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Letter from the President

In the few short months since our last issue, so much has occurred on campus. Four things in particular stand out as both innovative and faithful to our Potsdam traditions. Potsdam has officially become an All-Steinway School with a historic purchase of 141 Steinway pianos. The delivery of the new instruments is scheduled throughout the spring semester, and we are planning a celebratory concert in the fall. Women’s hockey will once again be part of our athletic roster. Go Bears! We also play host April 18-21 to some of the world’s premiere scholars, artists and performers during our campus festival. And lastly, because of the absolute dedication of our alumni and friends, the Mary E. English Commons showcasing the College’s history will be unveiled during Reunion Weekend in July, (be sure to register, page 14).

By way of this letter to you, I want to extend to you a special invitation. On Friday, April 20, we will celebrate my inauguration as the 15th president of this great institution. Even though I am deeply honored to be recognized with such an event, I want to share this celebration with the whole Potsdam family in a way that is meaningful to students. As a result, my wife, Anne, and I have decided to endow a scholarship. Quite simply, I am here to serve students, and it is the student experience that I wish to enrich as much as I can as president.

Normally, a presidential scholarship is established upon departing an institution to provide a legacy by which the campus can remember the departing chief executive. But Anne and I do not want to wait that long. Moreover, we plan to stick around awhile; consequently we have decided to immediately create a scholarship that will help students study abroad. Most importantly, we want you to be a part of it.

Anne and I have had the opportunity to live abroad and we have experienced how enriching it is. It provided us with many unique skills for living and gave us so much enjoyment. I’m sure many of you have had an opportunity to see the world outside of Potsdam and experience things from a different perspective. We want Potsdam students to have these same opportunities as part of their undergraduate education. It is an essential part of higher education in the 21st century, and we want to make certain that cost is not a barrier. We hope to award the first recipients for spring 2008 travel.

A benefit dinner will follow my inauguration with all proceeds going directly into the scholarship endowment. An inaugural dance, open to the public, will follow dinner with gifts gratefully accepted at the door. Anyone wishing to give to the scholarship may contact Nancy Griffin in the Office of College Advancement at (315) 267-2112 or

So we invite you to join us. Join the discussions at the campus festival. Come to the inauguration events. Support the Schwaller Scholarship for Study Abroad. Reconnect with old friends at Reunion. Come see a women’s hockey game. It is abundantly clear to me that whenever our alumni and friends are involved we are sure to succeed, so it is my sincere hope that you join us. Please come back home to Potsdam.

John Schwaller

Dr. John Schwaller