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

Fall 2013 Vol. 8 | No.1


The Campaign for Potsdam

Preparing to Launch Potsdam’s Third Century


snapshot I aspire to be an impactful person wherever I go. Helping others see light in their darkest hours drives me to my profession in social work and counseling… At Potsdam, I have gained leadership, experience and advocacy. I work hard to give back to my campus what has been given to me – an opportunity that I couldn’t afford to see. -Tanasia Betts scholarship recipient and winner of the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher was on hand to congratulate Potsdam on being the first SUNY institution to launch its third campaign. Along with Chancellor Zimpher at the New York City event was scholarship recipient and 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence winner Tanasia Betts ‘13 who performed her original spoken word composition for guests.


Bob Fabbio ’79 Combining Chemistry and Computer Science for a life of entrepreneurship.

Welcoming new generations into a larger world.


Dr. Michael J. ’80 & Mrs. Jill (King) Komar ’80

On the cover: Sophomore Theatre Major Alexa Alfonsi helps us represent Potsdam’s launch into the third century through Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam. Alexa and classmates in Theatre and Dance will be preparing to move into the new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center scheduled to open in January 2014 with classes and performances for the Spring semester including hosting artists from around the world for the Lougheed Festival of the Arts in late April. For a complete list of performances and events on campus visit: www.potsdam. edu/newsandevents/.

Dr. Elliot A. Del Borgo ’60 Mourning the loss of friend and mentor.

Marilyn Clouden ’75 Living a life of service and independence.

Departments News & Notes 3 Class Notes 18 In Their Own Words 27 Alumni: Save The Date 28 Reunion Wrap Up 29

14Preparing to

Launch Potsdam’s Third Century Taking the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam

Potsdam People is printed using VOC free inks, 100% Certified Renewable Energy and paper that is certified by the Rainforest Alliance to the FSC® standards.


Reunion Wrap Up

Record breaking construction couldn’t stop record breaking reunion attendance…read more on p. 29

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Letter From

the president

FA L L 2013


’m told that my first few weeks in Potsdam were typical…. running into campus faculty and staff at the market, talking to a bank employee who recently graduated, attending a jazz concert in Hosmer Hall along with 400+ Crane Youth Music participants, enjoying a production of the CPS musical “Hairspray” performed in Snell Hall, and even visiting with a SUNY Potsdam student who has a summer internship with the state park service, at the top of Mt. Azure! I knew this campus was interwoven into the fabric of the North Country, but it has been something to experience first-hand. It’s a real pleasure to join the SUNY Potsdam family as your interim President. Having served for 16 years as President of SUNY Fredonia, I am well aware of the extraordinary reputation this college enjoys as a dynamic liberal arts campus. The quality of this institution was one of the reasons I willingly came out of retirement to help lead this campus at this pivotal time. The pending opening of the new Performing Arts Center, the summer renovation of the Maxcy Hall Ice Arena and numerous science laboratories, the many new scholarships and program endowments resulting from the recently launched Take the Lead Campaign, the attendance of 775 alumni (a record!) at the 2013 Reunion Weekend and the ongoing planning for a 2016 Bicentennial celebration all make this an exciting time to be on the SUNY Postdam campus. My academic discipline is economics, and in addition to serving 16 years as a SUNY president, I have held a number of administrative and faculty positions in Minnesota, California, Maryland and Washington, as well as serving as a researcher in both industry and government. This background has allowed me to focus on how to expand and effectively steward resources to ensure the best learning environment for students. In addition to serving the needs of students, I also believe public universities have an obligation to provide both cultural programming and economic development support to the region. Over the coming months, I plan to build upon our academic and cultural strengths, expand student enrollment, initiate partnerships to support regional economic development and help lead a Presidential search process to secure a person worthy of being the next leader of SUNY Potsdam. I have had the privilege of already meeting several of the College’s generous alumni and friends, and have been impressed with the deep love they have for Potsdam. I look forward to getting to know more of you during the coming year.

Vol. 8 | No. 1

Potsdam People Staff and Contributors EditorS Deborah Dudley, Director of Marketing and Communications Emily Hutchison, Director of Development Mona Ouimet Vroman ’85, Director of Alumni Relations WriterS Sarah Carr ‘08, Public Affairs Assistant Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Communications & Government Relations Deidre Kelly, Writer Web Manager Mindy Thompson, Director of Web Communications Contributors David T. Britt ‘73, Director of Business Planning and Analysis Dan Bronson ‘03, Sports Information Director Christa Carroll, Director of Annual Giving Nancy Griffin (Hon. ‘08), Development Officer Jason Ladouceur ’94, Director of Planned Giving Sarah Henderson 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 Laura Stevenson (Hon. ’07), Alumni & Donor Relations

Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Vice President for College Advancement

Sincerely, Design & Art Direction J. P. Manke, Graphic Designer/Production Artist


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Dennis L. Hefner Interim President

PHOTOGRAPHY Kathryn Deuel, Principal Photograper


news & notes


SUNY Potsdam Launches Take the Lead Campaign

Walker Family Endows Scholarship for Native American Students

In April, SUNY Potsdam celebrated the launch of Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam. On April 17, festivities began in New York City, where Honorary Campaign Co-Chair Stephanie Blythe ’92 hosted and honored some of the Campaign’s most generous donors during an evening of celebration and music. Joined by National Campaign Co-Chairs Lisa Vroman ’79 and Michael Galane ’74, members of the Crane Opera Ensemble and other students, the evening was a reminder of the immense passion and talent that is developed and nurtured at SUNY Potsdam. A large campus celebration officially kicked off the campaign on April 26. Hundreds of Potsdam family members were joined by Honorary Campaign Co-Chair T.C. Boyle ’68 and National Campaign Co-Chair Michael Galane ’74. Guests enjoyed performances by the Crane Latin Ensemble, the Potsdam Pitches and a phenomenal group of student dancers. Faculty and students were on hand to entertain guests with demonstrations and exhibits showcasing their programs. Double Axel also performed for the group. The campaign goal is to raise $27 million by 2016. Visit to see photos, videos, progress and priorities.

Mr. T. Urling and Mrs. Mabel B. Walker are pictured with Sheila Marshall, director of SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Diversity, and the Walkers’ daughter, Laurel W. Pike.

Mr. and Mrs. T. Urling Walker have touched the lives of many people in Northern New York. Since moving to Watertown as a young couple in 1951, they have given generously and worked tirelessly to make the North Country a better place to live, work, attend college, raise a family, or just to visit and enjoy the beauty and culture of the region. In establishing the T. Urling Walker and Mabel B. Walker Family Fund for Native American Students at SUNY Potsdam, former Foundation Trustee Tom and Mabel wish to help Native people achieve the goal of a college education, particularly Native Americans living in the Northern New York/Southern Ontario region. CAMPAIGN News

Employee Donors Compete in Support of the College Campaign Steering Committee members celebrate in New York City. Pictured are Michael Galane ’74, VP for Advancement Vicki Templeton-Cornell, Lynne Boles ’74, Deborah Diefendorf Hind ’75, Gary Hind ’77, Lisa Vroman ’79 and Stephanie Blythe ’92.

Joining the Campaign celebration on campus are members of the Campaign Steering Committee: William Flynn ’70, Lynne Boles ’74, T.C. Boyle ’68, Michael Galane ’74, Gary Hind ’77 and Deborah Diefendorf Hind ’75.

During the 2012-13 academic year, the campus Annual Giving Group was formed, comprised of campus volunteers from all areas of the College. The Group planned Team Challenge 2013, a new, fun competition encouraging employee giving. The campus was divided into nine “teams” based upon broad program areas. Winners in the categories of highest percentage of giving, as well as the most improved giving participation over the previous year were recognized. Team Libraries (representatives pictured above) won in both categories for 2013! In total, 280 employees made gifts during the 2012-13 fiscal year. All funds raised support the Take the Lead Campaign.

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news & notes student spotlight

STUDENt spotlight

SUNY Potsdam Students Partake in Habitat Management Project The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation completed a number of environmental stewardship projects to prevent the spread of invasive species, protect rare plants and animals, and improve natural habitat at parks across the state. SUNY Potsdam faculty member Dr. Glenn Johnson’s habitat management project for rare turtles at Wellesley Island State Park in Jefferson County received $10,000. The area is home to several turtle species deemed to be “species of greatest conservation need,” including one that is listed as threatened in New York and Ontario. This project expanded an open, sparsely vegetated area with good sun exposure and relatively loose soils, tripling the size of the ideal nesting habitat in the park. SUNY Potsdam students will monitor the impact of these changes and determine the success of this nesting habitat creation. “This is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate and cooperate with agencies that are responsible for the management of these rare species and to engage students in work that is directly related to their future careers,” Johnson said.

SUNY Potsdam Students Uncover Mathematics of Ancient Cultures

Under the instruction of Dr. Blair Madore and Dr. Cheryl Miller from SUNY Potsdam and Dr. Jeanna Matthews from Clarkson University, eight students traveled to Mexico in January 2013 to participate in hands-on learning experiences involving Meso-American culture and mathematics through a SUNY Potsdam study abroad course. SUNY Potsdam has a partnership with The Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo in Mexico, but this was the first time that students were able to travel there. The math component of the trip made this one of the most unique study abroad programs Potsdam has offered to date. The students had several chances to interact and explore with students from UAEH. Class work included scavenger hunts, tours of museums and math puzzles and projects, to teach students about ancient mathematics.

student spotlight

SUNY Potsdam Softball Team Participates in Adopt-A-Bear-Cub Program The SUNY Potsdam softball team is a participant in Potsdam Central School’s Adopt-A-Bear-Cub program at the Lawrence Avenue Elementary School. This program pairs elementary school children one-on-one with college students who help them with homework and other school projects. After receiving a grant from the New York State Department of Health, the Adopt-A-Bear-Cub program was able to expand and offer more support to the 60 program participants. development & awards

Three SUNY Potsdam Alumni Take Home Grammy Awards Three SUNY Potsdam alumni took home Grammys at the 55th annual awards show. The graduates included superstar soprano Renée Fleming ’81, internationally acclaimed mezzosoprano Stephanie Blythe ’92 and accomplished recording engineer Pete Reiniger ’72.

ATTENTION: This fall, a new SUNY Potsdam alumni online directory will be available to all of our alumni. Many options will be available for you to access classmates and friends. This will be an “opt-out system,” but you will be able to select information that you want to make viewable on your profile.

Renée Fleming ’81

Blythe earned her first Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, as part of the cast of the “Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen” album.

You will be able to access the directory at the Alumni Relations homepage: More information on this exciting project will be made available via social media and email, stay tuned!

Fleming earned her fourth Grammy, taking home the award for Best Classical Vocal Solo for her album “Poèmes.”

Stephanie Blythe ’92

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings Sound Production Supervisor Pete Reiniger won his third Grammy for his work on the album “Imaginaries” by Quetzal, in the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album category. Pete Reiniger ’72 (Photo Credit:


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news & notes

student spotlight

Students Volunteer for Martin Luther King Service Day More than 100 SUNY Potsdam students piled into buses and vans and set off to volunteer their time, helping the Salvation Army, Helping Hands and other groups for the College’s first Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. They were split into groups and dispatched to five locations. Some stayed close to campus, cleaning out kennels at Photos by Jason Hunter, Watertown the Potsdam Daily Times Humane Society, while others took a longer trip to the Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club. Sheila M. Marshall, director of SUNY Potsdam’s Center for Diversity, organized the event.

College News

Thomas Palmatier ’75 Addresses Graduates at Commencement On May 19, U.S. Army Band Leader and Commander Colonel Thomas H. Palmatier ’75 addressed approximately 750 bachelor’s graduates, along with hundreds of their family members and friends. The Crane School of Music alumnus offered the keynote address to the SUNY Potsdam Class of 2013, whom he joined as the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Music degree. “Don’t make this an ending, make it a beginning,” he encouraged students. Palmatier, who is the ninth commander of the U.S. Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” is currently the senior military musician in the Department of Defense. Originally from Ballston Spa, N.Y., Col. Palmatier earned his Bachelor of Music degree, magna cum laude, in applied music from SUNY Potsdam in 1975, and went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree in music from Truman State University in Kirksville. He also later completed a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College. Col. Palmatier was honored with the 2010 Minerva Award by the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association. He and his wife, Shirley, are leadership donors to the Take the Lead Campaign, having endowed the Band Guest Artist Fund for Crane’s major wind and percussion ensembles.

College News

Longtime NYS Education Curriculum Director Edward Marschilok ‘74 Addresses SUNY Potsdam Master’s Graduates Dr. Edward S. Marschilok ’74, respected music educator and retired supervisor of the New York State Department of Education’s Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology Team, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Master’s Commencement Ceremony. He was also presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the ceremony, before addressing approximately 140 master’s graduates, along with their

families and friends. Dr. Marschilok choked up as he remembered his close relationship with faculty such as Professor C. Robert Reinert and Elizabeth Baritaud.

“They were the first in a long line of Potsdam people who played important roles in supporting my personal and professional development. You see, Potsdam people are very special people, who have real expertise and genuinely care about the people with whom they meet and work,” he said. “Without the kindness and care extended to me by many Potsdam people, I would not be here today. I hope I have honored them by carrying on the tradition of expertise in the field and care for our fellow humans in my work—and that you will as well.”

Show your pride with a

SUNY Potsdam Visit or call 1 (800) 853-5576 ext. 8723 to learn more.




news & notes College News

College News

PACES Receives Highest Marks on Food Service in Student Survey The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) survey analyzes customer opinions about everything from the taste of campus food to the cleanliness of the dining rooms. PACES Dining Services scored higher than the national average in every single category, including general satisfaction, food quality, value, service, nutritional content, healthy choices, vegetarian choices, variety and freshness. PACES was also awarded the No. 1 ranking in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey project in September 2012, which collected information and opinions to assess and study quality of life issues on SUNY campuses. PACES Dining Services offers more on-campus dining options than any other campus of its size in the SUNY system, working with local farmers to purchase as many local and regional products as possible. College News

Princeton Review Names SUNY Potsdam Among Most Environmentally Responsible Colleges SUNY Potsdam has been selected as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition.” SUNY Potsdam has established a sustainability and operations coordinator position, installed a new co-generation plant and is building the LEED-certified Performing Arts Center. The College’s Dining Services also has taken several steps, including eliminating some plastic items, working to get more local crops in dining halls, and composting waste. The College has installed 150 high-efficiency washers and dryers, and an assortment of other energy-saving efforts. College News

Performing Arts Center Set to Open The faculty and staff from the Department of Theatre and Dance are scheduled to move into the newly constructed Performing Arts Center in December 2013. Classes and performances will begin in January 2014. The building features 97,000 square feet of state-of-the-art learning and performance space, including a 350-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat black box theater, a 200-seat dance performance hall, a video and recording studio and an education lab.

