout early on in their career, a phenomenon she was shocked to see her daughter experience. “When Ashley started making films, she was frustrated about unexpected prejudicial experiences and didn’t know what to do about it,” she said. “I had experienced similar things in my career and couldn’t believe she was, too. So, when she decided to make a movie about the inequality she saw around her, I wanted to help her make this film a reality.”

“Pioneers” takes the viewer on a journey across the country to meet successful women who have found ways to overcome unique obstacles, such as UNC Chapel Hill’s Women’s Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell, Focus Brands Group President Kat Cole, and famed film and television actor/ director Joan Darling. The film also features interviews with millennial women who share their perspective on the culture of today’s workplace, experts who study gender equity trends, and men committed to advocating for change. Berst returned to campus with Ashley last year to host a special post-production test screening, and the film is set to be completed in 2017. Looking back on the journey, Berst said that because the movie is financed largely through grassroots efforts, the result is an honest, authentic story that will resonate with audiences, especially those who support women who dream big. “Documentary filmmaking is a great medium to make a cultural impact and tell a good story as you do it. And this is a big story.”

AFTER CANTON Ashley. 26 Lea-Ann Berst ’82 (right) and her daughter

Ike Cook ’93 (left) and Jeff Tubolino ’96 at Blue Line Engineering’s office in Watertown.



Local By Design After spending a few minutes at Blue Line Engineering’s headquarters in Watertown, guests feel as though they’ve sat down in someone’s living room instead of a business office. Comfortable furniture, vintage engineering books, and framed nautical charts create a relaxed atmosphere that is worlds away from the stuffy board rooms and sterile cubicles that are ubiquitous in larger firms. Everything down to their name–a reference to the blue line that delineates the boundary of the Adirondack Park–has a local vibe. It seems logical, given that coowners Jeffrey J. Tubolino ’96 and Francis A. “Ike” Cook ’93 were born and raised in Northern New York. Both are Delta Kappa Sigma fraternity members and graduates of the two-year Civil Engineering Technology program. They had completely different career paths until 2013, when they found themselves working for the same firm at a satellite office in Watertown. Pretty soon, it became clear they had the perfect blend of skills needed to launch their own venture. “Jeff’s the designer; he’s among the top 10 wastewater treatment

“SUNY Canton is on par with every other engineering school, but with a stronger focus on technical skills, not just theory-based learning. We like to say it’s a comparison between street smarts and book smarts.” facility designers in New York,” Cook said. “My role is to run the business and foster business development and marketing.” Deciding to strike out on their own in 2015 meant they had the freedom to create their own identity and core values. Most importantly, they made a commitment to cultivating personal relationships to build their business. “Engineers are a dime a dozen; they’re everywhere,” Cook said. “So, we had a choice: we could either focus our efforts on fostering true relationships with clients and our peer network to acquire work or simply respond to requests for proposals and have a small chance of being chosen over our competition.” They chose the former. Starting small was key. They specialize almost exclusively in wastewater and water treatment design, and their clients are primarily municipalities. When the time comes to expand, they’ll be looking for a SUNY Canton graduate who can hit the ground running. “SUNY Canton is on par with every other engineering school, but with a stronger focus on technical skills, not just theory-based learning,”

Cook said. “We like to say it’s a comparison between street smarts and book smarts.” Tubolino agreed, saying he is impressed with the students and faculty he’s met at College events. “I was intrigued by what was happening in the Civil Engineering Technology program, so I joined the advisory board,” he added. “And quite frankly, what they are doing is amazing.” Their confidence in SUNY Canton inspired them to invest in the College’s future. Both have made a generous donation to the Joel Lynde Strive for Excellence Scholarship, which honors the memory of a former classmate and fraternity brother who was killed in an automobile accident. They simply see the donation as a way of paying forward the strong academic foundation they received at SUNY Canton. But if you look closer, the scholarship has the potential for a broader impact: empowering students who may one day join a cadre of homegrown talent living, working, and thriving in Northern New York.





Photo courtesy of Utica College.

Pioneer Spirit

“SUNY Canton taught me a lot about resiliency and the things I needed to do to take care of myself.” Herkimer County Trust in 1998. Several years later after the bank was sold, a conversation with Utica College’s then-President Todd Hutton would once again take her career in a completely different direction.

