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The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of The State University of New York at Potsdam

Fall 2015 Vol. 10 | No.1




Submit your photo or story!











Saad Hajidin ’88 Frances B. Moore ’37 Women and Leadership Program Contents News & Notes Class Notes Save the Date In Their Own Words

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On the cover What better way to honor the College’s long history than to reprint an old yearbook cover? Seen here is the 1914 Pioneer, the Potsdam Normal School Annual Yearbook.

14 SUNY Potsdam at 200: Pioneering Since 1816

28 Reunion Wrap Up

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I’m Celebrating You!


FA L L 2015

As I stood on the stage this past April for my formal Inauguration Ceremony, I looked out on a sea of faces full of pride. In that moment, I was reminded that the College is, at its very essence, the people who make up the Potsdam family.

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Communications & Government Relations

While we might tout our educational successes and programmatic distinctions, SUNY Potsdam’s true success can be seen in what you, our graduates, have achieved. Your success, generosity, creativity, distinction, diversity and unwavering dedication are what make this campus community so remarkable.

Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, Director of Alumni Relations

wo hundred years! This fall’s Welcome Weekend marked the official kick-off for SUNY Potsdam’s bicentennial celebrations. The 2015-16 year will be one of reflection and recognition of all that SUNY Potsdam has been, is today and will be heading into the future.

More than anything, what we are really celebrating is you, our amazing alumni. No matter your class year, you are our living history and our legacy.

In our bicentennial year, we recognize and cherish the legacy you have created, and continue to nurture, as we move into our third century of excellence. Thank you,

Vol. 10 | No. 1

POTSDAM PEOPLE STAFF AND CONTRIBUTORS MANAGING EDITORS Deborah Dudley, Director of Marketing & Communications


Emily Hutchison, Director of Development WRITERS Sarah Carr ‘08 Deidre Kelly ’11 CONTRIBUTORS

Kristin Esterberg, Ph.D. President

David T. Britt ‘73, Director of Business Planning & Analysis Dan Bronson ‘03, Sports Information Director Christa Carroll, Director of Annual Giving Kathryn Deuel, Associate Director of Regional Alumni Relations & Engagement Nancy Griffin (Hon. ‘08), Development Officer Jason Ladouceur ’94, Director of Planned Giving Sarah Maneely ’07, Assistant Director of Research and Donor Relations Ellen Nesbitt, Assistant Director of Annual Giving Donna Planty, Project Manager & Production Artist Sherry Allen Paradis ’00, Director of Donor Relations & the Campaign Laura Stevenson (Hon. ’07), Alumni & Donor Relations

Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Vice President for College Advancement WEB MANAGER Mindy Thompson, Director of Web Communications DESIGN & ART DIRECTION


J. P. Manke, Graphic Designer & Production Artist

Alumni Relations 44 Pierrepont Ave. | Potsdam, NY 13676 (315) 267-2120


news & notes

200 Years of Potsdam Pride

The College kicked off its bicentennial celebration during Welcome Weekend this fall, beginning a year of events. The College’s 200th birthday celebration will take place in March 2016, highlighting the signing of the charter of St. Lawrence Academy. From our humble beginnings in a one-room schoolhouse in 1816, the College has grown to become a leader in creativity, applied learning and educational excellence. We hope that you can join us and visit campus for our yearlong birthday celebration. Our campus activities, old and new, will highlight the pioneering spirit of SUNY Potsdam, with two centuries of leadership, in the North Country, New York State and beyond.

SUNY Potsdam 200: Events & Celebrations WELCOME WEEKEND August 27 to 31, 2015

Welcome Weekend 2015 featured a very special historically-themed campus celebration with faculty, staff and students.


March 21 to 25, 2016 SUNY Potsdam will commemorate the College’s 200th birthday, marking the anniversary of the signing of the St. Lawrence Academy charter in 1816, complete with sweet treats and celebrations across campus.


SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher will address the bicentennial Class of 2016 at Commencement, honoring all master’s and bachelor’s graduates, in a historic outdoor ceremony in the Academic Quad.

REUNION WEEKEND 2016 July 14 to 17, 2016

This is the reunion celebration of the century (well, two centuries, to be exact!). All alumni and friends are invited to return to their alma mater, as we celebrate the College’s long and living legacy, as exemplified by its graduates and their impact on the world.


Watch for additional special celebrations!

Throughout the year, the campus will honor Potsdam people, past and present, who have helped to shape the College’s history. • Women’s history • Native American heritage • Black history • Military service • Pioneering in education, music and the arts & sciences

Be a part of ongoing projects!

Alumni and friends are encouraged to participate in and enjoy the many Bicentennial projects and exhibits taking place throughout the year. • Visit the newly-constructed Bicentennial Quad • View the historic photo banner exhibits • Or get involved by contributing to the: • Potsdam oral history project • Alumni Association photo project We want photos of our alumni doing amazing things! Email your photos, by March 1st, to

To keep track of ial es th e and other specit vis e as ple events, . ctive timeline, Check out the intera r of events view the calenda that and look for ways of you can be a part the celebrations.

Watch your ial inbox for bicentenn tes. da up d an information to et rg fo n’t do d An follow us on social media!

SUNY Potsdam will celebrate the incredible generosity of alumni and friends, who exceeded all expectations and set new records for giving, with the successful completion of Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam. The College will also mark the official launch into its third century of excellence, with campus-wide festivities open to all.

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news & notes

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g to the Fu n i t ok



Our Donors are Taking the Challenge! The Third Century Challenge, that is! With an eye on the bicentennial in 2016 and just under a year left in the Take the Lead Campaign, Potsdam’s alumni and friends continue to give generously. In March, the College announced increasing the $27 million goal to $32 million for the Take the Lead Campaign’s GOAL $32M final phase, the Third Century Challenge.

Challenge Goal #2:

Gain 2,016 new donors Since announcing the challenge in March, 680 new donors have made a gift to the Campaign. Only 1,336 left! We hope we can count on you!



Challenge Goal #3:

Increase unrestricted giving

$30.2 M*

A total of $7.7 million has been committed to the College’s greatest needs, toward a goal of $8 million. These dollars are among the most critical, providing the ability for the College to respond to opportunities that present themselves. Additionally, the College is proud to announce that its only completely unrestricted endowment, the Third Century Endowment, now exceeds $100,000. Thank you to all who gave to this special fund, which will generate unrestricted dollars for the College each and every year.

Challenge Goal #1: Increase overall goal to $32 million

We’re well on our way, with more than $30.2 million raised to date!

There’s Still Time!

Haven’t made your gift to the Campaign? It’s not too late! All gifts and pledges received through June 30, 2016 will be included.

$27 M

How will you designate your gift? Alumni and friends are making gifts of all sizes and to all areas of the campus. Whether you give $20 or $20,000, you can make a difference in the life of a student today.

Campaign Giving By Priority *as of printing


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Third Century Challenge: $32 Million

Academic Excellence $11,089,718 Scholarships $6,575,213 Annual Fund $7,719,879 Transformational Student Experiences $4,460,890 And 40% of all gifts raised are for the arts.


news & notes

Thank you Leadership Donors

The Potsdam College Foundation wishes to acknowledge the following leadership donors who have committed gifts of $20,000 or more to the Campaign. Thank YOU for Taking the Lead for Potsdam. CHANCELLOR’S CIRCLE Gifts and Pledges of $100,000 or more $1,000,000 to $2,499,999 Anonymous Richard & Joy (MacDonald) ’58 Dorf Martha S Jack* Gary C Jaquay ’67 Donald (Hon ’13) & Kathryn ’54 Lougheed N Brock* (Hon ’84) & Jane* (Hon ’88) McElheran PACES

$250,000 to $499,999 Anonymous The John & Joan D’Addario, Jr. Family Edward John Noble Foundation, Inc. Jessie Manitta ’44 Betty Lou Mathis ’53 Richard & Gail ’64 Stradling TAI Group, Inc. Allen Schoer ’71 & Diane Seymour

$500,000 to $999,999 Anna Collins ’67 & Sue Morrison Dorothy Albrecht Gregory ’61 Janice M Johnson ’56 St Lawrence Radiology Associates, PC G Michael (Hon ’14) & Barbara (Hon ’14) Maresca Robert ’75 & Wendy Wagner Gerald ’68 & Carolyn Zwaga

$100,000 to $249,999 Anonymous Charles ’75 & Claudia ’75 Ayer Stephanie Blythe ’92 Lynne Boles ’74 & John Priest Michael Bryner Lisa & Salvatore Cania, Jr. ’79 Dorothy Carpenter ’34*

$50,000 to $99,999 Jackie Tantillo Aab ’71 Anonymous James Berriman ’80 Michael Cooper (Hon ’00) Corning Incorporated Foundation William Crowder (Hon ’95)* David Cummings Alexander Dashnaw ’56 & Doug Marche Michele Delperuto ’71 Morse G Dial Foundation Krista Fordham ’94 Donald Eaton ’71 Millard Harmon (Hon ’08) Paul Hunt ’50 Karleen Jones ’56* Amy Kellogg ’99 Haden ’84 & Cathy Jo Land Judy & William D. Lilley ’74 The Linden Family Judith Lowell Anita Mance ’69 Gordon Mathie (Hon ’82) Marcia Murphy ’61

Northland Associates, Inc. James & Charlene Tyler John & Susan Omohundro Pace Analytical Services, Inc. Jana ’76 & Frederic ’75 Pratt III Jeanne Kimmich Roberts ’80 Larry & Elaine ’65 Seberg John Shattuck Arlene L Sturm ’62 SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association Donald L Tompkins ’68 Donald & Eileen ’76 Whelley $20,000 to $49,999 Anonymous (5) Alan Adams ’61 Robert Allin Paul ’73 & Elizabeth ’73 Berry Gary Reed & Bonita Betters-Reed ’73 The Bicknell Corporation David ’73 & Carol ’69 Britt Robert Christiansen Vernice Church ’61 Marilyn Clouden ’75 Community Bank, N.A. Bruce & Barbara* Conroe

Virginia ’60 & James Cayey William & Carolyn ’63 Clark Alan (Hon ’10) & Kathryn (Hon ’10) Davino Diane Day ’70 Chester & Joy ’56 Douglass Mary Ann ’74 & Dean Flatt Arthur (Hon ’04) & MaryEllen ’54 Frackenpohl Michael ’74 & Bridget Galane George ’54 & Mary Ellen ’53 Giroux Mary Helander ’83 Gary ’77 & Deborah Diefendorf ’75 Hind Mary Maples ’46* James ’59 & Shirley ’62* McNally Michael Messitt ’73 Angelo & Diana ’86 Nole Ross & Catharine Pfeiffer Christopher Reynolds ’53

Anne Cook ’60 Rebekah Covell (Hon ’15) Irving & Shirley ’62 Crane Crane Youth Music Camp Lisa Damiani ’90 David Dik ’82 & Jill E Simmons Jutta Dudley ’69 Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas Kristin Esterberg & Sue Bergmeier Allen Fales ’44 Curtis Finney ’57 Ronald ’80 & Teresa Fishbeck William Flynn ’70 Christina Frazier Anne Marie Freitas ’79 Kathleen Friery ’84 & Bill Ritter Elsa Grant ’39* Christine Haile ’74 Family of Michael Craig Handley Mark Hassenplug ’83 Hewlett-Packard Company Honeywell Building Solutions Mary Lee Hubbard Institute for Ethical Behavior, Inc. Arthur and Anne Johnson Susan G Kimball William Kirchgasser

John (Hon ’07) & Judith (Hon ’07) Ranlett Renzi Foodservice Ricoh USA Joseph ’62 & Christina Rosen John & Anne Schwaller Magill Shipman ’49 William & Sandra ’71 Shusda Student Government Association William ’74 & Annette ’75* Thornton Lucille Waterson ’63