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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Major Maxcy Hall Ice Arena Renovation Nearly Complete Forty years after the Maxcy Hall Ice Arena was constructed, SUNY Potsdam is nearing completion on major renovations to the facility. This $8.7 million project features several new amenities and a larger ice surface. Maxcy Hall will continue to be one of the leading athletics venues in the North Country and in Division III. Join the campus and community at the Ice Arena Grand Opening ceremonies on October 19 and November 2, 2013. For a complete schedule of events, to view photos and videos of the project, and to learn more about permanent naming opportunities (large and small), visit: new initiatives

NYSERDA Announces Energy-Efficient Projects at SUNY Potsdam The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) awarded a total of $386,000 in incentives for two energy efficiency projects at SUNY Potsdam, which will save the College an estimated $130,000 and result in the avoidance of more than 692 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. The projects, at Potsdam’s new Performing Arts Center and at its central chiller plant, support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to reduce energy consumption in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years. “These energy efficiency projects signify SUNY Potsdam’s firm commitment to reducing its environmental footprint in an effort to create a more sustainable New York,” said Governor Cuomo. “We are committed to supporting efforts like these through our Build Smart NY initiative, which will not only create jobs and reduce costs, but increase New York’s energy security.” In addition, NYSERDA’s New Construction Program awarded $109,000 to help SUNY Potsdam offset the incremental cost of measures that enable the Performing Arts Center to operate at higher efficiency levels than New York State energy code.


news & notes

student spotlight

Inaugural Mr. SUNY Potsdam Crowned “May I have the envelope, please? The winner of the first Mr./Ms. Universe-ity Contest at SUNY Potsdam is … Jeffrey Kerr ’13, representing the Potsdam PointerCounts!” The student group Emerging Leaders took to the Barrington Multi-Purpose Room last spring, to crown one student worthy of the title “Mr. SUNY Potsdam” or “Ms. SUNY Potsdam.” The competition hosted contestants from 10 different student organizations vying for the inaugural individual title, and also a prize of $250 to be awarded to their club or group. The contestants competed in three categories: Potsdam pride, academic knowledge in their field of study and talent. Students raised $755 from sales of admission tickets for the 2012-13 Student Gift, benefiting the Annual Fund for Potsdam. College News

College News

KeyBank Donates to SUNY Potsdam’s “Branching Out With Books”

KeyBank’s Key Foundation recently awarded a $9,000 grant to “Branching Out With Books,” a collaborative literacy program between SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University that provides college students with an important hands-on learning experience working with approximately 400 high-need children throughout the school year at Jefferson Elementary School in Massena, HermanDeKalb Central School, Madrid-Waddington Elementary School and the Akwesasne St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. In addition to the grant, KeyBank employees will also serve as volunteers for the program in the coming year. Accepting the donation from Craig Chevalier, branch manager for KeyBank in Potsdam, were SUNY Potsdam representatives Nancy Griffin (Hon. ’08) (left) and Tina Wilson Bush ’89, director of the College’s Sheard Literacy Center, along with Carol Smith, Corporate and Foundation Relations, St. Lawrence University, and Dr. Marta Albert of SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Literacy Education.

SUNY Potsdam Holds Mock Interviews for Business Students Several members of the Business Administration Advisory Council met on campus in April to conduct mock interviews with Business Administration and Music Business students preparing for internships and employment after graduation. Council members participating in the program were (front row from left): Debra Catlin Copeletti ’76, retired project manager for printed packaging, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals/NYC; Jarrett Felton ’04, financial services representative, Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management, Rochester; Duane Pelkey ’89, vice president and commercial banking team leader, Community Bank, Northern New York; Achille Cavatassi ’04, relationship manager for JP Morgan Chase Bank, Rochester; and (back row from left): Michael Beacham ’79, assistant vice president for sales and marketing support, Columbian Financial Group, Syracuse; James Wilkes ’10, global business consulting, IBM; Sarah Parker Ward ’09, marketing and media relations specialist, Bid for Your Benefit New York, Saratoga Springs; Dr. Joe Timmerman, chair of SUNY Potsdam’s Department of Business Administration; Pamela Griffin ’11, account executive, United Communications Corp., Watertown; Mark Hassenplug ’83, president, Maetrics, LLC, Malvern, PA; Joseph DeMart, retired executive director, St. Lawrence County Housing Council. Not pictured: Joshua LaFave ’03, SUNY Potsdam’s director of graduate studies and Rob Zolner, co-founder and sales associate, Northern Music & Video, Potsdam, and adjunct professor with SUNY Potsdam’s Crane Institute for Music Business.

Interim President Dennis Hefner discusses SUNY Potsdam with Governor Cuomo during a recent visit to the North Country.

President’s Club members are leading by example! Thank you to those who have joined the President’s Club this year. You are, quite literally, changing lives at SUNY Potsdam and for that we are most grateful. 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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news & notes

student spotlight

SUNY Potsdam Business Students Take First Place in International Competition

campaign news

Endowment Provides for Live Streaming of Crane Performances

In April, a team of SUNY Potsdam business administration students won first place with their presentation, “Ethical Issues in the Pharmaceutical Industry: The Generic Drug Compounding Crisis,” in the International Business Ethics Case Competition in San Diego, CA. The IBECC is the oldest and most-recognized business ethics competition of its kind. The students’ faculty adviser was Dr. Edwin Portugal, professor of strategic and global management in the Department of Business Administration, who accompanied the students to the competition.

SUNY Potsdam’s winning team consisted of (pictured from left): Rakshitha Purushotham ’13 of Rexford, NY; Monica Schulz ’13 of Malone, NY; and Lauren Caiazza ’16 of Gansevoort, NY. The women won over teams from Dartmouth College, the College of the Holy Cross, the University of Navarra in Barcelona, Spain, and the University of St. Thomas.

student spotlight

Order of OMEGA Inducts First Members The Chi Psi Chapter, Order of Omega, the national honor society for Greek students, held its installation for their charter members and Beta class in April in the Fireside Lounge at SUNY Potsdam. Chartered in 2012 as an initiative of the All-Greek Council and as a part of the Greek Life Strategic Plan, the organization welcomed 18 members at its first induction ceremony.

Through a generous gift from Gail Haynes Stradling ’64 and her husband, Richard Stradling, performances at The Crane School of Music, offered in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater and the Hosmer M. Hosmer Concert Hall can now be enjoyed live via the Internet. The Stradlings have also established the Gail and Richard Stradling Technology Endowment for The Crane School of Music, which will provide ongoing support for the technology infrastructure needed to offer live streaming into the future. Streamed events will begin with the Crane Candlelight Concert on Sunday, December 8, 2013, followed by the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra performance of “Carmina Burana” on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Visit www. for a full list of performances and streamed events.

Alumni News

Order of Omega is a leadership honor society for members of Greek organizations, recognizing juniors and seniors who have exemplified high standards in the areas of scholarship, leadership and involvement within their respective organization and within the Greek, campus and local communities. Members are selected from the top three percent of students at each institution. Members of the charter Potsdam class include Marielle Araujo (Omega Delta Phi), Sara Behuniak ’14 (Sigma Gamma Phi), Katie Binder ’15 (Sigma Gamma Phi), Stephanie Codd ’13 (Zeta Gamma Sigma), Tyler Gardiner ’14 (Delta Lambda Nu), Diana Gugino ’14 (Alpha Sigma Tau), Kellsie Jensen ’13 Col. Thomas H. Palmatier ’75 Col. Michael J. Colburn (Hon. ’12) (Zeta Gamma Sigma), Christopher Knight ’13 (Phi Mu SUNY Potsdam Grads Part of Inauguration Alpha), Amber Perkins ’13 SUNY Potsdam was well represented during President Barack (Omega Delta Phi) and Jana Obama’s second inauguration on January 21, 2013. The direcFront row (L to R): Perkins, Faiella, Gapezynski and Prager ’13 (Omega Delta Phi). tors of two military bands regaling the President have roots at Schumacher. Back row (L to R): Binder, Dustin, Godzwon, The Crane School of Music. The U.S. Army Band, directed by Jensen, Codd, Gardiner, Fritzching, Araujo and Prager. The Beta class members are Col. Thomas H. Palmatier ’75, led the President’s parade as it Nickisha Dustin ’14 (Delta Lambda Nu), Taylor Faiella ’15 (Omega Delta Phi), worked its way from the Capitol to the White House. The U.S. Megan Fritzching ’15 (Omega Delta Phi), Gabrielle Gapezynski (Omega Delta Marine Band, also known as “The President’s Own,” led by Phi), Asia Godzwon ’14 (Zeta Gamma Sigma), Raychel Rider (Omega Delta Phi) Col. Michael J. Colburn (Hon. ’12), also performed during the and Marianne Schumacher (Omega Delta Phi). inaugural ceremonies.

Check out the new SUNY Potsdam alumni Facebook page. Be sure to “like” us at: The SUNY Potsdam alumni group will be discontinued in a few months, so like us now so that you don’t miss out! 8

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news & notes

Bears Student-Athletes Recognized for Academics

SUNY Potsdam student-athletes competing in fall sports were recognized by the State University of New York Athletic Conference for academic success during Fall 2012. A total of 38 studentathletes were named to the All-Academic List, which includes players maintaining a minimum 3.3 grade point average for the semester. Twentythree of the 38 were also given Commissioner’s List accolades for having carried a minimum 3.3 GPA over three consecutive semesters at Potsdam. Nineteen Bears were named to both the All-Academic List and the Commissioner’s List.

Women’s Volleyball Team Supports CPH and Humane Society

The SUNY Potsdam volleyball team recently raised money during the Section X Basketball Tournament for Canton-Potsdam Hospital and the Potsdam Humane Society. The Bears sold concessions throughout the 2013 high school playoffs at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium. The team raised $2,600 during the course of the event. The team donated $1,300 to the Pediatrics Division of the hospital and then visited the Humane Society to present them with a check for $1,300.

Front row from left: Alexandra Romaniello ’16, Gabriele Arana ’15 and Cassandra Chase ’16. Back row from left: Tia Wright ’15, Jenna Blujus ’14, Aliza Fields ’15 and Sharon Ofori ’16.

Swimmers Taylor and Ringer Claim 2012-13 Maxcy/Molnar Awards

Senior swimmers Alexander Taylor and Liz Ringer were named Maxcy/Molnar Award winners for the 2012-13 season at the annual Maxcy Awards Banquet. The Maxcy/Molnar Award is presented to one male and one female student-athlete who best combine the qualities of sportsmanship, leadership, scholarship and athletic achievement.

Weigel Earns All-Conference Honor

The State University of New York Athletic Conference named SUNY Potsdam sophomore lacrosse player Bailey Weigel to its All-Conference second team. She led SUNYAC and was 14th in the nation with a Potsdam single-season record 96 draw controls, placing her fifth on the school’s all-time list after just one season.

Fremont Named Men’s Lacrosse All-American

Men’s lacrosse senior Brady Fremont earned a spot on the 2013 United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division III AllAmerica third team, the organization announced in May. Fremont, a captain from Syracuse, NY, is the Bears’ second All-American in the last three years and is the seventh in Potsdam lacrosse history. He joins the company of current assistant coach Rashaun Durden ’12, Ryan Hanretty ’05, Brian Austin ’01, John Ivery ’95, Chris Mele ’87 and Joseph Schoener ’84. This season, Fremont was named to the State University of New York Athletic Conference first team and helped the Bears earn a bid to the SUNYAC playoffs.

Thayer Named to All-SUNYAC Team

Softball player Ashley Thayer ’14 has been named to the All-State University of New York Athletic Conference’s second team for the 2013 season. Thayer, a junior pitcher and designated player, played in all 32 of the Bears’ games this season and made 30 starts. Thayer is one of the top pitchers in Bears history.

Men’s Hockey Holds Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Weekend

The SUNY Potsdam men’s hockey team raised awareness for cystic fibrosis during its final home weekend of the 2012-13 season. The Bears hosted two local children who are afflicted with the disease during their games against Oswego and Cortland. Joining Potsdam for the two contests were 10-year-old Hunter Cooke of Hogansburg and two-and-a-half-year-old Claire Nezezon of Norwood. Cooke, the son of Marla and Chris Jacobs, joined the team as an honorary Bear through the Team Impact organization back in October. Claire is the daughter of Chris and Jessica Nezezon and granddaughter of Dayna Cole, who works in SUNY Potsdam’s Office of Curriculum and Instruction.

Taylor Repeats as 200 Breaststroke Champ with SUNYAC Record

Senior Alexander Taylor ’13 repeated as SUNYAC Champion in the 200 breaststroke with a conference record time of 2:05.48. Taylor finished first in the 200 breaststroke preliminary, breaking his own SUNYAC meet record with a time of 2:06.48 and then was a second faster to top Geneseo’s Ken Pink’s 2010 mark in the final.

Pierce Named to Third Straight All-SUNYAC Team

SUNY Potsdam senior captain Curtis Pierce ’13 was named to the 2012-13 All-SUNYAC Men’s Basketball third team. A forward from Brooklyn, N.Y., Pierce concluded a spectacular career at Potsdam. The senior finished seventh in scoring (17.3 ppg), fifth in rebounding (7.0 rpg), fourth in three-point percentage (.400) and third in steals (53) in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. He concludes his career tied for sixth place on Potsdam’s all-time scoring list with 1,447 points and claims sole possession of the sixth spot on the all-time rebounding list with 725 boards.

