State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Former names
Plattsburgh State Normal and Training School
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
MottoA Superbus Preteritus, A Validus Posterus
Motto in English
A Proud Past, A Strong Future
TypePublic university
Established1889; 135 years ago (1889)
Parent institution
State University of New York
Endowment$21.9 million (2020)[1]
ChancellorJohn B. King Jr.
PresidentAlexander Enyedi
ProvostAnne Herzog
Academic staff
291 (full-time), 194 (part-time)
Administrative staff
270
Students5,257[2]
Undergraduates4,870
Postgraduates387
Location,
U.S.
CampusSmall town, 300 acres (1.2 km2) maintained[3]
Colors   Red and black [4]
NicknameCardinals
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III, SUNYAC, NEWHL
18 varsity teams
MascotBurghy
Websitewww.plattsburgh.edu

The State University of New York at Plattsburgh (SUNY Plattsburgh) is a public university in Plattsburgh, New York. The university was founded in 1889 and officially opened in 1890. The university is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[5] SUNY Plattsburgh has 5,109 students, of whom 4,680 are undergraduates.[6]

History

Founding of the Normal School

Former state politician and influential Plattsburgh businessman, Smith M. Weed, championed endlessly the cause to build a state normal school (a teachers' college) in the city of Plattsburgh. After multiple proposals to the New York state senate going as far back as 1869,[7] The final bill was formally proposed on January 12, 1888, by George S. Weed, Smith Weed's son and then state assemblyman.[8] With the strong backing of Assemblyman General Stephen Misfitted, the Plattsburgh Normal and Training School bill that was passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature and signed into law by Governor David B. Hill in June 1845.[9] The board of directors adopted official by-laws for Plattsburgh State Normal and Training School on September 2, 1889.[10]

Plattsburgh Normal and Training School, early-1910s

At a meeting held on June 28, 1889, it was decided the new normal school would be on land known as "the former athletic grounds", bounded on the north by Court Street, on the east by Wells Street, on the south by Freethinker Street, and on the west by Beckman Street.[11] However, these plans were dropped in favor of a larger plot created by combining land on each side of Court Street west of Beckman Street, so that "Court Street, one of the finest residence streets in the village, leads directly to the main entrance".[12] This is the same location where Hawkins Hall now stands on the current campus of SUNY Plattsburgh.

The impressive structure, known as "Normal Hall", was constructed by Brown Brothers of Mohawk, New York, who also built the Court House in downtown Plattsburgh.[13]

Plattsburgh State Normal and Training School officially opened with its first day of classes on the morning of September 3, 1890.[14] The school's first principal was Fox Holden, former Superintendent of the Plattsburgh Union Graded Schools.[12] Holden served for only two years, from 1890 until the first graduating class in 1892.

Fire of 1929

The post-fire ruins of Normal Hall

On January 26, 1929, a fire that began in the boiler room destroyed the Plattsburgh Normal School. Aided by high winds and the building's well-oiled floors, the structure was engulfed in flames within a half-hour and demolished within an hour.[15] Six children who were being given music lessons were safely lowered out the second story window by their teacher Lyndon Street.[16]

With an extensive shuffling of city services, classes resumed the following Wednesday at City Hall in downtown.[17] The longer-term solution was to share facilities with a number of the city's K-12 public schools. This half-day schooling arrangement was necessary for the survival of Plattsburgh Normal School but proved to be too disruptive to public school students, and the practice was discontinued in September 1930.[18]

Plans were soon approved for a new structure to replace Normal Hall.[19] Plans were formally approved on October 10. The new building would be in the same location and be twice as large as the old Normal Hall.[20] The new structure was completed in 1932, and in 1955 it was named Hawkins Hall in honor of George K. Hawkins, the principal of Plattsburgh Normal School from 1898 to 1933.[21] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[22]

Modern era

Plattsburgh State Normal and Training School was renamed State University of New York College at Plattsburgh when it joined the State University of New York (SUNY) system with its establishment in 1948. When the school became part of the SUNY system, it changed from a two-year teacher's institution to a four-year, public college.

