The College Foundation has received approximately $100,000 in initial donations from SUNY Canton students, faculty, staff and community members.
SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy and his wife Dine at the College's 104th Commencement Ceremony.y members.
A new scholarship endowment has been established to honor the commitment and dedication of SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy and his wife Dine.
“There is no better way to pay tribute to the commitment of the Kennedys than to establish this endowment,” said Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “I’m not alone in this feeling. So far, we’ve raised close to $100,000 in gifts and pledges.”
Kennedy served the College for almost two decades and will be retiring August 31.
The Joseph L. and Dine Kennedy Endowed Scholarship waspublicly announced at the College’s 104th Commencement Ceremony by Student Government Association President Daynelle Richards, a 2012 graduate of the health services management program.
“For the past 19 years, students have benefitted from the advocacy from Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy,” Richards said. “The Student Government Association (SGA) contributed funds to help create this new endowment. Thisscholarship keeps with the spirit the Kennedys have always shown during their time at the college, and will benefit students who demonstrate high academic achievement for years to come.”
Prior to the public announcement, the Canton College Foundation had received support from SUNY Canton Faculty and Staff, who wanted to continue the Kennedys’ legacy. Financially, the SGA donated $20,000 to the new endowment and the College Association donated $30,000. Faculty and staff and alumni have contributed an additional $46,000 to create the scholarship.
“Dr. Kennedy has made a difference in students’ lives and in the overall life of SUNY Canton and the Northern New York community,” College Council Chairman Ronald M. O’Neill said. “It is a fitting tribute that the Kennedy family is honored through a scholarship that will continue their legacy beyond their time.”
Kennedy began rebranding the College when he started his career in 1994. Under his leadership, the College has moved from a primarily two-year school to a four-year baccalaureate degree granting institution ofhigher learning. The College now offers 23 career-driven bachelor degrees in addition to its associate and certificate programs. Kennedy initiated the creation of SUNY Canton OnLine featuring 190 courses each semester and 8 fully online bachelor’s degree programs.
“It is difficult to put into words all of Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy’s accomplishments without overlooking something,” Gerlach said. “The campus we have today, the feeling of family this College offers to our students, their parents, and to our faculty and staff, all stem from Dr. and Mrs. Kennedy’s deep commitment to making SUNY Canton the best educational experience for all. They have transformed the College and over the past several years we have likely become the fastest growing college in New York State.”
The entire physical space of the campus has been changed under his presidency. New building additions include the Richard W. Miller Campus Center, the Newell Veterinary Technology Center, the AthleticFacility, nicknamed Roos House, and the Grasse River Suites, an apartment-style residence hall.
The College’s enrollment has grown from below 2,000 students in 1993 to nearly 4,000 students today. The focus of providing the highest quality career-driven education for the most economical price has always been Kennedy’s top priority. He said, “A SUNY Canton education changes the lives of our students, their families, and our community because we provide the training for successful careers.”
Under his guidance, the assets of the Canton College Foundation have grown from $1 million to over $40 million today. The College awards nearly $500,000 annually in scholarship support to students in need. As a result of Kennedy’s innovative leadership, the Foundation has received million dollar gifts from professors Richard W. Miller and Herman Kalberer as well as alumnus Joel Canino, Class of 1959, Elaine Claxton Pidgeon, and an anonymous donor.
“The College’s accomplishments under Dr. Kennedy’s leadership are extraordinary,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Carli C. Schiffner, who will serve as Interim President upon Kennedy’s departure. “The entire faculty and staff look forward to continuing the successes and momentum he has created. I feel honored to be among the donors for this scholarship and all that it stands for.”
Dine Kennedy is a dedicated community volunteer who has worked with the Traditional Arts of Upstate New York (TAUNY) Evergreen Campaign, has served as a Board member for Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, and represents St. Lawrence Valley Educational Television Council, Inc. on the National Leadership Council for Advancing Public Service Media in America. She served 10 years on the Benton Board of the Canton Free Library, including serving as Treasurer and President, served on the North Country Public Radio Community Advisory Board; served 11 years as a Board member, vice-chair, and chair for WPBS, and served 8 years on the Board of Trustees for Canton-Potsdam Hospital. St. Lawrence University recognized her volunteer efforts in 2010 by awarding her their North Country Citizen Citation.
To make a donation to the Joseph and Dine Kennedy Scholarship endowment, contact the SUNY Canton College Foundation, 315-386-7527, 800-811-6727, or email email@example.com
A SUNY Canton Distinguished Alumnus who used his education to make his dreams a reality and helped current students pursue their own has passed away.
Dr. R. Peter Heffering, a graduate of the class of 1951, died on Saturday, March 3, 2012 in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 80 years old.
Pictured are SUNY Canton Distinguished Alumnus R. Peter Heffering and SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy at Heffering's induction into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.
