Posts Tagged ‘50 Years on the Hill’

SUNY Canton Plants Tree in Memory of Campus Construction Worker

Monday, June 18th, 2018

SUNY Canton has planted a tree in remembrance of an area worker who lost his life during the construction of the new hill campus more than 50 years ago.

“During the course of our research into our history corresponding with our milestone ‘50 Years on the Hill’ anniversary, we learned that Merlin L. Rafter was involved in a tragic accident,” said Vice President for Advancement Anne M. Sibley. “We are remembering this historically significant event to recognize the devoted worker who spent his final days building SUNY Canton.”

Merlin’s sister Sandra Mattice, his brother Randy Rafter, his daughter Judy Hargrave, his other daughter Linda Dixson, his widow Geraldine Gale, his son Terry Rafter, and Terry’s daughter, Sherry Rafter

The family of Merlin L. Rafter, a construction worker who lost his life during the initial construction of SUNY Canton, attended a memorial tree planting ceremony on campus. Pictured are (l to r) Merlin’s sister Sandra Mattice, his brother Randy Rafter, his daughter Judy Hargrave, his other daughter Linda Dixson, his widow Geraldine Gale, his son Terry Rafter, and Terry’s daughter, Sherry Rafter. The family is from Madrid.

On Oct. 10, 1966, Rafter was killed while the campus was beginning to take shape, according to John A. Goetze, who served as both a faculty member and the facilities project coordinator at the college. Rafter and two other workmen descended into a trench to help lay a section of pipe. Without warning, the trench suddenly collapsed on them. Two other workers involved with the accident escaped injury, according to the Oct. 11, 1966 edition of the St. Lawrence Plaindealer. Rafter was a resident of Norwood and hailed from Madrid.

Merlin Rafter

A portrait of Merlin L. Rafter provided by his family. Rafter lost his life during a construction accident at SUNY Canton in 1966.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran encouraged the college to plant an Ivory Lilac (syringa reticula) tree overlooking the campus to celebrate Rafter and his family.

“Planting a tree lets us reflect on the longtime friends of the college,” said Szafran. “As it blooms each spring, we’ll be reminded that Merlin gave everything as part of the effort to help us build this great college. Students, faculty and staff will all enjoy this beautiful addition to the campus for many years to come.”

Terry Rafter, Judy Hargrave, Linda Dixson, and Geraldine Gale helping to plant a tree in memory of Merlin L. Rafter

Pictured are (l to r) Terry Rafter, Judy Hargrave, Linda Dixson, and Geraldine Gale helping to plant a tree in memory of Merlin L. Rafter, who died in 1966 during the construction of the SUNY Canton hill campus.

Rafter’s family attended the tree planting ceremony held during the college’s alumni weekend celebration (Saturday, June 2). The tree and a memorial plaque were purchased by the Canton College Foundation and Szafran.

“It’s impossible to know what Merlin was thinking about on that day he came to work in 1966,” Szafran said. “Perhaps he was thinking about his upcoming plans to hunt or fish here in St. Lawrence County. He may have been thinking about his family, including his wife, Geraldine, and their sons and daughters. We’d like to speculate he was thinking about all of those things in addition to feeling the pride and accomplishment in creating a place where future generations would come to learn and better their lives.”

SUNY Canton Promotes Community Engagement with ‘50 Acts of Kindness’ Challenge

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

SUNY Canton has exceeded its goal to carry out 50 acts of kindness in commemoration of the college’s “50 Years on the Hill” celebration.

Students, faculty and staff completed more than 1,600 volunteer hours throughout the past eight months on more than 50 projects, which ranged from fundraising to community service.

Students carry a log down a path at the Grasse River Heritage Park.

“It’s incredible that nearly every person on campus contributed to reaching this goal,” said President Zvi Szafran. “This endeavor represents our commitment to citizenship, which is at the heart of our Campus Creed, and, more importantly, strengthens our bond with those who share this community with us.”

Five students hold a Puerto Rican flag in front of the SUNY Canton digital sign.

Notable projects included a student-led effort last fall to collect supplies for Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The drive was in support of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, and the governor’s office said SUNY Canton’s donation was one of the largest they had received thus far.

The Men's Basketball team poses in front of a bag of leaves.

In addition to earning praise from community and state leaders, the 50 acts project also received accolades from SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson.

“Congratulations to the entire SUNY Canton community on reaching the ‘50 Acts of Kindness’ goal in honor of a historic milestone,” said Johnson. “SUNY campuses are known as hubs for knowledge and economic development in their communities, but they are also forces for positive community action and service. Your effort is a perfect example of SUNY Generosity at work. It’s remarkable that through this project, your collective impact was felt as close as Canton and as far away as Puerto Rico. Thank you for being a positive force in your community and outstanding ambassadors for SUNY.”

Construction Technology students cut lumber for the North Country Children's Museum

Students made an impact locally through a number of volunteer efforts, including sewing blankets for patients in area hospitals, raising funds for area animal shelters, renovating the North Country Children’s Museum in Potsdam and helping elderly residents with lawn maintenance in Canton. One of the culminating projects was a clean-up day at Grasse River Heritage Park in Canton.

“Our sincere thanks to students, faculty and staff who volunteered their time to repair our walking trails and boardwalk for the upcoming season,” said Grasse River Heritage Area Development Corporation’s Board of Directors Vice President Peter Wyckoff. “This was definitely the largest group we’ve hosted at a Grasse River Heritage work session in many years, if not for the life of the park.”

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 13 online degree programs. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are joining the North Atlantic Conference beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

SUNY Canton Alumni Weekend Features College and Community Gala

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

SUNY Canton will be closing the 50 Years on the Hill campaign with a gala reception during its Alumni Weekend Celebration. The event kicks off with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. Friday, June 1, at the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center with a formal dinner to follow.