Michael ’80 & Jill ’80 Komar Norma Jean Lamb ’51 Donald & Susan ’56 Larson Cynthia Lehmkuhl ’63 Sean Leous ’86 J Timothy Lindemuth ’72 Lockheed Martin Corporation Long Island Community Foundation Margaret Madden & Thomas Sokol Barbara ’71* & Michael Malyak David & Bonnie McCall Randolph ’77 & Lisa Mitchell Constance Murray Lytle ’61 William ’59 & Evelyn ’57 Mercer North Country Savings Bank Thomas ’75 & Shirley Palmatier Edwin & Susan Portugal Presser Foundation Tina Santimaw Radding ’64 Ruth Richmond ’31* Thomas ’57 & Jane (Hon ’09) Russell D Jean Schauffler ’57 John & Ann ’64 Schorge Rita Itkin Schwartz ’58 SeaComm Federal Credit Union

Justin ’92 & Amy ’94 Sipher Michael Sitton & Mark Martin Christopher ’88 & Julie Slocum Stewart’s Shops David Swanson Sweetgrass Foundation, Inc. Victoria Templeton-Cornell and Kenneth Cornell Larry E Thomas Thompson-Weatherup Family Charitable Foundation Eleanor Uffer * Beverly VanDiver ’72 Lisa Vroman ’79 Ellen S Wagner ’65 Erin E Wagner ’13 T Urling & Mabel Walker Robert ’49* & Beverly ’63* Washburn James & Susan ’79 Witkowski Christel Woodward ’61 Glen Zagorski ’87 & Jane Morale ’80 Wayne ’72 & Mary ’73 Zanetti *deceased

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news & notes COLLEGE NE WS


SUNY Potsdam A Cappella Group Competes at International Championship

On February 21, 2015, a total of 10 a cappella groups, three from SUNY Potsdam, competed at the fourth International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella Northeast quarterfinal. The all-male Potsdam Pointercounts, the oldest student a cappella organization at SUNY Potsdam, came in first place, with Choral Pleasure from SUNY Purchase as the runner-up and SUNY Potsdam’s Potsdam Pitches receiving third place. Awards for Outstanding Soloist and Outstanding Choreography went to Andrew Pocer and Alec Sisco of the Potsdam Pointercounts. In April, the Potsdam Pointercounts placed fourth (out of 300) in the national semifinals for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, in Boston’s Symphony Hall. The Pointercounts’ latest studio album, “Shades of Blue,” is available on iTunes and Spotify, and can be found at the College Store. COLLEGE NE WS

Crane Professor Interviews World’s Top Classical Vocalists for New Book

Crane School of Music Professor of Voice Donald George interviewed some of the world’s top classical vocalists for a book released by Oxford University Press. “Master Singers: Advice from the Stage” was co-authored by pianist Lucy Mauro. The book includes interviews with 21 opera singers including two Crane School of Music alumni, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe ’92 and tenor Dimitri Pittas ’99. With questions covering a variety of topics, including vocal technique, performance on the operatic and recital stages, vocal teaching and study, recording and performance anxiety, “Master Singers” is a fascinating read for musicians and opera lovers alike.

THE BEST GIFT TO POTSDAM Gifts to the Annual Fund for Potsdam are a wonderful way to help the College’s greatest needs. They allow Potsdam flexibility to seize compelling opportunities for our students. They can be made in memory or honor of someone special. 6

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SUNY Potsdam Welcomes Community for Economic Fusion 2015

In March, SUNY Potsdam brought together students, faculty, alumni, businesses and community partners in a new event, Economic Fusion 2015. The summit, sponsored by Slic Network Solutions, celebrated innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity, with a focus on the North Country economy and the College’s commitment to the region. SUNY Potsdam students mingled with employers at a unique networking reception, called “Schmooze-A-Palooza.” SUNY Potsdam President Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg presented three awards to area business leaders and alumni at the reception. The Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Marc Compeau ’89 and Christine Compeau ’89, the Entrepreneurial Business of the Year Award was given to Frazer Computing, and the Community Leader of the Year Award was presented to Slic Network Solutions. In addition, the College recognized three students who won top prizes in the student innovative idea competition. Molly Jones ’16, a music business major, won first place for her idea, the “Quickstand,” an innovative, space-saving and easy set-up percussion stand. James Myer ’16, a music business major and mathematics tutor, won second place for his idea, “M Square,” an educational mobile app game combining music and math. Austin Patzwahl ’16, a business administration major, won third place for his idea, “Flashing Brake Lights,” a car safety proposal. COLLEGE NE WS

Three New Degrees Offered at SUNY Potsdam

Exercise Science The Department of Community Health will offer a new Bachelor of Science degree in exercise science, beginning this fall. The exercise science major focuses on the scientific and applied study of the human body, including prevention of injury and performance. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students will learn the research behind and the application of sound exercise and physiology principles. Graphic Design & New Media The Department of Art will offer two tracks in the new graphic design and new media major—one leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, and another leading to the rigorous Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The art department has seen significant growth in the last decade, with high enrollment and an excellent placement record into both graduate programs and employment in art fields. International Studies SUNY Potsdam has been approved to offer a new Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies, an interdisciplinary social science major that combines coursework from politics and economics, enriched with a history foundation. Students will graduate with a strong grasp of the contemporary forces that influence world affairs. International studies students will also speak and write in at least one foreign language, and will be required to have at least one academically-oriented intercultural experience, through study abroad, a travel course or an international internship.


news & notes



English Professor Gives Keynote at Harvard Folklore Symposium

Alumni, Superintendents and Principals Speak to Aspiring Teachers

Assistant Professor of English & Communication Trevor Blank served as the keynote speaker for Harvard University’s annual Folklore and Mythology Annual Symposium, held in April 2015. In his presentation, “The World at our Fingertips: Folklore, Digital Culture and the Pursuit of Meaning in Contemporary Vernacular Discourse,” Blank’s teaching and research centers on the study of folk and popular culture, mass media and the digital humanities. COLLEGE NE WS

Former Potsdam Normal School Nominated as Historic Landmark

The former Potsdam Normal School building could soon be designated as a state and national historic landmark. The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recently nominated the distinctive Potsdam sandstone building to be added to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Built between 1917 and 1931, the building served as the campus of the Potsdam Normal School, which was the sixth such school to be established by the State of New York to educate teachers. The school is now the old Snell Hall building as part of Clarkson University’s downtown campus. The addition to the registry is pending state and federal approval. NE W INITIATIVES

Biology Faculty and Students Start Healthy Plant Initiative

Faculty and students in the Department of Biology have launched the Healthy Plant Initiative. Sponsored by the new Wagner Institute for Sustainability and Ecological Research, the program aims to ensure healthier plants in offices, classrooms and common areas across campus. The initiative was created by student Michal Weaver ’18 as part of her environmental studies capstone project along with Steve Smith, a classmate in an ecological entomology course. Raymond Bowdish, the instructional specialist in the department, oversees the program.

The SUNY Potsdam School of Education Alumni Board hosted 21 alumni who are school superintendents and principals for a career advice session to students aspiring to become teachers. The session was part of the College’s Teacher Education Student Association (TESA) annual two-day conference in April 2015. Dr. Richard Wiesenthal ’77, principal of the New Paltz Middle School and the 2014 New York State Middle School Principal of the Year, delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the Conference. COLLEGE NE WS

Faculty and Staff Present at the Geological Society of America Northeastern Conference

In March 2015, Dr. Robert Badger, Hon.’15, professor of geology, accompanied seven students and one alumnus to the 50th Northeast Geological Society of America Conference in Bretton Woods, NH, where the group presented their research. Dr. Badger and Matthew Merkle ’15 gave a presentation titled “Fluid Inclusion Studies in the Carthage/Colton Mylonite Zone,” with Associate Professor of Geology Dr. Chris Kelson serving as a contributing author. At the conference, several students presented the research they completed with Assistant Professor Dr. Dylan Blumentritt, including Kelly Nuccio ’15, Farrell Bell ’15, Cheyne Aiken ’14 and Gabriella Rossi ’15. Johnathan Freebern ’15, Robert Stachowiak ’16 and Amanda Blackburn ’16 also attended the conference and will be presenting their research at the National GSA conference in November 2015, in Baltimore, MD. COLLEGE NE WS

SUNY Potsdam Sponsors 2nd Annual LGBT Pride Parade

Students in Dr. John Youngblood’s “LGBT Family Communications” course in the Department of English and Communication organized SUNY Potsdam’s second annual LGBT Pride Parade, held in April. Members of the SUNY Potsdam campus and community joined together to celebrate diversity and equality. This year’s grand marshall was President Kristin G. Esterberg. She was recognized along with her family—including her spouse Sue Bergmeier, and their daughters, Katie and Qiong Qiong. w w



news & notes


Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul Visits Campus

In May 2015, Lieutenant Governor Kathy C. Hochul visited the SUNY Potsdam campus to meet with faculty and staff regarding higher education and Start-Up New York. Pictured from left are Student Government Association President Shawn Ramos ’16, Director of Strategic Alliances John Wicke, Vice President for Advancement Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, SUNY Potsdam President Kristin Esterberg, Vice President for Business Affairs Gerhard Voggel and School of Education and Professional Studies Dean Peter Brouwer ’79. STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Crane School of Music Students Intern at NAMM

In January 2015, 20 students from the Crane Institute for Music Business traveled to the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show in Anaheim, Calif. Joined by faculty from Crane, the students worked directly with leading music industry firms through the Generation Next program. Student interns included Katherine Bullock ’15 (Connolly Music Company), Jack Dring ’15 (Yamaha Corporation of America), Bridgette Funaro (Sabian Ltd.), Rebekah Geiselman ’15 (SKB Cases), Bethany Gilbert ’15 (KHS Musical Instruments), Molly Jones ’15 (KMC Music), Nari Kim ’15 (Connolly Music Company), Daniel Kurtz ’15 (SKB Cases), Thomas Lawton ’15 (KMC Music), Charles Lederer ’15 (Zoom North America), Nicholas Leonard ’16 (D’Addario & Co), Sean McQuaid ’15 (Dansr Inc.), Michelle Mesch ’15 (Samson Technologies), James Myer ’15 (D’Addario & Co.), Andrew Pacer ’15 (Samson Technologies), Paul Pearl ’15 (D’Addario & Co.), Hannah Roberts ’15 (D’Addario & Co.), Robert Rosato ’15 (KHS Musical Instruments), Michael Rosenberg ’16 (KMC Music) and Rebecca Scholldorf ’15 (D’Addario & Co.) 8

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Faculty and Students Visit EcoVillage to Learn about ‘Community That Works’

In March 2015, Heather Sullivan-Catlin, service-learning faculty liaison in the Department of Sociology at SUNY Potsdam, lead a group of her students on a five-day immersion into an EcoVillage educational experience. The students gained experience in service work, took a tour of the village and participated in workshops taught by experienced residential teachers. The trip consisted of a diverse group including Dolma Lhamo ’17 from Tibet, Brent Thompson ’18, a member of the Akwasasne Mohawk community from Hogansburg, N.Y., Jennifer Fernandez ’16 and her parents from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and Sarah Chappell ’16 and Madlyn Wilson ’16, both from upstate N.Y. COLLEGE NE WS

Alumni and Students Present at National Forum’s Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C.

SUNY Potsdam’s Max C. Bear and Potsdam Central School’s SandStoner Steve joined (left to right) A.A. Kingston Middle School teacher and SUNY Potsdam adjunct instructor David Vroman ’83, and students Katie Both ’15, Michelle McMahon ’02, Sage Vargo ’15, and adjunct instructor Sue Greene Stacy ’76, just minutes before presenting at the National Forum’s Schools to Watch Conference in Washington, D.C. where more than 700 middle-level educators from designated “schools to watch” from all over the country gathered. The group presented a summary of the collaborative after-school program which was created as a partnership between SUNY Potsdam’s Master of Science in Teaching program in science instruction to serve sixth graders at the nearby middle school.

