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SUNY Potsdam Announces Historic $5.25M Gift for Applied Learning

Lougheeds

The State University of New York at Potsdam has received the largest gift commitment in the College’s 201-year history. Donald (Hon. ’54) and Kathryn Kofoed Lougheed ’54 have pledged $5.25 million to support applied learning initiatives at SUNY Potsdam. With a combination of deferred and outright gifts, the new commitment represents the largest donation the College has ever received.

The Lougheeds’ new gift includes $3.12 million in an outright cash donation, plus a $2.13 million bequest, which has been codified in their estate plans. Their initial cash donation represents the largest outright gift received from a living individual in the past five years among all 13 SUNY comprehensive colleges.

“After 45 years of successful entrepreneurial enterprise, I have discovered that the greatest satisfaction of my life has been my involvement with SUNY Potsdam: its administration, the faculty and, especially, the students,” Donald Lougheed (Hon. ’54) said.

“Our involvement with SUNY Potsdam has been one of the most meaningful experiences in my life. It has been a gift to us. I am blessed that I was given this opportunity to influence so many young lives,” Kathryn Kofoed Lougheed ’54 said.

In order to impact the greatest number of students and contribute to the transformation of the College’s curriculum, the gift will be used to support faculty and staff activities that improve their ability to facilitate student participation in high impact and applied learning activities. This includes, but is not limited to, curricular transformation, laboratory materials and equipment, transportation costs, professional development, course releases, travel delegations and new program development.

Funds will also be used to directly support students’ involvement in activities that allow students to apply theoretical learning outside the classroom environment, such as internships, national and international study abroad opportunities, student research, field experiences, creative projects, service learning and entrepreneurship.

The Lougheeds’ gift will be overseen by the Dorf Endowed Director of Applied Learning, Jenica Rogers, who is also the director of the College Libraries at SUNY Potsdam.

The new gift commitment is in addition to the Lougheeds’ previous giving to the College. Prior to their applied learning gift, they have donated a total of $2.3 million in support of scholarships and the Lougheed-Kofoed Festival of the Arts—better known as the LoKo Festival, also in their honor—which they established in 2012.

In recognition of the Lougheeds’ unmatched generosity and unwavering support of the College, the SUNY Board of Trustees and the SUNY Potsdam College Council both voted to name the academic hub of campus in honor of the donors. The College’s library building will be renamed the Lougheed Learning Commons, in recognition of the couple’s legacy, and in a nod to the changing nature of the facility itself. The second floor of the library, which houses the College’s major book collections, will retain its name as the Frederick W. Crumb Memorial Library, with the support of Dr. Crumb’s family. In addition, the Center for Applied Learning is now set to become the Donald and Kathryn Lougheed Center for Applied Learning (LoCAL), in honor of the donors’ support. The College is planning a dedication ceremony for May 2018 to celebrate these new gifts.