Utica College President Dr. Laura (Brown) Casamento ’83 embodies the school’s moniker, Hutton convinced her to make the jump to academia and appointed her as Vice President The Pioneers, in more ways than one. for Advancement in 2004. Drawing upon her A first-generation college student, she took a leap own college experience, Casamento immediately of faith and left her lifelong Utica home to attend went to work as a champion of accessibility and SUNY Canton. Fast-forward thirty years, and affordability. she’s still trailblazing–this time as one of the few, but growing, number of women leading institutes “I see a lot of myself in the students here,” she said. “Many are the first in their families to attend of higher education. college, so it’s important to me that they aren’t Looking back on her college days, she proudly burdened by debt after graduation.” recalled excelling academically and having the second-highest GPA in her major, Data After being promoted to Executive Vice President Processing. However, she said there were times and Chief Advancement Officer in 2009, she led when it was a struggle to stay afloat financially. a groundbreaking effort to strengthen Utica College’s financial stability by implementing a 42 “SUNY Canton taught me a lot about resiliency percent tuition reset and overseeing a $34 million and the things I needed to do to take care of fundraising campaign. myself,” she said. “I was very successful, and it When Hutton announced his retirement in 2015, a was a great springboard for me.” national search was conducted, and Casamento In fact, an accounting course with longtime was named his successor. As President, she Professor Daniel G. Fay sparked a love of logic said she’ll continue an emphasis on affordability, and numbers that would ultimately change the along with improving retention and completion. Her most enduring contribution, however, could trajectory of her career path. be the impact she has on students’ lives by After a brief stint in computer programming, she encouraging them to pursue what they love. found her footing in the banking industry. She rose through the ranks, earned a Master of Business “I tell them to follow their passion,” she said. Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic “Because with passion, both career and financial Institute, and was named the President of success will come.”




Paula M. Youmell ’ 85 (right), Hannawa Falls, has written her third book, “Weaving Healing Wisdom,” with co-author Jenny Morrill. Paula is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Holistic Health Coach.

Thank you to those who sent an update for this edition of Class Notes. If you would like to be included in the next edition of After Canton, send us an email at All submissions are edited for length before publishing.

60s Eugene N. Christopher ’61, Albion, and

his late wife Judith A. (Wilson) ’63 would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sept. 24, 2016. Earl Henderson ’63, Mount Airy, Md., was a licensed CPA in New York state for 43 years. He sold his professional accounting and financial planning practice in 2009. He is very active in the Knights of Columbus and Rotary Club. Marcia (McGill) Morris ’63, Maiden, N.C., retired in July 2016. She and her husband, Tom, enjoy traveling and spending time with their 10 grandchildren. Raymond H. Sharp ’63, North Syracuse, retired after 20 years as a Safety and Health Inspector for New York State and the federal government. Cheryl (O’Brien) Shoen ’64, Rochester, retired after 20 years of service from Xerox Corporation and 24 years with the Gates Chili School District. She volunteers at the Highland Hospital and the City School District. Gary L. Bushaw ’67, Dundee, Fla., traveled to Alaska, Mexico, Switzerland, and France during the summer of 2016.

70s Kohl ’70,

Stephen P. Woodward, Okla., works at Northwest Inn as the General Manager. He is the 2017 Chair of the Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association. The trade association represents 200 members. Timothy H. Tanner ’70, Theresa, is the Mayor of the Village of Theresa. He has held the position for 10 years. Albert Buse ’71, Rehoboth Beach, Del., enjoys living in Delaware. He sends his regards to the class of ’71. N a n c y ( H ay n e s ) D i l a u r o ’ 7 1 , Georgetown, Texas, was a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher prior to her retirement. William U. Blodgett ’76, Grayson, Ga., retired from Gwinnett County Police Department as a Lieutenant in November 2012. Thomas R. Plantone ’76, Rochester, is acquiring the New Horizons Yacht Club and building custom townhomes in Rochester. James W. Monty ’77, Westport, worked for the Department of Corrections from 1985-2010 and for the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations from 2010-2016. Edward W. Bedell ’69 signs a large slide rule from the Canino School of Engineering Technology. Bedell is the president and CEO of COP Construction and presented as part of the College’s Excellence in Leadership Lecture Series.



