The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored Dr. Gary C. Jaquay, a member of the Class of 1967, with the 2012 Distinguished Service Award at the College’s annual Reunion Weekend.
The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an alumna or alumnus who has made exceptional contributions to the Alumni Association and/or the College.
Dr. Jaquay, of Hegins Township, Penn., was lauded for his lifelong career in music education, his extraordinary lifetime support of the performing arts, his inspired forward thinking and his generous spirit in support of SUNY Potsdam and its Crane School of Music.
Jaquay believes in the transformational power of empowering students to explore their own musical boundaries, while experiencing the excellence of the world’s top talents. He remembers his own Crane Chorus experience, working with visiting artists and traveling to perform new works. One of his fondest memories from his undergraduate years at Potsdam was performing Handel’s Messiah at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, in December 1965, with the Crane Collegiate Singers.
“You cannot discount the impact this has on a young musician. That experience is profound and transformative. It’s permanent,” he said.
Having invested his professional life in the teaching of young musicians, Jaquay’s Potsdam memories, along with the love, guidance and support of his mother, aunt and partner, inspired him to give back to his alma mater in meaningful ways.
This spring, the Adeline Maltzan Crane Chorus Performance Tour Fund, established by Jaquay in honor of his aunt, made it possible for nearly 300 Crane students to rehearse and perform at that very same Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. They presented Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa da Requiem under the direction of Ann Howard Jones, longtime associate of the great Robert Shaw.
In the fall of 2014, the inaugural Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize, named in memory of Jaquay’s partner, will shape the education of SUNY Potsdam students, as they premiere up to three new operas, each featuring a theme of tolerance. These gifts, along with the Alma Maltzan Jaquay Memorial Scholarship, established in 2007 in memory of his mother, ensure that at this time of financial challenges in higher education and the arts around the nation, SUNY Potsdam students will have world-class educational and performing experiences that they will be able to share with their students in future years.
To find out more about the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize, visit www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/pellicciotti.
For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s remarkable alumni, visit www.potsdam.edu/alumni.
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.