Potsdam College Foundation Honors State Senator Joseph Griffo


From left, Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees President Lynne Boles, State Senator Joseph Griffo and SUNY Potsdam Interim President Dennis L. Hefner.

The Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees recently honored State Senator Joseph Griffo for his instrumental role in securing full New York State funding for the SUNY Potsdam Performing Arts Center, which is now nearing completion.

The $55 million project is drawing to a close as the College prepares for a Dec. 4 ribbon cutting ceremony to open the doors to the state-of-the-art facility. The Foundation and Alumni Boards invited Sen. Griffo to join trustees for a preview tour of the building. They were joined by campus officials and faculty and students from the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Potsdam College Foundation Board of Trustees President Lynne Boles '74 presented Griffo with an honorary resolution thanking him for fighting for the Performing Arts Center funding, allowing the first new academic building in 40 years to be built on the SUNY Potsdam campus.

"Whereas, State Senator Joseph Griffo was instrumental in securing full funding for the Performing Arts Center project through the State University of New York Construction Fund Capital Plan, obtaining full funding for the $55 million project through unwavering negotiations with senior leadership in his first term on the New York State Legislature, now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Potsdam College Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees, in its mission of advancing SUNY Potsdam, hereby conveys its profound gratitude to State Senator Joseph Griffo, without whom this vision would not be possible, for his steadfast support and commitment to creativity at the College, and in the greater North Country as a whole," the resolution says.

The nearly 100,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center will house the growing Department of Theatre and Dance, bringing world class arts opportunities to the North Country for both campus and community. The center will open for classes in January, with a grand opening celebration complete with special performances scheduled for April 2014.

"The Potsdam College Foundation is founded in the belief that, together, we can make great things happen—things that might not have otherwise been possible. I can't think of a better example than this remarkable building," Boles said. "Senator Griffo, thank you so much for helping make this vision a reality."

"This $55 million investment represents both a commitment to the arts and the economy of the North Country," said Griffo. "The construction of this new Performing Arts Center has created an estimated 344 jobs and had an economic impact of $128 million. And when it opens, I'm certain it will be well used. There are three times as many students majoring in theatre and dance at SUNY Potsdam than there were a decade ago, and Potsdam has the distinction of offering SUNY's first theatre education degree. The venue will also be a prime attraction for artists from around the world who want to present their work in our area. I'm happy to have secured this funding."

The SUNY Potsdam Performing Arts Center will connect communities through art. With a proscenium theater, black box theater and dance performance hall, plus labs, studios, shops and archives, this facility is unlike any other in the region. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu/about/artscampus/performingartsbuilding.

About the Potsdam College Foundation:

Established in 1968, the Potsdam College Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to stewarding the continued growth of private giving in support of SUNY Potsdam. Its mission is to ensure a quality future for the College and its people, by establishing endowments to support scholarships and programs to ensure campus needs are met. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu/giving/pcf.

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.