Stokes Named Bears Volleyball Coach SUNY Potsdam Athletic Director James Zalacca announced Josh Stokes ’09 as the Bears’ new head volleyball coach. Stokes leaves Southern Vermont College to return to Potsdam, where he served as an assistant under departing head coach Steve Pike ’97.

Five Bears Named to AllSUNYAC Team

Five SUNY Potsdam men’s lacrosse players received All-State University of New York Athletic Conference honors. Senior midfielder Brady Fremont was named to the first team, while senior midfielder Derek Frost and senior goalie Stefan Sloma were both named to the second team. In addition, juniors Rob Kunz and Jeff Love both were awarded honorable mention status.

Eight Women’s Hockey Players Named to ECAC West AllAcademic Team

Eight members of the SUNY Potsdam women’s hockey team have been named to the ECAC Women’s West All-Academic team for the 20122013 season. Seniors Nadine Cunningham, Jen Conophy and Katie Komsa, juniors Brittany Lucky and Dawna Salvarinas, and sophomores Izzy Fayerman, Emilee Hazelden and Alexandra Holowka each represent the Bears on the team.

Bears Hall of Fame Class of 2013 Three former SUNY Potsdam student-athletes and two Potsdam championship teams were selected for induction into the Bears Hall of Fame in 2013. Edane Barton ’06, Chris Lee ’04, Chris Mele ’87, the 1972-73 Wrestling Team and the 1995-96 Men’s Ice Hockey Team are the Class of 2013. Barton, Lee, Mele and the wrestlers were inducted during a ceremony in July as part of Reunion Weekend. The hockey team will be inducted during the Grand Opening of the renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena on November 2, 2013.

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Bob Fabbio Potsdam


By Deidre Kelly


lmost 35 years after graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and computer science, awardwinning entrepreneur Bob Fabbio ’79 got a call he did not quite expect from a fellow alumnus, SUNY Potsdam Director of Planned Giving, Jason Ladouceur ’94. The conversation led to a visit with Fabbio that vividly brought him back to the two years he attended Potsdam in the late 70s. Until that meeting, Fabbio had spent a lot of his life as an entrepreneur as well as an avid ballroom dancer but had not spent much time contemplating Potsdam’s impact on him, but the result was profound and gave Fabbio a new appreciation for what his short time at Potsdam taught him and h ow much it continues to influence his life today. A self-described “nerd,” Fabbio spent the majority of his time working hard to double major by taking 19 to 21 credits per semester, which didn’t leave much time for social activities. When he wasn’t hitting the books, Fabbio was interning in the chemistry lab where he assisted other students in getting the supplies they needed. “Potsdam has been so beneficial to me. I learned to work hard; I worked my fanny off,” he recalled. “I was there to get a good education. I remember my father said to me just before starting college, ‘The next four years or your life are the most important. You can go and get the education you need to be successful or you can screw around and have fun.’ I listened to him.” Fabbio initially earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Chemistry from Mohawk Valley Community College as a pre-med student thinking he wanted to be-

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come a doctor. However, one summer class he took in computer programming changed his entire plan. “I fell in love with computers, but I didn’t want to abandon my chemistry courses. I looked at what colleges I could attend and do both. Potsdam had a great reputation in science but an even better one in computer science,” he said. “My education was rigorous, and it taught me to be mature, work hard and think critically.” In the end, in just two short years he completed 53 hours of chemistry work and all but one computer science course that would have allowed him to earn an independent four-year computer science degree. “I had to work my rear end off in chemistry to get A’s and B’s. Then I would do my computer science work, and it was like playing a game; it was fun,” he said. “I do regret that I didn’t finish that one class.” Fabbio remembered Potsdam as being a wonderfully nurturing environment. “Anytime I needed help on academics, professors were available to help,” he said. “We learned tremendous things there that were really cutting-edge. At my first job, I used some of the education I learned at Potsdam. My bosses and peers were very impressed that I knew certain computer science algorithms that others did not.” But more important than the chemistry formulas and programming language, Potsdam taught Fabbio the value of thinking outside the box. “It was the place that started helping me to critically think. That is so important in business; you have to pay attention and think deeply and critically. The academic experience really began to teach to me do that,” he recalled. Now with more than 25 years of distinguished experience launching, funding, growing, and managing innovative companies under his belt, Fabbio has exhibited a transformational impact on the software, systems technology and healthcare industries resulting in the creation of more than $1.5 billion of shareholder value at time of exit. Fabbio recently stepped down as the CEO and Chairman of WhiteGlove Health, an at-home and at-work healthcare providing company he created in 2006 where he drove triple-digit growth year after year and “excellent” customer satisfaction ratings of 97 percent. Now as a partner in Capital Factory, he is focusing on giving back to those who are

looking for their own path to entrepreneurship. The company identifies and nurtures capital efficient technology startups in Austin, Texas. “I haven’t decided if I’m going to start another company or not, so in the meantime I’m helping young entrepreneurs be successful. I mentor those who are trying to do it for the first time and need help,” Fabbio said. “The Capital Factory workspace is so dynamic. I told my wife [Monica] it is like walking into a young Google. It is eclectic with young, vibrant talent who bring their ideas into a free-flowing environment.” He credits a portion of his success to the critical thinking skills he learned at Potsdam, which allow him to visualize beyond the typical paradigm. “I can look at something and see things differently,” he said. “Nothing is more gratifying than being in a room with a small group of three or four people and having this very rough idea that you gradually grow into a company. Then at the first holiday party you have a group of 10 or 12 people, and at the next party you have 40 people, and at the next party you have 80 people,” he said. “It is gratifying to see these things take shape, solve real problems for people and create wealth for the investors.” In recognition of his success in building world-class businesses, Fabbio was awarded the Ernst & Young (E&Y) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1997. He has subsequently served as a chairperson and a judge for the Austin E&Y awards and the national E&Y awards. He was recognized in the 1999 Digital South Magazine list of “Most Influential People in the South’s New Economy,” in the 2002 Forbes Magazine “Midas List of the Top 100 Technology Venture Investors” (technology’s top 100 dealmakers), and was inducted into the 2013 Innovation Hall of Fame at the Rochester Institute of Technology, from which he holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science. “Someone was recently writing about whether you are born an entrepreneur or you become one. I believe it is something that is just part of your DNA. You don’t wake up one day and decide to be an entrepreneur. You just have these innate abilities and desires to change the world in some way,” he said. “Don’t be afraid if the little voice inside you is telling you need to start something or change the world. You need to listen to it and go do it.”


Dr. Michael J. & Potsdam


Mrs. Jill (King) Komar

By Deidre Kelly


he grandson of Eastern European immigrants and the son of a tool and die maker, Dr. Michael J. Komar ’80 is in the first generation of his family to attend a university. He was raised to apply himself and work hard, but the importance of education and its role in making your life better was also stressed. Mike and his wife, Jill (King) Komar ’80, see the Komar Family Scholarship, which they established in 2013, as a way to honor their larger family and their heritage. “The Komar family story is the story of America’s potential for people,” he said. “My grandparents lived in a very meager fashion. My grandfather worked in a shoe factory. Each generation has grown up in a much, much larger world. To see where they came from, and now to have a scholarship bear their name, it’s just a hoot.” The couple is very humble and did not create the scholarship for recognition. In fact, they were reluctant to be profiled for “Potsdam People,” but they realized the importance of “taking the lead” to show others the importance of giving back to the place that shaped them so much. “This isn’t something we would naturally do,” Mike noted. “It is all part of developing momentum and buzz for the Take the Lead Campaign. People who graduated in the late ’70s and early ’80s are starting to step forward to give back. With their kids out of the house, they are in their prime years to give. Today’s youth are more in tune with what it means to give back. Giving back in my day was when you bought someone a beer. There wasn’t a lot of it back then.” Mike contends the urge to create the scholarship came as part of what he calls his “mid-life crisis.” “I felt I had to settle my debts,” he said. “Our kids are out of the house, and we are in a fortunate place. I’ve been able to do some things professionally, and now I want to give back personally. For Potsdam, we needed to start to repay the debt for the time we were there. Because of the great start Potsdam gave us, we decided to settle up now, instead of waiting until later in life.” While at Potsdam, Jill studied mathematics and computer science while playing varsity volleyball all four years. She previously was employed by PAR Technology,

General Electric and Houghton-Mifflin. She is currently the program coordinator for the Gastroenterology, Advanced Endoscopy and Nutrition/Bariatric Medicine fellowship programs at Geisinger Health System, based in Danville, Pennsylvania. Mike studied chemistry and biology at Potsdam and then went on to SUNY Upstate Medical University and completed his fellowship in Gastroenterology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH. He is currently the director of gastroenterology for Geisinger, and volunteers as an admission liaison officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy. Today, they literally work side-by-side, with their offices sharing a wall, but their paths may not have crossed at all if it weren’t for a very competitive “battle of the sexes” pickup softball game involving the residents of Bowman South. The couple recalls the men not wanting the women to play, so they suggested that the members of the winning team could take out the members of the losing team. The women agreed, and the men batted opposite-handed. As fate would have it, Jill and Mike ended up being matched up. They remained a couple, despite it being near the end of the spring semester. “I tried to get rid of her for the

summer, but she never let go of me,” Mike recalled with a chuckle. Mike and Jill remember their time in the classroom fondly as well. Jill selected Potsdam for its cutting-edge programs in her areas of interest. Mike chose it because his brother went to Clarkson and suggested it. “Back then was a great era,” Mike recalled. “The faculty I had were quite good. I think I was inspired to learn by the faculty I interacted with; I looked up to them. They were good people in and out of the classroom. It goes back to if you are thought of as a name or a number. It was a comfortable place where you could know your professors. “I had good grades and went to medical school. Jill had great jobs coming out of school and supported me through medical school,” he said. “I was taught how to apply my courses and enjoyed a meaningful career. Medicine has changed dramatically over the years, but I developed skills that served me well in life. Potsdam was where the foundation was laid that led to a lot of good things.”

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Dr. Elliot A. Del Borgo By Alexandra Jacobs Wilke


UNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music is mourning the passing of Professor Emeritus Dr. Elliot A. Del Borgo ’60, whose compositions and dedication to music education leave a long legacy. Dr. Del Borgo passed away suddenly in May, at the age of 74. “Elliot Del Borgo is remembered on this sad occasion with deep admiration by many at Crane—those who knew him as a student, as a teacher and as a colleague,” The Crane School of Music Dean Dr. Michael Sitton said. “His contributions to the School were very significant, and his influence as a brilliant composer and dedicated music educator have extended throughout the profession. He will be long celebrated as a very special member of the Crane family.” Born in Port Chester, N.Y., Del Borgo earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam in 1960, before going on to receive a Master of Education degree from Temple University and a Master of Music degree from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, where he studied theory and composition with Vincent Persichetti and trumpet with Gilbert Johnson. On June 20, 1970, he married fellow Crane graduate

Nancy Withington Del Borgo ’68. vigorous harmonic and rhythmic style. In 1973, he was granted the doctoral Del Borgo described his work as “music equivalency by SUNY, and he was elected to you will want to play again and again … membership in the American Bandmasters and music that will enable your ensemble to Association in 1993. improve.” Del Borgo taught instrumental music Del Borgo was a member of both St. in the Philadelphia public schools and was John’s Episcopal Church, Cape Vincent, professor of N.Y., and St. Namusic at The thaniel’s Church, “His mastery of his subject matter, Crane School North Port, Florida. of Music, where He enjoyed gourmet he held teaching combined with boundless cooking, visiting and administra- enthusiasm, energy, and his unique art museums and tive positions traveling to Europe. sense of humor, were infectious.” from 1966 to In addition, he was a 1995. He was volunteer ambulance - Gary Galo ’73 the first chair of driver for the Cape the Department Vincent Ambulance Audio Engineer Emeritus of Music Theory, Squad. History and Just weeks before Composition. While at Crane, he directed his unexpected passing, Del Borgo was the Crane Wind Ensemble. sharing wisdom with young musicians. His energetic and firm, but humorous, He visited West Rocks Middle School in style was well loved by his students and felConnecticut, to instruct the West Rocks low musicians. Orchestra and hear the students play his “Of all the outstanding classroom “Hungarian Air and Dance.” He scurried up teachers and conductors I experienced and down from the stage, asking the students as an undergraduate, Elliot was the most to play the accents “with bite.” influential. His mastery of his subject mat“My theory has always been this: It ter, combined with boundless enthusiasm, doesn’t matter how old the kids are with energy and his unique sense of humor, were musical instruments. If you write effectively infectious,” said Audio Engineer Emeritus and clearly, and there’s musical value there, Gary Galo ’73. “During my long tenure on the kid can make substantial music, what the Crane faculty, he was a wonderful, supI call the ‘wow factor,’” Del Borgo told the portive colleague and friend.” Hour newspaper. An award-winning member of the Besides his wife, Nancy, he is survived American Society of Composers, Authors by his two daughters, Anne K. Del Borgo and Publishers, he was a frequent consultant, and her husband, Robert Norwood of Orr’s clinician, lecturer and adjudicator in the Island, Maine, and Laura D. Houk and her United States and abroad. Del Borgo was an husband, Justin, of Lexington, Massachuinternationally known conductor of bands setts, as well as two grandchildren, Jonathan and orchestras. E. and Rowan A. Houk. In addition to his music for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, he published more than 600 compositions for a variety of media, including two volumes entitled “Foundations for Strings.” His music reflects the aesthetics of 20th-century musical ideals through its eclectic nature and



