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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 start of a new year is always exciting, and 2014 is no exception. It’s also a fitting time to reflect upon high- lights of the past year that, not surprisingly, will spur even more excitement on campus in the months and years ahead. Completion of the Science Center, Fredonia’s first new academic building in four decades, is so close that every

day we can see dramatic changes in the exterior and interior. As of mid-December, contractors were installing gypsum board for walls and ceilings in various locations along with floor tile, millwork/cabinetry, painting, and door frames. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing work also continued on all floors. The campus project team has been busy selecting furniture, fixtures, and equipment. All work is scheduled to be complete in the spring.

A new era in Fredonia’s history will commence this fall when students enter those exciting spaces for discovery in the classrooms, laboratories, and informal study areas in the Science Center. We hope you’ll make plans to join us for the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 17 that will kick-off Homecoming weekend. It will be a great opportunity to meet faculty and students who will raise the bar on SUNY Fredonia’s already impressive science accomplishments.

Rockefeller Arts Center’s addition and renovation project is on schedule to begin construction in May 2014. The two-story, 40,000-square-foot addition will house dance and arts studios, support facilities for theatrical productions, a multipurpose room, and a new entrance. Existing second-floor spaces will be renovated for use by the departments of Theatre and Dance and Visual Arts and New Media. The project, to be completed by the summer of 2016, will further enhance student learning and audience experiences at Fredonia’s iconic Rockefeller Arts Center (see story on p. 10).

A student housing milestone will be reached in August when students move into the new townhouses currently under construction along Ring Road near the ball diamonds. Nearly 200 students will be able to enjoy fully furnished, independent townhouse-style living without leaving the safety and convenience of campus. These apartments offer single bedrooms but shared living space with the independence upper-division students and graduate students seek — all within easy walking distance of the arts activities, student organizations, and Blue Devils Fitness Center that are such important parts of residential campus life.

Under the leadership of Provost Terry Brown, SUNY Fredonia is in the midst of a lively campus-wide discussion to redesign general education. The proposal developed by the General Education Revision Committee has sparked conversations about the purposes of liberal education as the foundation of a 21st century degree. In designing a distinct program that builds on Fredonia’s historic strengths and mission, the committee is asking questions about curriculum design, course development, instruction funding, and the alignment with SUNY’s seamless transfer objectives. This revision is an important goal of the Power of Fredonia, the institutional strategic plan.

As a SUNY institution, Fredonia is also an active partner in Start-Up NY, a game-changing economic development initiative launched by Governor Andrew Cuomo to create tax-free zones to attract and grow new businesses across the state — especially in Upstate New York. Under the leadership of Vice President for Engagement and Economic Development Kevin Kearns, this program expands SUNY Fredonia’s important role as an economic generator in the communities we serve. (See the story on the facing page to learn how this unprecedented economic initiative might benefit your business or career.)

Faculty members across many disciplines continue to strengthen their standing in the Western New York community as well as in their respective academic fields on national and international levels. A handful of their many achievements include designing a digital interface communication system for a NASA-launched satellite; editing a new book on global environment; authoring a book that examines parables in the New Testament; receiving an outstanding educator award; and, having research on plastic pollution in the Great Lakes published in the New York Times, aired on NPR, and shared globally.

We’re delighted to present this new issue of the Statement and the opportunity to bring you up-to-date with all the excitement that’s happening at your alma mater. And we look forward to hearing from you about your lives and your continued ideas for SUNY Fredonia.

posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 4:40 PM by Jonathan Woolson

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