“We are opening this special event to the community in an effort to highlight the important connection we share with the surrounding area,” said SUNY Canton Vice President for Advancement Anne M. Sibley. “Our history is very intertwined with growth and development of the town and village. The day we broke ground on land donated by Edson Martin cemented our place in Canton’s history, and we will remain an active part of the region for many years to come.”

Old and new campus gradient

The event will feature keynote addresses by past Presidents Earl W. MacArthur and Joseph L. Kennedy.

Over the course of the past year, the college connected with many of the individuals responsible for building the new campus and relocating the college from a small cluster of buildings adjoining St. Lawrence University. Guests include: Robert R. Burns, a former facilities project coordinator who oversaw the campus’ new construction; William E. Fisher, a former assistant facilities program coordinator and a 1965 graduate; John A. Goetze, who also worked in both academics and for the college’s facilities department; Rosella M. Todd Valentine, a graduate of the class of 1968, who was one of the first students to live on the new campus; and Guilford “Gil” D. White, a graduate of the class of 1968 who helped in the construction efforts while he took classes.

“I’m really looking forward to connecting with my past colleagues,” Goetze said, who will be traveling from his residence in Florida for the event. “I also have several contributions for the college’s new time capsule.”

A special 50-year commemorative time capsule will be officially sealed as part of the weekend activities. The contents represent SUNY Canton during its 50thyear at its current location, and includes a special edition After Canton Alumni Magazine, among other historically-significant items.

Students, faculty, and staff form a 50 on the lawn in front of French Hall.

The college will also celebrate the class of 1968 during a half-century luncheon on Saturday June 2. Additional activities include live music, a presentation on the past and present of the college in addition to numerous social gatherings and plenty of parties.

For more information about the 50 Years on the Hill Gala and to view a complete schedule of events for alumni weekend, please visit SUNY Canton’s Alumni Weekend Website. For registration and participation information, please email alumni@canton.eduor call 1-800-811-6727.

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 13 online degree programs. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are joining the North Atlantic Conference beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

SUNY Canton President Offers 25K Challenge to Encourage New Alumni Donors

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

President Zvi SzafranSUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran is challenging more alumni to give to the Canton College Foundation.

Any alumnus making a gift of $25 or more before June 30, 2018, who hasn’t been a donor previously, will have his or her gift matched by the president and his wife, Jill.

“Alumni contributions have never been more important,” said Szafran. “I’ve pledged $25,000 in hopes that it will inspire alumni to collectively match our gift.”

SUNY Canton is in a period of growth with expanding online degree programs and several recently approved majors, such as Game Design and Development, Agribusiness and Technological Communications.

The college is also celebrating 50 years on its current campus. The class of 1968 was the first to graduate from the new campus, and in honor of that class and the anniversary, the Canton College Foundation is seeking 1,968 donors.

“We had a 12 percent increase in alumni donors last year,” said Vice President for Advancement Anne Sibley, “That was very exciting to see and shows our graduates’ confidence in the college. We’d like to see many more alumni helping Canton provide opportunities and scholarships to students.”

The Canton College Foundation awards approximately $400,000 in scholarships each year to students, in addition to funding academic projects, equipment, faculty development, guest speakers, and other activities.

Gifts to the Canton College Foundation can be made at www.canton.edu/gift or by calling 800-811-6727.

 

About SUNY Canton 

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 13 exclusively online degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are conference members of the newly formed American Collegiate Athletic Association.

SUNY Canton Begins ‘50 Years on the Hill’ Celebration

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

SUNY Canton - 50 Years on the HillSUNY Canton officially began celebrating the golden jubilee anniversary of the hill campus.

College President Zvi Szafran announced the “50 Years on the Hill” campaign today, (Wednesday, Aug. 23) during his state of the campus address. Additionally, the college unveiled a special new logo to be used through 2018, marking its official anniversary.

“SUNY Canton’s modern identity has been defined by our growth and development during our 50 years on top of this hill,” Szafran said. “In 1967 we offered a handful of two-year programs for around 1,500 students. Today, we have 25 bachelor’s degrees, 21 associate degrees, and 5 certificate programs for more than 3,200 students. We are so proud to look at how far we’ve come, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.”

To announce the celebration, the college has released a new video incorporating found footage and images from the college’s history. The minute-and-a-half film features two of SUNY Canton’s past presidents, and SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher presenting Szafran with his ceremonial medallion. The video is live on the college’s YouTube channel and is accessible by visiting the college’s webpage, or its Facebook page.

“SUNY Canton has such a strong presence in the community and continues to make great strides in growing its academic offerings to help students get jobs,” Zimpher said. “My congratulations to the SUNY Canton community. There is truly much to celebrate.”

The college purchased new commemorative flags for display in downtown Canton. Travis G. Smith, director of public relations and web designer, created a responsive website detailing key moments in the college’s history and describing the new logo.

The college is orchestrating a special 50-year aerial photo and video at noon on Friday, Aug. 25, in front of French Hall.

Other upcoming events will include special athletic games, an expanded homecoming weekend celebration, an Alumni Weekend celebrating the class of 1968, and a campaign to recruit 1,968 donors in the next year. The college will also be highlighting fun facts from its half-century on the hill.

The college was originally chartered in 1906 as New York’s first State School of Agriculture at St. Lawrence University. It began to move to its current location and created its own identity in 1966 with the new name of Canton Agricultural and Technical College. Administrators held a grand opening ceremony on the new campus in September 1968.

 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 13 exclusively online degrees. The college’s 15 athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level and are conference members of the newly formed American Collegiate Athletic Association.