Major Marilyn Clouden Potsdam

By Deidre Kelly

allowed me to be me and let my work speak for itself. The most important lesson iving back is the only way I I took away from my Potsdam education is “ can see to pay it forward.” don’t let the label ‘minority’ define you or That about sums it up define what you can or cannot do.” for Major (Ret.) Marilyn When she wasn’t hitting the books, she Clouden ’75, a 20-year United States Air participated in the Afro-American Society Force veteran, who recently established and played on the Women’s Basketball The Laurie Augustus and Annella Clouden Team from 1971 to 1975. Clouden was Endowed Scholarship for Business or a starter all four years and the team’s coPolitics in honor of her parents. captain in her senior year. Her impressive Clouden, formerly of Brooklyn, N.Y., skills were recognized again in 1991 when attended SUNY Potsdam through the she was inducted into the SUNY Potsdam Equal Opportunity Program, which Sports Hall of Fame. awarded her a full scholarship and opened “If anything, being on the women’s the door for the biology major to earn a basketball team had the most impact. It Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary was about teamwork, discipline and incluscience. siveness,” she said. “Coach Jan Reetz was “In early August 1971, to my great a mentor to her girls. She was supportive surprise, I received a call that I was acand she nurtured us.” cepted to SUNY This nurturPotsdam,” ing also came “SUNY Potsdam is that little-known Clouden recalled. from Clouden’s “I was elated and secret, way up there in the Adirondacks, parents, who sad at the same dared to dream which offers a first-class education time because I of a better life knew I couldn’t and can stand toe-to-toe with the best for themselves go away to college and their seven because I couldn’t colleges in the nation. I brag about children, despite afford it. The next their very humweek, I received a Potsdam, every chance I get.” ble beginnings. second call, and She wanted to this time I was told not only that I was ac- establish a scholarship in their names to cepted, but I was offered a full scholarship recognize their dedication to education under the Equal Opportunity Program. and for their love, support and encourageThe decision was easy; my financial worries ment. Their strong work ethic served as were put to rest.” a motivator for Clouden to pursue her As a Caribbean-American and as a dreams and aspirations, as is evident by minority on campus, Clouden’s experience her successful career both in and out of at Potsdam was a bit different from most. Federal Government Service. Her parents emigrated separately from After graduating from Potsdam, CloudTrinidad, West Indies, and settled in the en joined the military and had a successful United States in late 1950s and 1960s. career as a meteorologist in the U.S. Air “I had to step outside my comfort zone Force, where she became a decorated ofand allow myself to learn new things, ficer. She served as a medical technician, be open to new ideas and possibilities. I staff weather officer, and a military politilearned to embrace that which was differcal officer at a variety of military bases, ent and not isolate myself. I learned how both domestically and internationally, and to adapt but still be me,” she said. “My also commanded units in the U.S. and career path (whether in the military or in European theater. civilian life) has been a mirror of SUNY She is proud of the integral role she Potsdam. In many work situations, I played in the President’s Partnership for found myself as the only minority on staff, Peace (PfP) Military-Military (Mil-Mil) but the experiences I gained from Potsdam Program, a major NATO program estab-


lished in 1994 to enhance cooperation and stability in central and eastern European countries while increasing interoperability between partner nations and NATO. As a leader of her team, Clouden was instrumental in assisting aspirant countries such as Hungary and others to gain NATO membership. She retired as a Major from the military after 20 years of dedicated service, and along the way, earned a Master of Science in International Relations at Troy State (European Division) in 1985. She now works as a Systems Engineer for Lockheed Martin in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and volunteers with the USO, helping to prepare packages for servicemen and women in war zones. Clouden hopes that the future recipients of her scholarship will lead the way in building bridges to a better and brighter future for the next generation through public service. “I believe that there is someone out there just like I was years ago, in need of financial support, who has no idea how they are going to pay for a college education. Over the years I thought about what a difference the Equal Opportunity Program made and how it changed my life,” she recalled. “It is that old saying, ‘give someone a hand, not handout.’ I’m hoping this will allow students to focus primarily on why they are there (to get an education), rather than being distracted by how they’ll pay for books or meals. I’m hoping that they will seize every opportunity Potsdam has to offer, so that they can achieve their full potential.” The first $1,000 Laurie Augustus and Annella Clouden Endowed Scholarship for Business or Politics will be awarded for the 2013-14 academic year to an incoming freshman.

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The Campaign for Potsdam

Preparing to Launch Potsdam’s Third Century by Sherry Paradis and Deborah Dudley Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam is the story of leadership, of the people who care so much about their institution that they reject the idea that forces outside their control will ultimately determine their success. SUNY Potsdam accepted full responsibility for her own fate, and through fanatic discipline, research, planning and an unwavering faith in alumni and friends, the College managed to shatter all fundraising goals, even in the midst of a recession, embarking on a $27 million campaign journey to the College’s Bicentennial. This crucial road doesn’t end at our historic celebration of 200 years; it continues on, leading to the campus’s third century. We call it the Take the Lead Campaign. Let’s go back to the beginning: In December 2007, the U.S. economy officially entered into recession. From January to August 2008, the financial crisis escalated, with the collapse of major lenders and investors. As the crisis was spreading globally, the stock market experienced a major downturn, and many of SUNY Potsdam’s alumni and friends were watching the bottoms fall out of their portfolios. With financial markets melting down, the housing sector on the brink of total collapse and huge taxpayer bailouts being proposed, the fundraising efforts in all sectors of philanthropy were thrown into turmoil. By December 22, 2008, the latest edition of the Philanthropic Giving Index from Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy found that nonprofit professionals reported the lowest level of confidence in the fundraising climate since 1998. In the midst of this financial chaos, the Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees was considering launching the most ambitious comprehensive campaign in SUNY Potsdam’s history, making the College the first campus in SUNY to embark on its third campaign. To outsiders, this bold step may have seemed foolish, but to Potsdam, this was an opportunity to showcase a long history of exceptional leadership. Amidst an uncertain economy, Potsdam recognized that it couldn’t wait for certainty—it had to create certainty. 14

P O T S D A M P E O P L E FA L L 2 0 1 3

“It all comes down to doing your homework,” says Michael Galane ’74, national co-chair of the campaign. In order to answer the question of whether or not to gamble on the ability of alumni and friends to take the lead in a time when everyone else was running for shelter, it really does come down to research, planning and preparation.


n early 2009, 45 alumni and friends of the College were interviewed as part of a feasibility study. Some serious concerns emerged. Major volunteers, leadership and donors began to doubt Potsdam’s ability to reach $25 million. After all, the goal was more than twice that of the last campaign. Although the global financial crisis had spread and interviewees expressed concerns about the economy and their personal circumstances, an outpouring of love and confidence in Potsdam also emerged.

Two years prior to the financial turmoil of 2008, the College was working on a Bicentennial Plan. Immediate Past President John F. Schwaller held a In the end, the study found that the case series of meetings with various camwas credible and the priorities were the pus leaders to bring together several right ones for Potsdam—but 2009 was previous planning initiatives into one not the right year to begin the campaign. cohesive, strategic plan for the College. A recommendation was approved by the This visioning process resulted in a Foundation Board to extend the planning set of campus goals and initiatives. As period (Ramp-Up Phase) to allow time - Lisa Vroman ’79 this planning effort was revealed to for economic jitters to normalize, while National Co-Chair answering the following questions: the Foundation and Alumni Board leadership, priorities for the campaign emerged clearly and a preliminary goal of $25 million was established 1) Does SUNY Potsdam have a sufficient prospective donor base to to support the following: support a $25 million goal? 2) Does the College have the staff capacity to raise $25 million? • The Annual Fund for Potsdam: Providing flexibility and diverse and unique opportunities for students and faculty through The answer to this round of homework was a resounding and unrestricted giving. confident “yes,” to both questions.

“I come from a family of seven Potsdam alumni. I’m addicted to this place. Potsdam is like home to me every time I come back.”

• Academic Excellence: Enhancing and expanding programs by providing the richest, most diverse learning environments through curricula, state-of-the-art technologies and facilities. • Scholarships: Increasing the number and size of scholarships making a college education accessible to all. • Transformational Student Experiences: Preparing students for real-world success through high-impact, out-of-classroom learning experiences, such as undergraduate research, study abroad, internships and leadership opportunities. • Investment in the Arts: Weaving creativity into the fabric of life and learning to foster the entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders of the future. A campaign planning committee was formed, and a case statement was prepared, highlighting the priorities. A rigorous feasibility study determined awareness, attitudes, perceptions and confidence in SUNY Potsdam, while assessing the strength of the case statement, inclinations for support and participation and proposing a preliminary timeline for success.

By May 2010, the early campaign conversations had resulted in early commitments and a seed fund of nearly $3.3 million, including the campaign’s first $1 million gift, which came from an anonymous donor. This gift provided support for scholarships, student-faculty research, student activities and the Annual Fund for Potsdam.

ing Exceed tions a Expect

NY that SU d e t b u -dollar tudy do ibility s at the million s a e f e n th SUNY ise gifts A few i paign, ould ra m c a c m s a i d h t Pots five o far in booked s level. S a h m fts. Potsda ion+ gi $1 mill

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Then, in July 2010, Potsdam kicked off the Leadership Phase of the then $25 million campaign. The Campaign Steering Committee was appointed to oversee campaign work. • Stephanie Blythe ’92 and T. C. Boyle ’68 accepted invitations to serve as honorary campaign co-chairs. • Lisa Vroman ’79 and Foundation Board Trustee Michael Galane ’74 accepted the roles of national campaign co-chairs and began working closely with the committee.

Why the tree?

The common graphic element that runs through the campaign is a stylized illustration of a maple tree. There were a couple of reasons that this was consistent with the campaign messaging: 1. The maple tree is representational of our geographic region, it’s a nod to our Canadian family, and North Country maple syrup is world class. 2. More importantly, trees often represent families. The word “family” is the most beloved term used by alumni when describing the Potsdam experience. Therefore, as we begin Potsdam’s third century, we do so recognizing that our greatest strength is the family members from our past, our present and our future.

What’s in a tagline?

A tagline captures the essence of a campaign in just a simple phrase. Other taglines that were considered: “A Natural Ascent” “Preserving the Legacy: Ensuring the Future” “The Nature of Giving” “Beyond the Boundaries” “Building on Strength”


P O T S D A M P E O P L E FA L L 2 0 1 3


y July 2011, the Leadership Phase of the campaign was in full swing, with a tagline appropriately mirroring the actions of the campaign and the College. “Take the Lead” was adopted as the campaign tagline, and supporting materials were created for use in Leadership Phase conversations. Year one of the Leadership Phase surpassed all expectations and benchmarks. $4.8 million was raised in gifts and commitments. The campaign had now raised $8,088,284. N. Brock (Hon. ’84) and Janie (Hon. ’88) McElheran became the second milliondollar donors to the campaign, through realized planned gifts totaling more than $1.6 million. Then, the following year, another $6.25 million was raised, which brought the campaign total to $14,341,138. Two more million-dollar gift commitments were received: • Dr. Gary C. Jaquay ’67 created the Adeline Maltzan Crane Chorus Tour Fund and the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize Fund. • Donald (Hon. ’54) & Kathy ’54 (Kofoed) Lougheed established the Lougheed Festival of the Arts. Several other notable gifts are received: • Dorothy (Albrecht) Gregory ’61 es-

tablished the Dorothy Gregory Visiting Conductor Fund, which partners with the Adeline Maltzan Crane Chorus Tour Fund to bring distinguished conductors to The Crane School of Music for festival performances by the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra, and to fund travel for major Crane Chorus performances to venues outside Potsdam. • Jerry ’68 and Carolyn Zwaga established the Jerry & Carolyn Zwaga Study Abroad Fund. • Dr. G. Michael and Barbara Maresca established the Community Performance Series Guest Artist Fund. By July 2012, the College was planning for the Public Phase of the Campaign. A final goal had yet to be confirmed, but the fundraising achievements continued to be unprecedented. The Foundation Board established the Third Century Endowment, the first-ever unrestricted endowment for the College’s greatest needs, after receiving an inaugural gift from the Linden Family. And in September of that same year, PACES joined the million-dollar campaign donor rolls, also in support of the Annual Fund for Potsdam. Campaign goals were being consistently broken. As Galane recalled, “There are always fears or concerns whenever any goal is set. There was much discussion and consideration, given the financial uncertainty of the time. Our initial goal of $25 million was debated and seen as aggressive for our third campaign; however, we set specific thresholds to review before setting the final goal, and the trustees agreed in the end that we could support an increased goal of $27 million, given the results of the campaign to date and external benchmarks.”

“My confidence comes from knowing what I can and cannot control, and developing plans to deal with both. I knew that this is our third campaign, and we had staff and board experience upon which we could build. Our plan is well thought out and we have award-winning marketing, along with great execution,” Galane said. “Most of all, I could always see the passion and connection whenever we talked about Potsdam and the campaign to our supporters—it is the ‘X-factor’!” As Stephanie Blythe ’92, honorary co-chair of the campaign, pointed out, “Once you get past the perceived insanity of the goal and you look at the evidence, it all starts to make sense.”

as the St. Lawrence Academy, the institution has thrived because alumni are the heart and soul of the College’s success. Dr. Thomas B. Stowell, principal of Potsdam Normal School from 1889 to 1909, pointed this out in an address: “I want you alumni to recognize my appreciation of what you have done to make this school great. Our greatness is your greatness.” That sentiment is echoed in our campaign leaders more than a century later. “We are all part of the Potsdam success story,” Galane said. “My job is to invite everyone to think back to the time that they were ‘led’ to Potsdam, and now ask them to ‘take the lead’ as part of our campaign, to ensure the success we all enjoy will continue and grow for others, as we approach our Bicentennial.”

As throughout Potsdam’s 200-year history, the environment does not determine why the institution thrives—people do. From its days

September 1, 2013




June 30, 2013: End of Year 3



April 17, 2013: Launch of Public Phase


June 30, 2012: End of Year 2

July 1, 2010: Launch of Leadership Phase

$3.3M seed fund raised


$8.1M raised


$14.3M raised

June 30, 2011: End of Year 1


$17.4M raised



n April 2013, SUNY Potsdam marked the completion of the Leadership Phase with a special event in New York City, where SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher thanked donors and inducted Potsdam benefactors into the newly-created Chancellor’s Circle. (The Chancellor’s Circle recognizes $100,000+ donors to the campaign.) The College

launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam with a big campus celebration at home in Potsdam the following week. The campaign momentum was steady, with $17.4 million already raised in gifts and commitments. As of August, it stands at $18.4 million and continues to rise. Since the campaign’s inception, 57 new endowed scholarships have been created, along with 29 program funds to date. These new funds are already impacting Potsdam and its students in a significant way. For the past decade, SUNY Potsdam’s alumni participation rate (the percentage of alumni who give) has been among the top three for the SUNY comprehensive masters-granting colleges. But in 2012, for the first time in SUNY history, Potsdam claimed the No. 1 spot in all alumni participation in giving, beating out rivals Geneseo and Oneonta. Not bad for one of the smallest colleges within the system.

