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In the early 1970s SUNY Potsdam established the Reading Center in Satterlee Hall. The purpose of the center was to match college students' needs for experience with elementary students' reading needs. The program was informally named the Reading Clinic. Many students from northern New York benefited from this program for more than 20 years.
In 2002, the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association received a bequest from former teacher Rebecca V. Sheard, who graduated from the Potsdam Normal School in 1916. Rebecca Sheard believed that you should support one or two things that are close to your heart. The Alumni Association honored Rebecca's philanthropy by making a gift to the campus to renovate the Literacy Center. The gift allowed the college to leverage a state matching grant to fund the renovation of the Literacy Center.