Canton, Potsdam colleges ready for another year with 2 new presidents, updated dorms, plans for bicentennial
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 8:15 am


New and returning students will soon arrive to the four colleges in Potsdam and Canton and discover new and renovated dorms, two different presidents and plans for a bicentennial celebration.

In Potsdam, Clarkson University expects to have a larger freshman class this year than last and is continuing with downtown campus building renovations. SUNY Potsdam has a new president, Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg, and is starting to plan for its bicentennial celebration in 2015.

In Canton, St. Lawrence University opens a new $14 million residence hall that will house 150 students and a renovated Quad area with additional green space. SUNY Canton will see a new president lead the college and is one year away from being a member of NCAA Division III.

New Dorm at SLU

St. Lawrence University campus was swarming with construction activity this summer as it completed several projects including the completion of a new dorm and renovated Quad area.

A new residence hall will house students for the first time this academic year. The $14 million facility will feature a glass bridge commons area, a first-floor café, and geothermal heating and cooling that will provide housing to around 150 St. Lawrence students.

Meanwhile, the Quad in front of the new residence hall has additional green space, a level area in the center and terraced steps leading to a promenade in front of Gunnison Memorial Chapel.

Renovations to Gunnison Memorial Chapel are also underway with the goal of reopening the chapel by Commencement 2015. A fire on Oct. 6, 2013, destroyed Gunnison’s spire and caused significant damage to the bell tower while water and smoke further damaged other areas inside the chapel.

St. Lawrence also renovated Herring-Cole, a building listed on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1974. The Cole Reading Room, which will serve as a study and reading space, has been restored to its original beauty with refinished woodwork, new lighting, carpet and reading tables and chairs.

St. Lawrence will see 610 new members of the Class of 2018.

St. Lawrence University has again been named one of the nation’s best undergraduate institutions in both The Princeton Review’s Best 379 Colleges and in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015.

Students surveyed by The Princeton Review praised St. Lawrence for its “high-quality of professors and facilities” and for boasting “a science program that is one of the strongest among liberal arts schools.”

Classes begin Aug. 27.

200th For SUNY Potsdam

Esterberg is SUNY Potsdam’s 16th president, and has already met freshmen and their families throughout summer orientation sessions. Prior to coming to Potsdam, she was provost and academic vice-president at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. and is the first woman to lead the college.

This will be the first year the new $55 million Performing Arts Center will be open for a full academic year. The center houses the college’s growing Department of Theatre and Dance, the college box office and the Community Performance Series offices. The 97,000 square-foot facility opened last winter and features a proscenium theater, black box theater and dance theater, as well as educational spaces and technical classrooms and laboratories.

Crane will enter also its first full academic year offering comprehensive video-streaming of concerts. All major ensemble performances, many faculty recitals and guest artist concerts are now broadcast live over the Internet from the Hosmer Hall and Snell Theater.

The college is offering its new Canadian Graduate Initiative for incoming master’s students who hold citizenship in Canada. The program provides Canadians with free on-campus lodging as well as a $500 toward a meal plan. The initiative is renewable for up to four semesters for full-time students who maintain grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.

This is also the second season that the Potsdam Bears will compete in the totally renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena, which was updated with a new high-energy ice refrigeration system, ice surface, arena seating, press box and locker rooms in an $8 million project last year.

The college unveiled its first Master of Science program, an M.S. degree in community health, last fall. It also was approved to offer a new post-graduate Certificate of Advanced Study in inclusive and special education.

This spring, the campus will mark the opening of its bicentennial celebrations, beginning with its Charter Day. The college was founded on March 25, 1816, as the St. Lawrence Academy. SUNY Potsdam will kick off the beginning of the bicentennial celebrations on March 25, 2015, marking the lead-up to the 200th birthday of the college.

Classes begin Sept. 1.

New SUNY Canton President

In addition to having a new president, SUNY Canton recently completed campus renovations and improvements and is boasting a new dining experience.

Zvi Szafran, Ph.D., began as SUNY Canton’s fourth president July 1, and has been sharing his vision for college-wide growth and development. He was vice-president for academic affairs and chemistry professor at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia, prior to being appointed president of SUNY Canton.

“We will expand on our strengths in engineering, the sciences, health-related fields and other applied programs,” the new president said. “SUNY Canton will become larger, better known and more academically diverse.”

Several key offices have moved into one location to provide students with easily accessible services. Recently, the Registrar Office, Financial Aid Office and representatives from the college association moved to the bottom floor of the Richard W. Miller Campus Center creating the “One-Hop Shop.”

Following summer renovations, the Cook Science Center, commonly known as Cook Hall, is reopening. New classroom space will feature a room for business and accounting students to practice Wall Street-style stock trades.

A new assistant director of dining and executive chef is bringing local food to the college’s table. Steven W. Maiocco started in December 2013 and immediately began using fresh, locally grown ingredients.

“Our dining services are a significant part of campus life,” Maiocco said. “My commitment to the culinary arts, coupled with an outstanding team, will allow us to further enhance our students’ experience.”

The dining center is also in the process of adding a new bakery.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently announced that SUNY Canton has been approved to enter its fourth and final year of provisional membership, effective Sept. 1. The Kangaroos are one year away from becoming an active NCAA Division III member.

The college is also renovating its baseball diamond and softball field in preparation for the spring season.

Classes begin Aug. 25.

Bigger Clarkson Freshman Class

This year’s Clarkson University freshman class is predicted to be larger than last years, but enrollment figures are not finalized until October, according to university officials.

Four new houses to serve Greek organizations and other shared-interest groups built recently are each offering living and gathering space for 20-22 individuals with shared interests in the woods behind the CAMP building.

Renovations in the Adirondack vernacular to nine of the Woodstock Village apartment buildings have also been completed.

The campus is currently planning classroom and laboratory upgrades in the Cora and Bayard Clarkson Science Center to be completed by summer 2015. There are also plans for a future expansion to add additional classrooms and laboratory space.

The next part of Clarkson’s evolution of its Downtown Campus is underway with renovations to the historic Old Main building, which will house the North Country’s first green data center using IBM technologies and research facilities for the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, a subsidiary of Clarkson University. Renovations will be completed by fall.

Clarkson accepted a proposal from Omni Housing Development and Sequence Development to redevelop the Congdon Hall and Downtown Snell Hall buildings. The mixed-use project introduces the region’s first venue providing cultural arts and interactive learning experiences North Country residents. It will feature residential units designed for graduate and post-doc students, and housing for professionals.

Clarkson Hall (downtown campus) will be renovated beginning in January.

Data Analytics is being launched this fall as a curricular option within the Master of Science in Basic Science degree program. This interdisciplinary option is meant to provide students with skills to be effective professionals in identifying, acquiring, managing, presenting, analyzing and interpreting large amounts of data in a variety of professional fields.

In August, the Peace Corps announced the launch of a new Master’s International partnership with Clarkson University's Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering.

The Shipley Center and its Peyton Hall Incubator administer an Innovation Hot Spot award to advance technology transfer and support all aspects of start-ups and expansion in New York State's North Country.

National Grid is partnering with Clarkson University to help add resiliency and efficiency to New York’s electricity grid by designing an underground microgrid in Potsdam.

Classes start Aug. 25