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SUNY Potsdam to Honor Preston C. Carlisle with 2018 Leadership Through Service Award

Photo of Preston Carlisle
Preston C. Carlisle will be honored with the 2018 Leadership Through Service Award at SUNY Potsdam’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 19.

SUNY Potsdam will recognize Preston C. Carlisle with the 2018 Leadership Through Service Award, one of the College’s highest honors, during Commencement.

Hundreds of bachelor’s and master’s graduates will celebrate earning their degrees at this year’s Commencement Ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, May 19 at 10:15 a.m. in the Academic Quad.

SUNY Potsdam established the Leadership Through Service Award to honor those outstanding individuals and organizations that have demonstrated a commitment of service to the Potsdam community. Each year, recipients are acknowledged for demonstrating a special commitment to the betterment of the North Country through dedicated service.

About the recipient:

Preston C. Carlisle attended St. Lawrence University, Iona College and Fordham University as an undergraduate, before entering military service. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, working at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. During that time, he also attended law school at American University, where he earned his Juris Doctor degree. In 1961, he established his law firm in Ogdensburg, N.Y., guided by the principles of integrity and hard work. In 1967, Carlisle became the first assistant district attorney of St. Lawrence County, while continuing to practice law at his own firm. In 1975, he left his work with the district attorney’s office to concentrate on building his own practice. Since that time, Carlisle Law Firm, with the addition of attorneys William W. Carlisle, Lloyd G. Grandy II and Edward Betz, has come to be recognized as one of the most prominent firms in the county.

As he built his career, Carlisle also focused on investing in the community through support for local causes. Over the years, he has been incredibly philanthropic and served by example through his commitment to supporting the work of the region’s universities and charities. His generous support has been pervasive across a broad range of issues, causes and activities that promote well-being and increase the quality of life in the area. He has supported the arts, athletics, healthcare, mental health, children’s charities, community recreation, civic causes and higher education. Among these causes, Carlisle is a faithful donor at the Leadership Gift level to SUNY Potsdam. In a region that is economically depressed, Carlisle’s dedication and generosity toward his community is an inspiration, and speaks to his deep love for the North Country and concern for its residents.

For more information about Commencement at SUNY Potsdam, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

Media contact:

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of College Communications,
(315) 267-2918