Some of Ken Raymond’s fondest memories are of his time working at the Hotel Saranac.
In those days, Paul Smith’s College owned the hotel in Saranac Lake, N.Y., and used it as a laboratory for practical hotel operation. As a Hotel and Restaurant Management major, Raymond ’68 and his classmates lived there for eight weeks and ran the facility as full time staff members.
Now, 48 years later, Raymond is still in the hotel business. He is the CEO of Prime Companies, a hospitality and real estate business in New York state’s Capital Region, and he credits Paul Smith’s College for his successful career.
“The college helped me get my foot in the door,” Raymond says. “The school developed a reputation for graduates who were going to accomplish something great. We were highly trained to work in the industry right out of college, and employers wanted to hire you because of it. They used to come to campus every week to interview prospective employees.”
And while they attend Paul Smith’s years apart and didn’t know each other during their college years, Raymond ended up marrying a fellow alum, Patricia Raymond ’75, who’s also a Hotel and Restaurant Management major. She worked for years in the hotel business, as well, before she became an event manager at SUNY Albany.
Together, they are giving back to the institution that helped launch their careers.
The Raymonds are setting up a $1 million charitable remaining trust and donating $50,000 of their life insurance policy to the college. They also made a cash gift of $50,000 to Paul Smith’s this year and have pledged another $50,000 for next year.
“The work ethic I learned at Paul Smith’s contributed directly to my success,” Raymond says. “Giving back is my pleasure.”