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notes docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, for several years. Karen Rudikoff ’66 retired after 36 years of teaching. She had a heart transplant in 2004 and everything is going well. Rudikoff enjoys volunteer work and knits caps for cancer patients, as well as helping the Donate Life Organization.

In March, a group of Class of 1958 grads got together for a mini Potsdam Ago reunion. Pictured from front to back are Gail Roach Davi, Betty Duffy Charles, Sue Conant Young, Mary Carey Munhall, Sue Lester Ford and Dotty Runkel Dronker in Cocoa Beach, FL, where the photo was taken.

1950s Ann Phillips Barnes ’51 and her husband, Philip, have moved from their home in Florida to Williamsburg, VA, to be closer to their family. Nina Tepedino ’54 published her first children’s book, “If You Lived in Sam’s Neck,” a back to nature memoir for children and their families. Her next book, “Never Too Tired for Singing,” incorporates music for early childhood and will include a CD. Dorothea “Dottie” Watkins Clark ’55 has End Stage Renal Disease, has dialysis three days a week, and is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. She and her husband, Bob, attend concerts and host music evenings in their home, inviting their professional music friends. Lois Smith Herold ’55 has been in NYC for nearly five years, where she works with a Christian ministry and is also a minister to NYPD officers. “I loved my time at Potsdam and appreciate all I learned.” Gloria Baz Misnick ’55 and her husband, Bill, members of the Corning Area Tea Party, presented a check for $1,520 to the Wounded Warrior Project, which was raised at the April 15, 2013, Tax Day Rally in Watkins Glen, NY. 18

In May 2012, Martha Williams Cloer ’58 retired from teaching first grade at Tulsa Public Schools. “I think of the tremendous fun I had living in Potsdam, and in the Ago Sorority house. Potsdam was a huge growing experience for me!”

1960s John Dudley ’60 writes occasional commentaries for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. His residence in Delaware was struck by a tornado on Labor Day 2012, but has since been restored. He spends summers at a cabin near Paul Smiths, NY. In October 2012, bassoonist Chris Weait ’61 and percussionist James Petercsak ’05 performed with Keith Brion and his New Sousa Band in a program commemorating the life and times of John Philip Sousa. John Reed ’63 and Karen Peterson Reed ’62 met in a practice room at The Crane School of Music, when John needed a piano accompanist for his major class recital, and 51 years later they are still making beautiful music together. Ann Nichols Arnold ’64 became a great-grandmother to a handsome baby boy in November 2012. Ann Ackerman Avery ’66 has been working as a

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Beth Ann Lambein Hooker ’67 has worked on 19 productions with the Batavia NY Rotary. She has acted in several shows, and is the costume designer/coordinator for this year’s Rotary production. Jay Nagel ’67 & ’68 spent his career as the Potsdam Central School middle school band director, until retiring in 2001. In his spare time, he began repairing orches-

Irving and Shirley (Wolf) Crane ’62 Establish Endowed Scholarship For Math and Science Education

The Crane Family Endowed Scholarship for Math and Science Education was established in 2012 by Shirley (Wolf) Crane ’62 and her husband, Irving Crane, during Shirley’s 50th reunion year at SUNY Potsdam. The donors’ intention is that their scholarship, which is augmented by a corporate contribution from the ExxonMobil Foundation Educational Matching Gift Program, will serve as a strong motivaIrv and Shirley (Wolf ) Crane tor for students to become ’62 with scholarship recipient outstanding math and science teachers, who will, in Samantha Long. turn, prepare outstanding students for the engineering and scientific workforce of tomorrow. tral string instruments for students, instructors and rentals at Northern Music & Video in Potsdam. He worked part-time at Whiteface Mountain and at the Potsdam Town &

Barbara Cervenka Her Lasting Gift

Country Club pro shop. He and his wife, Barbara ’66, have been married for 45 years and have two children. (Photo Credit: Watertown Daily Times)


“As I recently revised my will, I realized that I have benefited a great deal from my years at SUNY Potsdam and in particular, The Crane School of Music. Potsdam/Crane gave me all I needed and more to succeed in my chosen career - music education. They provided me with a strong academic and musical background and a deeper love and understanding of all types of music and the other arts. I also matured a great deal during my years at Potsdam.”

As I grow “richer in years” and spend time reminiscing, I remember some of the wonderful experiences I had at Crane. Among them are: • May Festivals and singing and working under Robert Shaw and Nadia Bolanger and others, thanks to Helen Hosmer. At the time, we took all of this for granted and didn’t realize what a privilege it was to enjoy these experiences. • I learned so much from many excellent professors/teachers, but some who stand out are Marion Carter, Brock McElheran, Mary English and Arthur Frackenpohl. • The friendliness of everyone on campus. It really was a “home away from home.” When I have visited there since graduation, I have been pleased to see that that atmosphere still exists. This was especially true during my class’s (1961) 50 Year Reunion. We all agreed that we were treated like royalty that weekend. What better way to say “thank you” than to give something back? In leaving an endowment to The Crane School of Music to use where the need is greatest, it is my hope that others may reap the benefits of what Potsdam and Crane have to offer. 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



Carolyn Jenner Swafford ’67 was named the 2012 Library Director of the Year by the North Country Library System, in recognition of her leadership, dedication and commitment to service during her tenure as director of the Canton Free Library. Rosemary Callard-Szulgit ’68 is happy to announce that her first children’s book, “Molly Rose Baxter,” is now published on “This delightful story will be ideal for perfectionist children and can be easily used in homes and schools. Happy reading!” Tom Cook ’69 taught high school English at Ogdensburg Free Academy for one year and then at Chateaugay Central School for 32 years. His wife, Betty Boyea Cook ’70, taught various elementary grades at Chateaugay Central School for 33 years. They were married in 1970 and have two children and five grandchildren. They enjoy

retirement and volunteer, travel and spend time with their grandchildren.

1970s Diane Day ’70 worked 17 years for the Professional Picture Framers Association. After being laid off, she obtained a position with a retirement community and has worked there for three years. Day retired in April 2013 and will volunteer at the local SPCA. Being a multiple cancer survivor, she also plans to volunteer at a local hospital working with cancer patients.

Retired Newark Valley High School librarian Ed Nizalowski ’70 is the local historian for Owego, NY. He enjoys playing flute and saxophone, and especially improvising with either instrument. Glenn Drewes ’71 and Margo Bossert Zusman ’71 caught up onstage at New York City Center following an Encores! performance of “Fiorello!,” in which Drewes played lead trumpet. Zusman, a retired band director at Port Jefferson High School, recently stepped down from the Smithtown Community Band, which she conducted for 17 seasons. William “Bucky” Nickau ’71 completed his 50th Westfield High School Reunion, where he spoke in front of about 300 guests about the last 50 years, and especially about his Potsdam memories. After relocating to Arizona, Norman Perras ’71 and his wife, Maria, have returned to Washington state. In 2003, Nancy Simmons Crossman ’72 retired from Verizon after 31 years. She is in her third year as an elected official on the school committee in Sandwich, MA, and has coached a developmental swim team for four years. Todd Hobin ’72 and the Todd Hobin Band have released their first studio album in about 25 years. Todd launched the band in 1974, and they have performed more than 3,000 concerts since.

After 41 years with the Cortland Enlarged City School District, Lynn Aslanian New ’72 has retired. Although she started with the Class of 1972, she finished with the Class of 1971. She received her master’s in reading education from UAlbany, started as a reading specialist with Randall Elementary School in Cortland in 1972, and in 1980, became the principal of the Virgil Elementary School. She is completing her time with Cortland as the principal of the Barry Elementary School. Ann Gibney Straub ’72 and her husband, Peter, joined Susie Snyder Jorgensen ’72 and her husband, Rob,

for a visit to the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. Tim ’73 and Sally Alexander Acomb ’73 live on Keuka Lake in Dundee, NY. Tim retired from BP and Kuwait Oil Company in March 2010. They lived in the Middle East for nearly 18 years and have travelled extensively. They enjoy their retirement traveling around the USA—especially Reunion Weekend 2013. Jerry Ghidiu ’73 retired from Rutgers University, in September 2012, after 33 years as extension entomologist with the Department of Entomology, and

Lynne Boles ’74 was a guest speaker in Carol “Kickie” (Holloway) Britt’s ’69 Essential Practices in Music Business class in April. Boles shared her marketing and presentation experiences as former vice president of marketing at Procter & Gamble and in her current work as a consultant. is currently a professor emeritus. He also received the Distinguished Service to New Jersey Agriculture Award in May 2012. Barry Kolman ’73 and his wife, Grace, a counselor, coauthored an op-ed article, “Mano’s Story: Girl with Autism Fights Bullying with Music,” which was published in the Richmond TimesDispatch. WVTF, an NPR affiliate, interviewed the couple and their story was published in the Staunton News Leader. They made a presentation for the Virginia Counselors Association regarding the effects of giving clarinet lessons to a child with autism. New York State 117th District Assemblyman Marc Butler ’74 is the minority joint conference chair and a 17-year veteran of the Assembly. In the recent redistricting, his district expanded to include parts of St. Lawrence County.

After receiving her master’s of divinity in 2005 from United Theological Seminary, Penni Todeschini Farrington ’74 was ordained an elder in full connection in the Upper New York Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her most recent appointment is to Manchester and Palmyra United Methodist Churches in the Finger Lakes near Rochester, NY. Michael Axel ’75 accepted a new position as a software engineer on the MOX Project at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, and is living just across the river in the Augusta, GA, area. Once his family gets settled in their new home, Axel will start looking for opportunities to play his trumpet. Jeff Robinson ’75 received his Ph.D. in 2011 and is employed as a lecturer in music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. He plans to retire at the end of 2013, and is contemplating a move to Botswana. “Africa has been good to me since I came as a Peace Corps volunteer to Kenya in 1975.”

Before it’s too late, use your IRA to support Potsdam If you’re age 70 1/2 or older, you can use your IRA to make a charitable gift to Potsdam. To learn how, visit

or contact Jason Ladouceur ’94, director of planned giving, directly at (315) 267-2123 or As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s w w




Carole Walsh Melchior ’75 retired from SUNY Canton, where she was employed as a counselor. She now lives in Albany, NY, where she is close to her children and grandchildren.

Michael Bubniak’s ’78 son, Brian, graduated from Albany Law School, and was sworn in to practice law in January 2013. His daughter, Danielle, is considering studying psychology.

Kathleen Farrell Kane ’76 was promoted to the senior human resources manager role at GE Power and Water in Schenectady, NY. The position includes direct responsibility for finance headquarters and acting as a strategic business partner for the CFO and finance executives. Her husband, Mike Kane ’75, is the co-author of “150 Years of Racing in Saratoga: Little-Known Stories & Facts from America’s Most Historic Racing City,” published by the History Press.

Self-employed physician Martin Girling ’78 is the medical director of Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine at South Florida Baptist Hospital.

Kristian Truelsen ’76 has performed in “The Sound of Music” (Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta), “The Light in the Piazza” (Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan), “A Christmas Carol—the Musical” (Rose Theatre, Brampton, Ontario) and a national U.S. commercial in 2012.

Maureen McCormick ’78 stepped down from her position as chief registrar at the Princeton University Art Museum, where she worked for 28 years, in order to devote herself full-time to painting icons (in the Byzantine style of medieval Russia) and teaching others this centuries-old sacred art. McCormick studied with the Prosopon School of Iconology for more than 15 years, and was invited to teach on its behalf.

Photographer Kevin Yatarola ’76 photographed opera star Stephanie Blythe ’92 as she performed a tribute to Kate Smith for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series. Jacqui Sparks Biernat ’77 was presented with an award from the Professional Women of the Finger Lakes Organization in the “Women Helping Women” category, at their annual awards dinner held in Canandaigua, NY. She has also self-published a new book, entitled “Your God Given Dignity.” Michael Frahme ’77 is enjoying his third year of retirement, after 33 years of teaching music. While he misses teaching, Frahme is looking forward to traveling with his wife, Cathy, when she retires from teaching high school English. 20

Dr. Mike Loso ’78 will be joining the faculty of James Madison University as an associate professor in technology, learning and educational leadership. He has been the assistant superintendent of Harrisonburg City Schools in Harrisonburg, VA.

The Council for Art Education recognized Donnalyn Eaton Shuster ’78 with an Award of Excellence at the National Art Education Association Convention in March. She has served as a co-chairperson for Youth Art Month in New York State for the last four years. Shuster teaches K-7 art at FrankfortSchuyler Central School, and serves as the Region 3 representative to the New York State Art Teacher’s Association Board of Trustees. In July she received the St. Lawrence Academy Medal from the School of Education Alumni Association. James Spencer ’78 was awarded the 2013 Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence, one of the highest recognitions for Syracuse University faculty and staff.

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Dr. Mary Helander ’83 Named 2013 Minerva Award Recipient In July, the Alumni Association bestowed upon Dr. Helander its highest award for professional achievement, the Minerva Award.

After earning her B.A. in computer science and mathematics at SUNY Potsdam in 1983, she earned an M.S. in industrial engineering/operations research from Syracuse University, a Ph.D. in operations research from the University at Buffalo, and was named a Docent in quality technology and software engineering at Linköping University in Sweden. Today, Dr. Helander is a Math Research Scientist with the Mathematical Sciences Department at IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center. Dr. Helander works with teams of researchers at several sites in the U.S. and worldwide. She and her teammates are credited with 15 U.S. patents, and Dr. Helander was one of only 38 IBM employees worldwide (out of 368,000!) to receive the prestigious honor of being named an IBM Master Inventor. Dr. Helander is also incredibly generous to her alma mater and was among the first donors to commit a leadership gift to the Take the Lead Campaign. Her gift supports the Annual Fund for Potsdam. Dr. Helander has been a trustee on the Potsdam College Foundation Board since 2007. She was an important member of the Board’s Campaign Planning Committee, which oversaw the feasibility study process and development of the initial case statement, both of which were critical to the current success of the Campaign. The latest CD from Michael Benedict’s ’79 jazz band, Michael Benedict & Boptitude, “Five and One,” received a four-star review from Downbeat Magazine. John Hart ’79 recently relocated to Chicago to lead the Credit Markets Legal Team for Chase’s Commercial Banking Group, after 30 years practicing law in Rochester, NY, 23 of them with Chase. Pianist, composer and Steven Moskowitz ’79 was awarded a doctorate in educational administration from Manhattanville College. He is currently an assistant superintendent of human resources and technology for the Brewster Central School District.

