Alumni Board grants Jane Russell Honorary Lifetime Membership


The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Board of Trustees recently awarded Jane D. Russell of Raleigh, NC, Honorary Lifetime Membership during the College’s Annual Reunion Weekend.

Honorary Lifetime Membership recognizes the exceptional contributions of non-alumni to the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association and the College. The Alumni Association acknowledged Russell for her generosity and deep personal commitment to SUNY Potsdam.

Ms. Russell’s first visit to campus was in 2002 when she accompanied her husband Tom, Class of 1957, to his 45th Reunion. Although each of them earned numerous degrees at other universities, and both have worked at major universities they have chose to focus their philanthropy on Potsdam. As a benefactor of two endowments, Ms. Russell is deeply committed to the College.

Because Mr. Russell had dedicated his career to the study of distance education, the couple endowed a scholarship at SUNY Potsdam in 2007 to encourage students to broaden their educational experience by taking courses in distance education. 

In 2008, they endowed a second fund to recognize faculty who are conducting distance education courses in an exemplary manner. Ms. Russell was an important collaborator in crafting the criteria for The Thomas L. and Jane D. Russell Distance Education Faculty Excellence Award.