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Letter from presidents: Meet some remarkable alumni and students

Hefner and Gibbs
L to R: Greg K. Gibbs and Dennis L. Hefner

Letter from University President Dennis L. Hefner and Alumni Board President Greg Gibbs

Dear Alumni and Friends,

We look forward to a great academic year at SUNY Fredonia. Aside from welcoming an outstanding freshman and transfer class, we have several exciting events to anticipate this fall. We are also delighted to welcome students from South Korea’s Hankuk University as part of a new international partnership.

If you’ve visited campus lately, you found signs of progress at nearly every corner as our capital construction projects went forward as scheduled. Shortly after the fall semester begins, we will officially break ground for our new $60 million Science Center.

Planning is over, let the construction begin! Working hand-in-hand with our Facilities Planning team has been Project Shepherd Holly Lawson of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, together with other faculty, staff and alumni.

Our Williams Center first and second floor renovations are well underway and Fenton Hall residents are enjoying new historically appropriate windows which replaced the originals.
The new classroom addition to the Michael C.  Rockefeller Arts Center is in the design stage, with Emeritus Professor Steve Rees of the Department of Theatre and Dance serving as its Project Shepherd.

In another sign of progress, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
deserve credit for agreeing to a much-needed rational approach to tuition. Future SUNY historians will recognize this successful effort as one of the pivotal junctures in the history of public higher education. Elimination of tuition uncertainty not only aids SUNY’s efforts to plan effectively and serve as an economic engine for the state, but  also guarantees future students access to a quality public higher education system. This legislation allows Fredonia to plan better for the long-term via a more predictable revenue stream, and also gives families valuable information for their planning purposes.

In addition to traditional academic events including the Sept. 15 Maytum Convocation Lecture by Karthik Bala, co-founder of Vicarious Visions and developer of the revolutionary video game series, “Guitar Hero,” the semester will end with great excitement as world-famous cellist and Williams Visiting Artist Yo-Yo Ma performs with our College Symphony for what is sure to be a memorable evening.

We welcome our alumni back to campus for Homecoming, Oct. 21 to 23, to share precious memories with classmates. Our annual Scholar’s Breakfast, being held Saturday, Oct. 1 during Family Weekend, will recognize student scholarship recipients as well as the vital benefactors who graciously provide these award funds through the Fredonia College Foundation.

This issue of the Statement introduces us to some remarkable alumni and current students – people who inspire us and once again remind us that the world is growing ever smaller. The Class of 1959 and its efforts to help the College Lodge become more sustainable, as well as alumni gatherings which bring friends “home” to Fredonia or together at regional gatherings, also remind us that we’re all part of a special family that remembers the past proudly, yet always looks forward to the future.

We thank everyone for their efforts to support SUNY Fredonia and share in its richness. Whether through gifts to the foundation’s “Doors to Success” capital campaign, attending events and taking an interest in campus life, or contacting lawmakers in support of the rational tuition plan – we appreciate your support and your enthusiasm.

posted @ Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:17 PM by Christine Davis Mantai

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