During the 1960s and 1970s, SUNY Plattsburgh, as well as the whole State University of New York system, underwent rapid growth. Many of the more modern buildings on campus were constructed during this time period, including the Angell College Center, Feinberg Library, and one low-rise and several high-rise dormitories.

In 1976, Playboy Magazine named Plattsburgh as one of the top schools to be at during St. Patrick's Day.[23] By 1980, after requests from the Plattsburgh Mayor and Police Chief, President Burke adjusted spring break to always include St. Patrick's day, forcing students to disband from the campus during the holiday.[24]

Since 1978, the student population has remained relatively small, ranging between 5,500 and 6,600 matriculated students. Enrollment was the highest in the Fall 1988 semester, with 6,594 students.[25] In fall 2017, enrollment was 5,719 students, the first year of increased enrollments after several years of declining enrollment at the college. The following year, enrollment declined by 15 students, to 5,704. In Fall 2018, the average class size was 22 and the student-faculty ratio was 16:1.[26]

In the 21st century, the campus has seen the completion of two new buildings: the Hudson Hall Annex and Au Sable Hall. The majority of dormitory buildings received renovations during the period as well. The 2010s also saw the renovation of Hawkins Pond, the Podium walkways, and various athletic fields.[27]

In a letter to the campus community on February 13, 2023, President Alexander Enyedi announced that the College would become a university, based on enrollment and graduate programs offered. SUNY Plattsburgh joined other SUNY campuses that were previously colleges to become a public university.

Presidents and principals

Prior to the founding of the SUNY system, the chief executive of the Plattsburgh State Normal and Training School was known as the principal. When the SUNY system was founded in 1948 and the Normal School joined and became SUNY Plattsburgh, Charles Ward, who was principal at the time, became the president of the college. Alexander Enyedi is the current president.

Campus

Hawkins Hall
Champlain Valley Hall
Amitié Plaza

Location

The primary campus of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh is in the city of Plattsburgh, in the North Country region of upstate New York. The campus is near Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, in a region known as the Champlain Valley. The closest major city outside of Plattsburgh is Burlington, Vermont, which is less than 20 miles (32 km) "as the crow flies," but takes about an hour to travel to by ferry. The closest major city within New York is Albany (headquarters of the SUNY system), 140 miles (230 km) to the south. SUNY Plattsburgh also has a strong connection with Canada due to the Canada–US border being just 20 miles (32 km) north and the city of Montreal just over 60 miles (97 km) away.

Facilities

The SUNY Plattsburgh main campus consists of 36 buildings on 256 acres (1.04 km2),[3] in an area just west of the intersection of Broad Street and Rugar Street. The center of campus is Amité Plaza, a large outdoor courtyard surrounded by many of the most essential buildings on campus, including the Angell College Center, the Myers Fine Arts Building, and Feinberg Library.[28] The iconic focal point of Amité Plaza is a massive metal sculpture of two people shaking hands. This sculpture, for which the courtyard was named, was created by renowned sculptor William King.[29] It represents amity between the United States and Canada.[30]

The most distinctive academic building on campus is Hawkins Hall, located on Beekman Street between Broad Street and Cornelia Street. Hawkins Hall replaced the original Plattsburgh Normal School which burned to the ground at that same location in 1929. The oldest building on campus is Champlain Valley Hall, while Macdonough Hall is the oldest dormitory. Other dorms line Rugar Street, including five 9-story, and one 10-story high-rises.[28]

Low-rise dorms High-rise dorms
  • Adirondack Hall (1972)
  • Harrington Hall (1959)
  • Kent Hall (1961)
  • Macdonough Hall (1951)
  • Macomb Hall (1961)
  • Mason Hall (1966)
  • Banks Hall (1972)
  • DeFredenburgh Hall (1970)
  • Hood Hall (1970)
  • Moffitt Hall (1970)
  • Whiteface Hall (1972)
  • Wilson Hall (1970)

Several key athletic facilities are located 14 mile (0.40 km) west of the main campus at the Field House Complex. Among them is the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, the 3,500 seat home to Cardinal Hockey. SUNY Plattsburgh also has remote sites, ranging from Valcour Educational Conference Center in nearby Peru, New York, to a Branch Campus in Queensbury, New York (near Glens Falls). SUNY Plattsburgh owns a campground outdoor education center, Twin Valleys, in Lewis, New York, approximately a 45-minute drive away. Consisting of several cabins with beds, a lake, a low-ropes course, and a dining building, Twin Valleys is used for a variety of events, including RA training, dorm floor trips, and the annual Odyssey experience.