“Peter’s contributions to the agricultural industry made him a true master at his profession,” Kennedy said. “He showed our students and the entire campus community that a SUNY Canton education can help you exceed your dreams and accomplish anything you desire. We thank him for the students he’s helped and the significant advancements he’s made to our College and its rich history.”
Heffering received two of the College’s most prestigious awards. He was named Distinguished Alumnus in 2003 and awarded the first-ever honorary doctorate in Animal Science at SUNY Canton’s 2004 Commencement. He was also a member of both the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Canadian Agriculture Hall of Fame.
Heffering with Bridge to Success scholarship recipients.
He earned his degree in animal husbandry and worked as a herdsman at the former Beacon Milling Company Research Farm in central New York. He later established his own farm, Hanover Hill. Hanover Hill Holsteins produced 140 proven sires including the legendary Hanover Hill Starbuck, who died in 1998 and left behind 200,000 registered offspring on five continents. His Hanover Hill Holstein herd was one of the most famous in the world for many years.
In 1989, Heffering made his entrance into harness racing and enjoyed great success. His champions won the most coveted races in the sport, including the Little Brown Jug, North America Cup, Meadowlands Pace, Canadian Trotting Classic, Kentucky Futurity, Breeders Crown and numerous Ontario Sires Stakes events.
Heffering with his wife Apryll.
In 1998, Heffering sold his Hanover Hill herd and focused his attention on a new passion, Standardbred Horses. He and his son, David, opened Tara Hills Stud in Port Perry, Ontario, which has become one of North America’s premier Standardbred breeding operations, and they have made a huge impact in the racing industry. In 2012, 11 stallions stand in their state-of-the art stallion barn. Heffering bred a number of elite Standardbreds, including 2001 U.S. Horse of the Year Bunny Lake.
He returned to campus in 2003 to accept his Distinguished Alumnus award and serve as a Commencement speaker. He used his own success story to illustrate how his SUNY Canton education and his own initiative gave him the tools he needed to follow through on his boyhood dreams. At the end of his speech, the graduates sprung to their feet and gave Heffering a standing ovation.
He provided the financial support to create SUNY Canton’s Bridge to Success scholarships through the College’s Foundation. The scholarships are designed to help students who have no other monetary options attend college and pursue their own dreams. He frequently visited his scholarship recipients and fondly referred to them as “his other children.”
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the Bridge to Success Scholarship at SUNY Canton or the Hospice by the Sea, 531 West Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL 33486.
SUNY Canton added 25 remarkable individuals to the College’s Hall of Fame at an induction ceremony on Friday, Feb 24 in the College’s Chaney Dining Center.
“Our College would not be where it is today without the hard work, dedication and thoughtfulness of these wonderful people,” said SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy. “They laid the foundation for our many successes and we’re looking forward to celebrating their numerous contributions and accomplishments.”
Those eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame include, but are not limited to, alumni, founders, community members, and retired faculty and staff members. The recent inductees also include past presidents, distinguished faculty members, and numerous individuals who have significantly impacted SUNY Canton and the North Country.
The class is the second installment of the Hall of Fame’s Century Club, which will include the College’s first 100 inductees. The first class was inducted during SUNY Canton’s Alumni Weekend in June 2011.
“So many people have impacted our College in significant ways, but we could not appropriately induct them all at once,” Kennedy noted. “We wanted to make sure we took the time to honor each individual in the way they deserve to be recognized and thank them for all they have done for SUNY Canton and our students.”
The second installment of the Hall of Fame Century Club includes:
Dr. Adelord S. and Sylvia H. Blanchard – Dr. Adelord “Doc” Blanchard was a driving force in the secretarial science department for 22 years. He was admired as a professional who was deeply committed to his work and dedicated to his students. To perpetuate the high standards of excellence for which he was known, the Dr. Adelord S. Blanchard Endowment was established by the Student Cooperative Alliance and enlarged by Doc’s colleagues and friends. Sylvia H. Blanchard taught secretarial science and business at SUNY Canton for 25 years, from 1970 until her retirement in 1995. She was past president of ATC Women and a member of the Canton-Potsdam Zonta Club. Following her death in 1999, her family requested that this endowment fund be renamed to recognize her outstanding contributions to the College and thus the Dr. Adelord S. and Sylvia H. Blanchard Memorial Endowed Scholarship was named in honor of nearly fifty years of their combined service to the college.
