SUNY Canton names 2013 honors convocation for pioneer female faculty member
Friday, April 26, 2013 - 6:40 am

CANTON – SUNY Canton’s 2013 Honors Convocation will be named for SUNY Canton Distinguished Professor Emerita Nancy R. Auster of Canton.

Honors Convocation will be held at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 1 in the SUNY Canton Convocation Athletic and Recreation Center. Students and faculty members will be receiving awards for various successes during their careers at SUNY Canton

“I am very pleased that Professor Auster was recommended unanimously by the recognition and awards committee,” said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Spellacy. “Professor Auster was a pioneer for women in the entire SUNY System throughout her career. She was also an outstanding educator of the highest integrity.”

Auster was the first faculty member at SUNY Canton to win the Distinguished Faculty Award. She also helped another faculty member, Distinguished Professor Emeritus John R. Pope, create the college’s system of governance now known as Faculty Assembly. She was then elected as a senator in the statewide SUNY Faculty Senate, the governing body that oversees the entire SUNY System.

Two years later, Auster was elected as the first woman and the first faculty member from a two-year college to become the president of the SUNY Faculty Senate.

Auster taught economics in the Social Science Department for more than 25 years. She served in numerous leadership positions, including department chair for social sciences. She was also on the Affirmative Action Committee and active with United University Professions, the union representing members of SUNY Canton’s faculty and professional staff.

She was given the Distinguished Service Professorship award form the SUNY Board of Trustees and was honored with the United University Professions Excellence Award. Most recently, Auster was inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame.

Beyond her academic achievements, Auster, who is 86, is known in St. Lawrence County as a triathlete, duathlete and avid runner. She has completed more than 500 races and won U.S. Track and Field Women’s 5K titles for women in the age ranges of 80-85 and 85-90.

She is a 1948 graduate of Barnard University with a bachelor’s in American studies. She was one of the first women to receive a master’s of business administration from Indiana University, in 1954. She moved to Canton in 1957 and taught at St. Lawrence University in addition to her career at SUNY Canton.

Auster resides in Canton with her husband, Donald. They have two daughters, Carol, who lives in Lancaster, Pa., and Ellen, who lives in Toronto. Both followed in their parents’ footsteps and are professors. The couple has four granddaughters, Lauren, Lisa, Lindsey and Shannon.

Honors Convocation is an annual formal ceremony recognizing students’ academic, civic, and overall achievement. More than 100 students receive awards and are presented scholarships at the event. The college’s distinguished faculty award is bestowed, as are the Outstanding Graduate awards for the year. Each year the ceremony is named after a different dedicated faculty member.