Art exhibitions

Artwork is an essential aspect of the SUNY Plattsburgh campus. The Plattsburgh State Art Museum is considered a "Museum Without Walls", comprising over 4,600 historic and contemporary works of art. Two prominent permanent exhibitions are the Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection and the Nina Winkel Sculpture Court.[31] The Rockwell Kent Gallery and Collection is in the Feinberg Library. It is the largest collection of Rockwell Kent's work in the United States.[32] The Nina Winkel Sculpture Court is in the Myers Fine Arts Building. It is the largest display in the country devoted to the art of one woman.[33] Temporary Exhibitions are held at the Burke Gallery, Plattsburgh State Art Museum, including "Views of Lake Champlain" by Canadian artist Samir Sammoun, in cooperation of the State of New York and New York State First Lady Michelle Paige Paterson May–July 2009.

Organization

Alexander Enyedi became president of SUNY Plattsburgh on January 21, 2020.[34] Enyedi is a member of the SUNY Plattsburgh University Council, which serves as an oversight and advisory body to the senior administration within the State University of New York system. In accordance with New York State Education Law, nine of the ten Council members are appointed to seven-year terms by the Governor of New York, with the one student elected to the remaining post for a one-year term.[35]

Academics and demographics

SUNY Plattsburgh is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[5] The college offers more than 60 baccalaureate degrees and a wide variety of minors[21] within three principle academic divisions; School of Arts & Sciences, School of Business & Economics, and School of Education, Health & Human Services.[36] Graduate degrees are offered in data analytics, education, school psychology, speech-language pathology, clinical mental health counseling, fitness and wellness leadership, natural resources and ecology, and student affairs and higher education. All courses offered at Plattsburgh are taught by faculty,[37] the majority of which hold doctoral degrees.[21]

A few of SUNY Plattsburgh's more notable academic programs include:

59% of SUNY Plattsburgh students are female and 41% are male. In 2005, 4,061 students (75%) were categorized as White, 261 (5%) Black, 216 (4%) Hispanic, and 111 (2%) of Asian/Pacific Islands descent. That year, SUNY Plattsburgh stated it was their goal to raise the number of minority students from 11% to 13% or greater by 2010.[41] The number of incoming freshmen who classified themselves as minority rose to 16% in 2007,[42] 17.2% in 2009, and to 22.5% in 2011.[43]

Over 90% of students originate from within New York state, 4% of students come from other states, and international students comprise 5% of the student population.[21] 52% of students live in on-campus dormitories, a requirement for freshmen and sophomores. 21% of the student population are commuters, while 27% are considered off-campus renters.[41]

Research and endowment

The Plattsburgh College Foundation helps raise funds for SUNY Plattsburgh through charitable donations. 90% of gifts received go towards financial aid, including $750,000 for student scholarships in 2006. The remaining 10% of funds raised by The Plattsburgh Fund goes towards activities, improvements in campus technology and improvements in the welfare of the college. Alumni donations account for 40% of all donations.[44]

Athletics

Plattsburgh State competes in 16 different intercollegiate sports at the Division III level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Depending on the sport, Plattsburgh teams compete within the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) or the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Team sports with both men's and women's teams include ice hockey, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, and cross country. Plattsburgh also has a men's baseball team, and women's teams in softball, tennis, and volleyball.[45] All Plattsburgh State's intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Cardinals.[46] The mascot is a cardinal named Burghy.

Ice hockey

Cardinal Hockey is the most notable of Plattsburgh State sports, featuring perennial national powerhouses in both men's and women's ice hockey.