Joel M. Canino ’59 – After graduating from SUNY Canton in 1959, Joel M. Canino worked as an industrial purchasing agent for Inland Supply Company in Syracuse. A year later he was offered a position at the Syracuse construction contracting firm of H.H. and F.E. Bean, Inc., where he eventually became executive vice president. In 1973, he moved to Orlando, Florida to work for the Pittsburgh-based mechanical contracting firm of Sauer Industries, where he served as president of various subsidiaries. In 1984, he became president of C.N.F. Industries in Meriden, Connecticut. Mr. Canino and his partner began Gemma Power Systems, one of the largest design/construct power plant builders in New England and one of the best in the nation, in 1997. His passion for the College was evident in his many gifts, which totaled more than $3 million and included the largest gift in SUNY Canton’s history. The College dedicated its School of Engineering Technology in his honor and renamed it the Canino School of Engineering Technology in 2005.
Mary Adele Chaney – A former professor of domestic science and academic subjects, Mary Adele Chaney was among the first group of women to graduate from the Agriculture School in 1910. After furthering her education at institutions such as Columbia University, Simmons College, Connecticut and later Providence, Ms. Chaney returned to teach at her alma mater in 1914 where she was hired as second assistant in domestic science and eventually became first assistant. Two years later she became the head of the domestic science program. For over two decades, she graced the institution with her youthful spirit, understanding, and patience, propelling her adaptation to changing times during her devoted time to higher education. She was also instrumental in starting the Pi Nu Epsilon, the first sorority for women. The Chaney Dining Center is named in her honor.
D. Edgar Cloce ’59 – D. Edgar Cloce is a 1959 graduate of the automotive technology program and is president of T.J. Toyota in Potsdam, one of the most successful automotive dealerships in the North Country. He was the 2009 recipient of the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award. In 1989, he and his wife, Clare, established the Ed and Clara Cloce Scholarship. He is a member of the Canton College Foundation Board of Directors and SUNY Canton’s Automotive Technology Advisory Committee and is also a regular supporter of the SUNY Canton College Foundation.
Dr. Solomon Cook –Dr. Solomon Cook was named to the SUNY Canton College Council by then-Governor Hugh Carey in December 1978 and served in that capacity until retiring in February 1989. In the later years of his Council term, he served as a Council representative on the Canton College Foundation Board of Directors. As chief of the tribal council, he played a crucial role in helping his community recover from a period of unrest. Dr. Cook dedicated his skills to improve the quality of life in his community. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II; was elected chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council; served as president of his church parish council and as an officer of the Knights of Columbus; is active in Farm Bureau and the 4-H Advisory Committee in program development; and donated land for a library in Hogansburg.
Henry and Macy Davis – In the 1930s and 40s, Henry and Macy Davis worked in a greenhouse at the College for more than a dozen years. Mr. Davis started working in the greenhouse as a newlywed with Macy. Mr. Davis began taking evening classes in 1941, which served as preparation for World War II and eventually led to his career in electrical construction. After he retired, he left $250,000 to the College but wanted no attention surrounding the gift until after he passed away.
William D. Demo ’57 – William D. Demo owned the Demo Auctioneering and Appraisal Service and retired from the St. Lawrence Central School after teaching for 27 years. Mr. Demo is a member of the Canton College Foundation Board of Directors and has been a volunteer fireman for 58 years and town councilman for 51 years. He has been a generous benefactor to the College Foundation creating the Bill and Kathleen Demo and Family Endowed Scholarship. Mr. Demo is a leader in St. Lawrence County and is a behind the scenes supporter for many significant projects at the College.
Dr. Robert Fraser – Dr. Robert Fraser served as vice president of academic affairs at the College. He arrived at Canton in 1973 as dean of instruction and was appointed to his vice presidential role in 1976, which he served until retiring in 1991. Dr. Fraser also served as the interim president between Dr. Earl W. MacArthur and Dr. Kennedy. During his 18-year tenure, he was a member of the New York State Association of Junior Colleges and the SUNY Association of Two-Year College Academic Officers, and took part in several local organizations.
Dr. Albert E. French – Dr. Albert E. French became the sixth director and the first President of the College in April 1948. Along with his arrival came the name change of the College for the third time, it became the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical Institute. During his 24 years of service, Dr. French was involved with two major building projects, including the College’s move across the village of Canton. French Hall was the administrative building during the years that Dr. French and Dr. MacArthur served as president. The Albert E. French Scholarship was established in 1972 by the Canton Alumni Association and was endowed and enlarged in 1989 by alumni and the French family in honor of, and in tribute to, Dr. French.
Walter Kingston – Walter Kingston taught at the College from 1946 through 1979. After graduating high school, he served as Chief in the Canadian Navy prior to teaching at SUNY Canton. He subsequently obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees after more than 20 years of summer school and night school. Mr. Kingston began teaching industrial technology in 1946 and started the automotive technology department in 1949 and served as director until 1977. An endowment was established in his honor by his son Dr. William Kingston and his wife, Dr. Anne Moss. The scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming freshman who has been accepted into the automotive technology program.
