Archive for the ‘College Foundation’ Category

SUNY Canton Mourns the Passing of Richard W. Miller

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Richard MillerProminent 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.

Richard Miller

“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

A complete obituary submitted my Mr. Miller’s family can be viewed at

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.”

Twin Toyota Donations Help Fuel SUNY Canton Students

Monday, October 24th, 2011

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.

Kennedy and Cloce

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 to Celebrate Newest Residence Hall

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Grasse River SuitesSUNY 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.”

Grasse River Suites

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.


Gift to SUNY Canton Honors Two-Time Alumna

Friday, August 19th, 2011

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.

The Wilders and Dr. Kennedy

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.


Roos House Donor Finalizes Rink Suite Naming

Friday, April 8th, 2011

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.

Kingston Honors Parents with Warm Gift to SUNY Canton

Monday, March 7th, 2011

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 Kingston

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.

Coakley Family Supports Student-Athletes at SUNY Canton

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

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.

SUNY Canton Foundation Announces Campus Enhancement Awards

Friday, December 17th, 2010

The SUNY Canton College Foundation recently announced the recipients of the 5th annual Campus Enhancement Awards.

“In addition to student scholarships and faculty development awards, Campus Enhancements help the College grow and aid in the creation of new high-profile projects and learning experiences,” said Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “During a time when state budgets are under attack, we rely upon donations to fund the creative and innovative projects of our College community. We are deeply grateful for all of the donors who make these programs possible.”

Campus Enhancements are funded through unrestricted donations made to the Foundation. Last year, more than 190 employees donated more than $55,000 to the College Foundation through payroll deductions.

The College Foundation will be providing funding for:

  • A project-based student learning series in the physics and engineering technology departments.
  • Healthy eating and life-saving training programs.
  • Upgrades to the College’s rope course.
  • The American Society of Civil Engineers/American Institute of Steel Construction Student Steel Bridge Team.
  • Software for students with disabilities.
  • A math peer study group.
  • A student health initiative through the counseling office.
  • A professional practice field trip for students in the graphic and multimedia design program.
  • Equipment for the IRS sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.
  • New camera equipment for the athletic department.
  • A trip to the Bronx Zoo for veterinary science technology students.
  • The American Criminal Justice Association to attend national championship student competitions.

To support the College’s Campus Enhancement Awards, or to inquire about starting a scholarship opportunity, contact the SUNY Canton Foundation, or call 386.7127, 1.800.811.6727.

SUNY Canton Foundation Seeks Alumni Feedback

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The SUNY Canton Alumni and Foundation offices are seeking information from the College’s more than 36,000 active graduates.

“We want our alumni to know that we are here to help them remain engaged and connected with their alma mater,” said SUNY Canton Director of Alumni and Development Peggy S. Levato. “We’ve created a survey to help us tailor our current programs and help our alumni stay linked with current events on campus.”

The short 12-question survey can be completed online at The same survey was included in the Fall 2010 edition of After Canton Alumni Magazine.

The alumni and foundation offices host events and activities including the annual alumni weekend on campus, receptions across the country and game-day celebrations in conjunction with the College’s athletic department.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

SUNY Canton Foundation Awards Inaugural Margaret D. Sovie Nursing Scholarship

Monday, November 1st, 2010

The SUNY Canton Foundation recently awarded a brand-new nursing scholarship to a devoted and deserving North Country student.

Margaret A. McDonnell of Rensselaer Falls was the inaugural recipient of a $5,000 award named in honor of the late Margaret D. Sovie, PhD. The scholarship was created by her husband, Alfred L. Sovie of Ogdensburg, a graduate of the class of 1958. McDonnell had the chance to meet and thank her benefactors at the College’s recent Scholarship Luncheon.

Pictured are 1959 graduate William J. Doe, Margaret A. McDonnell, the inaugural recipient of the Margaret D. Sovie Nursing Scholarship, and 1958 graduate Alfred L. Sovie.

“We are very proud of the donors who step forward to remove the barriers between a student and their education,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “In a time of overwhelming decreases in state funding, foundation scholarships have become more important than ever. In many cases scholarships are the only way a student can afford to access a high-quality education.”

McDonnell and her family have been involved in Haitian relief efforts before and during last year’s catastrophic earthquakes. She has assisted as a translator with a medical team and has been involved with the mission organization, Family Life Outreach. The nursing student was assisting with chiropractic clinics in Cap-Haitien a week before the earthquakes hit.

“Ms. McDonnell was honored to receive this scholarship created in the name of such a highly-regarded healthcare professional,” SUNY Canton’s Director of the Nursing Program John F. Conklin said. “Scholarships for future nurses are an investment in the overall quality of the health of our community.”

The Margaret D. Sovie Scholarship will be awarded annually to a second year nursing student who demonstrates compassion and an eagerness to become a Registered Nurse, as McDonnell has, Conklin said.

Margaret was an internationally recognized scholar, researcher, educator, and nursing administrator as well as a prolific author. Her studies have impacted clinical and practical nursing protocol throughout the United States and other countries. She was known for her fearlessness, outspoken manner, and her strong commitment to mentoring and patient care services.

Her name is associated with other prestigious awards, including the Margaret D. Sovie Writer’s Award, given by the Nursing Economic$ [sic] editorial board. In addition, the University of Rochester Medical Center created the Margaret D. Sovie Lecture Series, and Strong Memorial Hospital created the Margaret D. Sovie Center for Advanced Practice.

Over 300 students at SUNY Canton received either a foundation or state scholarship this year and scholarships awarded this year totaled more than $300,000. The Margaret D. Sovie Scholarship was one of 11 new awards to be created for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.