Fireworks explode in the night sky outside the student center building

From the Trustees

So Much to Celebrate

It is impossible to underestimate the challenges that Laurentians, both on- and off-campus, faced during the past 18 months. We are certain there are more challenges ahead as we navigate the social, political, economic, and public health impacts of the global pandemic which forced faculty, students, staff, parents, and alumni to reimagine and reinvent the logistics of their lives. However, we believe the Laurentian spirit has never been more focused and dedicated to applying the power and ingenuity of our liberal arts tradition to solving the most pressing problems of the 21st century. 

In March 2020, as other universities decided to lock down, St. Lawrence decided to accelerate the work of mapping the institution’s future while weathering the public health crisis. As trustees, we had front-row seats to the extraordinary efforts of the COVID-19 response team who reconfigured the academic calendar to a three-semester model in order to maximize in-person and residential opportunities for our students and mitigate the financial stresses the pandemic would have on the University. 

The coalition of faculty, IT, residence life, health services, dining services, registrar’s office, academic affairs, HR and business offices, athletics, the president’s office, and communications teams showed that tenacity and pragmatic optimism are the underappreciated qualities of our campus constituents and the secret ingredients to pulling off hybrid instruction, two graduation ceremonies, student-faculty research and internship opportunities, groundbreaking digital scholarship, virtual performances and activities, advances in sustainability, athletic teamwork, a renewed appreciation for the access and refuge of the outdoors, and so much more.

We also witnessed the successful completion of The Campaign for Every Laurentian in June 2021, which raised more than $230 million: further evidence that St. Lawrence is more prepared than ever to support growing opportunities of every generation. University Advancement’s team was undaunted in the face of enormous upheaval and stewarded a Campaign that broke all University fundraising records by enlisting the help of more than 20,000 Laurentians—you, the alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of St. Lawrence—to invest in the future. Your extraordinary generosity is the other, not-so-secret ingredient to the enduring strength of St. Lawrence.

Finally, this past year, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees also completed the work of Experience St. Lawrence: The Task Force on Institutional Structure, Policy, and Planning to chart and expand the reach of St. Lawrence for new students and longtime Laurentians alike. We are grateful to President Emeritus William L. Fox ’75 for his stewardship of this and many initiatives over his 12-year tenure which have positioned St. Lawrence for success, and we are excited to welcome Kathryn A. Morris to lead as the 19th president of our alma mater.

President Morris is joining us at an unprecedented time in our history. She will be able to capitalize on the commitment of the Laurentian community and build upon the strong foundation we have created through the Experience St. Lawrence task force to lead St. Lawrence into the future—ensuring we continue to thrive. We know that there is a lot of work to be done, but because of Every Laurentian, there is also so much to celebrate.

Mike W. Ranger ’80, P’17, Chair, St. Lawrence Board of Trustees

Jennifer Curley Reichert ’90,
Vice Chair, St. Lawrence Board of Trustees