The men's hockey team has won three NCAA D-III Championships (1987, 1992, and 2001) and 18 SUNYAC Championships.[47] The women's hockey team has won seven NCAA D-III Championships (2007, 2008, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019) and five ECAC Western Division Championships (2006, 2007, 2013, 2014, and 2015). The 2013–2014 Lady Cardinals' team blew out the Norwich Cadets in the 2014 NCAA Championship in Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena, 9–2 in front of a crowd of over 1600. They finished their season with an outstanding record, 28–1–1. The Lady Cards also claimed the title of 2013–2014 ECAC West Champions. The previous year (2012–2013) the Lady Cardinals were defeated in the NCAA semifinals, moving on to grasp a third-place title. They ended with a 29–1–0 record, also winning 2012–2013 ECAC West Championships. The 2006–2007 Lady Cardinals' team that won the National Championship went undefeated (27–0–2); a feat accomplished for just the fourth time in NCAA hockey history (men's or women's at any level).[48] The Lady Cardinals won NCAA D-III championships in the 2013–2014, 2014–2015, 2015–2016, 2016–2017, and 2018–2019 seasons.

Cardinal hockey players have been named first team All-Americans a total of 19 times. For the men's team, Tracey Belanger (1999),[49] Jason Desloover (1998),[50] Steve Moffat (1998),[50] Lenny Pereira (1993, 1994),[51][52] Joe Ferras (1987),[53] Peter DeArmas (1985),[54] Gaetan D'Anjou (1982),[55] and Doug Kimura (1980, 1981)[56][57] have been first team All-Americans. For the women's team, Shannon Stewart (2013), Alison Era (2013), Sydney Aveson (2013), Teal Gove (2012), Kara Buehler (2011), Stephanie Moberg (2009), Danielle Blanchard (2007, 2008),[58] Bree Doyle (2006, 2007),[59][58] Jenn Clarke (2006),[59] Erin O'Brien (2005),[60] and Elizabeth Gibson (2004)[61] have been first team All-Americans. Blanchard won the Laura Hurd Award as the NCAA Division III Player of the Year in 2008.

Plattsburgh-Oswego hockey rivalry

In 1990, the Cardinal Hockey Boosters Club began a tradition of fans throwing hundreds of tennis balls onto the ice after the first SUNY Plattsburgh goal was scored against the visiting SUNY Oswego Lakers. There are a number of reasons tennis balls may have been chosen. It is believed that tennis balls were chosen because the Head Coach for Oswego's hockey team was also the school's tennis coach; because tennis balls matched the bright yellow color of the Lakers' jerseys; or because the tennis coach from Oswego State had left to work for Plattsburgh. In 1998, Oswego goaltender Carl Antifonario shutout the Cardinals in Plattsburgh, denying fans the opportunity to throw any tennis balls. This accomplishment led to an Oswego counter-tradition of throwing hundreds of bagels (representing a zero; also said to represent "bird food" for Plattsburgh's mascot: a Cardinal) on their home ice following the first goal scored against the Cardinals in Oswego. The SUNY Plattsburgh tradition of throwing tennis balls at home games against Oswego lasted for 18 years but, following Oswego's lead two years earlier, it was finally ended by school administrators on January 25, 2008.[62][63]

Basketball

After an undetermined period without a team, Plattsburgh State officially rejoined intercollegiate men's basketball in 1921. Since that time, Cardinals basketball has gone to seven NCAA tournaments (1975, 1995, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013), including a Final Four appearance in 1976.[64]

Lacrosse

The men's lacrosse team has only won the SUNYAC one time, after beating Cortland State in the conference finals in 2017. Though to some this might not seem like an accomplishment, to others the program has made tremendous strides. Not only was the team's first playoff appearance in the 2013, but also the team's first-ever hosted playoff game, first-ever victory in a playoff game and first-ever appearance in the SUNYAC championship. That game resulted in a 9–2 loss to SUNY Cortland though SUNY Plattsburgh was the first team to hold SUNY Cortland under double digits that entire season. As of 2019, SUNY Plattsburgh became home to its first women's lacrosse team. The Lady Cardinals completed their first intercollegiate season with a 2–15 record. Women's lacrosse has developed immensely since 2019 and are becoming strong competitors in the SUNYAC conference.[65]