Jill Gibbs Prelosky ’79 resides in Round Rock, TX, with her husband, who is a CPA and is employed by Dell, Inc. She retired in 2009 from a long career in corporate recruiting. Prelosky enjoys golfing, tennis, swimming and volunteering. After 20 years at PepsiCo, Inc., Michael Rosenberg ’79 retired, and is now the director of risk management at the University of Kansas. Ron Samulka ’79 recently celebrated his 30-year service anniversary with IBM, having worked in several finance, planning, accounting and management positions over the years. He is now

participating in the new IBM “Transition to Retirement” program, allowing him to work a reduced schedule through 2013 while making plans for retirement with his wife, Jina.

1980s Pat Donnelly ’80 was inducted into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. He has been the boys varsity basketball coach at Bishop Ludden for over 25 years, during which time he has racked up over 450 wins, 2 New

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York State championships, 10 sectional championships and 17 league championships. Donnelly has been employed by National Grid for 31 years in IT and commercial and industrial energy efficiency. He and his wife, Laureen, reside in Camillus, NY. Jim Serach ’80 received a M.S. in biology from the University of New Mexico. He has been a high school science teacher for 27 years and presently holds an endowed chair, the Aldo Leopold Chair for Distinguished Teaching of Environmental Science and Ethics, at the Lawrenceville School. Claudia Tower Andres ’81 was chosen as the recipient of the 2013 Youngstown Citizen of the Year Award. She is a choral instructor at Wilson High School, where she has taught for the past eight years. She and her husband, Jerome, have six children and two grandchildren. Jeffrey ’81 and Martha Hulslander Dixon ’80 enjoyed the Double Axel reunion at Turning Stone Resort & Casino. They have one grandson and welcomed their first granddaughter in August. They are hoping to spend time with the new baby in Okinawa, Japan. Their youngest child, Alissa, keeps them busy at home. Mezzo-soprano Metropolitan Opera superstar Renée Fleming ’81 was selected as a 2013 fellow by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Diane Moonan Taverni ’81 and Sara Jones Moran ’81 sang in a 200-member community chorus with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the Eastman Theater in Rochester, NY, in May to commemorate the RPO’s 90th anniversary season. Diane’s husband, Ed, sang as well. Diane is an elementary vocal music teacher in the Oswego City School District, and Sara is an elementary instrumental music teacher in the Wayne Central School District.

AIRmedia’s Executive Director Sue Schardt ’81 marked 2012 with the launch of Localore, an ambitious, producerled national initiative designed to take public media beyond its core audience to more Americans. She also serves as director on the Distribution and Interconnection Committee of the National Public Radio board, sits on the advisory board of Native Voice One and is the artistic advisor to NPR’s “From the Top.” Jeffrey Arnold ’82 received the 2013 Telly Award for the musical score for the film ‘“A” Means Amazing,” which he also directed. “There were nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, so this is truly an honor.” John Murray ’82 recently sang the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Brooklyn, NY. He has also sung with the Metropolitan Opera in Germany and Sweden. In November 2012, Ron Isaacson ’83 conducted the Potomac Theatre Co. production of “My Fair Lady,” which received many accolades. He currently serves as choir director at Gunston Middle School, in Arlington, VA, and at Congregation Or Chadash in Damascus, MD. He has a tutoring firm, teaching trombone, euphonium, tuba and Hebrew. Peter Nelson ’83 was promoted to director of product development at Informz in Saratoga Springs, NY, where he has been employed since 2006. Peter also recently served as an interim organist for his church in Saratoga Springs. His wife, Judith Boyd Nelson ’84, received her nursing degree from SUNY Adirondack in 2011 and has joined Saratoga Cardiology Associates in the position of clinical research coordinator.

Captain David Schnell ’83 retired from the U.S. Navy in September 2012. During his 28-year career, Schnell flew helicopters, commanded the Navy’s fourthlargest base and a helicopter squadron, worked in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill and lived in Italy and Guam. He and his wife, Gina, and their sons, Eric and Evan, have relocated to Coronado, CA, where he is pursuing his “next” career. One of the first blind students in New York to complete a K-12 education in public school, Mike Tyo ’83 began TYO Productions in 1985, where he created musical compositions for radio, TV and other custom venues for businesses seeking to enhance advertising. Currently, Tyo serves as co-chairman on the Community Council on Vision Impairment Issues, and is on the board for the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Jefferson County. He resides in Adams, NY, with his two children. Maureen Medakovich ’84 has changed careers, and is now a professional math and science tutor. Ben Rudnick ’84 released his tenth recording, entitled “Love is a Superpower,” for which he received his seventh Parents’ Choice Award. Laurie Williams ’84 is performing with Serendipity, an English country dance band in the Rochester, NY, area. She has partaken in a dance ball at Hobart & William Smith Colleges and the Jane Austen Ball in Rochester. She toured Boston and Vermont this summer. Just as they became empty nesters, Karen Regan Satterlee ’84 started with a new firm in January 2012, and in September 2012, Lee Satterlee ’83 moved to Mont Pleasant Middle School in the Schenectady

Kevin Caraccioli ’86 and his son, Matthew, were cast in the Oswego Players’ production of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Kevin played the lead role of George Bailey, and his son, age nine, portrayed a younger George Bailey. Outside of acting, Caraccioli runs a successful law practice and does non-profit organizational work. (Photo Credit: Tobie McIntosh) district, after Oneida Middle School closed. Donald F. Schmidt ’84 completed his Master of Publishing Science degree online from Pace University. In summer 2011, he was invited to lecture at the Denver Publishing Institute. Schmidt has been a member of the Publishers Association of the West Board of Directors since 2009. He is the production/ manufacturing manager for ABC-CLIO, a niche history and social sciences publisher in Broomfield, CO. Bryan Jenner ’85 received his Master of Education degree in curriculum studies from Monmouth University, and has begun his Ph.D. in higher education at Walden University. Jenner completed 27 years as a music educator and is currently the elementary music teacher at South Amboy Elementary School in South Amboy, NJ, as well as the director of the pep band and instrumental ensembles at Monmouth University. Frank Calvelli ’86 was appointed principal deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office in July 2012. He provides overall day-to-day management of the NRO,

with decision responsibility as delegated by the office’s director. Calvelli has held a variety of senior positions, including satellite and ground system acquisition, systems engineering and mission operations. After earning his bachelor’s degree in computer science at SUNY Potsdam, he went on to earn his MBA from Loyola College. Lisa Passonno Franklin ’87 has toured in Germany with many orchestras in both concert and opera settings. She has been on the faculty of the New York State Theatre Institute, where she taught voice classes, and now teaches voice at the Academy of the Holy Names in Albany, NY. Allison Armstrong Keef ’87 of Hermon, ME, is a member of the board of Bangor Theological Seminary, a seminary in the UCC tradition, which in July became the BTS Center, headquartered in Southern Maine. Grandchildren, gardening and her husband, who enjoys Atlantic salmon fishing, occupy her days. “As a mature/non-traditional student, I benefitted from Potsdam’s willingness to grant credits for life experience.”

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Denise Howe Luka ’87 was appointed head of school by the Community Charter Board of Trustees in Buffalo, NY. She has 25 years of experience in education, having taught English for 18 years and previously worked as an instructional staff developer and school administrator.

Kristina Howland ’91 was hired as a substitute teacher for her local school district in Hiram, ME. “I sub for kindergarten through eighth grade. I think I have found my calling!”

State Senator David Valesky ’88 was this year’s commencement speaker at SUNY Morrisville. A longtime supporter of New York’s agricultural business and longtime advocate for Morrisville, Valesky helped secure state funding for the college’s aquaponics greenhouse and the equine rehabilitation center.

Aaron Brownell ’92 recently released his third novel, “The Long Path,” an epic tale that follows a college professor’s quest to find the lost treasure of the Knights Templar. He splits his time between his home in Potsdam, NY, and locations around the U.S., where he works as an engineer for Sevenson Environmental Services, Inc.

Jay Posteraro ’89 was named the 2013-14 Poway Unified School District Teacher of the Year.

1990s Dr. Kurt Reymers ’90, associate professor of science, technology and society at SUNY Morrisville, has received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Bill Ryan ’90 is a director, composer and producer and an associate professor at Grand Valley State University, MI. His band, Billband, released its second album, “Towards Daybreak,” which they recorded at Sear Sound Recording in Times Square. Rob Smith ’90 is a professor of composition at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and directs UH’s AURA Contemporary Ensemble. He is also hard at work on his own compositions. 22

George Arnold ’92 is the 2013 recipient of the Potsdam Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves as the PACES executive director of dining services.

Cheryl Steckly ’92 has been named the superintendent of Lowville Academy and Central School District. She and her husband, Edward, live in the Croghan, NY, area. Mark Haven ’93 was the East Muskingum Schools orchestra director from 1993 to 1999, before holding the same position at Zanesville City Schools from 1999 to present. He is also active as a freelance violinist within the area. Regina Rybka-Lagattuta ’93 was named vice president of human resources at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in Utica, NY. Timothy Mody ’93 was promoted to Royal Canin national account manager in the Phoenix, AZ, corporate office.

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Founding members of the a cappella group the Potsdam Pointercounts returned to campus for the 20th Invitational in April. Original members Brian Hough ’95, Aaron Zipp ’97, Ben Rudd ’97, Phil Henry ’97, Steve Zumchak ’96, Brian Meyer ’97 and Dennis Creighton ’98 were joined by David Yonteff ’98 to perform three songs from the first Pointercounts album, including “The Lumberjack Song,” “How High the Moon” and “Zombie Jamboree.” “It was great being on the Hosmer stage again. It’s surreal that this group is such a huge part of campus life now,” said Creighton. Jon Betrus ’97 takes his Naples High School biology students to see the DEC’s “shocking day,” where the “current crew” passes an electrified wand into the deepest pools to temporarily stun the fish to the surface, where they are netted for data collection and released unharmed. “The first-hand experience is very cool and some of these kids may head into fishery technicians and biologist positions.” CNY Arts Center added Douglas McCall ’97 as pianist/ accompanist to the line-up for its cabaret, “Songs of the Seasons.” Proceeds will benefit the center, which promotes the arts throughout Central New York. McCall has been a middle and high school choral teacher for the past 15 years. Rebekah Race ’97 was appointed executive director of Westminster Manor, an adult home in Auburn,

NY, where she plans to make life at the care center better for the adults who call it home. The Massena Artist Association selected Rebecca Shampine-Rowley ’97 and Lindsay Turnbull ’07 as judges for its 28th annual juried art exhibit held in February. Shampine-Rowley has been employed as a fine arts instructor at Indian River Central School since 1997, where she has taught studio art, printmaking, drawing and painting. Turnbull has been a photography instructor at Indian River since 2009. She also does freelance work. Tucker Biddlecombe ’98 was hired as an associate professor and director of choral activities at Vanderbilt University. He is a composer and arranger, whose article on specificity of conductor feedback was recently published in the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing.

Brian Moore ’98 and Tricia Dillenback Moore ’98 have been working in the Indian River Central School District since graduation. Tricia is a reading teacher in the middle school, and Brian was appointed principal of the intermediate school in 2012. They reside in Dexter, NY, with their two children, Mackenzie and Brodie. Robert Polan ’98 completed his MBA degree this March at Binghamton University’s program in New York City. He is currently working as the Rico Reeds product manager for D’Addario in Farmingdale, NY. Tony Dumas ’99 has completed his Ph.D. at the University of California and has been hired as assistant professor of ethnomusicology at SUNY Brockport. Jason Emerson ’99 is now the editor of the Cazenovia Republican. An avid historian, he has written and published history articles in numerous academic journals

Deadline for class notes submission for Spring 2014 issue is:

October 31, 2013



and magazines including American Heritage, American History and Civil War Times. He has also written three books and edited two. Emerson has spoken to groups all over the country and has been on the History Channel, Book TV and American History TV.

2000s Craig Garaas-Johnson ’00 was promoted to director of advancement for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Dakota. For the past three years he served as an editor for the UND website. Army Major Joel Gleason ’00 graduated from the 10-month Command and General Staff Officers Course at the Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, KS. He has served in the military for 12 years. Retired U.S. Army Major Adrian Vielhauer Jr. ’00 was appointed assistant professor of military science at Clarkson University. During his 22-year military career he has deployed four times and has received numerous awards and decorations, including a Purple Heart. David Bresnahan ’01 & ’02 currently teaches middle school band and coaches varsity tennis in East Greenbush, NY, and Alexis Clements Bresnahan ’06 & ’07 teaches middle and high school choirs in Millbrook, NY. Adam Williamson ’01 is the chief musician tenor saxophonist in the U.S. Coast Guard Saxophone Quartet, one of the five premier U.S. military bands. The quartet performs regularly in countries like Taiwan and venues like Carnegie Hall. After 24 years with the agency, Ginger Hall ’02 is now the director of the Jefferson County Public Health Services. She was previously the director of

patient services since 2002. Hall expects to obtain her master’s degree in public health from the University of New England in December 2014. Andrew Mitchell ’02 has been employed with the Social Security Administration since 2003, and is the president of the Ogdensburg, NY, Kiwanis Club. Scott Bailey ’03 is a staff accompanist for Westfield State University and previously served as a staff accompanist at UMass and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He was also the music director at the First Congressional Church of North Adams, where he helped found the North County Music Series and the North Country Ecumenical Choir. Sandra Bosher Thornton ’03 is a recipient of the Potsdam Alumni Association 2013 Rising Star Award. Stephanie Tooke Baran ’03 and her husband, Harry, completed the 15-mile Tour de Cure bike race in June at Verona Beach State Park in Verona, NY. They joined the ride to raise money for the American Diabetes Association in honor of Harry’s late father and Stephanie’s late mother. Stephanie also participated in the Walk Out Against Diabetes 10-mile walk at Green Lakes State Park in Syracuse, NY. Stephanie recently joined Ulster Savings Bank as branch manager/officer. Lindsay Burwell ’03 is a researcher at Cornell University, and her husband, Jason LaCombe ’04 is a researcher for Nature Source Genetics, a computational genomics company dedicated to the development and application of new algorithms designed to harness natural genetic variation in the improvement of plant and animal species for agriculture and industry, located in Ithaca, NY.