Check out the SUNY Potsdam alumni Facebook page. Be sure to “like” us at: We also have the following alumni related pages for you to “like”: • The Crane School of Music Alumni Group • SUNY Potsdam Albany Region Alumni Chapter • SUNY Potsdam Boston Regional Alumni Chapter • SUNY Potsdam Syracuse Alumni Chapter • SUNY Potsdam Alumni Group


news & notes

42 Bears Earn SUNYAC Academic Honors

The State University of New York Athletic Conference recognized SUNY Potsdam student-athletes competing in fall sports for their academic success during the Fall 2014 semester. A total of 42 student-athletes were named to the All-Academic Team, which includes players maintaining a minimum 3.3 grade point average for the semester. Twenty-three of the 44 total student-athletes were given Commissioner’s List accolades. Players named to this list have carried a minimum 3.3 grade-point-average over three consecutive semesters at Potsdam. Twenty-one Bears made it onto both the All-Academic Team and the Commissioner’s List.


Weigel Receives Chancellors Award for Student Excellence

SUNY Potsdam women’s basketball and lacrosse player Bailey Weigel ’15 of East Amherst, N.Y., was one of three of the College’s students to receive a 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. Just 256 students across the SUNY system were honored with the award this year.

Bears Laxmen Earn All-SUNYAC Honors

SUNY Potsdam freshman men’s lacrosse player Eric Soderquist ’18 was named the SUNYAC 2015 Rookie of the Year. In his first season as a Bear, Soderquist led Potsdam in scoring with 25 goals and 15 assists for 40 points. The attackman was sixth in the SUNYAC in scoring with an average of 2.67 points-per-game. In addition, Soderquist joins defender Kyle Hauk ’16 on the All-SUNYAC first team. Captain Pat Bonafede ’16, captain Jon Woodworth ’15 and long-stick midfielder Lindsey Pound ’16 earned spots on the second team. Goalie Pete Gropp ’16 and midfielder Matt Kennedy ’16 were named Honorable Mention All-SUNYAC. The Bears were 7-8 this season, including a 3-3 mark in the SUNYAC. They clinched the third seed in the conference tournament for their third consecutive postseason appearance.

Petit, Weigel Net All-SUNYAC Lax Status


Costa, Wiegel Garner Maxcy/Molnar Awards

Ott Earns Hockey and Softball Honors


SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey player Alison Greene ’16 of Massena, N.Y. was named to the ECAC West Honor Roll for her play in two games with the Bears in January.

SUNY Potsdam senior women’s lacrosse players Emily Petit ’15 and Bailey Weigel ’15 were named to the All-SUNYAC third team.

Zapisek Lands Swim Honors

By way of the successful defense of his 100 Fly title at the recent SUNYAC Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., SUNY Potsdam junior swimmer Tyler Zapisek ’16 earned first team All-SUNYAC honors again. In February, Zapisek took six tenths of a second off his own Potsdam record in the 100 Fly to claim his second straight championship in the event.

Greene Honored by SUNYAC for Hockey Skills

SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey player Jordan Ott ’17 was named honorable mention AllEastern College Athletic Conference West for the 2014-15 season. Ott was also named to the All-SUNYAC first team for softball.

SUNY Potsdam men’s swimmer Dan Costa ’15 and women’s lacrosse and basketball player Bailey Weigel ’15 were named the Maxcy/Molnar Award winners for the 2014-15 season at the annual Maxcy Awards Banquet held in May. The Maxcy/Molnar Award is presented to one male and female student-athlete who best combine the qualities of sportsmanship, leadership and athletic achievement.

SUNY POTSDAM ONLINE ALUMNI DIRECTORY IS AVAILABLE! The Office of Alumni Relations is pleased to offer the online Alumni Directory via BearPaws. The online directory is available for your use. Alumni must have a email account to access the directory. If you do not have one, you may request an email account at or by calling the Alumni Office at (315) 267-2120. Once you have your email address, go to and select “Alumni Services.” Tab through the various options to update your profile, find a classmate, make a gift or explore career opportunities. Questions about the directory may be directed to w w




Saad Hajidin It figures that someone who endured Potsdam winters would dedicate himself to keeping the world warm. In Saad Hajidin’s case, he also wants you to look and feel great. Next time you go through your sweater collection, check the label. If it is a Ralph Lauren sweater, Saad’88 probably had a major hand in its design and production. Remember the 2014 US Winter Olympic team marching in to the stadium in those


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great red, white and blue sweaters? Saad was the technical wizard who made them happen. A native of Thailand and, after age 13, Queens, NY, he has had an impressive career in fashion, with stints at powerhouses such as Donna Karan and Liz Claiborne. He moved to Ralph Lauren 16 years ago, and has worked his way up to Senior Director, Sweater Design, on the team responsible for six men’s and women’s labels. Saad, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in printmaking with a dance minor, says it’s always a challenge to create new and innovative sweater designs. Fabrics must be created. Yarn, color, stitch and pattern must be chosen. “You’ve got to think forward,” he notes. “Everything and everyone has to work together for the sweaters to look beautiful, feel luxurious and wear well. You have to be thinking about what it is you want to create and how to make it interesting.” At Potsdam, though art courses came easily to Saad, he wasn’t yet sure of his career path. “I was always sketching in high school – people, clothes and lots of fashion figures and illustrations,” he recalls. “I knew I had the passion for fashion sketching, but there were other things I wanted to do in life. I wanted to study biology. I thought of maybe going into medicine. I was interested in computers and thought that could be my path. I wasn’t sure. During the four years I spent at Potsdam — including a year in an international exchange program at Liverpool University, where I had my first experience in textile design — things came into focus. When I left, I knew it would be the fashion industry, and that I had the education and skills to make the transition.” Saad credits his liberal arts education at SUNY Potsdam for helping to shape him personally and professionally. “I was

able to grow as an individual, to appreciate teamwork, and had the opportunity to discover so many things. These experiences prepared me for whatever I wanted to do in life,” he says. “I met so many good people, some of whom are still close friends. I had great art teachers who guided me and honed the skills I needed to get into fashion. I took a lot of drawing courses that gave me the skills that led to fashion illustration.” Saad is an advocate of getting a wide range of experiences in college to broaden your horizons. He says getting into a field like fashion does not necessarily mean you have to go to a fashion school. “Do what you want to do; learn wherever you are,” he advises. “Some of the people I work with didn’t start out in fashion. If you have skills, learn to illustrate and get your thoughts on paper. You’ll need to know colors, figure and proportions, but you don’t have to go to fashion school to learn those. If you have it, you have it! You can also learn by taking business courses and computer classes — because once you get into the industry you need to know about Web sites and computer illustration. If you have a solid background in art, you can translate a lot of those skills into productive ideas.” In his more than 25-years in the industry, Saad has received many accolades, but the most success and the most fun, he says, comes from hard work and the passion to do the best possible work. “The highlight of my career is being an executive at the most iconic company in the field that I love — and doing what I love.” Saad and his spouse of 23 years live in a Manhattan townhouse, and retreat most weekends to their country home atop a hill in Columbia County. “I spend a lot of time on the porch, soaking in the view. It’s recovery time,” he says. “I get inspired by the different seasons. Nature inspires and restores my creative juices. And then I get to go back to the vibe and energy of New York.” So when you are out shopping and you wander into the Ralph Lauren section, be sure to check out the sweaters. One of our fellow alumni is hard at work taking skills he learned at Potsdam and sharing them with the world. And, Saad might add, you’ll look and feel great — and warm!



Frances B. Moore By Alexandra Jacobs Wilke

When you enter the quaint Watertown, N.Y., home of Frances Brown Moore ’37, she will greet you with a warm welcome and a bowl full of candy to pass. She is a tiny woman, smartly dressed with neatly curled hair. Because Frances knows the layout of her home so well, it may take you a second to realize that her eyesight isn’t very good. And with her sharp intellect and spry spirit, only her wavering voice indicates that she is older than she first appears. At the age of 101, Frances is the oldest known living graduate of the institution known today as The State University of New York at Potsdam. With a century’s worth of memories to look back on, Frances has a longer view on life in the North Country. In fact, she’s lived through half of the College’s nearly 200-year history. Frances was the middle child born to Merritt and Ruth Brown, with three brothers and two sisters. Her father ran a meat market and grocery business. The children attended a two-room schoolhouse in Rodman, N.Y. “We studied arithmetic, reading, English, history, science, art, geography. We walked to school most days, unless there was a lot of snow. Then Father took us,” she remembered. After the eighth grade, Frances attended Watertown High School. In the yearbook, she was named “Class Jolliest.” During her senior year, Frances bumped into her future husband, Leon Moore, on the streetcar. “We sat on the same seat,” she said. “From there, we got to know each other, and soon we were going steady.” Determined to become a teacher, Frances knew she wanted to attend Potsdam Normal School. There was just one problem—her parents couldn’t afford to send two children to college at the same time. Her sister, Thelma Brown Thomas ’35, was younger, but because she had had pneumatic fever, the family decided it was best to send her first. So while Thelma headed to Potsdam Normal, Frances attended a teacher training class. Temporary certificate in hand, she began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, serving there until 1934. “I was only 18, and some of the children were bigger than I was,” she said, laughing. “You never had to send someone to the office, because there was no office to send them to!” Frances finally began her full-time studies at Potsdam Normal School in 1934. “I just loved it. I don’t think you’d find a nicer town,” she said. “I liked the stores, the Raquette River, everything about Potsdam.”

Frances found accommodations for $2.50 a week in a local home, along with four other female students. “You had to be in by 10 ‘o clock,” she said. “We’d cook for ourselves. It wasn’t anything special. Money was short during the Depression.” At the time, education students at Potsdam Normal completed their practicum at the School of Practice, a central K-12 school run by the College. They walked to campus each day. “It got cold, but we didn’t mind it. We were young and it wasn’t terribly far,” Frances said. Student life was filled with trips to Clarkson for sporting events and dances in the Potsdam gym. On the weekends, Leon would drive to see Frances or bring her home to visit. It was a luxury at the time. Not many students had cars, and most had to take the train. Frances graduated with the Class of 1937. That summer, she and Leon were married. She embarked on a 34-year career in elementary education, teaching in the Watertown School District. “Children have a certain way. I was always glad to meet them in the morning,” Frances said. “Their attitude just made you happy.” After a long career with the Agricultural Insurance Co., Leon passed away in 1981. That’s the worst thing about being a centenarian—outliving those you are closest to. “It’s just one of the things you have to face. You lose a lot

of people through the years,” she said. With her husband and immediate family all gone, Frances has a cadre of caring neighbors and friends who visit to check on her daily. “I have wonderful neighbors. They are always doing something nice for me,” she said. And given the lifelong connections Frances has made, her many family members, students, classmates, colleagues and friends have all found her to be pretty wonderful, too.

