Giving Report


Thank you for being part of the Paul Smith’s College community and for your commitment to its mission and continued success. Gifts to Paul Smith’s College – whether for current operations, endowment or capital projects – are an investment in our present and future. We are grateful for your support.

Paul Smith’s College has a unique value proposition, a compelling mission, a history of exceptional education, a passionate alumni base and a beautiful campus. That said, the higher education landscape is undergoing serious disruption, and we face challenges that are formidable, if not unique. To succeed, today’s colleges must remain affordable, yet provide competitive infrastructure and amenities, distinguish their academic offerings and promise future career success. We are in the first year of a robust five-year strategic plan, which will ensure that Paul Smith’s College continues to provide a transformational and unique educational experience for generations to come. Through the process of strategic planning, we have identified priorities where giving can have the greatest impact on the college’s future success.

College affordability is more challenging than ever for students and their families. Each semester, potential students choose not to attend Paul Smith’s because of an inability to pay. Our current students face extraordinary financial challenges – 99.9 percent receive financial aid; 51 percent are first generation and more than 40 percent are Pell eligible. Endowed scholarships and Paul’s Club memberships have a direct impact on the college’s ability to meet our students’ most pressing needs. This cost relief not only makes college possible but also allows young men and women to focus on their education and personal growth during their time at Paul Smith’s.

Paul Smith’s College is widely known for its unique brand of experiential education. For many of our students, that means many hours in the science and culinary academic labs. Freer and Cantwell Halls require major upgrades to provide the appropriate level of infrastructure support for today’s academic programs and to remain competitive. Three science laboratories and adjoining prep rooms in Freer need renovation: The goal is to provide efficient, well-equipped labs conducive to modern teaching methods. In Cantwell Hall, we’re undertaking a multifaceted project that will provide much-needed upgrades to the culinary facility, technology and overall student experience.

While our challenges are significant, our high-touch, personalized and applied education has never been more valuable. Employers recognize our students to be well-educated, innovative individuals who can motivate teams and communicate well, who have a strong work ethic, are familiar with their chosen industry and are motivated to succeed. The college’s history began with the Adirondack entrepreneur Paul Smith, and we are therefore very excited about our new entrepreneurship and business program. This offering focuses on providing students with important skills and creating programs that closely link students and others to successful entrepreneurs and small-business people. Our goal is to develop a regional hub that not only supports our students but also serves as an important resource for the economic growth of the Adirondack region. With your support, we will expand the number and depth of partnerships with top organizations that hire our students and work with our faculty.

As we continue to advance our strategic objectives, we are grateful to those who give their support to the college. With your ongoing support, we will continue to provide transformational and unique education for generations to come.

Patricia K. Dowden

Patricia K. Dowden

Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Cathy S. Dove

Cathy S. Dove


Our Stories


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.

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When the 1980 Winter Olympics came to Lake Placid, Paul Smith’s College canceled classes for the entire 11-day period and put its students to work. Glenn Plantone ’81 was one of those students.

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Andrew Vaughan died 23 years ago, but his legacy still has a powerful affect on Paul Smith’s College students today through a memorial scholarship established by his family and friends.

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By the Numbers








Endowed Professorship 

mcleodPaul Smith’s College has so many great resources. None are quite so great as its people, though, and our professors are right at the top of that list.

So naturally, we were thrilled when we learned that Dr. Brett McLeod was going to receive a $500,000 endowment from International Paper that would allow him to continue his work in natural resource economics for the remainder of his career at Paul Smith’s College.

McLeod, professor of Natural Resource Management and Policy and 2003 graduate of Paul Smith’s, was honored with the distinction this fall.

“Receiving this appointment is the greatest honor of my academic career,” McLeod said. “International Paper’s endowment of this position stands as a testament to its support of quality teaching and applied research as well as its deep commitment to responsible forest resource management. I am humbled by the generosity of International Paper.”

New Leaders

We also added two more highly experienced educators to our roster in July.