Nicole Lashomb ’03 is the co-owner, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Rainbow Times. She has been a journalist and graphic designer for over 10 years, focusing her reporting on underrepresented communities. Lashomb was also one of two co-founders of the LGBT Coalition of Western Massachusetts. She has performed in several off-Broadway shows and has won accolades from the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. Melissa Wegner ’03 is the associate director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She resides in Harlem, NY, but travels extensively, scouting talent for productions. Brian Carter ’04 received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UNC-Greensboro. His dissertation was a critical edition of a Boccherini Quintet that has not been published since the 1800s. He and his wife, Hannah ’02, reside in Greensboro, NC, with their two children, Clark and Owen. David Cotter ’04 was appointed middle school choir director at Pine Grove Middle School in East Syracuse, NY. Jarrett Felton ’04 is a recipient of the Potsdam Alumni Association 2013 Rising Star Award. Sarah Bodner Leahy ’04 is the new youth ministry coordinator for the diocesan Department of Youth and Young

Adult Ministry. She is determined to help grow these programs with a specific plan designed for Catholic individual parishes. Christopher Lee ’04 is “extremely honored” to have been selected for the SUNY Potsdam Bears Hall of Fame. Pinckey Hugo Group hired Tracy Nhek ’04 of Liverpool, NY, as an account manager. She has previous experience in account management in NYC at Grey Worldwide and in San Francisco at Venables Bell & Partners. Farren Davis ’05 is the wellness coordinator at SUNY Canton. Matt Sorensen ’05 is in his fifth year as box office manager at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. He has been a company member of Pendragon Theatre since 2000, appearing in and directing numerous productions. U.S. Representative Dan Maffei hired Becky Cornell ’06 as the legislative director for his new Congressional office. She has six years

of legislative experience on Capitol Hill, focusing on education and other policy areas. Cornell has also served as an aide to several members of Congress. Dan Graser ’06 was part of the winning group, the Donald Sinta Quartet, in this year’s Coleman Chamber Music Competition. He completed his master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Fallon O’Neil Maroun ’06 is married and has a son. For the past few years, she has been using her teaching degree to educate students in the Malone Correctional Facility. Lexy Nistico ’06 has signed on to work with a close friend in expanding her theatre company, Unboxed Voices, which produces a variety of events, from poetry nights and “Monologue Mondays” to short play festivals. One of Nistico’s short stories will be featured in the newly released book, “Unboxed Voices Anthology.” Renee Aqulina Petitto ’06, a recent graduate of New York Chiropractic College, established her own practice, Better Health Chiropractic, in Watertown, NY.

Join the BFR – it’s the easiest gift you will ever make! It’s simple to do. Just name the Potsdam College Foundation as beneficiary in your will, trust, IRA, life insurance or other asset. For more information visit the College’s estate and gift planning website at or contact Jason Ladouceur ’94, director of gift planning, directly at (315) 267-2123 or As you plan your future, invest in Potsdam’s

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Laura Ramirez-Mann ’06 graduated from Texas A&M University with a master’s degree in recreation, parks and tourism sciences, with an emphasis in youth development. She also received a master’s in health education from Texas A&M. Her husband, Timothy Mann ’07, earned a Ph.D. in computer science, with an emphasis in machine learning, also from Texas A&M. The couple is currently living in Israel, where Timothy is pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at Israel Institute of Technology. Chris Jay ’07 took top prize at the 28th annual juried art show for his acrylic painting “The Frog Prince.” His work was recently featured in a solo art show at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council in Potsdam, NY. Chris Lynn ’07 spends much of his time working as a history interpreter at the Genesee County Village and Museum in Mumford, NY. He also participates in a number of area music groups, including the Hornell Area Wind Ensemble, where he is the associate conductor. Cara Tromans ’07 is a program analyst with the Conservation Services Group in Albany, NY. She recently purchased her first house, a historic three-story brownstone, in Troy, NY. Zachariah Galatis ’08 is working on a doctorate under the tutelage of worldrenowned soloist Marina Piccinini at Peabody Institute. Erika Tazawa ’08 received a great review for her performance of Shostakovich Concerto No. 2. She was invited as part of the Chamber Ensemble in Residence to the Hot Springs Music Festival in the summer of 2013. Tazawa resides in Los Angeles, CA. Brandon Scharf ’09 was chosen by Chapman Filmed Entertainment to be the assistant editor of the film “Trigger,” which follows two men fixated on what triggers the enormity of evil.


Isaac Snell ’09 was one of five artists to receive funding from the Village of Potsdam as part of an ongoing effort to turn Potsdam into a regional hub for the arts. He will use the grant money to start a ceramics production studio and it will allow him to double his rate of production, start a website and purchase more equipment. Snell hopes to open a Potsdam storefront within the new few years.

2010s Alyssa Frainier ’10 has joined the staff at Southwest Skin and Cancer Institute in Prescott, AZ. She coauthored a manuscript, entitled “Identification of Novel Lipin Homologue from the Parasitic Protozoan Trypanosoma Brucei,” which was published in the journal BMC Microbiology in 2013. Last year, Brittany Mruczek ’11 released her second CD, “A Christmas Song for You,” including more than 12 traditional carols and holiday songs. She has performed numerous Christmas concerts at various Western New York churches.

the opportunity due to the NHL lockout, which created a need for an additional goaltender spot in the shortened training camp last season. Amanda Yeoman ’12 teaches vocal and instrumental music at St. Patrick’s Elementary School in Oneida, NY, and maintains a private studio. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in music education at Syracuse University. Nicole Osgood ’13 started in the Literacy Specialist 7-12 program during the summer of 2013. Potsdam People


Melonie Joy Cutler’s ’76 first grandchild, Lily Jamesyn Cole, was born in October 2012. Phi Kappa Sigma member Frank Caruso ’89 and Patricia Foris announce

Do you have a funny or significant story to share about your time at Potsdam? What is it about your Potsdam experience that made it memorable or special? E-mail us at

Angela DiVita Frommert ’96 & ’12 and her husband, Derek, announce the birth of their son, Elliot Mason, on January 3, 2013. On August 16, 2012, Colleen Conerty Christiansen ’97 and her husband, Scott, welcomed their first daughter, Kaitlyn Quinn, into the world. She was born at St. Francis Medical Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Timothy ’97 and Jennifer Rohner Groth ’99 celebrated the birth of their daughter, Cecilia, on June 28, 2012. She joins big brother, Timothy Jr., 4.

the birth of their daughter, Brianna Carolyn Caruso, on September 27, 2012, weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 19 inches. Paul Kelly ’90 and his wife, Karen, announce the birth

Rashaun Durden ’12 serves as assistant coach for the SUNY Potsdam men’s lacrosse team. He is pursing a master’s degree in organizational performance, leadership and technology at SUNY Potsdam.

Andrew ’98 and Jamie Luce Bentley ’01 welcomed their daughter, Ember Primrose, on September 17, 2012. Scott ’99 and Marlys Massaro Cooper ’99 welcomed their second child, Brooke Jacqueline, on November 20, 2012.

Robert Leabo Jr. ’12 is working on his MST in Childhood Education at SUNY Potsdam.

of their daughter, Dagny Bridget, on November 21, 2012, at a “wonderfully loud” 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and measuring 19 inches.

Former men’s hockey goaltender Kevin McFarland ’12 spent the National Hockey League pre-season in St. Louis Blues camp. The St. Louis native was afforded

Kenny Quagliarello ’92 and his wife, Kristi, as well as their 2-year-old daughter, Kayla, welcomed a beautiful son, Kaden, who was born March 15, 2013.

P O T S D A M P E O P L E FA L L 2 0 1 3

Tell us your story!

Lisa Manchester ’99 and Owen Herne ’99 welcomed a son, Archer Herne, on July 26, 2012. Christina Carlisle Trottier ’99 and her husband, Thomas, welcomed twin boys, Jameson Thomas William and Greyson Ronald John, on April 12, 2012.

Bill ’01 and Leslie Stockton Ambler ’01 welcomed their third child, Abigail Marie, on November 6, 2012. She shows her Potsdam pride by wearing SUNY Potsdam gear. Kelly Mailler ’02 welcomed her first child, Gabriella Tait, on June 15, 2012. Heidi Donabar Mickey ’02 and her husband, Michael, welcomed their first child, Joseph, on October 18, 2012. Potsdam People


George Sanders ’71 and Janet Campbell Rosen were married on August 12, 2012, in New Haven, CT. Potsdam graduates Allen Schoer ’71 and Maryjane Lisi Peluso ’70 were in attendance. The couple reside in Milford, CT. After four years together, Kristina Howland ’91 married her partner, Heather Ricker, in a private ceremony surrounded by family and treasured friends in Maine. Kelly Allen ’95 married Richard Shaw on September 15, 2012, in St. Anthony Church in Groton, NY. Following a reception, the couple departed on a honeymoon trip to St. Lucia. The Shaws reside in Liverpool, NY.



Potsdam People

Anniversaries Laurna Millard Hoffman ’50 and her husband, Merrill (Clarkson ’50), celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on January 31, 2013. They have three children and six grandchildren. Paul J. Kelly ’90, a Phi Kappa Sigma member, and his wife, Karen, celebrated David Bresnahan ’01 & ’02 and Alexis Clements ’06 & ’07 were married on April 14, 2012, at the Oneida Community Mansion House in Vernon, NY. Christopher J. Kenny ’99 and Rosemary Jurkowski exchanged vows on June 16, 2012 at Cardigan Mountain School, Chapel, NH. The couple spent their honeymoon in Puerto Rico. Cassandra Murphy ’02 was united in marriage to Dr. Adam Cloud on August 31, 2012. The ceremony took place aboard the Hartford Belle on the Connecticut River in Hartford, CT. The couple took a wedding trip to Cat Island in the Bahamas and resides in Cromwell, CT. Katie Hampton ’03 wed Justin Salter on September 1, 2012, at Asbury United Methodist Church in Gouverneur, NY. The couple honeymooned in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and resides in Gouverneur, NY. Heather Berkey ’08 & ’09 and Joseph Miner ’10 were married on October 13, 2012, at the Watertown Elks Lodge in Watertown, NY. The couple spent a weekend at the Riveredge Resort in Alexandria Bay, NY.

Brenda Remington ’09 wed Matthew Bailey at Trinity Episcopal Church on August 18, 2012, with a reception following at the Potsdam Town and Country Club. The couple took a wedding trip to Seattle. On August 11, 2012, James Blunden ’10 married Danielle Donie at St. Mary’s Cathedral. The couple resides in Watertown, NY. Bridgett Condon ’10 married Benjamin Osypiewski on September 28, 2012. Kate-Lynn Manson ’10 and Matthew Woodhouse ’10 were married on May 12, 2012, at the home of her parents in Constable, NY.

Barbara A. Laino Kozak ’63 August 22, 2012

Catherine A. Duffy ’46 December 10, 2009

Rosemary Ellis Marino ’63 April 6, 2013

Mary Klein Maples ’46 November 23, 2012

Frances Santillo Rouse ’63 January 27, 2010 Andrew Housholder ’64 September 8, 2011

Marion Loomis Burnor ’47 January 21, 2013

Sal J. Piccolo ’64 February 5, 2013

Wilma Townsend Champlin ’47 February 29, 2012

Edmund F. Rouse ’64 December 23, 2009

James F. Collins ’49

Ronald R. Stroh ’64 September 11, 2012

Nikki Castleman ’08 married Christopher Jordan in an outdoor wedding on August 18, 2012, at the Massena Country Club. The couple resides in Massena, NY. Alicia Jacks ’08 and Virgil Love II were married August 11, 2012, in front of the St. Lawrence River at the Massena Country Club. The couple enjoyed a honeymoon in Las Vegas, NV, and currently resides in Massena, NY.

