The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored Michael Lewis of Potsdam with Honorary Lifetime Membership, in recognition of his 37 years of outstanding leadership and service to the College.
Honorary Lifetime Membership is presented to non-alums who have made exceptional contributions to the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association and/or the College. Lewis was lauded for his long association with the College and dedication to the institution.
In 1975, Michael Lewis, a young, enthusiastic Clarkson University graduate, joined the SUNY Potsdam staff in the accounting department.
Over the next 37 years, he demonstrated exceptional breadth and depth in his craft, progressing through increasingly responsible financial positions at the College, culminating in his appointment as vice president for business affairs in 1999. Lewis officially retired from that position on June 30, 2012.
He has dealt with every financial challenge in the College’s recent history, providing solid financial and administrative leadership at SUNY Potsdam through numerous cycles of growth and contraction, late New York State budgets, drastic cuts and mid-year corrections. Lewis has served six presidents and five interim presidents during his tenure. At the SUNY System level, he was elected by his peers as president of the State University Business Officers Association.
Lewis’s career legacy at the College includes co-founding the SUNY Potsdam Child Care Center and revitalizing the Potsdam’s auxiliary services corporation, PACES. For the past 11 years, he has chaired the annual SUNY Potsdam Scholarship Golf Tournament, which has raised a half-million dollars for scholarships at the College. Under Lewis’s leadership, the College completed the artificial turf soccer and lacrosse stadium and field, the softball stadium, the Townhouse villages, the reconstruction of Draime Hall, the construction of the Combined Heat and Power plant and broke ground on the Performing Arts Building.
In his adopted hometown of Potsdam, Lewis has made substantial contributions, serving as a youth basketball coach, head girl’s basketball coach at Potsdam Central School from 2001 to 2008, and as a member of the Potsdam Central School Board of Education from 1994 to 2002.
With his status as an honorary alumnus, Lewis will join some esteemed company—his family. His wife, Polly, and their four daughters, Amy, Christine, Kathleen and Debbie, are all graduates of SUNY Potsdam, as are many of his former girls’ basketball players at Potsdam High School. He has proven himself to be one of the College’s most tireless advocates.
For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s dedication to 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.