Ernest C. Krag – Ernest C. Krag was a beloved professor of sociology and founder of the College’s Native American Club. He was a member of the Board of Directors of College Association, Inc. and played a critical role in the advising of the Pi Nu Epsilon sorority at SUNY Canton. He was appointed to the faculty at the College in 1965 and became a full professor in 1972. Mr. Krag was the recipient of the College’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1980. He dedicated his professional and personal life to the College and was known for his high standards of honesty and unselfish service to students, the College and the community. The Ernest C. Krag Scholarship was established in 1991 on the occasion of his retirement as a tribute to him and the impact he had on students, faculty, staff and the College.
Edson A. Martin – Edson A. Martin donated the land that SUNY Canton was built upon. When talks surfaced of the possibility of moving the College out of Canton, Martin gave the farm property in the northwest edge of the village to ensure the College didn’t leave the community. His gift provided the space for the campus to evolve into a leading college in the North Country and assured its future. He was one of the original members of the College Council, which came together for the first time in 1954. Mr. Martin was the recipient of SUNY Canton’s first ever Distinguished Citizen Award in 1976 and he was recognized again in 1991 when the College named the athletic fields in his honor.
Catherine Newell – Catherine Barnett Newell represents the fifth generation of her family to make her home in St. Lawrence County. She was an elementary school teacher and founding member of the environmental organization Save the River, North Country Citizens for Responsible Land Use, and the Hammond History and Folk Art Museum. She is also a former board member of the St. Lawrence Aquarium and Ecological Center, Ogdensburg Command Performances, and North Country Public Radio’s Community Advisory Board. She has also served in various other leadership roles throughout the North Country. Ms. Newell co-founded the Sweetgrass Foundation, a private charitable institution which provides financial support to local non-profit organizations, with an ultimate mission to improve the quality of life in Northern New York. Her efforts resulted in the College’s Newell Veterinary Technology Center, a much-needed space on campus as the veterinary technology programs have grown significantly in recent years.
Allan Newell – Allan Newell represents the fifth generation of his family to reside in St. Lawrence County. He served in the U.S. Navy for four years and on the Newell Rubbermaid Inc. Board of Directors. As co-founder of the Sweetgrass Foundation, Mr. Newell has served as its President and Treasurer. Hundreds of grants have been awarded to numerous regional organizations, including the private funding required to secure the matching state funds for the construction of SUNY Canton’s Newell Veterinary Technology Center. At the time, the gift was the largest in SUNY Canton’s history. Many North Country students also continue to benefit from the Allan P. and Catherine B. Newell Endowed Scholarship established by them with a personal gift to the College in 2003. Catherine Newell and Allan Newell were awarded the College’s Distinguished Citizen award in 2007.
John P. Ouderkirk – A Malone native, Mr. Ouderkirk graduated from SUNY Canton in 1952 and from St. Lawrence University in 1958. He served in the Army from 1953 to 1955. Mr. Ouderkirk taught Physics at SUNY Canton from 1958 until his death in 1987. A truly outstanding teacher, he was known on campus and throughout SUNY for his contributions to the field. Mr. Ouderkirk was a gifted lecturer, a wise mentor, a caring counselor, and a quietly inspiring taskmaster. The prestigious SUNY Chancellor’s Award particularly recognized his skills for Excellence in Teaching in 1975. While he insisted on high standards, he gave unselfishly of his time to anyone who needed it; he gave students opportunities to develop their full potentials; and he always gave students the benefit of the doubt.
Ronald M. O’Neill ’63 – Ronald O’Neill, class of 1963, began serving on the College Council in 1984 and was appointed as chair in 1992 by former New York State Governor Mario M. Cuomo. Mr. O’Neill continued to serve as a board member until 1999 and was reappointed as Chair of the SUNY Canton College Council by former Governor David A. Paterson in 2008 and is currently serving in that role. He was named to the State University of New York’s Alumni Honor Roll in 2000 because of his extensive contributions to the community and SUNY Canton. That same year, he received the SUNY Canton Distinguished Alumnus Award. O’Neill was the youngest Democratic Chairman for the Town of Canton, was a Morley Library Trustee and was a member of the Morley Volunteer Fire Company. While working for the Social Security Administration, he was also an alternate and on-site union representative for the American Federation of Government Employees.
James M. Payson – Dr. James Payson served the College for 22 years and was one of the most beloved figures from the School of Agriculture. Many referred to him as a “founding father,” prolific educator, and an amicable friend. He documented the early years of the School of Agriculture in a typescript work entitled, “A Brief History of the State School of Agriculture.” For over two decades of conscientious work, Dr. Payson shaped many lives and was a strong advocate for the school he took pride great in, as he was dedicated to providing a promising future to his students and the College.
