Posts Tagged ‘Honorary Doctorate’

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Alum to Speak at SUNY Canton Commencement

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

John Maines III holding a newspaper.A Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who began his journalism career in the North Country will deliver the keynote speech at SUNY Canton’s 110th Commencement Ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

John G. Maines III, who attended SUNY Canton from 1976 to 1977, earned the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper its first Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2013 for a groundbreaking investigative report about speeding by Florida off-duty police officers. Maines and colleague Sally Kestin authored a three-part series titled “Above the Law,” and their findings led to sweeping reform and disciplinary action by police departments across the state.

“John is one of the most esteemed members of our alumni family, and we’re pleased to welcome him back to campus,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “John’s life’s work is an example of journalism’s value as a government watchdog and ally of public safety.”

A reporter for more than 40 years, he began his career writing for SUNY Canton’s student newspaper, the Insight, until he was recruited to work full-time for the Massena Observer. He subsequently went on to work for the Ithaca Journal and the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., before becoming a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. In the late 1980s, he became interested in computer-assisted reporting, or CAR, a technique that reporters use to gather and organize data for articles.

Upon joining the Sun Sentinel in 1993, he used his CAR background to assist the research team on a number of high-profile investigations, including voting irregularities in the 2000 presidential election, Florida’s connections to the Sept. 11 terrorists, and widespread FEMA fraud after Hurricane Frances in 2004.

He is the recipient of numerous journalism honors, including the Associated Press Managing Editors Public Service and First Amendment awards, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and the Roy W. Howard Award in Public Service Reporting from the Scripps Howard Foundation. He was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2006 for the FEMA series.

Maines attended SUNY Canton to study Agricultural Engineering and attributes his success in CAR to his interest in and aptitude for technology.

“I’ve been really lucky,” he said. “I took a sharp turn from engineering into journalism, but many of the skills I learned at SUNY Canton have stayed with me throughout my career.”

He was inducted into the SUNY Canton Hall of Fame in 2016 and will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his accomplishments.

 

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 Alumnus and World Renowned Cattle Breeder Passes Away

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

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.

Heffering and President Kennedy

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.

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.

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 Honors Former St. Lawrence University President

Monday, May 17th, 2010

President Emeritus Daniel SullivanSUNY Canton will present St. Lawrence University President Emeritus Daniel F. Sullivan with an Honorary Doctorate at the College’s Commencement Ceremony.

Sullivan’s tireless efforts as an academician and administrator have dramatically improved the quality of life in the North Country and positively affected the growth and reputation of education throughout the area.

“We are recognizing Dr. Sullivan with an honorary degree to formally thank him for his lifelong commitment and relentless hard work for the people of the North Country,” SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy said. “He’s furthered opportunities for North Country students of all ages and has been a leader and promoter for business growth and economic development.”

Sullivan began his career as the 17th president of St. Lawrence in 1996. During his tenure, he had a direct impact on the continued growth of Canton, St. Lawrence County, and the surrounding North Country communities. On numerous occasions, Sullivan and Kennedy have partnered with local community and business leaders on initiatives to facilitate improvements for the community at large.

“Dr. Sullivan has been an active supporter and participant in SUNY Canton’s growth and quick to embrace the symbiotic relationship between the two campuses and how it benefits our area,” Kennedy said. “The relationship is a unique public-private alliance and both colleges promote each other’s success and the success of our community.”

Among Sullivan’s numerous accomplishments was the creation of the Canton Initiative, a program that helped strengthen the ties between higher education and the community.

“What an unusual, special partnership St. Lawrence and SUNY Canton, and Joe Kennedy and I, have had over the past 13 years as we have sought together to improve the economic and quality of life vitality of the North Country,” said Sullivan. “Collaborations between public and private universities, such as ours, are rare nationally, but they need to become much less rare. I am deeply honored to be recognized in this way by an institution that has come to mean a great deal to me.”

In 2003, St. Lawrence hosted the inaugural North Country Symposium, bringing together local and regional business owners and stakeholders to develop ways to benefit life in Northern New York. The University hosted its eighth symposium this spring with steering committee input from SUNY Canton employees.

Sullivan, a 1965 graduate of St. Lawrence, received his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 1971. He was an Edward John Noble Fellow and a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. In 1971, he joined the faculty of Carleton College in Minnesota, and in 1979 became Vice President for Planning and Development and Associate Professor of Sociology there. He became President and Professor of Sociology at Allegheny College in 1986. In addition, he spent 1974-76 at Cornell University as a senior research associate and assistant professor of sociology on leave from Carleton.

In addition to his work with the local communities, he oversaw the expansion of St. Lawrence’s academic programs, including several new majors and international study programs. During his presidency, 25 different facilities were created or transformed, including the $36.9 million Johnson Hall of Science. Sullivan was also at the forefront of two of St. Lawrence’s capital campaigns, both the largest in the University’s history.

He and his wife, Ann, currently reside in Colton and are both still active members in the community.

SUNY Canton’s 102nd Commencement Ceremony will be conducted outside at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 22, adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

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