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Women and Leadership Program By Deidre Kelly Just think how much easier your transition from college to career would have been if you partook in workshops specially designed to prepare you for this evolution. Now picture how much you could have benefited from a Potsdam alumni mentor in your field to guide you during this crucial time. Students at Potsdam now have access to these invaluable resources through the Women and Leadership Program. Implemented in Fall 2013, it is an opportunity for students to explore, discuss and reflect on a wide variety of topics and issues related to women and leadership at SUNY Potsdam and beyond. The program’s unique feature is the opportunity for students to network with, and be mentored by a successful alumnae. Working collaboratively, the Offices of Campus Life, Experiential Education, Alumni Relations and Development have partnered to foster meaningful connections between students and alumnae based on career interests. The overall goal is to promote student success and increase both awareness of and the ability to address

gender discrimination and equity issues, while developing professional communication and networking skills. “The students get a real sense of empowerment from the workshops. They leave feeling inspired,” said Campus Life Director Ruth Policella. “Hearing the alumnae tell their stories provides those ‘ah-ha moments’ for students. Many young women haven’t experienced discrimination, or it is so covert that they don’t even realize it is happening.” “I felt a great sense of relief knowing that a majority of the speakers have jumped around in life with no direct route, just a general path,” said one student in her evaluation. “This workshop provides unity and comfort in knowing you’re not alone during these stages of growth, because everyone goes through them. I love leaving these seminars feeling empowered.” While each of the faculty-, staff- and alumnae-led workshops is open to all students, female students who participate in all five of the fall workshops are eligible to be paired with a mentor in the spring semester. Students and mentors are asked to communicate at least monthly through-

out the semester, utilizing Skype, phone calls and email. Students make the initial contact and conduct an informational interview to learn more about their mentor. All student participants also meet monthly with Policella, to share personal reflections and gain insights on how to maximize their experience. Though Policella and her colleagues were hoping to get 10 students to complete the Women and Leadership Program in the first year, their expectations were shattered by the overwhelmingly positive response. During the 2013-14 academic year, an average of 62 students attended each workshop, with 42 students completing all of the workshops and 37 completing the mentoring program. This increased in 2014-15, to an average of 79 students attending each workshop, with 45 completing every workshop and 38 completing the mentoring program as well. Policella noted they were equally pleased with the large number of alumnae who were eager to dedicate their time to mentor a young woman in her leadership development. “In the early years of my career as a

teacher, and later as a school administrator, I was very fortunate to have women in my life who were eager to share the wisdom that was born of their experiences in the profession,” said Potsdam Central School Superintendent Joann Converse Chambers ’87. “Now, I certainly feel compelled to do the same for young women who are just starting out. When I meet with my mentees, their untarnished enthusiasm reminds me again why I chose to do this important work.” Alumnae participants from around the country remarked that the program helped them reconnect with the college in a meaningful way, and they really enjoyed having the chance to get to know a student on a personal level. “I actually wondered if I could help a current student because I had been out for so long. I wasn’t sure any advice I had would be relevant,” said Empire State College Director of Alumni and Student Relations Maureen Buffardi Winney ’78. “But what I discovered was that I turned into a much better listener than I had been. That was the key, and I learned an incredible amount from this young woman.” Many alumnae invited students to visit their homes or places of work, provided networking connections and face-to-face introductions related to employment interests, reviewed resumes and cover letters and set up mock phone and face-to-face interviews. “The Women and Leadership Program is just as rewarding for the mentor as it is for the mentee,” said Port Washington Public Library Librarian Denise Brandy Anchico ’84. “The concept of ‘women helping women’ as career role models is both innovative and essential for our young, female graduates. This was a valuable experience for me and one that I would like to continue.” The sharing of personal Potsdam stories among students and alumnae, from residence hall life and club/organization involvement, to classes and working with professors, was also a significant highlight of the program. “It is a treat to be able to once again experience undergraduate life through the mentor program. So much has changed and yet, so much of college life remains the same,” noted New York Retired Director of Government and Community Relations for General Contractors Association Rita Itkin Schwartz ’58. “Being a mentor

gives me the opportunity to help a young woman think through goals, problems and directions. I was fortunate to have the same mentee for two years. We formed a bond and will continue to be connected.” For more information about the program or to become a mentor, please contact Policella at (315) 267-2818 or or contact Director of Alumni Relations Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85 at (315) 267-2120 or vromanmo@

Denise Brandy Anchico ’84 and Naomi Gillick ’16

Mariel DeLeo n ’18 and Maureen Bu ffardi Winney ’78

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Potsdam at 200: Pioneering Since 1816 By Alexandra Jacobs Wilke

Native Heritage The wave of settlers who traveled sight unseen to tiny Potsdam, N.Y., more than 200 years ago were not the first people to inhabit this place—not by a long shot. The nearby Mohawks, part of the Iroquois Confederacy, were known to spend their summers on a small island nestled between two small waterfalls in the heart of a coursing waterway dotted with rapids, which they called Swift Water (Tanawadeh) or Noisy River (Nihawanate). As for the settlement itself, it was called Tewatenetarenies, meaning “the place where the gravel settles under the feet in dragging the canoe.” Even earlier than that, evidence discovered by a SUNY Potsdam archaeology professor and his students has shown that

indigenous people have been living in the place we now call Potsdam for as far back as 5,000 years. The spot served as a convenient waypoint on the journey from hunting grounds in the Adirondacks, where the river (later named the Racket/Racquette) originated, all the way up to settlements on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. When white settlers began to arrive, the area was part of the Mohawk Nation, which was part of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Mohawks are known as Kanienkehaka, or “the people of the flint,” and they were considered the keepers of the Eastern door for this edge of Haudenosaunee territory. SUNY Potsdam’s story is like that of much of the American frontier. Native American communities were segmented, shrunk and pushed aside, as settlers from the

newly created United States began to migrate out from the original colonies. “The Mohawks of Akwesasne are the descendants of the original inhabitants who were called the ‘St. Lawrence Valley Iroquoisans,’” Grand Chief Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell wrote in Akwesasne: A Cultural Portrait. “Following European contact and subsequent wars among the European nations, Akwesasne became a geographically divided territory.” During the Revolutionary War, the Iroquois initially hoped to stay neutral, though most of the Six Nations ended up supporting the British. After the British were defeated, tribes were forced to sign away most of their New York ancestral lands. Many Mohawks moved to Canada, setting up communities there, while others settled at tribal communities including Akwesasne.





The place we now call Potsdam, N.Y., was inhabited for many thousands of years -- long before European settlers arrived in the Americas.

NYS Legislature passes act allowing for sale of lands available for settlement and establishing commission.


May 1786

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Board passes resolution creating 10 towns bordering the St. Lawrence River.

May 1787

The Ten Towns In need of new places to settle and farm, the New York Legislature posted lands that included Potsdam for sale in 1786, two years before the colony became a state by ratifying the newly written U.S. Constitution. Commission members drew lines on a map, carving out 10 towns along the Canadian border, and named them all after European locales. Potsdam changed hands twice before any of its wealthy future proprietors set a foot on the ground. Finally, in 1799, noted surveyor Benjamin Wright was dispatched to the area with seven assistants. They arrived at St. Regis, near present-day Hogansburg. The reservation was originally founded by Iroquois Catholic converts from Quebec 40 years earlier. From there, Gordon Smith was chosen to traverse the Raquette River, and he got as far south as Norfolk before walking the rest of the way to Potsdam. The rest of his story reads like a parable: “Here, in the untraversed wilderness, on ground which in all probability had never been trodden by white men before, [Gordon] discovered a tuft of timothy

grass, evidently the product of a single seed, dropped by some bird in a spot congenial to its growth. He hailed it as a harbinger of civilization and proof that this would ultimately make exactly what it afterward did, a great grazing region,” The New York Times later wrote of that fateful night (1903).

New Settlements Four years later, land agent Benjamin Raymond returned by boat and built a sawmill and the first house. Next came a dam and a gristmill, as more tenants purchased plots and cleared their land for farms. The new settlers met Indians “camping in the town,” who were doing a brisk business in selling furs, and traded with the new residents, according to “Our Country and Its People: A Memorial Record of St. Lawrence County New York,” edited by Gates Curtis (1894). In 1806, the Town of Potsdam was officially incorporated. “From that time on, the settlers came, almost all from Vermont, pushing their way westward through the woods,” the Times wrote. With families came children, and a need

for schooling. Raymond’s home was no longer adequate for holding church services and hosting classes. “The pioneer farmers lived in clearings in the surrounding area. … This was a typical clearing-in-the-woods civilization, the beginning all over again,” wrote W. Charles Lahey, in The Potsdam Tradition: A History and a Challenge. “Even though life in Potsdam was hard and uncertain, the urge for progress prompted an early movement for education.” In 1811, Benjamin Raymond paid for the construction of a small one-room building, which would serve as a church, schoolhouse and meetinghouse. Later on, it would also be home to the first years of the Academy.

Petitioning for an Academy The Academy’s founding came in an era of constant change—and success was far from guaranteed. Even as the boundaries of a new nation were edging further north, the prospect of war with Great Britain hovered on the horizon once again. On December 1, 1812, the residents of Potsdam sent a formal petition to the New York State Board of Regents to establish St. Lawrence Academy. Just a fortnight earlier,


THE CLARKSONS PURCHASE POTSDAM After Macomb sold most of the 10 towns to the Constables, they sold the soon-to-be Town of Potsdam to David M. Clarkson & Garret Van Horne.

November 1787

The Clarksons’ land agent, Benjamin Raymond, arrives in Potsdam, soon followed by the first family.

FIRST SURVEY Surveyors visit the 10 towns, including Potsdam, for the first time since the purchase.


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British cannons had fired on nearby Ogdensburg, in a prelude to a major battle that would take place two months later. “The times were challenging and anything but auspicious,” Lahey said. “Potsdam was a frontier region and the movement for incorporation coincided with the War of 1812.” Despite the uncertain times, residents were determined to raise both funds and support for their academy. A subscription drive continued through the war, raising “a liberal sum” by 1814, with 312 shares of $100 each invested in the enterprise. In addition, the town set aside “literature lots,” which could be leased for a fee, with the proceeds intended for the benefit of the new college. In the haze of war, the petition to found St. Lawrence Academy fell down the list of priorities in Albany. Finally, in 1816, residents successfully lobbied officials to revisit the proposal.

Charter Day On March 25, 1816, an otherwise unremarkable Monday, the charter founding St. Lawrence Academy was signed, and work could commence. The trustees of the new

TOWN OF POTSDAM ESTABLISHED The Town of Potsdam is established, with Benjamin Raymond serving as Town Supervisor.

1806 16

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institution had plenty of tasks ahead—first and foremost, hiring an instructor, as well as setting a curriculum, establishing tuition and finding room and board for students. This undertaking represented a strain on an already stressed community. 1816 is known to history as “the year without a summer.” One of the largest volcanic explosions ever recorded had taken place a year earlier, at Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (part of Indonesia today). The remaining soot suspended in the atmosphere, combined with the lingering phenomenon known as the Little Ice Age created unseasonably cool conditions across much of North America and Europe. Snowfall was recorded across the region during the summer months. “From the Northern and Western parts of New York … we have received accounts of summer snows, and winter lingering in the lap of June, and the most gloomy apprehensions of distressing scarcity are entertaining by those who witnessed the phenomena,” the Brattleboro (Vt.) Reporter newspaper reported. With a stunted growing season, many Potsdam tenants lost their land, as crops failed and they were unable to make payments or support families on their farms, according to Potsdam Public Museum Direc-

tor Mimi Van Deusen. Coupled with a nationwide recession, the conditions made for a meager first year for the new St. Lawrence Academy, which opened its doors to students for the first time on September 30, 1816. “This now time-honored and warmlycherished institution embarked upon her noble mission on a bright September morn in 1816, with no flourish of trumpets, in an unpretentious, one story, one room, five hundred dollar wooden building… One solitary teacher was there as faculty and guiding star of that newborn enterprise,” wrote George Sweet in First Quarto-Centennial History, Normal School, Potsdam, N.Y.

Pioneering Programs The story of SUNY Potsdam is the story of public higher education in New York State. The institution was dependent on the sacrifices and support of local residents in its early years as St. Lawrence Academy, who gave of their meager earnings to make the endeavor a success. “The spirit of the people of Potsdam was an ingredient of primary importance. … Directly related to the spirit of the people was



Potsdam residents construct the first public building, which served as the school and church - and later housed the Academy as well, on Union Street.

The Rev. James Johnson was Potsdam’s first pastor and its first teacher, serving out of the building that would later house the St. Lawrence Academy as well.


