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Letter from the Presidents: Virginia Horvath and David Fountaine, '79

Horvath and Fountaine
Quarterly letter from SUNY Fredonia President Virginia S. Horvath and Alumni Board of Directors President David Fountaine, '79, '89


The spring of 2013 was an exciting, event-filled one, capped off by the graduation of the largest class in SUNY Fredonia’s 186-year history. That excitement and momentum continue this fall, as changes in leadership, strategic initiatives, and physical campus all show Fredonia’s commitments and priorities.

Dr. Terry Brown began on July 1 as Fredonia’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She spent 24 years in the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, including as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UW-Parkside, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UWRiver Falls, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UW-River Falls. She also served UW’s system administration, leading integrated academic, budget, and facilities planning initiatives.

Terry now oversees Fredonia’s largest division, Academic Affairs, with its annual $30 million budget and 370 faculty/staff. She is well versed in many areas important to Fredonia: international partnerships, accreditation, assessment, recruitment, retention, diversity and shared governance. Dr. Kevin Kearns, formerly the Interim Provost, was appointed on July 1 as the Vice President for Engagement and Economic Development.

This new position reflects SUNY Fredonia’s commitment to public engagement, as we seek Carnegie Foundation recognition as an engaged campus. It also provides support and visibility for the important role this regional, public university has in promoting economic development.

July 1 also marked the founding of the new College of Visual and Performing Arts, which includes the world-renowned School of Music, Department of Theatre and Dance, Department of Visual Arts and New Media, and Rockefeller Arts Center. At its helm is Dean Ralph Blasting, former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Siena College. At Siena, Dr. Blasting was responsible for 1,300 students, 100 faculty, and 11 departments. He brings new ideas and leadership to strengthen and celebrate already impressive programs at Fredonia.

The former College of Arts and Sciences has a new structure and name as well: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Continuing under the strong leadership of Dean John Kijinski, the college includes 15 departments that are the foundation of the liberal education core.

Construction continues on the new Science Center, scheduled to open in Fall 2014. The 92,000-square-foot building includes a distinctive atrium overlooking a native plants garden, state-of-the art classrooms/labs, and inviting spaces for creative collaborations.

Many spaces in the facility have been named by those who want to support the work of the science programs, but there are still opportunities if you want to be part of this exciting building!

At the other end of campus, new student townhouses – a cluster of six buildings along with a commons for group events – are also scheduled to open in 2014. They will accommodate 196 students and meet increasing demand for independent, year-round, apartment-style living.

Soon the campus will welcome the Class of 2017 – the largest entering class in four years.

It’s another academically select class as well, with an average SAT score of 1100 and mean high school average of 90. This class is also among Fredonia’s most ethnically and geographically diverse: 16 percent minority, double the Fall 2012 number of out-of-state students, and strong international enrollment.

We look forward to the successes these Fredonians will achieve on campus and after they graduate – just as you have done before them.

Whether you return for Homecoming (Oct. 11-13), attend one of the many reunions listed on the previous page, or support students and graduates with career guidance and opportunity, your commitment to your alma mater always makes a difference.

You embody the ideals of the current mission statement, as you show the world how Fredonia alumni are skilled, creative, connected and responsible.

Whenever your plans bring you to Fredonia, we are happy to welcome you here.

posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:18 PM by Christine Davis Mantai

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