CANTON – Canton businesswoman and SUNY Canton alumna Sylvia M. Kingston has donated $25,000 to the SUNY Canton Foundation, which secures the right to name the Lloyd J. and Josephine F. Kingston Fireplace in the mezzanine in the brand-new Roos House Athletic Center.
The proprietor of Josie's Little Pizzeria and Sylvia's Lounge and Eatery in Canton said she was inspired by her parents and her involvement with the college's foundation to make a gift to the college.
"Sylvia's efforts with SUNY Canton and support of our growth have made a big difference within our community," said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. "Her generosity has been continuous and has been in tribute to her parents. We are honored to have the Kingston family's name permanently connected to our new athletic facility. We will be reminded of Lloyd and Josephine's warmth and hospitality each time we congregate next to the Kingston Fireplace."
The fireplace is set in a granite wall in the elevated area overlooking the ice rink, the basketball court and the field house portions of the new building. Kingston's father was a stonemason, making the intricately designed area an ideal location to honor her parents.
"My parents and my father's work literally laid some of the groundwork in North Country higher education," Kingston said. "His masonry can be seen on each of the other college campuses in the area. Much like the granite serving as the foundation for the fireplace, my parents were my rock that I could lean on for constant support. It was only fitting to name this place in honor of them."
Kingston and her family's roots with SUNY Canton run long and deep. She's a 1978 graduate of the college and has been a member of the Canton College Foundation Board of Directors since 2000, and is a member of the Planning Committee. Her brother David L. Kingston graduated in 1970 and her sister Rose Marie Kingston Costanzo graduated one year later in 1971.
Kingston's daughter, Shelley Kingston Peria, is a student at SUNY Canton in Liberal Arts-General Studies program.
The family is renowned for its commitment to the North Country. In 1973, Kingston's parents founded Josie's Little Pizzeria on Main Street in Canton. The business has continued under Kingston's stewardship since Josie's retirement in 1984.
In January 1997, Kingston established The Lloyd J. and Josephine F. Kingston Scholarship at the college as a tribute to her parents. The scholarship is awarded annually to an entering freshman student from St. Lawrence County who enrolls in the business administration program with preference to graduates of the Canton Central School District.
The growth of the college over the years has impressed Kingston. "The new athletic facility accents the years of transformation that have taken place on this campus since I graduated," she noted. "Between this new facility, the new residence hall and the new four year degree programs like sports management, SUNY Canton is answering the needs of the people in the North Country and in turn, helping our community prosper."