Gerald Roselle – A dedicated educator and benefactor of the College for over 24 years, Gerald Roselle was a member of the English department where he served as chair from 1977 until 1982. In 1992, he established a significant bequest to the Foundation that funds scholarships and paid assistantships. One of the scholarships is presented annually to a freshman humanities student. The College’s academic plaza is named in his honor and is located between Cook Hall and Southworth Library and marked by a plaque.
Dr. Edwin Smith – Dr. Edwin Smith created the veterinary science technology curriculum at SUNY Canton and was named the College’s 2003 Distinguished Citizen. He was known for his enthusiasm and professionalism while serving as a faculty member and his colleagues were impressed with his ability to educate as well as motivate and support students. He invented lab facilities and equipment that helped students learn the necessary techniques required in the field. The veterinary science technology program has evolved into one of the most successful in the state, with the addition of bachelor’s degrees and the Newell Veterinary Technology Center. Dr. Smith had his own veterinary practice in Canton that served many community members and was an outstanding addition to the North Country.
William Stalder – Former College Council Chair and member and former chairman of the Canton College Council since 1962, William Stalder was a charter member and past chairman of the Association of College Trustees (ACT). He is one of the few College Council chairmen to have been appointed by both Republican and Democratic governors of New York State. He retired in 1991 as the managing partner of Witherbee and Whalen, Inc.
Jay F. Stone ’62 – Jay Stone graduated from the Air Conditioning program in 1962 and owns Hyde-Stone Mechanical Contractors, Inc., which has one of two offices in Potsdam. Mr. Stone has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Canton College Foundation, Inc. since 1989, and is a member of the college’s Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Curricular Advisory Committee. The Jay F. Stone Scholarship was established in 1996 by his wife and children to honor his dedication and service. The scholarship is awarded annually to an entering freshman student who enrolls in the Air Conditioning Engineering Technology curriculum.
Josephine P. Swift – Josephine P. Swift was the first recipient of Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy’s President’s Meritorious Award, one of the most coveted awards presented to a faculty or staff member each year at the College’s Recognition Day. She worked at the College for more than 25 years and was the coordinator of conference services and director of continuing education and community service before becoming assistant to the president. She was the founder of many of the College’s institutional traditions, and chaired committees of major events such as the Honor’s Convocation, the President’s Gala, Commencement and Recognition Day, among others. She authored a book, “Academic Protocol: Doing it Right,” that assisted the College in its future coordination of events following her departure. She played a key role in keeping the College open in the 1990s through reaching out to community members and political personnel that she had gotten to know through her involvement with the Republican Party.
Dr. Rollo E. Wicks – Wicks Hall was named after Dr. Rollo E. Wicks, who led the general education department for many years. Dr. Wicks was a graduate of Syracuse University with a Ph.D. from Cornell. He had a long experience as a secondary school teacher and administrator before joining the College’s faculty. As chairman of the Division of General Education, he helped significantly expand and broaden the liberal arts offerings of the College. He served as the College’s representative in State and National Junior College organizations. Dr. Wicks also authored a textbook and was on several committees on campus that worked to ensure the College’s accreditation.
Ronald L. ’59 & Blanche K. ’06 Woodcock – Ronald L. Woodcock is a benefactor from the class of 1959. In 1990, the Woodcocks established the Woodcock Family Scholarship Endowment. Mr. and Mrs. Woodcock co-chaired the Canton College Foundation’s Centennial Campaign alongside his wife, Blanche. A group of rooms in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center are named in honor of him and his wife. Mr. Woodcock was recognized by SUNY Canton as the 1989 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient and in 1990 was the recipient of the New York State Alumni Confederation Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Mrs. Woodcock oversaw the renovations at the College’s Alumni House located at 8 Stillman Drive, Canton, and the home is named in her honor. She was also the 2006 recipient of the College’s prestigious Honorary Alumna award.
Glenn E. Wright – A North Country native, Glenn E. Wright joined the College faculty as an instructor of social science and part-time administrative officer and eventually became a professor in 1948. As the College grew, Mr. Wright’s role moved from out of the classroom and served in a more administrative role, including serving as acting director in Dr. Albert E. French’s eighteen month absence from the College. During that period, Mr. Wright secured the gift from fellow inductee Edson A. Martin that moved the College to its current location. Mr. Wright and Dr. French worked closely together, as Wright served as acting director and president several more times during French’s 24-year tenure. He also served as vice president for student affairs and was a vice president during part of Dr. Earl W. MacArthur’s presidency. He resigned in 1976 after 28 years of service that included administrative duties that dealt with student affairs and admissions, among others.
View the entire ceremony:
The College is seeking nominations for future classes of the college-wide Hall of Fame. Information on criteria for induction and the nomination form can be found at http://www.canton.edu/hof/nomination.html.
Prominent patron’s legacy lives on through memories of his generosity, dedication, and charisma.
One of the most well-respected and generous SUNY Canton faculty members in College history has passed away.