Dr. Terry Lindsay, 23-year veteran of higher education, came aboard as the new vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Life and Bruno Neveu, an award-winning chef and educator, was named chair of the Culinary Management department.

“I am honored to serve as the next vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Life,” Lindsay says. “My immediate goal was to engage students and to work with my colleagues to advance the college’s goals and objectives. I look forward to collaborating further with campus partners to foster an academic environment that promotes student success and achievement. I am proud to be part of the Paul Smith’s family.”

Lindsay is the former dean of Diversity and Intercultural Programs at North Park University in Chicago. He also served as the dean of Student Development at Harper College in Palatine, Ill., and as vice president and dean of Student Life at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

neveau“Initially, I was attracted to Paul Smith’s by the magnificent setting,” Neveu says. “When I arrived, the positive energy and hospitable faculty and staff made me want to be part of the institution. I am thrilled to share their culinary vision and the essential values that helped establish the college’s excellent reputation.”

Neveu served previously as the culinary school project manager at the Academie Culinaire de France. He has won several awards, including first place in the Auguste Escoffier Competition in Paris and a diploma of excellence in teaching. He is also a knight in the World Order of the Académie Culinaire de France and has been certified by the American Culinary Federation as a culinary educator, executive chef and executive pastry chef.

Climb it 4 Climate

Hiking all 46 High Peaks in just eight days would be challenging enough for most people. When Bethany Garretson ’09 set out on that journey in August, she did it in 14 days and raised $33,000 in the process.

The environmental instructor had hoped to climb the peaks – in general, all the 4,000-foot-plus mountains in the Adirondacks – during a marathon eight-day stretch as a fundraiser, dubbed Climb it 4 Climate, to support sustainable-living activities at the college. But sweltering heat forced her to back off.

Garretson raised the money through pledges, matching gifts and from a donor who gave every time somebody posted a summit selfie using the hashtag #climbit4climate.

“As a college student, I was frustrated by global climate change and other environmental issues,” Garretson said. “I left school wanting to fix the world. After four years as a wilderness therapy field instructor and graduate student, I learned that the best way to help on a large scale is to focus my efforts at the community level. Relying on our own human energy and ingenuity is the first step toward making a difference, and every step counts.”

Though she wasn’t able to complete the 46 as a through-hike, stringing together all the mountains by foot and camping overnight, the fundraiser was a complete success in other ways.

“Beauty outweighs ugly, and there is an abundance of kindness in the this world,” she says. “For five days, I was blessed to be without phone, computer or ‘connection’ as we may call it. Though for anyone who has gone on a backpacking trip or been without modern devices for a week – you find a much deeper connection in your surroundings. Our world isn’t falling apart. Believe me, it’s still very much intact.”

AWI Grants

The Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program at Paul Smith’s College received a welcome boost to its program in May when it secured more than $1 million to help protect lakes and rivers from invasive species.

The funds were awarded by three different federal and state agencies.

“This latest round of funding demonstrates just how far the entire community has come in recognizing and effectively addressing the disruption and losses associated with the spread of aquatic invasive species,” said Dr. Eric Holmlund, director of the Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $500,000 to the stewardship program through its Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program designed to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world, and the New York State Natural Heritage Trust awarded more than $400,000 to help fund the stewardship program in 2016. Finally, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation awarded a $100,000 grant from the Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Program for stewards and a new decontamination station at the Ticonderoga State Boat Launch.

Every summer, the stewardship program dispatches crews to public boat launches in and around the Adirondack Park. This year, they performed inspections at 50 boat launches across the Adirondacks to help prevent the spread of invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels and spiny waterflea. The stewards removed invaders and educated boaters about how they could help prevent the spread of invasive species.

Once invasives establish a presence in lakes, rivers and streams in which they are not native, they can disrupt ecosystems and squeeze out other native species. In addition to biological costs, there can be significant economic costs as well – invasive species can threaten both trade and tourism.