Barbara J. Gippe ’78, Dacono, Colo., recently retired from the United States Postal Service. She relocated to Colorado to be closer to her family.


Michael J. Bimonte ’80, Saranac Lake, is proud of his daughter, Elizabeth, who is currently attending SUNY Canton and playing on the women’s softball team. Nick Zangari ’80, Pensacola, Fla., recently opened NYN’s Badlands Roadside Bar in Pensacola. He welcomes SUNY Canton alumni to stop in and visit.

Steven F. Jackson ’82, Milwaukee, Wis., is a Senior Underwriting Specialist at Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. He studied Business Administration at SUNY Canton and Business Management at SUNY Plattsburgh. He is a proud member of Alpha Theta Gamma fraternity. Dennis R. Kohl ’83, Naples, Fla., works for Longleat Estate in the United Kingdom and Stone Mountain Park in Georgia as a Hospitality Business Consultant. He worked for Darien Lake Resort for 20 years before starting a consulting business. Susan B. (Bibbens) Barkley ’87, Ogdensburg, is the Treasurer for the North Country Professional Nurses Association.

90s Michael J. Larson ’90, Manhattan,

received a bachelor’s degree from RIT in 1993. He also graduated from Touro Law Center and the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General School. He owns and operates the Law Office of Michael J. Larson, Esq., as well as Michael James Realty. Daniel P. Dennis ’91, Ephrata, Penn., has been married for 15 years and has two sons. He has worked for EGS Construction for more than 3 years. When he is not working, he enjoys watching his son play baseball and being a Cub Scout Master. Keenan T. Walsh ’93, Myrtle Beach, S.C., is the General Manager and Funeral Director for Grand Strand Funeral Home and Crematory in Myrtle Beach. He resides there with his fiancée, Heather, and two children. Keenan is also the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program Coordinator in Horry County, S.C. Monee C. Johnson ’98, Bronx, works for Baruch College in the Academic Affairs Department as the Assistant Director for the Zicklin School of Business. Kenneth G. Corp Jr. ’94, helped raise more that $1 million for cancer research this summer when he joined 39 fellow hockey players to break the Guinness World Record for the longest hockey game. The marathon, dubbed “The 11 Day Power Play,” was held at the Buffalo HarborCenter complex from June 22 to July 3. Corp was the lead scorer with 270 goals.

Allison E. (Miller) ’09 and Michael S. Lowe ’08, Salisbury, Md., were married Oct. 10, 2015, in Albany. The couple relocated to Maryland in 2014. Allison is employed by Genesis Healthcare as a Human Resource Manager, and Michael is employed by The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company as a Superintendent.


Dale F. Barker ’04 & ’06, Edwards, is celebrating being cancer-free and has established Believe NNY, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer financial assistance to volunteer firefighters, EMTs, members of ladies auxiliaries, and affiliated members in Franklin, Hamilton, Essex, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. Their website is


Kyle Bessy ’11, Grand Haven, Mich., and his wife, Samantha, have a 5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. Kyle is a Controls Engineer with JR Automation Technologies. Matthew J. Mulkin ’04 & ’11, Ogdensburg, and his wife, Emma, celebrated their daughter's first birthday. Matt is a Publications Coordinator at SUNY Canton. Khatereh Khozooei ’12 & ’15, Greece, is employed with The Glennon Law Firm P.C. as a paralegal. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Investigation and an associate degree in Criminal Justice.

Corp (far right) scored the most goals during the 11-day game.

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SUNY Canton Alumni




Dr. Robert D. Adams William F. Beauvais Sheila M. Francesconi Theo Howe Josephine F. (Petrillo) Kingston Anthony (Tony) LeBarge Donna L. Peters Gary R. Sanford Otis E. Van Horne