March 1812

their willingness to give financial support to their endeavors. Although the Academy was a self-supporting institution, it was kept alive by the generous purses of the local citizens. This local initiative encouraged the state to lend financial assistance,” Lahey wrote.

new movement in education—as the curriculum quickly shifted to meet the needs of new generations and a growing country. “A school is molded by the tests it meets and conquers, and the record of these conquests becomes its living tradition,” Lahey

the campus became an incubator for innovation—pioneering new curricula in teaching, music education, mathematics and computer science. “[The College’s] course was rugged, had to be cut through flinty rock, and her fame was self-made, self-won,” Sweet said.

For a complete timeline and descriptions, visit Later, the academy received special state funding to support its teacher education program and to help construct a much-needed new building. As New York began to follow the Prussian-style model of Normal Schools, it was fitting that Potsdam (named after the capital of Prussia) rallied to win designation for one of these institutions, following the success of St. Lawrence Academy. From there, the campus was absorbed into the State Teachers College system and finally into the newly created State University of New York system. As one of America’s first 50 colleges, St. Lawrence Academy was at the vanguard of a

wrote. “A number of distinctive elements emerged in Potsdam which established a foundation for the future. … Foremost in these elements was the spirit of innovation and experimentation.” Today, many might say that the institution we now call The State University of New York at Potsdam is the most historic college you’ve never heard of—as a small campus in a rural area, having undergone numerous name changes over the years. Looking back, the fact that the College is small and remote may well have been its hidden strength. Educators and students alike were empowered to try new things, and



Funds are raised to establish the St. Lawrence Academy by Potsdam residents.

The formal petition to establish the St. Lawrence Academy in Potsdam, N.Y., is submitted to the New York State Board of Regents.

December 1812

January 1813

CHARTER DAY - FOUNDING St. Lawrence Academy is officially founded and the first Board of Trustees is established.

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1930s Ruth (Bellinger) Fiscella ’37 is a retired pastor of the Presbyterian Church USA. She earned her doctorate at the age of 82 from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkley, CA, and now lives in a senior living center and remains in good health at the age of 96. She has four children, 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

1940s Mary Rexford ’49 was

a music teacher and band director at Massena Central School for 32 years. He and his wife, Carol, reside in Winthrop, NY. In May 2015, former United States Secretary of State and current

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sang “Happy Birthday” to Rita Schwartz ’58, who was hard at work on Clinton’s campaign.

1960s profiled in the Watertown Daily Times newspaper, with her large collection of Santa Claus Christmas decorations. She has been collecting them for 25 years. (Jason Hunter photo)

1950s Gloria (Baz) Misnick ’55 was elected the national director and national welfare officer at the Catholic War Veterans Auxiliary convention in Las Vegas, NV. Nancy (Shults) Kear ’56 still maintains a violin/ viola studio and plays in the Orchestra of Northern New York. After nearly two decades of serving on the Stockholm Town Planning Board, Albert Rotonde ’58 retired in January 2015. He was previously


Patricia (Fraser) Potvin ’62 and her husband, Joseph, enjoy summers at Lake George and are always following their grandchildren’s recitals and sporting events. SUNY Canton English Adjunct instructor Jill (Case) Martin ’65 was selected as a recipient of the 2014-15 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for

Tina (Santimaw) Radding ’64 has endowed the Peter and Tina Santimaw Radding Scholarship to acknowledge and honor the high-quality education that she received as an undergraduate at SUNY Potsdam, which prepared her well for her long and successful career as an elementary school teacher in the Corning/Painted Post School District. Tina is also honoring the memory of her late husband, Peter, whom she met as a student at Clarkson University and married more than 50 years ago. Having grown up in Helena, New York, Tina is also honoring her North Country roots by designating her scholarship for a St. Lawrence County student, with preference given to a student preparing to be a teacher. The first recipient of the Radding Scholarship will be named for the 2015-16 academic year.

Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. She has 34 years of teaching experience at the high school level and created the Adjunct Mentorship Program. Barbara (de Bastier) Ingalls ’69 was married in France, and taught adult English classes at the Chamber of Commerce in Avignon, France, for 36 years, specializing in

Anne (Stephen) Cook ’60 has endowed a scholarship in celebration of her 55th reunion year at SUNY Potsdam. She credits her alma mater with helping her develop the organizational skills that have served her well in teaching, business and community service. Cook’s scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a teaching degree who has demonstrated exemplary character and has the potential to become an exceptional teacher. The first recipient of the Cook Scholarship will be named for the 2015-2016 academic year.

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English for wine producers. Upon retirement, she taught English at a private French university, Vatel, outside of Marrakesh, Morocco. Ingalls has also taught English and French to European staff at a five-star hotel owned by entrepreneur Richard Branson since 2008, and working with the Eve Branson Foundation, teaching lifelong skills to Berber mountain girls and helping to generate an income for them by selling their items. Marcia (Daniels) Levy ’69 and her husband, Michael, were thrilled to welcome their first grandchild, Chloe Marie Brown, in 2014.

Plan Your Future

1970s As a master teacher for the McClosky Institute of Voice, Maria Argyros ’70 teaches vocal anatomy and pedagogy courses to voice professionals and presents workshops nation-wide. She also teaches classes at Hunter College and Queens College in New York. Robert ’70 and Laurie MacFarland ’70 retired to the Cape Fear, NC, area and are loving the active retired life. President Kristin Esterberg and Vice President Vicki Templeton Cornell attended an Alpha alumnae fundraising luncheon hosted by Joyce “Jackie” Tantillo Aab ’71 (right) at her winter home in Florida. Aab is matching gifts designated to the Alpha fundraiser in support of the Sheard Literacy Center on the SUNY Potsdam campus. William Butler ’72 retired from Bayshore Electric in December 2014, where he taught in the apprentice program for 17 years and wrote a workbook to help future teachers and students with code and calculations.

Visit Potsdam’s estate and gift planning website. Sign up for free e-Newsletters, download our mobile app, access information on your mobile devices, prepare for your future and explore how you can support Potsdam. Visit today and bookmark it!



Christine Haile ’74 has established an endowment in support of SUNY Potsdam’s Women and Leadership Program. For more information about the program, read the profile on pages 13-14 of this issue. Haile, who is a Potsdam College Foundation trustee, is chief information officer for the University at Albany. Previously, she was vice chancellor and provost for technology services for the SUNY System for 20 years. Haile was honored for her generosity to the program at the second annual Women and Leadership Mentor Luncheon, featuring keynote speaker and alumna mentor Maureen Buffardi Winney ’78. Bob Christianson ’72 wrote the CBS NCAA Basketball Theme, which has been a network mainstay since 1993. He has written 26 major themes, including those for the World Cup, Superbowl, Winter Olympics, America’s Cup Sailing, as well as baseball, hockey, football and golf week-

end highlight shows, and much more. In 2013, Michael Messitt ’73 received certifications in basic keelboat sailing, basic coastal cruising and bareboat cruising from the American Sailing Association.

David Campbell ’74 retired from Analog Devices in Norwood, MA, ending a 34-year career as a microelectronics product and test engineer. Beth (Hirsh) Lucek ’74 retired after 28 years of being an art teacher, with 13 years as the department head, at Olentangy Liberty High School in Powell, OH. She and her husband, Jack, are proud grandparents and are building a retirement home in Hammondsport, NY. In March 2015, Tony Brennan ’75 was featured on the PBS NewsHour Breakthroughs series on innovation and invention. He is the founder of Sharklet Technologies, which manufactures a manmade material that, like the skin of a shark, repels deadly bacteria.

In December 2014, after 37 years of service, Army Col. Thomas Palmatier ’75 retired as commander of the U.S. Army Band Pershing’s Own. As commander, Palmatier served as musical adviser to the White House, the Department of Defense and State Department, on all national and international military music affairs. He has participated as either a leader or staff planner for five presidential inaugurations between 1989 and 2013. He and his wife, Shirley, a retired Army Medical Service Corps officer, have moved to Norfolk, VA. After 38 years in public education in the Albany, NY, area, Michael Tebbano ’75 & ’79 and his

Newest Member of the

Benjamin F. Raymond Society Krista Fordham ’94 & ’08 Krista Fordham, the youngest Potsdam graduate to have established three individually endowed scholarships in support of current and future Potsdam students, recently informed the Potsdam College Foundation that she has included the College in her estate plans. Her bequest intentions will enhance her scholarship endowments. “Potsdam has been good to me. I appreciate the education I received at Potsdam as well as the opportunities afforded to me because of my education. When thinking of my future and what is important to me, it made perfect sense for me to make plans to enhance what I have supported throughout my lifetime with a gift included in my Last Will & Testament. This represents the perfect way for me to ensure Potsdam receives a final gift from me when I pass. I hope others join me and make provisions for Potsdam in their own estate plans. I know first-hand the impact gifts can have as I have met with students who have received my scholarships at Potsdam. It gives me great pride to know that I am a part of their education and helping to make things possible for them to experience. Being a donor is a very rewarding experience.” For more information on how to include Potsdam in your estate plans or for more information, visit the College’s free estate planning website at or contact Jason N. Ladouceur ’94, director of planned giving, at

(315) 267-2123 or

Sample Bequest Language:

I hereby, give, devise and bequeath (specific amount/percentage/or residuary of estate) to Potsdam College Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization located at 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY, 13676, Federal Tax ID #23-7088021, for its general use and purpose (or list specified use).

As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s.

wife, Sheila (Ogilvie) Tebbano ’75 & ’79, have retired and are living in Palm Coast, FL. Sheila works as an education consultant for Apex Learning and Michael is an associate faculty member in educational leadership at the University of Phoenix’s North Florida campus. In 2014, vocalist and keyboardist Karen “Kari” (Tieger) Brennan ’76 released her fifth album, “Illumination.” Terry de la Vega ’76 has worked in the Potsdam, NY, area as a nurse practitioner in several settings, including the past 11 years at Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York. She completed the Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training program in 1998, and in 2013 she became a certified YogaNurse, a new nursing specialty designed to reduce stress and pain in nurses and their patients. Life coach Jacqueline (Sparks) Biernat ’77 authored a new book, “Your God Given Dignity,” which was released in March 2015. The book describes 30 days of practices to help guide readers to make better decisions. Elizabeth “Betsy” (Hager) Lord ’77 is the director of music at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, VA. w w




Last winter, Michael Benedict ’79 took part in a photo shoot in Albany, NY, which brought together more than 50 people connected to the local jazz industry. The photo mimicked Art Kane’s 1958 photo “A Great Day in Harlem,” which became the most famous picture in jazz history. Benedict recorded his latest album, “The Gary McFarland Legacy Project,” in February 2015. In March, Donnalyn (Eaton) Shuster ’78 received the 2014 Youth Art Month Award of Merit from the Council for Art Education, Inc., for outstanding art advocacy programs in New York State.

Presenting Susan with the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Speaker Award was Alumni Director Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85 (center) and Janelle Jacobson, assistant professor of Community Health.

Susan (Cancilla) Witkowski ’79 (left) spoke to students in the Community Health department about her work as executive director of

Joanne (Regar) Edwards ’79 of Lexington, MA, was named sales manager at the Tewksbury office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County, SC, which she founded in 1998 for the uninsured who do not have the means to pay for primary healthcare. She and her husband, Jim, have endowed a scholarship at SUNY Potsdam to provide financial support for community health student interns. 20

Opera singer Lisa Vroman ’79 met up with tenor Justin Moniz ’11 after a performance of “Into the Woods,” in which he plays Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, at Carnival Studio Theatre, in Miami, FL. Moniz was recently named one of four winners of the Chicago Musical Theater Award,

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and participated in two performances of “Something Wonderful.”