Distinguished Professor Emeritus and longstanding Foundation Board Member Richard W. Miller died earlier this morning (Friday, January 6, 2012) at his West Main Street home in Canton. He was 93 years old.
“Dick’s passing saddens me greatly,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “In addition to being one of the most respected individuals at the College, he and his wife Irene were personal friends of my family. I’m certain many would join me in saying that their lives have been enriched through his friendship and ongoing dedication to the College and greater Canton Community.”
Mr. Miller began teaching at SUNY Canton (then known as the Agricultural and Technical Institute) on June 7, 1946. He was a professor and Department Chairman of the Electrical Engineering Technology Department. In 1975, he was named an Outstanding Educator in America and the year following he won the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1982, he received the SUNY Canton College Council’s Distinguished Faculty Award, and in 1990 the Council presented him with the Distinguished Citizen Award. He organized the SUNY Canton chapter of Tau Alpha Pi National Honor Society for Engineering Technology and was an esteemed advisor to the Alpha chapter of the Theta Gamma Fraternity. He retired in 1983.
“Dick was one of the most influential faculty members to ever teach at SUNY Canton,” Kennedy said. “He assisted countless generations of successful graduates during his career. After he retired, he created scholarships to benefit incoming students. His legacy will live on across the campus.”
In 2003, Mr. Miller became the first donor in College history to make a million dollar donation to the SUNY Canton Foundation. His unrestricted donation led the college to name the then newly constructed campus center in his honor.
“I have had three loves of my life: The first, my wife Irene; the second, my family; and the third, this College,” Mr. Miller said at the Richard W. Miller Campus Center Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
He followed his donation with an additional $50,000 gift to the College in honor of his longstanding friendship with the Kennedys in 2010. Combined with his annual scholarship, Mr. Miller donated more than $1.6 million to SUNY Canton.
“Mr. Miller’s profound impact on SUNY Canton can be seen from anywhere on campus,” said Director of Alumni and Development Peggy S. Levato. “His generosity allowed us to make immeasurable progress at the College. He gave his time and heart to this college and for that, we will forever be indebted to him.”
Many alumni and current students knew Mr. Miller through his frequent involvement in campus following his retirement. In the past year he was a guest of honor at the College’s Kingston Fireplace Dedication, Holiday Luncheon, Scholarship Luncheon, and Alumni Weekend Celebration, among others. He attended his 65th consecutive commencement ceremony in 2011.
Update (Monday, Jan 9): Calling hours are 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, January 12, at Lawrence Funeral Home, 21 Park St., Canton, with a service at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 13 at the First Presbyterian Church, 17 Park St., and a reception to follow at the Richard W. Miller Campus Center at SUNY Canton. A Masonic service will be held on Thursday 5:45 p.m. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Richard’s name to the Canton Neighborhood Center, 5 West St., Canton Methodist Church Food Kitchen, or the Richard W. Miller Scholarship at SUNY Canton. Condolences may be sent to www.lawrencefuneralhome.org.
A complete obituary submitted my Mr. Miller’s family can be viewed at http://www.canton.edu/news/index.php/miller-obituary/
Please use the comments section below to share your memories and reflections.
Update (Saturday Jan. 7): SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill’s Statement on the Passing of Richard W. Miller
“Yesterday, SUNY Canton lost a great friend. Today, on behalf of the entire College Council, we mourn Dick’s passing and celebrate his life. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and many friends.”
“Dick was truly one of a kind. His contributions to SUNY Canton and the community cannot be measured in mere dollars. Teacher, mentor, friend, supporter, Dick was all these and much more. For more than six decades, Dick gave of his time, energy and money to ensuring SUNY Canton would continue to grow and flourish.”
“His dedication and fierce loyalty set a shining example for our campus and the greater North Country. While we will miss his presence at events, and his wise counsel and wit, we know that his legacy at SUNY Canton is enduring, which is just the way he planned it.”
A prominent area business owner and Toyota Motor Corporation recently made matching gifts to the SUNY Canton College Foundation.
Ed Cloce, President of TJ Toyota in Potsdam and a1959 automotive technology alumnus, recently presented SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy with a check following a donation to the College by his parent company.
MATCHING GIFTS - SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy receives a donation from the President of TJ Toyota and 1959 alumnus Ed Cloce.
“Mr. Cloce has been an active and supportive alumnus who cares deeply about the success and continued growth of the College,” Kennedy said. “He’s demonstrated his ongoing commitment to our College at many levels by helping develop our students’ learning experiences and by hiring many of our graduates.”
TJ Toyota recently expanded their business and completed a major facility upgrade. In recognition of the achievement, the New York regional offices of Toyota Motor Sales USA made a donation on behalf of Cloce to the SUNY Canton College Foundation to benefit the College’s automotive program. Cloce then matched the gift with an unrestricted donation to the SUNY Canton Foundation in honor of Kennedy.