Violet (Short) Cook ’42 Esther (Weatherup) Thompson ’43 Anna B. Bush ’47 James H. Bilow ’50 Richard D. Brown ’50 James R. Baker ’51 Kenneth N. Powell ’51 Elizabeth A. (Gregg) Vaughn ’51 Charles T. Daniele ’52 Myrna A. Jordan ’52 James P. Webb ’53 Anne (Quinell) Dawson ’56 Nelson F. Brothers ’57 Douglas “Dan” Dishaw ’60 Leon E. Kirby ’60 Merle L. Nash ’61 Clifford H. Paige ’64 Dennis E. Yaddow ’64 Robert P. Gokey ’67 David J. Nelson ’67 Joseph M. Clopman ’68 Robert G. Nevills ’68 Brian B. Butts ’70 David R. Walldroff ’72 Debra (Deugaw) Hayes ’74 Alice E. (Shoen) Davis ’76 Peter H. Baltradis ’78 Roderick C. Cota ’78 Lynda J. Buckingham ’79 Gary W. Cassell ’80 John E. Noble ’82 Francis B. “Buzzy” Bond Jr. ’85 Terilyn Mashaw ’85 Michael J. Swain ’88 Craig A. Chepeleff ’89 Reed S. Crowner ’89 Dennis F. Keleher ’89 Rick L. Bartlett ’90 Erich K. von Schiller ’90 Robert M. George ’91 Kathleen T. (Martin) Norman ‘91 Daniel P. Adams ’98 Brandon R. Cardinell ’13 Matthew A. Dana ’13 33


John L. Halford Sr. ’49 passed away December 7, 2016. He and his wife, Nelta, are two of the most dedicated patrons in College history. In addition to his generous scholarship support, he is the alumnus with the most locations named for him on the SUNY Canton campus. Halford was a native of Gouverneur and a World War II veteran.

Joyce A. (Mulligan) MacArthur passed away July 11, 2017 at her home in Morristown. The wife of SUNY Canton President Emeritus Earl W. MacArthur, she was an integral part of the College during her husband’s tenure from 1972-1992. She and Dr. MacArthur helped create the Canton College Foundation.

Camille (Howland) Mariani ’76 passed away June 10, 2017. She served as the College’s Director of Public Relations for 12 years before retiring in 1986. She authored the book “Seventy Years of Change,” which chronicles SUNY Canton’s history. A former journalist, she also published several suspense novels.

Alfred L. Sovie ’58 passed away November 6, 2016. In memory of his wife, Margaret, he created the Margaret D. Sovie Endowed Scholarship in 2010. The scholarship is awarded to two students who plan to enter the nursing or health care fields. An Ogdensburg native, Sovie graduated from the George Hall Trade School in Odgensburg and continued his education at SUNY Canton and Syracuse University.

Gregg P. Williams passed away July 5, 2017. He was employed with the College from 1984 to 1989 as an Assistant Stationary Engineer. He is survived by his wife, Anne C. Williams ’78, who retired from the SUNY Canton Advancement Office in 2016 with 38 years of service, as well as his son, Bryan J. Williams ’09, and daughter, Kelly L. (Williams) Zakarauskas, who also attended SUNY Canton.

REMEMBERING A FALLEN HERO Jan. 26, 2017, marked the 30th anniversary of the passing of DEA Special Agent Raymond J. Stastny ’76, who was killed in the line of duty while working undercover in Atlanta. In honor of his bravery, Stastny was posthumously awarded the prestigious International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association Medal of Honor. While earning an associate degree in Criminal Justice at SUNY Canton, he played a number of intramural sports and assisted the College Union Board with events and concerts. He also met his future wife, Valerie A. (Hogben) Stastny Diaz ’76. His family, friends, classmates, and colleagues remember his magnetic personality, keen sense of humor, and exuberance for life. Diaz paid tribute to her late husband and his love of sports with an engraved paver outside the College’s new athletic facility (pictured). She is also establishing an endowed scholarship in his memory that will be awarded to a Criminal Justice student. Those interested in making a contribution to the scholarship can contact the Canton College Foundation at (800) 811-6727 or

Pass The Ball

1911 School of Agriculture Mens Basketball Team

Your donations help SUNY Canton students succeed. Make their college careers a slam dunk. When you make a gift to the Canton Fund you are providing: • Scholarships to attract diverse, highly qualified students. • Facilities, programs, and technology that offer distinctive academic experiences. • The opportunity to recruit and retain excellent faculty and staff. • Meeting essential needs to keep the College competitive. Call us at (800) 811-6727 or send an email to You can also find details at



Alumni/Development Office Canton College Foundation 34 Cornell Drive Canton, New York 13617

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After Canton Fall 2017  

SUNY Canton Alumni Association & College Foundation Publication

After Canton Fall 2017  

SUNY Canton Alumni Association & College Foundation Publication