1980s Mary (Golden) Lattanzio ’80 is in her 34th year of teaching music in the Schenectady School District, where she directs elementary band in five buildings. Her daughter Julie will be attending Crane this fall. In June 2014, Mary Louise Whalen ’80 retired after 34 years of teaching. When her husband, Ted, retires, the couple plans on traveling. They have two daughters. Cliff Brucker ’81, an adjunct in the Schenectady County Community College School of Music since 1999, received the 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct

Teaching. He designed new curricula in the area of music business, expanding a one-semester survey of the subject to a two-semester, in-depth examination of industry practice, legal issues and licensing that are critical knowledge for students in the music audio technology degree program. Brucker has been a professional musician for more than 40 years, as a pianist, keyboardist, drummer and percussionist. He regularly performs with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Capital Region Wind Ensemble and the Empire Jazz Orchestra and has performed with Aretha Franklin, Buddy Greco and Bob Mintzer. Brucker is also an experienced professional composer and arranger for commercials. In December 2014, Renée Fleming ’81 joined fellow Crane alumna Rita (Itkin) Schwartz ’58, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, SUNY Potsdam President Kristin Esterberg and Crane School

of Music Dean Michael Sitton for dinner, to discuss her participation in Potsdam’s upcoming bicentennial, following her “Merry Widow” performance at the Metropolitan Opera. Since 2008, Peggy Mousaw ’81 has worked as the treasurer for the Village of Lake Placid. She serves on the New York State Government Finance

Officers’ Association, the North Country Regional Council, the New York State Municipal Electric Utilities Association as an audit committee member, and the Local Government Annual Conference Planning Committee at SUNY Potsdam. Mousaw is also a volunteer race official with the U.S. Luge Team. In February, pianist, composer and arranger Larry Ham ’82 completed a weeklong tour of the North Country, including a stop at his alma mater, teaching and performing. He played his compositions/ arrangements in a concert as guest artist with the Crane Jazz Ensemble at The Crane School of Music. In February 2015, Tina (McCabe) Tenney ’82 retired from the Oswego County Department of Social Services, after 30 years as a social welfare examiner. She and her husband, Paul, traveled to the United Kingdom and Ireland in August and September.

ATTENTION ALUMNI SUNY Potsdam will celebrate its Bicentennial Commencement in May! What advice or words of wisdom would you offer the Class of 2016? Send your messages to alumni@potsdam. edu with the subject, “Bicentennial Wisdom,” and we’ll be sure to share with our graduates!



Neal Solomon ’83 was one of five new board members elected to serve a four-year term on the board of directors for Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, beginning in January 2015. He is the managing director, CCO and financial planner/IAR at WealthPro, LLC. He has been a CFP professional since 1989, and is also the chief financial officer for Hearing Care Resources, LLC, and a member of the editorial review board for the Journal of Financial Planning. Charles “Chef Charlie” Galemmo ’85 graduated from Philadelphia Restaurant School and worked in the Philadelphia fine-dining scene for several years before joining forces with a restaurant consultant, where he developed menus for new venues, assisting with the opening of five. He has since been a full-time culinary arts faculty member at York County Community College in Wells, ME, for five years, where he teaches courses such as molecular gastronomy, cheese making and chocolate tasting. Valerie Patterson ’85, a well-known watercolor painter, joined the Adirondack Artists Guild in December 2014. Her paintings have received numerous awards and have been exhibited extensively throughout the U.S. Patterson has taught art for 29 years, the past 18 in Saranac Lake, NY.

Tom Burdick ’86, who has 27 years of financial planning experience, is the president at Empire Financial Advisors, Inc. Kevin Caraccioli ’86 has over 25 years experience as an attorney at Caraccioli & Associates, PLLC where he specializes in small business development. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Public Justice at SUNY Oswego. In April 2015, Dr. Sharon (Davis) Gratto ’86, professor and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH, received the College of Arts and Science’s Outstanding Faculty Service Award for her extensive work and volunteer service on the UD campus, in the greater Dayton region, and in several professional organizations in her field of choral music education and multicultural music. Gratto is a founding trustee of the newly organized Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, uniting the Dayton Opera, Ballet and Philharmonic into one administrative unit, and a board member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, one of only five African-American dance companies in the United States. Shelly Van Dusen ’87 was appointed director of fund development at the Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse, NY.

Previously, she was vice president of marketing and public relations at KeyBank and she currently serves on the board of directors of Syracuse University Hardwood Club. The Hempfield School Board appointed Chris Adams ’88 as superintendent in January 2015. He had served as Hempfield School District’s assistant superintendent since 2008 and before that was the Hempfield High School Principal. Patrick Brady ’88 was unanimously appointed Massena Central School District’s superintendent in February 2015. Before becoming superintendent of the Potsdam Central School District in 2005, he was the principal at Massena’s Junior High School from 2002 to 2005. Shawn Dowd ’88 of Rochester, NY, has been the staff photographer at the Democrat and Chronicle for 20 years, and loves to hike the Adirondacks and explore the world. David Murray ’88 is currently in his fourth term as an elected government official and resides with his wife of over 37 years, Debbie, in Morristown, NY. In January 2015, Murray gave a presentation titled “American Infantry Uniform at New Orleans 1815” at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association. He has researched and recreated American military uniforms for over 20

SUNY Potsdam Trustee Haden Land ’84, vice president for research and technology at Lockheed Martin, recently served on a SUNY Workforce Development and Applied Learning Panel in Washington, DC. He spoke in support of Potsdam’s Center for Applied Learning and development of a STEAM program. years, and has presented on the subject of period clothing and military uniforms throughout New York and Canada. After 25 years apart, Jean (Hall) Stowell ’89 finally married her high school sweetheart, Wayne, in December 2011, at Sergi’s Pizzeria in Canton, NY, where they hung out as teenagers. The couple now resides in Mooresville, NC, where Hall works as a middle school science teacher. Joel Smales ’89 is the director of the Binghamton University Percussion Ensemble and the director of bands at Binghamton High School’s Rod Serling School of Fine Arts. He performs as principal percussionist with the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic and eNeRJee Jazz Group, leads his own percussion trio and plays lead steel pan with Panigma.

1990s Earlier this year, Vanessa (Breault) Mulvey ’90 presented body mapping workshops at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music Double Reed Day and at the Indian Hill Music School Flute Festival. James Rizzo ’91 is an attorney at Hilton Estate & Elder Law, LLC, with offices in Utica and Boonville, NY, and practices law in the areas of estate planning, asset protection, probate and trust administration, municipal law and litigation. World-renowned mezzosoprano Stephanie Blythe ’92 (center) re-

turned to SUNY Potsdam to discuss music education and the state of the College with President Kristin Esterberg and Crane School of Music Dean Michael Sitton. w w




Author Aaron Brownell ’92 won the top prize in the 2014 London Book Festival for his novel, “Progression: A Sara Gray Tale.” He works as a field service engineer for Sevenson Environmental Services in Indiana. Ilissa (Mandelik) Miller ’93 is the founder and chief executive officer of Miller Public Relations, and brings nearly two decades of experience in sales, marketing and product development. Gloria (Russo) Wassell ’93 co-authored a book “Adopting Older Children: A Practical Guide to Adopting and Parenting Children Over Age Four,” which was released in December 2014. Danielle (Bartow) Grant ’94 received the 2014 Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award from the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AHPERD) in November 2014. She has been an elementary physical education teacher in the Potsdam Central School District for 24 years. PHOTO Caption: Rod Mergardt, left, New York State AHPERD president, presents Bartow her award. Stamford-based Lumesis, which provides data and other products for the municipal bond marketplace, hired Steve McLaughlin ’94 as managing director of business development. He was previously national sales manager 22

for Municipal Market Analytics, and was head of institutional municipal bond distribution for Bank of New York.

about her son, titled “Music is His Voice,” published in the popular book series, “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

In December 2014, Michelle (Holmes) Ladouceur ’95 was elected court attorney for St. Lawrence County Judge Elect. She was previously a partner in the law firm of Cappello, Linden & Ladouceur, where she had worked since 2000.

Peter Speziale ’96 released “The Seabrooks,” the first book of his three-part historical saga depicting the challenges faced by a family during the Revolutionary War.

Tenor John MiddletonCox ’95 is the artistic director of the Treble Chorus of New England. He has composed and produced an original musical, collaborated with Broadway actor/director Russell Garret and has been featured in a musical theatre symposium at Berklee College of Music. Mary Rotando-Bauer ’95 was honored to be elected president of the Vermont Music Educators Association by Vermont music colleagues. She has spent 10 years as a vocalist with the professional women’s choir of Vermont, Bella Voce, and is also a recorded clarinet soloist on the new release, “Tapestry of Song,” Bella Voce’s fifth album. Elizabeth (Adinolfi) West ’95 is a discipline chair and English instructor at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. She recently had an essay

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Bridget (Palmer) Cassalia ’97 is in her fourth year with BP in Houston, TX, serves as a crude equity supply analyst position. She currently manages the Gulf of Mexico offshore equity production for the crude oil trading desk and focuses on communication and analysis between the Exploration & Production Division and Integrated Supply & Trading Global Oils Americas Division.

TELL US YOUR STORY! Do you have a funny or significant story to share about your time at Potsdam? What about a great photo? Share your story at After 29 years, Paul Proderick ’97 retired as principal with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Central School District. In June 2015, Mindy (Carlin) Cervoni ’99 took over as the president and CEO at Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled in Buffalo, NY. She previously served as the vice president of administrative services of the nonprofit agency for the past 14 years.

Historian Jason Emerson ’99 has worked as a National Park Service park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Gettysburg National Military Park and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (the Arch) in St. Louis, and as a costumed interpreter at the Genesee Country Museum in Mumford, NY. He has studied the Lincolns and the Civil War era for more than 20 years, and has written several books about the famous family.

In March, Michael Hayden ’97 & ’00 was named the superintendent of the ClydeSavannah School District in Clyde, NY, after leading it on an interim basis since June How to include us in your will (sample bequest language) 2014. Hayden previously “I give, devise and bequeath (specific dollar amount, percentage worked as an of estate, and/or residual beneficiary) to the Potsdam College instrumental Foundation, Inc., federal tax ID#23-7088021, for its and general general purposes.” music teacher in Westhamp* Specific named endowments, schools, departments, etc. may ton Beach and also be listed as designations. Sodus districts, and as a For more information visit the College’s middle school estate and gift planning page at principal in both Auburn or contact Jason Ladouceur ’94, director of planned giving, and Trumansdirectly at burg. (315) 267-2123 or As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s



2000s In December 2014, Jessica Moquin ’00 began her new role as the fundraising and marketing coordinator for Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne, NY. She serves on SUNY Potsdam’s Alumni Association Board of Trustees. Hailed as an “inspired” and “versatile” singer, soprano Jessica Stolte Bender ’00 has been performing throughout the Long Island/New York Metro area for the past 15 years. She is a recurring artist of the Opera Night series on Long Island and made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Lyric Opera Theatre in 2012. Heidi Lucas ’01 is a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she plays French horn in Eastern Standard, a faculty ensemble. Her orchestral experience includes the Louisiana Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Lancaster Philharmonic, Aspen Festival Orchestra and Atlanta Pops Orchestra. Mike McCabe ’01 became the recreation director for the Massena Recreation Department in April 2015. He previously coached nine years of prep school hockey at The Winchendon School in Massachusetts and Northwood School in Lake Placid, NY. Most recently, McCabe worked for four years with Canadian Hockey Enterprises, conducting hockey camps for youth and adults around the country.

