SUNY Potsdam to Honor Deborah Diefendorf Hind '75 with 2013 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award


Deborah Diefendorf Hind ’75 will be honored with the 2013 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award during Commencement weekend at SUNY Potsdam.

SUNY Potsdam has named Deborah Diefendorf Hind ’75 as the recipient of its 2013 Roger B. Linden Distinguished Service Award, the highest award bestowed by the College. The annual recognition is bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated steadfast support for SUNY Potsdam and the region through their leadership, advocacy, stewardship and service.

Hind will be honored during a recognition dinner over the College’s Commencement weekend, May 18 and 19. 

“SUNY Potsdam is very pleased to honor Debbie Hind with this prestigious award, as a token of our thanks for her steadfast support for her alma mater. She has been a tireless volunteer and trusted friend, providing guidance to the institution and reaching out to fellow graduates, as well as working to ensure that today’s students have the best educational experiences,” College President Dr. John F. Schwaller said.

Deborah (Debbie) Diefendorf Hind graduated from SUNY Potsdam in 1975, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a certification in elementary education. While at Potsdam, she was an officer and member of the Agonian Sorority, an editor of the College yearbook, and was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, the national education honor society. She also holds a master’s degree from SUNY Cortland, and went on to become a teacher. Since graduating, Debbie has been a tireless volunteer and committed supporter for her alma mater, alongside her husband, Gary Hind ’77.

In July, Debbie will step down from the College’s Alumni Association, where she has served as a trustee for 16 years. During her tenure, she has been one of the most active members of the board, and served as president from 2006 to 2008. In that capacity, she led the Alumni Association through an important period of transition, when the structure of the board was changed to allow for more new members, while honoring long-term trustees with emeriti ranks. Another of Debbie’s accomplishments was her success in fostering collaboration between the Alumni Association and the Potsdam College Foundation boards of trustees. She was also very active in developing alumni chapters, including the Albany and Rochester chapters, which remain the most active chapters. She was honored with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2005.

In addition, Debbie served on the reunion committee for the Class of 1975’s 25th- reunion in 2000, and again in 2005 for their 30th. In 2000, she and her co-chairs raised more than $50,000—a reunion gift record at that time. In recognition of their work in raising funds for a computer classroom, the Class of 1975 Computer Science Classroom is named in their honor. Debbie is always willing to help the College connect with alumni, hosting alumni gatherings such as Double Axel events and informal dinners in the Albany area. Some of her other volunteer activities have included service as a member of the “White Glove Club” for the Mary E. English Commons, in which she and other Ago alumnae spent many hours in the College Archives researching and finding photos for the project’s Greek Life exhibit. Debbie has also served on the Ago Alumnae Association for many years, including serving every year on the Ago Alumnae Scholarship Committee.

Debbie and Gary served as national campaign co-chairs for the College’s second campaign, which raised more than $12.5 million. The Hinds also currently serve on the steering committee for Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which just recently launched, with a goal of raising $27 million by the College’s bicentennial in 2016.

In addition to her invaluable volunteer service, Debbie has also been extremely generous to her alma mater. She and her husband have endowed five endowed funds at SUNY Potsdam, including three scholarships, one fund for a Department of Politics lecture series, and a School of Education endowment. They chose to name two of the scholarships in honor of Deans Amoriell and Pletcher upon their retirement from SUNY Potsdam, and their gift to endow a fund for the politics department was made in honor of Professor Richard Del Guidice. They have also given generously to the College’s unrestricted fund and its funds for scientific equipment.

The Hinds were recently inducted into the Chancellor’s Circle by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. The Chancellor’s Circle recognizes donors who have made campus gift commitments of $100,000 or more.

For more information about Commencement at SUNY Potsdam, visit

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 4,350 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.