An investiture ceremony held at SUNY Canton April 10 officially inaugurated Zvi Szafran, Ph.D., as SUNY Canton’s fourth president.
More than 300 guests gathered in the Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center to celebrate a new era in the college’s more than 100-year history. Distinguished Alumnus and Chairman of the SUNY Canton College Council Ronald M. O’Neill provided the welcome address and thanked those who have played an important role in the college’s past, as well as those who are leading the college in its next chapter. He congratulated Szafran on his appointment, noting, “We look forward to his long and successful tenure, and to the indelible mark he will leave on this campus.”
The inauguration week’s theme of “always moving forward” was woven throughout the event. Two student representatives — Rachel N. Zeitzmann, a freshman in the Health Science Career Studies certificate program and Pierre Nzuah, a senior in the Electrical Technology bachelor’s degree program — discussed how they incorporate the theme into their own lives.
Special messages were also delivered on behalf of the faculty, alumni and the College Foundation. Guest speaker Theodore Long, Ph.D., president emeritus of Elizabethtown College and longtime colleague of Dr. Szafran, told the audience, “Dr. Szafran’s commitment to SUNY Canton and his pride in its character run deep; you could have no stronger advocate.”
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher discussed the college’s role as the economic engine of the revitalization of New York State, the importance of increasing access to higher education for every resident and praised SUNY Canton as a leader in the technology field. “SUNY Canton is the Power of SUNY,” she said.
Following her remarks, she officially conferred Szafran with the SUNY Canton presidential medallion, which a Graphic and Multimedia Design student Austin Rdzanek of Saranac Lake helped design for the ceremony.
Following a standing ovation from the collected faculty, staff, students, guests and dignitaries, Szafran echoed the importance of higher education access and the college’s role in the economic growth of the North Country region.
“SUNY Canton will be the shining example to all of how a college can make a critical difference in its community and nation,” he said. “Our students will thrive in our supportive environment, enjoying an education that prepares them to create and innovate, and learn how to apply that innovation in entrepreneurial ways for our region’s needs.”
About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service. 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 ten exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as provisional members of the NCAA Division III and the USCAA.