Gregory Kane ’02 is the director and conductor of the Finger Lakes Concert Band. He currently teaches music in the Canandaigua City School District and enjoys performing as a jazz pianist and on French horn. Tony Ravinsky ’03 has been teaching in Cornwall Central Schools for the last 12 years and was recently honored as the 2014-2015 Cornwall Central Teachers Associations Teacher of the Year. He is an active member and leader in a number of professional organizations, including Orange County Music Educators Association (president), New York State School Music Association and the New York State Theatre Educators Association (board member). John Cody ’04 and his business partner, Brad Jones, opened a second location of their accounting firm, Cody & Jones CPAs, LLC, which now has offices in Nashville and Gallatin, TN. Cody also received his chartered global management accountant certification. In June 2015, soprano Regina Grimaldi ’04 made her debut appearance with the Chelsea Opera, portraying the lead role in

“Tosca.” She teaches on the faculty of Oklahoma City University, teaches private voice studio and is a widely recognized guest clinician. Raya Noreault ’04 is a licensed mental health counselor and team leader of personalized recovery oriented services for Mental Health America of Dutchess County in Beacon, NY. Joshua Dallaire ’05 was hired at both Southern New Hampshire University and Granite State College as an English adjunct professor. Sandra Jennings ’05 loves being a third grade teacher at Renaissance Charter School at Poinciana in Kissimmee, FL. “No more Northern New York winters to contend with!” President and CEO of the Lake George Music Festival Alexander Lombard ’06 was featured in the December 2014 issue of Music America, in its “30 Profiles in Courage.” In April, Laura Mooney ’06 was named the director of athletics at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. She previously served as an associate athletic director for administration/senior woman administrator at SUNY Maritime College. Jodie SchoppmannRobertson ’06, an elementary music teacher, finished fourth among women in the USA Track

and Field Marathon Championship in Los Angeles in March. She finished fourth in a time of 2 hours, 36.18 minutes, less than two minutes behind the winner, a former Olympian. Robertson participated in the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon trials, finishing 57th. She also is a 2011 inductee into the SUNY Potsdam Athletics Hall of Fame. Hugh Bigg ’08 graduated from Medical School in Chicago in Spring 2012, and graduated from pediatric residency in July 2015. He became a full-time Army staff pediatrician in Ft. Leonard Wood, MI, last year. Bigg’s future plans include applying to become a pediatric cardiology fellow, and he hopes to one day work in a community hospital, practicing general pediatric cardiology with advanced training in cardiac imaging. A Japanese native currently residing in the United States, Erika Tazawa ’08 regularly performs in solo and chamber music concerts across the U.S. and internationally. A winner of the prestigious Beverly Hills Auditions in 2013, she appeared in various chamber series presented by Southern California Chamber Music Consortium in Los Angeles. Her first album featuring solo piano music will be released internationally through Naxos in 2015.

Kyle Ashley ’09, a Ph.D.

candidate and doctoral scholar at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the department of geosciences, was awarded the 2015 College of Science Outstanding Doctoral Student. Marco Cammarota ’09 made his professional main stage debut in February 2015 at the Kentucky Opera, portraying Mitch in “A Streetcar named Desire.” Jason Matteson ’09 a drum major of the New York Metro Pipe Band from New York City, one of the top four pipe bands in the United States.


Benjamin Firer ’10 holds multiple positions outside his studies in orchestral conducting at Pennsylvania State University, including orchestra director at Juniata College, music director for Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestras and conductor for Penn State’s campus orchestra. In May 2015, Lydia Zervanos ’10 published a new book, “Singing in Greek: A Guide to Greek Lyric Diction & Vocal Repertoire,” which started off as a SUNY Potsdam Presidential Scholars project. w w




Amanda (Hayden) Franco ’10 and her husband, Brian ’08, taught sixth through 12th grade students who want to learn to form and play in a band through the Exchange Street Records at Auburn Public Theater. The couple, married since July 2013, plays in their own indie rock cover band, Molto Bene. Amanda currently teaches music at A.J. Smith Elementary in Union Springs while Brian teaches music at Weedsport Jr.-Sr. High School. Pickney Hugo Group, a full-service marketing communications firm, promoted Amber Aksterowicz ’11 of Syracuse, NY, to senior accounting coordinator. She has been with the firm for three years. U.S. Army Spc. Taylor Maningo ’11 graduated from nine weeks of basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

Jessica Petersen ’11 was promoted to musical director for Carnival Cruise Lines. Mallory (Ryders) Scahill ’11 was recently hired by the New York State Office of Parks Preservation and Historic Recreation, as a park and recreation aide, to work on several park documents for Ganondagan State Historic Site. She writes grants for the park and is co-author of the prescribed burn management plan and a cohesive invasive species management plan for the site.

Jordan Davidson ’12 recently took second place in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition, the prestigious international singing competition. Matthew Delaney ’12, owner of C-Clear Window Clearing, was selected as a VIP Member of the National Association of Distinguished Professionals.

Todd Hosmer ’12 has had incredible success as a forward in his first season with the Wichita Thunder hockey team.

Jacob Gyder ’14 was hired as the new men’s lacrosse assistant coach at Bard College in Red Hook, NY.

Robert Leabo ’12 teaches third grade at Casa Grande Elementary School in Arizona and mentors teacher candidates on how to successfully complete the edTPA.

In April 2015, TK Huff ’14 returned to his alma mater, as the Coordinator of Programs and Activities in the Center for Diversity.

Andrew Marino ’12 is a member of the Quartet Vector 218, which combines the talents of four classical guitarists at The Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University. He is on the faculty of the International School of Music in Bethesda and Cockeysville Music Education Center in Cockeysville. He also teaches the guitar methods course at Peabody to music education majors and graduate certification students. In January 2015, Army Spc. Christopher Zacharakis ’12 graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC. Award-winning harpist and vocalist Mikaela Davis ’14 is now writing her own harp music. Davis released a self-titled debut album in July 2012, and recently released an EP title, “Fortune Teller.”

BIRTHS Angela (DiVita) Frommert ’00 & ’12 and her husband, Derek, welcomed a son, Oliver David, on February 20, 2015. He joins older brother, Elliot. Carrie (Gould)

Bonekemper ’99 and her husband, Drew, welcomed twin boys on December 11, 2014. Grant William (left) weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces and measured 18.5 inches while Ryan George weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces and measured 19.5 inches long.

President’s Club

President’s Club members are Potsdam’s very special donors who give at least $1,000 each year. Thank you to those who joined the “club” in 2014-15. Did you know that, collectively, you gave more than $2.6 million in gifts to the College last year? That’s incredible, and we can’t thank you enough! The President’s Club is a distinctive giving society that recognizes alumni and friends who give $1,000 or more during the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Learn more and/or join today by contacting the Donor Relations Office at (315) 267-2855 or by emailing


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MARRIAGES Michael Marien ’81 married Amy Stacey on October 9, 2014. They reside in Fort Collins, CO. Mark Robinson ’01 and Sandra (Van Pelt) Robinson ’01 were

married on September 26, 2014, in Schaghticoke, NY. The couple celebrated their nuptials with several fellow SUNY Potsdam alumni. On June 14, 2014, Kimberly Jones ’07 & ’08 married Travis Brockway at the Knapp Station Community Church in Norwood, NY. The couple resides in Moira, NY. On October 26, 2014, Matthew Robischon ’07 married Brittany James ’10 at the Saratoga National Museum of Dance. University Police officers Shannon MacDonald and Jodi Daggett ‘98 were in attendance. The couple met at SUNY Potsdam in 2006, and resides in Morrisonville, NY. Megan Cross ’08 and Benjamin Harvey were married on July 26, 2014, at the United Community Church. The couple took

Lois W. (Whitmarsh) Campbell ’45 February 16, 2015

a honeymoon trip to the Canadian Rockies and resides in Carthage, NY. Stacey Finley ’11 and Jesse Frederick ’11 were married on November 1, 2014, at the Ridgeview Inn in Lowville, NY. The couple honeymooned in Key West, FL, and resides in Adams Center, NY. On July 18, 2014, Leanna Wilson ’12 married Benjamin Collard at the Gran View Restaurant in Ogdensburg, NY. The couple planned to honeymoon in Florida and resides in St. George’s, Grenada. ANNIVERSARIES Dennis ’70 and Carole (Quick) O’Connell ’72 celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary by

renewing their vows with Elvis in Las Vegas. The couple has two children, two children-in-law and four grandchildren, and resides in Easton, PA. Scott ’82 and Catherine (Granger) Walroth ’82 celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Bahamas followed

Geraldine “Jud” E. (Leary) Dullea ’46 March 28, 2015 Ruby C. (Carr) Donahue ’48 April 5, 2015 David C. Harrienger Sr. ’49 February 6, 2015

Andrew Dolloff ’06 wed Emily Walker on August 30, 2014, at the Holy Family Church in Syracuse, NY. Numerous fellow SUNY Potsdam graduates were in attendance. From left: Sean Flanigan ’05, Robert Fields ’07, Nick Giangiobbe, Scott Schild ’07, Andrew Doloff ’06, Anthony DeCola ’06, Emily Walker, Anna (Panzetta) Tilley ’11, Rosanna “Annie” Higgins-Schild ’05.

OBITS Gerald Normile ‘35 retired Professor of Education June 10, 2015 Mildred K. (Finnegan) Snowden ’36 April 27, 2015

Virginia R. (Sullivan) Aubry ’50 January 23, 2014 Shirley (Butler) Gassner ’50 March 6, 2015

Eleanor (Bellinger) Harwell ’37 September 29, 2012

by a surprise party given by their children. The couple has two daughters and two grandsons. On May 8, 2015, Warren Johnson ’13 celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife, Judy. The couple has three sons and daughtersin-law and six grandchildren.

Leland H. Roberts ’49 & ’53

Helen G. Brady ’52 May 7, 2015

Alfred LiCausi ’39 December 14, 2014

Jean (Parkin) Cayey ’55 February 18, 2015

William R. Orford Sr. ’41 December 26, 2014

Mary F. (McGowan) Daunais ’55 December 1, 2014

Betty (Wareing) Jeffers ’43 March 27, 2015 Joyce (Carton) Longshore ’43 April 28, 2015

Joan (Holmes) Clayton ’56 December 3, 2013 Margaret Louise (Deutermann) Stanfield ’56 April 10, 2014 Stanley V. Towne ’56 January 30, 2014

Grace I. (Spellan) Wilber ’43 March 15, 2015 Mildred (Seavey) Carney ’44 March 5, 2015

Joan C. (Anderson) Dunton ’57 January 5, 2015 Gale (Excell) Edmonds ’58 July 3, 2014 w w




Valerie (Kovalcik) Cardona ’61 May 11, 2014 Carole A. (Stewart) Finger ’61 March 26, 2015 Claudia E. (Cochrane) Wilson ’61 March 10, 2015 Shirley A. (Malette) McNally ’62 January 5, 2015 Mary-Elizabeth (Lane) Kempf ’63 January 31, 2015 Beverly (Darnell) Washburn ’63 February 25, 2015 Barbara F. (Sullivan) Van Yserloo ’64 January 15, 2013 Barbara E. (Clark) Haig ’65 April 13, 2014 Nicole C. (deVarenne) Crahan ’66 October 15, 2014 Diane A. (Nappo) Johnson ’66 January 4, 2015

Gregory R. Keefe ’68 May 8, 2015 Suzanne S. (O’Connor) Ahern ’69 February 10, 2015 Frank Ruggeri Jr. ’69 May 4, 2015 Quentin F. Siddon ’69 January 12, 2015 Andree S. (Morres) Glansberg ’70 November 27, 2014 Roger A. Wenzel ’70 March 9, 2015 Brian F. Howard ’71 February 20, 2015

Mary Jane (Joannette) McGee ’71 February 6, 2015 M. Susan (Snyder) Jorgensen ’72 December 29, 2014 Suzanne C. Urban ’72 April 15, 2015

Michael J. Wicks ’67 December 15, 2014 Lloyd V. Dashnaw ’68 March 22, 2015


Nancy D. (Engelhardt) Kreppein ’74 March 14, 2015 Janet (Kirchner) Travers ’74 July 30, 2014 Daniel H. Hulse IV ’78 January 7, 2015 Jon E. Rush ’80 November 11, 2014 Jeanne E. (Ruttan) Pitkin ’81 February 12, 2015 Marcia M. (Connelly) Eggleston ’82 March 30, 2015