“Together with his previous donations, Mr. Cloce has donated approximately $50,000 in assets and funding to the SUNY Canton College Foundation,” said SUNY Canton Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “We can’t thank him enough for his support of our programs and our administration.”
Cloce previously donated a Toyota Prius during the SUNY Canton Centennial Campaign in addition to establishing the Ed and Clara Cloce Scholarship in 1989. The family’s scholarship provides annual funding for one student enrolled in the College’s Canino School of Engineering Technology. Combined, the donations totaled approximately $3,000.
A portion of the funding will be used to purchase new equipment for servicing late model and hybrid vehicles in the college’s state-of-the-art automotive laboratories.
“We made this donation because of the extraordinary accomplishments the college has achieved under the guidance of President Kennedy,” Cloce said. “It is my hope that my donations help SUNY Canton students remember and value their education.”
Cloce is a member of the SUNY Canton College Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the automotive program’s advisory board. He received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award at the College’s 101st Commencement Ceremony in 2009.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.
SUNY Canton will be sweetening the grand opening of the Grasse River Suites Residence Hall with an ice cream social.
The SUNY Canton Foundation and the Grasse River, LLC, will be holding a ribbon cutting celebration for its newest residence hall at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, at the Grasse River Suites. Free ice cream will be available after the ceremony.
The residence hall opened to students at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester, adding much needed on-campus housing at the College. Guided tours of the facility will be available.
“There has been a great deal of interest and excitement surrounding our newest buildings,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held to showcase the beautiful new building and successful work of our foundation staff and our partnership with the Grasse River, LLC.”
The apartment-style complex has 304 beds grouped into 83 independent living suites and is adjacent to the Cooper Service Complex. The residence hall is designed primarily for upper class students and includes a mini-store, multi-purpose classroom, and an open courtyard for recreation and outdoor activities.
The $26 million project was financed through bonds secured by a partnership created with the Town of Canton and the Canton Capital Resource Corporation. The Grasse River Suites were constructed without any state funding or taxpayer resources.
“The College and greater Canton community both benefit from our newest residence hall,” noted Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “The building adds to the appeal of our campus and expands its four-year housing options, which will attract more students to the area. Each of those students will spend more time locally and our businesses and communities will continue to grow and thrive. And because these 305 students benefit from having kitchens in their suites and are only on partial meal plans, they will be shopping at local grocery stores and eating at local restaurants even more than most students.”
Northland Associates of Liverpool was the general contractor for the LEED Silver Certified building. Many area subcontractors were hired to help complete the project.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is the latest in a string of grand opening celebrations across SUNY Canton. The College recently celebrated a Taco Bell and KFC Express located next to the existing Jreck’s Subs in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center. Staff members are currently planning a grand opening for the Roos House Athletic Center.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Manager, or call 315/386-7527.
A recent gift made to SUNY Canton recognizes the significant impact a two-time alumna has had on both the College and local communities.
Barbara Theobald Rich Wilder, class of 1953 and 1970, will be honored at the dedication of ‘The Barbara Rich Wilder Nursing/PTA Study Suite’ at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 20. The ceremony will take place in the suite, which features a lounge area for nursing students as well as a computer and study room.
Barbara Rich Wilder (third from left) will be honored at the dedication of ‘The Barbara Rich Wilder Nursing/PTA Study Suite’ on Saturday, August 20. She is pictured with (from left) her husband, Frederick, SUNY Canton Board of Directors Chair Bernie Regan, and President Joseph L. Kennedy.
“We’re thankful for Barbara’s constant efforts to help SUNY Canton and our students succeed,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “Having her name on the suite will remind our students of the kind of professional and person they should aspire to be. We appreciate her leadership and guidance as a donor, volunteer and advocate.”
Wilder, who has served as a director on the Canton College Foundation since 2009, was unaware of the gift being made by her husband Frederick who wanted to surprise her. The gift was unveiled at a recent Canton College Foundation Board meeting.
“SUNY Canton has been great for the North Country as so many students have been able to obtain a sound education for a successful future. We feel very strongly that it is more important now to invest in SUNY Canton,” Wilder said. “Both Frederick and I hope this room will be a place for nursing and physical therapy assistant students to meet, reflect, plan, and study so they will be prepared to be among the best in all graduating health professionals.”
Wilder attended the College in 1953 and later returned as a non-traditional student in the nursing program and graduated in 1970. She then became a registered nurse and worked in the field.
Wilder has served in a number of volunteer roles throughout the community. She has served as a former trustee of the Benton Library Board and the Canton Methodist Church and was also a former board of director for St. Lawrence County Cooperative Extension, 4-H Division, and the Canton Garden Club. She has been an active volunteer for the American Red Cross, Well Child Clinics, and the Canton Rescue Squad.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.