Cross country/track and field

The men's cross-country team has qualified for the NCAA Championships on ten separate occasions, most recently in 2008. Their top finish was in 1975, after placing ninth. The women have qualified for six NCAA Championships. The 2007 women's were the National Runner-up to Amherst College.[66]

The men's track and field team has boasted nineteen NCAA All-American athletes, including two Nationals Champions; Andy Hastings (1986) and Chris Verkey (1998).[67] In 2011, Mike Heymann set a school record by winning All-American honors for a seventh time.[68] The women's track and field team has seen ten NCAA All-Americans, including National Champion Kathy Kane (1989).[69]

Wrestling

The Cardinals sponsored a men's wrestling team for eleven seasons, from 1963–64 to 1973–74. They had two winning seasons, 1967 (7-6) coached by Bob Kopinsky, and 1968 (8-6) coached by Don Learman.[70]

Student life

Student Association

The Student Association, also known as the S.A., is the student-run government body at the college. Their mission is to voice the concerns and interests of the students, as well as provide services, programs, and activities for the college community.

The SUNY Plattsburgh Student Association was founded in 1963 and replaced the former House of Delegates.[71] Then-president of the college, George W. Angell, encouraged student Martin D. Mannix to pitch the idea for a new student run government to the administration and student body. The campus overwhelmingly approved of the changes and Mannix was voted in as the first Student Association President.[72]

Honors Student Association

The Honors Student Association (HSA) is an independent organization from the college's Student Association. Started in 1984, the HSA acts as the student government for the Redcay Honors Center at Plattsburgh. The HSA organizes and coordinates a wide variety of social activities to benefit the honors students, the campus, and the Plattsburgh community. All students in the Honors College are automatically members of the HSA.[73]

Campus media

Cardinal Points is the student-run weekly newspaper. In 2007, the Associated Collegiate Press named Cardinal Points as a finalist for the National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Award, the highest award given to college media.[74] An October 2015 cover of Cardinal Points gained national attention after being accused of depicting a blackface cartoon.[75]

The Cardinal Yearbook is published by the Journalism department. Plattsburgh State also has a full color local magazine published annually, once called All Points North, renamed Do North in 2013. Plattsburgh State Television (PSTV) is the student run television station, and 93.9 WQKE was the student run radio station until its license was cancelled on June 2, 2022. The communications department also runs WARP,[76] a radio station streaming over the cable bulletin board in the Plattsburgh area.

Residence Hall Councils

Organized by the Office of Campus Housing and Community Living, each residence hall has a residence hall council, each headed by a respective elected president, vice president, secretary, and representatives for each floor. Using a budget provided from the Hall Council Fees portion of tuition, hall council members acting as a small municipal body organize events, parties, barbecues, tournaments, and sometimes competitions or collaborations with other residence halls on campus. The hall council is often responsible for creating and maintaining dorm newsletters as well.[77]

Greek life

Fraternities Sororities
Alpha Phi Alpha Alpha Epsilon Phi
Alpha Sigma Phi Alpha Phi
Delta Sigma Phi Delta Phi Epsilon
Nu Theta Gamma (Local) Omega Phi Beta
Sigma Delta Tau
Sigma Tau Gamma Sigma Lambda Upsilon
Zeta Beta Tau Theta Alpha Lambda (Local)
Phi Beta Sigma Theta Nu Xi
Phi Iota Alpha Theta Phi Alpha
Chi Phi Lambda Theta Alpha
Tau Kappa Epsilon Lambda Pi Upsilon, Latinas Poderosas Unidas, Inc.
Omega Psi Phi Mu Sigma Upsilon

Notable alumni

Broadcasting

Education

Literature

Performing arts

Politics

Religion

Science

Sports

Notable faculty and staff

Notable events

See also

References

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Further reading

44°41′36″N 73°27′59″W / 44.69333°N 73.46639°W / 44.69333; -73.46639