Frederick “Fred” Lefflear ’71 November 28, 2014

Elizabeth “Betsy” (Knothe) Payne ’66 November 17, 2014 Constance “Connie” (Wood) VerSchneider ’66 April 29, 2015

Barbara A. Helwig ’74 June 12, 2013

Ruth (Easter) Whitney ’72 March 9, 2015 Frances C. (Bleight) Elliot ’74 July 2, 2014

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Mary J. (Lawyer) Spano ’84 November 23, 2014 Sheryl L. Hall ’85 April 4, 2014 Isabel M. McGuire ’87 March 13, 2014 John M. Miller, Jr. ’90 April 25, 2015 Thomas A. Hagelund ’93 December 5, 2014 James W. Wightman (Hon.’94) & Faculty Emeriti July 18, 1932 Silvia Valdés ’95

Michael E. Sherry ’96 November 8, 2014

Ann M. Bitely January 28, 2015

Cory T. Dalton ’00 November 4, 2014 Michael H. Jennings ’00 November 21, 2014

Stanley W. Cohen former assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. February 4, 2015 K. Wright Dunkley, faculty emeriti, dance department. May 26, 2014

Jamie L. Woodcock ’01 January 20, 2015 Cynthia M. (Davidson) Switzer ’02 January 19, 2014

George N. MacPherson, Jr. July 14, 2014 Judith T. Marcus faculty emeriti, sociology department. March 19, 2015 Marjorie J. Martz October 28, 2014

Sara B. (Houghtaling) Knowles ’05 March 2015

Rosemary Z. Misiaszek formerly employed at the College Book Store. February 24, 2015

Louis J. Landry ’09 December 28, 2014

Carl A. Peck maintenance supervisor in the Physical Plant retiring in 1984. December 15, 2014

Scott M. Dosztan ’15 January 7, 2015

Margaret L. Peck, an assistant food service manager retiring in 1978. February 14, 2015 Jonathon Wagers (Expected) ’16 February 27, 2015

EMERITI/FRIENDS Chester J. Ashley worked as an electrician for 28 years retiring in 2010. March 29, 2015 Anita B. Beattie worked for PACES Dining Services for 23 years, retiring in 1995. November 11, 2014

George W. Sullivan January 2, 2015 Michael H. Tunnell, former professor of trumpet at The Crane School of Music leaving in 1983. December 19, 2014

Deadline for class notes submissions for the Spring 2016 issue is:

October 30, 2015

Submit to:



Save the Date

SUNY Potsdam invites everyone to participate in the upcoming activities, all of which are on campus unless otherwise noted. For a complete listing of more than 350 on-campus activities, including specific dates, locations, registration and ticketing information (when applicable), visit the Campus News & Events tab on the SUNY Potsdam website at Questions can be directed to the Office of Alumni Relations at (315) 267-2120 or

CRANE AT CARNEGIE HALL Join us May 8 in NYC for a once in a lifetime concert at this prestigious concert venue. The Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall is made possible by the Adeline Maltzan Crane Chorus Performance Tour Fund, established by Dr. Gary C. Jaquay ’67.

Fall 2015 ALUMNI GATHERING AT IBM (October 14, Poughkeepsie) Join IBM colleagues and fellow alumni for a gathering at the IBM Systems Executive Briefing Center. To register, visit or call Alumni Relations at (315) 267-2120.

NYSSMA ALUMNI RECEPTION (December 4, Rochester, NY) Attending the 2015 NY State School Music Association conference in Rochester, NY. Don’t forget to visit The Crane School of Music booth and join us for the alumni reception at the Hyatt Regency. CANDLELIGHT CONCERT


(October 17 – 18) Calling all Organ alumni and friends to join us for a Reunion to be held in conjunction with the 16th annual Ranlett Organ Recital weekend. If you studied organ at Crane, took casual lessons, or are an organ enthusiast, we encourage you to attend. For more information, call (315) 267-2812 or email

(December 6, 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Hosmer Hall) Celebrate the holiday season with the Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra at one of the College’s most popular annual musical performances. No tickets required for this free concert.



(October 20, Snell Music Theater) Featuring Dimitri Pittas ’99 and Lydia Zervanos ‘10

TOUR OF THE MUSEUM OF FINE ART (November 4, Boston, MA) Visit with SUNY Potsdam President Kristin Esterberg and join us for a special tour of the MFA with docent and alum, Ann Ackerman Avery ’66. To register, visit alumni or call Alumni Relations at (315) 267-2120.

Winter 2016 (January 23, 2 p.m., NYC) Sing along with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe ’92 in a concert dedicated to America’s favorite songs. Tickets available at Join us for an alumni reception following the performance.

FLORIDA ALUMNI EVENT THE VILLAGES Palmer Legends Country Club (March 3) FLORIDA ALUMNI EVENT PIER 22, BRADENTON, FL (March 5) Live in Florida? Join us for our annual alumni gathering, catch up with college friends, and hear about the exciting things happening at SUNY Potsdam.

TEACHER EDUCATION STUDENT ASSOCIATION (TESA) (April 22-23) Calling all alumni who are school superintendents and principals: You are invited to reconnect with fellow alum and participate in a variety of sessions providing advice and encouragement to today’s students (tomorrow’s teachers!). To register, or for more information on presenting, contact Nancy Griffin at (315) 267-2112 or

BEAR PRIDE NIGHT (February 5) Cheer on your Potsdam Bears teams! Women’s basketball game at 5:30 p.m. (vs. New Paltz), men’s hockey game at 7 p.m. (vs. Cortland), and men’s basketball game at 7:30 p.m. (vs. New Paltz). If you are a Potsdam alum or a donor to the athletics program, join us for a special reception in Maxcy Room 220 (across from the Jerry Welsh Gymnasium).

A Message from Liberty Mutual

Help others enjoy the advantages of a SUNY Potsdam education.

Help support other students’ goals through Liberty Mutual’s partnership with your alma mater. Get a free quote on Liberty Mutual auto, home or renters insurance by November 30th. For each individual quote, we will donate $5 directly into the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Scholarship Fund. Visit Liberty Mutual at or call (855) 323-2150 today for a free, no-obligation quote. 1. No purchase of a policy is required. Limit one quote per policy type per person. Not available to residents in CT, FL, IA, MA, ME, MO, ND, NM, PA or to existing Liberty Mutual Insurance customers. 2. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. This organization receives financial support for allowing Liberty Mutual to offer this auto and home insurance program. Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. © 2015 Liberty Mutual Insurance

ECONOMIC FUSION (April 20) SUNY Potsdam invites alumni and businesses to celebrate entrepreneurism and innovation on campus with a series of events, including a student business plan competition, career networking and a roundtable on SUNY Potsdam’s role in regional economic activities. To participate, or for more information, contact John Wicke at (315) 267-2106 or LOUGHEED-KOFOED (LOKO) FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS (April 29 – May 8) Join us for 10 days of free arts events including theatre, music and dance performances. Visiting artists will be on campus offering workshops, readings and masterclasses. The 2016 event includes The Crane School of Music performance (April 30, 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall) of Requiem by Gabriel Fauré and other works conducted by Duain Wolfe, the 2016 Dorothy Albrecht Visiting Conductor. Check for updated event information at

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Reunion Recap

Many thanks to all our alumni and friends who returned for Reunion Weekend 2015, with over 630 alumni and friends returning home to Potsdam this summer! With beautiful Potsdam summer weather, what a wonderful weekend it was! From meeting our new President, Dr. Kristin Esterberg; celebrating our Alumni Award recipients; to past and present members of student activity and Greek groups, to attending campus seminars lead by faculty and alumni, we were reminded of the liberal arts diversity that makes SUNY Potsdam great. A very special thank you to all of our class volunteers, who together raised $830,692 in class giving. A special shout out to the 50-Year Club (all classes from 1964 and earlier) who raised an additional whopping $3,580,951, for a reunion giving total of $4,411,643! SUNY Potsdam has incredible alumni and we appreciate each and every one of you!

Reunion 2015 Feedback?

We welcome your reunion feedback! What did you like? What could we have done better? What suggestions do you have for future reunion celebrations? Feel free to complete our online survey here or e-mail the Alumni Office at alumni@potsdam. edu.

Event Photos Available Online

Photos from Reunion Weekend 2015 are available to view and purchase through SUNY Potsdam’s Flickr account, at

It’s Not Too Soon to Plan For Our Bicentennial Reunion in 2016!

The 2016 Bicentennial Reunion Weekend will be held July 14 – 17, which will include special bicentennial events. Mark your calendars now, as 2016 is a year not to miss! We want Reunion 2016 to be one of the best ever, so contact your friends and the groups you were affiliated with and start making plans for 2016! Contact if your former student organization would like to participate in Reunion 2016 by November 6, 2015. All classes, from 2011 to 1966 will also be recognized as celebrating their milestones during 2016 and reunion class chairs and volunteers are needed. Contact us now if you are interested! Items are needed for the Bicentennial Reunion Silent Auction, so start planning now!

2015 Reunion Class Gifts At Reunion each year, classes celebrating significant anniversaries present Class Gifts to the College. Thank you to 2015 Reunion committee members, who made lots of phone calls, sent emails and letters and used social media to reach classmates and encourage them to show their support! Many alumni honor their Reunion celebration by going above and beyond their typical annual giving. All gifts from each class, regardless of designation, are counted in each class’s Reunion total. Gifts to the College’s Annual Fund for Potsdam support a variety of vital resources and financial support for research, student travel, equipment, technology, scholarships and so much more. As reported at Reunion Weekend 2015 in July, $4,411,643 was given by alumni. A special thanks to our generous Potsdam alums!

Class Chair(s) 2010 5th Reunion 2005 10th Reunion* Kyle Fennell Bishal Thapa

Reunion 2015 Giving Totals $18,352 $4,249

2000 15th Reunion 1995 20th Reunion*** 1990 25th Reunion*

$6,519 $81,912 $40,348

1985 30th Reunion 1980 35th Reunion 1975 40th Reunion*** 1970 45th Reunion

$6,864 $81,696 $284,989 $21,226

1965 50th Reunion*


Lisa (Vastola) Damiani Chris Hemedinger Joe Scaffido

Diane Day

Judy Allen Louise (Centofanti) Lamby Elaine (Froehlich) Seberg 50 Year Club** Virginia Rose Cayey Anne Stephen Cook Robert Farmer

Grand total including the 50 Year Club



* The 10th, 25th and 50th Reunion classes are recognized as celebrating a “milestone” Reunion year. ** The 50 Year Club includes all classes prior to the one celebrating their 50th Reunion. The 50 Year Club set an all-time giving record

Class of 1965


P O T S D A M P E O P L E FA L L 2 0 1 5


own words

Campus Visit 1955 Here’s one more page from Ron and Jo Farra’s scrapbook of their Potsdam years, pasting an important newspaper article on some old campus letterhead. The clipping documents a visit that First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt made to Potsdam State Teachers College in 1955, to attend the Spring Festival of the Arts. While on campus, she met with President Frederick W. Crumb and Crane School of Music Dean Helen M. Hosmer. She also saw the College’s growing modern art collection and attended a theatre production of “Inherit the Wind.” Roosevelt wrote about the College in her syndicated column, “My Day,” soon after the visit: “I had a feeling that real appreciation of the arts was going forward at the college. I think this is one of the most important things that can be done for our young people, and I was grateful for the opportunity to see what they were accomplishing.” —First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

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44 Pierrepont Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676

It’s Not Too Soon to Plan for Reunion 2016! Mark Your Calendars Now to Join us for our Bicentennial Reunion

7.14.16 - 7.17.16 For more information, visit

Fall 2015 Potsdam People  

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of The State University of New York at Potsdam Fall 2015 Issue.