Lewis A. Travis ’43 November 30, 2011

Carol Cassens Fairbanks ’66 November 4, 2012

November 12, 2012 their 15 wedding anniversary on May 16, 2013. th

Potsdam People

Memoriam Phyllis Milvo Zando ’35 December 2011 Eula Dodds Colby ’36 November 9, 2012 Dorothy M. Joy ’36

Pauline House Lenhart ’51 June 24, 2012

Kathleen Traver Bruhns ’67

Robert J. Francis ’52 March 7, 2013 Henry F. Sullivan ’52 February 12, 2010 Mary Dullea Ward ’52 September 9, 2012 John F. Fabrizio Sr. ’55 July 28, 2011

January 1, 2013 Terri Hunt Petruska ’68 July 18, 2011 Corinne Cahoon Rice ’70 November 16, 2012

Nancy Leonhardt McLennan ’56 April 11, 2013

Susan Smith McKee ’70 October 15, 2012

Norman R. Allen ’57 February 23, 2013

Felipe Tanglao ’70 February 11, 2013

Lynne Rice Getman ’57 October 26, 2012

Steven L. Dean ’71 November 23, 2012

Barbara Guepe Gray ’58 December 30, 2012

Carol McAvoy Hunter ’71 December 29, 2012

Eleanor Nelson Clark ’40 December 12, 2012

Joyce Steinhorst Rucker ’58 August 2, 2012

Barbara Brady Orr ’71 October 31, 2012

Harriet Plume Renison ’40 July 25, 2012

Philip H. Bunting ’59 December 31, 2012

Norma Berry Weirich ’41 November 6, 2012

Jane K. Vanderhoof LeBlanc ’61 November 23, 2009

Martha Bockenheim Campany ’37 November 19, 2012 Beatrice Frank Kelly ’37 January 16, 2013 Zelda M. Thomas ’37 January 13, 2013 Virginia Welch Flanders ’39 April 5, 2010

Mary Rogene Henrie ’43 January 26, 2013

James B. Sullivan ’71 August 8, 2011 Barbara Cattrall Wallace ’73

Carolyn H. Langtry ’63 March 13, 2013 March 16, 2013 w w




Elizabeth J. Randall ’74

David W. Vondell ’94 December 12, 2012

Barbara Conroe January 14, 2013

Edwin A. Trathen ’96 February 1, 2013

Violette Cotellessa was a former librarian. February 5, 2013

March 18, 2013

Grenda M. Czuryla Chapin ’98 March 29, 2013

Jean M. Smith ’74 December 18, 2012

Marshall Pharoah ’04 January 9, 2013

Thomas F. Wilder ’74 February 16, 2013

Courtney D. McLamb ’11

Antonette Fiacco-Price ’75 March 24, 2013 Cindy Perault Flint ’76

January 30, 2013 Chelsea L. Tobin ’12

February 17, 2013 Rosanna A. Quinn ’76 February 14, 2006 Debra A. Felix Melligan ’77 December 21, 2012 Margaret E. Miller ’78 May 4, 2013 Martin R. Seitz ’79 February 18, 2013 William C. Severance ’82

March 5, 2013 Lisa A. Davis ’85 January 25, 2013 Susan L. Cushman ’91

February 20, 2013 David L. Jones ’93 May 3, 2013


May 19, 2012 Christopher C. Layo (Expected ’13) May 16, 2013 Potsdam People

Emeriti & Friends Gary N. Bartow taught in the School of Education & Professional Studies for 39 years. May 2, 2013 Nazarine J. Bellardini began working in the mailroom and worked his way up to plant superintendent for the heating, ventilation and refrigeration department, retiring in 1980. April 20, 2013 Illene I. Chudzinski worked for PACES food service for 22 years, retiring in 1992. March 2, 2013 Dorothy Codkind, faculty emeritus of the Department of Psychology. June 11, 2013

P O T S D A M P E O P L E FA L L 2 0 1 3

SUNY Potsdam Student Affairs Symposium

Sharon M. Farns retired from the Bursar’s Office in 2008. December 18, 2012 Cynthia J. Francis worked as a cleaner at the College since 2008. March 23, 2013 Agatha M. “Gay” Hanson worked as a cleaner prior to her retirement. February 12, 2013 Ramona A. Robidoux was a former secretary for the Department of Alumni Relations and Department of Human Resources for many years. January 13, 2013 Cheryl L. Sabin, a former employee. November 8, 2012 Ronald Scott was a director of Physical Plant, retiring in 1991 after 25 years of service. May 3, 2013 Eileen M. Sullivan retired from custodial services in 2011. February 14, 2013 King T. Wilcox

retired as maintenance department supervisor after 35 years of employment. January 13, 2013

All SUNY Potsdam alumni working in student affairs and interested in sharing ideas with fellow Potsdam alumni also working in student affairs When & Where: Reunion Weekend July 10-13, 2014, SUNY Potsdam SUNY Potsdam has a long and rich history of inspiring its students to enter student affairs as a career. As a result of their strong careers in student affairs, several have become college presidents. In addition we have a significant number of current senior student affairs officers and educators serving at a wide variety of colleges and universities nationwide. As an outcome of our alumni’s professional acumen, there is interest in having a professional conference immediately preceding the 2014 Reunion Weekend. It is our intent to have an informal welcome back and networking reception and casual dinner on Thursday night, followed by concurrent programming sessions on Friday. These sessions would feature SUNY Potsdam alumni as presenters, offering a unique opportunity to gain professional knowledge from fellow members of the Potsdam family. Should you have interest in being part of the Symposium Planning Committee, have interest in attending or have questions, please contact Chip Morris ’78, dean of students at SUNY Potsdam, at or (315) 267-2117.

The Annual Fund for Potsdam Did you know that your gift makes a handcrafted college education possible for the world’s next great scholar, educator or artist? When joined with the contributions of others who give each year to the Annual Fund for Potsdam, your unrestricted gift helps support the College’s greatest priorities, meet immediate needs and respond to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities here at Potsdam. And through this, you are changing a student’s life. Thank you!

IN theIr

own words

A Frostian Sense of Shared Possession Why Potsdam? Why are we all so committed to preserving educational opportunity not just in general, but at Potsdam? After all, it’s just a faraway town in a remote part of this state in one of the most impoverished counties in the country. So why did we go there and, much more importantly, what keeps drawing so many of us back? In his poem “The Gift Outright,” Robert Frost wrote, “The land was ours before we were the land’s.” Potsdam was the first and maybe only place that I’ve been where I immediately felt that Frostian sense of shared possession, that feeling that I was a part of the place and the place would forever be a part of me. New York City is without a doubt my favorite city in the world, and I’ve visited just about all of them. But let’s face it, New York, like London or Paris or Hong Kong, belongs to the world, and no matter how much I love those places, they will never feel like they’re mine or that I truly belong there. But it’s more than that. Near the end of that same poem, Frost wrote: “Such as we were, we gave ourselves outright.” I think that’s what so many of us did when we got to Potsdam. We discovered a place that was so much more than a degree-granting institution; it was a place that we could dive into and discover ourselves and form ourselves into the people that we would become.

It was the endlessly fascinating North Country. Potsdam, both the College and the town were central to the North Country’s economy, its culture and its ethos—and we as students were an important part of all of that. Not always a beloved part, perhaps, but there we were, giving ourselves outright. I desperately want future generations of kids not just to get a quality education, which they can get from many, many places; I want them to come to Potsdam, to the North Country and to become part of that wonderful place and to give themselves to it outright. I’ve always felt that you should never do anything halfway. Well, Potsdam’s not a halfway kind of place, is it? Honestly, it’s too damn cold. You either stay in, or step out, but don’t stand in the doorway. I want those young men and women to be able to come here and dive in headfirst and walk away not just with a degree, but with an experience and an affinity to a place that will never leave them and which they will never leave, because it will not just stay in their heads, but in their hearts, just as it did with me and my wife, Claudia Thomas ’75, and perhaps for you too. So no matter where you are, let’s all enjoy our time in our corner of the world, but let’s never forget that lovely campus in that lovely little town that draws us together.

Charles Ayer ’75 w w




Save the Date

SUNY Potsdam invites everyone to participate in these 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, and registration/ticketing information (when applicable), visit the Campus News & Events tab on the SUNY Potsdam website at General alumni questions can be directed to the Office of Alumni Relations at (315) 267-2120. FALL 2013 Double Axel at the Dinosaur BBQ (Sept. 28, Syracuse) Enjoy a great meal, and then dance the night away with Double Axel! To register, visit or call Alumni Relations at (315) 267-2120.

Crane Faculty Recital at Steinway Hall (Oct. 3, New York City) Experience a slice of Potsdam right in the big city. Join us for a recital and reception with Crane faculty performers. Tickets are available by calling Crane at (315) 267-2812.

Boston Alumni Regional Event (October 30, 2013) Malt and Mingle with SUNY Potsdam Alumni & Friends at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston. After a long day of work, come unwind with other SUNY Potsdam alumni and friends and join us for an evening of mingling and networking. Don’t forget to wear your maroon & gray! To register, visit or call Alumni Relations at (315) 267-2120.

Maxcy Hall Ice Arena Grand Opening & Dedication (Nov. 1-3, Maxcy Hall) Dedication Events, Hall of Fame Induction, Alumni Hockey Games, Tours. Join us to celebrate the re-opening of the newly renovated Maxcy Ice Arena. For a full schedule of events and activities visit: or call (315) 267-3484.

‘Ragtime’ (Nov. 14-Nov. 17, Sara M. Snell Music Theater) You won’t want to miss the triennial collaborative musical between the Crane Opera Ensemble and the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Tony Award-winning “Ragtime”! For tickets, visit or call the box office at (315) 267-2277. NYSSMA Alumni Reception (Dec. 6, Rochester, NY) Attending the 2013 New York State School Music Association conference? Don’t forget to visit The Crane School of Music booth and join us for the alumni reception at the Hyatt Regency. Candlelight Concert (Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall) One of the College’s most popular musical performances, this free concert will certainly put you in the mood for the holiday season! No tickets required. Watch a live stream of this and many other Crane performances at www.potsdam. edu/crane.

Spring 2014 Bear Pride Night (January 31, 2014, in Maxcy Hall) Cheer on your Potsdam Bears basketball teams! The women’s game is at 6 p.m. and the men’s game is at 8 p.m. (both vs. New Paltz). If you are a Potsdam alum or a donor to the athletics program, join us for a special reception in Maxcy Hall Room 220 (across from the Jerry Welsh Gymnasium).

Florida Alumni Event – The Villages: Palmer Legends CounRty Club (March 6) Florida Alumni Event – THE polo grill & bar, lakewood Ranch, fl (March 8) Live in Florida or visiting in March? Join us for an alumni gathering, catch up with College friends, and hear about the exciting things going on at SUNY Potsdam.

Teacher Education Student Association (TESA) Conference (March 8, SUNY Potsdam) Calling all alumni who are school superintendents and principals: You are invited to reconnect with fellow alumni 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 or (315) 267-2112.

Lougheed Festival of the Arts (April 25 – May 4, SUNY Potsdam) Join us on campus for a week of free arts events covering all disciplines, including music, theatre, dance, creative writing and the visual arts. The Festival concludes with a Crane School of Music performance (May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Hosmer Hall) of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” along with other works, in a concert conducted by Larry Rachelff, the 2014 Dorothy Albrecht Gregory Visiting Conductor. Check for updated event information at

Reunion weekend (July 10-13, SUNY Potsdam)

A Message from Liberty Mutual Help others enjoy the advantages of a SUNY Potsdam education.

As a SUNY Potsdam alum, you know the value of a good education. Now you can help support other students’ goals through Liberty Mutual’s partnership with your alma mater. Simply get a free quote on Liberty Mutual auto, home or renters insurance between September 1st and November 30th.1 For each individual quote, we will donate $5 directly into the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Scholarship Fund. Through this partnership you could also receive exclusive savings on quality coverage and exceptional service. 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. © 2012 Liberty Mutual Insurance


P O T S D A M P E O P L E FA L L 2 0 1 3



Reunion Weekend Huge Success!

Many thanks to all our alumni and friends who returned for Reunion Weekend 2013 and set a record for attendance! With over 775 registrations and beautiful Potsdam summer weather, what a wonderful weekend it was. In addition to class reunions, the following celebrations took place over the weekend: men’s wrestling team’s 50th anniversary of 1st season and 40th anniversary of 1972-73 SUNYAC championship, 45th anniversary of the Prometheus fraternity, 40th anniversary of Crane Youth Music (CYM), men’s swim team’s 30th anniversary of the 1982 & 1983 SUNYAC championships, 30th anniversary of Omega Delta Phi’s Alumni Association, 25th anniversary of SUNY Potsdam’s General Education program, and Louise Tyo’s 10th anniversary in the Orientation program. From celebrating our Alumni Award recipients, Hall of Fame inductees, Greek life, to past and present members of student activity groups, we were reminded of the liberal-arts diversity that makes SUNY Potsdam great. A heartfelt “thank you” to all our volunteers, who helped keep everything running smoothly all weekend. A very special thank you to all our class volunteers, who together raised an incredible $2,532,161 in class giving. A special shout out to the 50-Year Club (all classes from 1963 and earlier) who raised a whopping $1,900,103. SUNY Potsdam has incredible and generous alumni!

Reunion 2013 Feedback?

We welcome your Reunion feedback! What did you like? What did you not like? What suggestions do you have for future Reunion celebrations? Feel free to e-mail the Alumni Office at

Event Photos Available Online

Photos from Reunion Weekend 2013 are available to view and purchase through SUNY Potsdam’s Flickr account at sets/72157634677738385/ More photos will be added, so check back regularly. (Flickr is an online photo sharing site.)

2013 Reunion Class Gifts At Reunion each year, classes celebrating significant anniversaries present Class Gifts to the College. Thank you to 2013 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 greatest needs support a variety of vital resources and financial support for research, student travel, equipment, technology, scholarships and so much more. As reported at Reunion 2013 in July, $2,532,161 was given by alumni. A special thanks to our generous Potsdam alums!

Class Chair(s) 2008 5th Reunion 2003 10th Reunion*

Reunion 2013 Giving Totals $8,787 $12,326 Exceeded Goal!

1998 15th Reunion 1993 20th Reunion

$1,036 $5,447 Exceeded Goal!

1988 25th Reunion*

$18,393 Exceeded Goal!

1983 30th Reunion 1978 35th Reunion 1973 40th Reunion***

$48,815 Exceeded Goal! $23,463 Exceeded Goal! $270,240 Exceeded Goal! Reunion Record!

1968 45th Reunion

$19,380 Exceeded Goal!

1963 50th Reunion*

$224,171 Exceeded Goal!

Julie Sharlow Dold Hannah Gruber Creviston Melissa Wegner

Daniel Stoker Don Straight

Doreen Boone LaVine Katharine Unger Dale Zurbrick

Liz Lyons Brown Elaine Book Halpern Susan Wood Lance Carol Brombacker Smiglin 50 Year Club**

$1,900,103 Exceeded Goal!

Class of 1958 55th Reunion David Conner Toby Cerasoli Conner Rita Itkin Schwartz Barbara Seaman Taranto



*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 Class of 1973 has set a giving record among the classes that have celebrated a 40th Reunion. The previous record was $58,592, set by the Class of 1967 in 2007.

Visiting campus? Check out the complete campus calendar to see what’s happening. Visit newsandevents to see a full listing of athletic events, concerts and more!

Wrestling Reunion 2013 w w



44 Pierrepont Avenue Potsdam, NY 13676

It’s Not Too Soon to Plan For Reunion 2014! Class of 1963

Mark Your Calendars Now to Join us for Reunion

7.10.14 - 7.13.14 For more information visit

Fall 2013 Issue of Potsdam People  

The magazine for alumni and friends of the State University of New York at Potsdam.

Fall 2013 Issue of Potsdam People  

The magazine for alumni and friends of the State University of New York at Potsdam.