SUNY Canton Distinguished Alumnus John L. Halford of Gouverneur will be forever associated with some of the best seats in the new Roos House.
The 1949 graduate made a generous donation to the athletic center earlier this semester, securing the right to name the John L. Halford Sr. Alumni Suite. The exclusive elevated seating area overlooks the new ice rink and will be used to host alumni receptions and important game-day functions.
Nelta M. and John L. Halford of Gouverneur recently visited the “John L. Halford Alumni Suite” in the nearly completed SUNY Canton Roos House Athletic Center.
Halford and his wife Nelta M. recently visited the nearly completed facility to talk through the final details with College Foundation, facilities and advancement officials, and even tried out the new seating.
“John and Nelta continue to demonstrate their remarkable generosity and set a wonderful example for their fellow alumni,” said David M. Gerlach vice president for advancement. “They have helped many students obtain their SUNY Canton education and they are an inspiration to others. Now the Halford name will be permanently displayed in one of the nicest and most visible areas on campus.”
His generosity previously led the College to name the Lobby at the intersection of the Faculty Office Building, Wicks Hall, and Cook Science Center in his honor.
Halford is a proud World War II veteran who completed high school and attended SUNY Canton (then called the Agricultural and Technical Institute) after his time overseas.
“I’ve asked the SUNY Canton Foundation to include the U.S. Marine Corps seal on the plaque in the Halford Alumni Suite in honor of my time in the service,” Halford said. “Whether it’s through scholarship or athletics, I hope students enjoy their time at the College and use their experience to shape their lives.”
After graduating from the air conditioning technology program, he moved to Long Island and worked for Brookhaven National Laboratory as a technology specialist. He later became Suffolk County maintenance supervisor of buildings and grounds.
He is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Gouverneur and a Mason of more than 50 years. He is a supporter of the E.J. Noble Hospital, Hermon-DeKalb Senior Citizens Center, and the Gouverneur Senior Citizens Center. He also volunteers for the Richville Library and serves on the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.
A SUNY Canton alumna and local business owner was inspired by her parents and her involvement with the College’s Foundation to make a warm gift to the new Roos House Athletic Center.
Sylvia M. Kingston, proprietor of both Josie’s Little Pizzeria and Sylvia’s Lounge and Eatery in Canton, recently donated $25,000 to the SUNY Canton Foundation. Her gift secured the right to name the Lloyd J. and Josephine F. Kingston Fireplace located in the mezzanine within the brand-new building.
“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 current student at SUNY Canton in Liberal Arts-General Studies program. She graduated early from Hugh C. Williams High School in order to attend the College during the Spring semester.
The family has also been renowned for their 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.”
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.
A prominent North Country family is sharing their passion for athletics and academics in order to benefit SUNY Canton students.
William J. (Bill) and Carol M. Coakley, Carol J. and Ronald J. Spadaccini, and Thomas F. (Tom) and Nellie E. Coakley, the owners of Coakley Carpet One Ace Hardware in Canton, recently made a gift to the SUNY Canton Foundation for the College’s new athletic facility. The family’s donation secured the right to name the Coakley Family Student-Athlete Study and Classroom in the new athletic office suite within the brand-new Roos House.
“The Coakley family is well known for their civic pride, involvement in the community, and willingness to assist others,” said SUNY Canton President Dr. Joseph L. Kennedy. “We’re thankful for the many roles they play within the College as mentors, coaches, and advisors. Their continued efforts make a difference in the lives of our students and the greater North Country community.”
The family decided to donate after seeing the benefit of athletics in each of their own children’s educations. The dynamic relationship of sports at all levels coupled with academic studies helped mold them into successful individuals. “The relationship between athletics and academics is absolutely critical,” said Tom Coakley. “For us, it was a natural fit to put our family name on a room that will reinforce the academic and athletic success of students at SUNY Canton.”
The Coakleys’ ties to the College span over several decades. Tom, Bill and Carol’s father, Robert J., often filled in as a construction instructor in SUNY Canton’s earlier days. Bill assisted the men’s ice hockey team for 15 years alongside Head Coach Terry Martin, during which time the team won many NJCAA Championships. Tom has been a member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors since 1981, is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee, and serves with his wife, Nellie, on the Service Members Advisory Board.
“We’re excited and proud to be a part of the College’s growth and success,” Bill said. “SUNY Canton’s commitment to Canton is evident in this new facility and its continual push for growth, which brings with it plenty of opportunities and revenue to the North Country.”
The family was the recipient of the Canton College Foundation’s Community Leadership Award in 2008, honoring their leadership and commitment to the North Country community. Most recently, the Coakleys won both the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Syracuse District Family Owned Business of the Year award as well as the Region II award, including all of New York State, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The winner of the national award will be announced in May.
Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.