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 fourth 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.
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.
Meet some of our students
Casey Gerrish comes to Paul Smith’s to as its new hockey coach
Gerrish has played at the Junior A level in the US, as well as Juniors in Canada, and has assisted in coaching since he was 16. He also brings 21 years of refereeing experience and three more as commissioner for the Northern Adult Hockey League, the top non-professional league in northern New York.
“I’ve basically been involved in every facet of the game for 15-plus years,” Gerrish explained. “I’m familiar with every aspect of hockey in the North Country … the position as head coach for Paul Smith’s hockey is a truly perfect fit.”
Gerrish is currently coaching the Paul Smith’s College Bobcats co-ed team, which plays in the Upstate New York Club Hockey League (UNYCHL). Next year, Gerrish will assume the head coaching role of the women’s program at the college.
This year’s club team features a number of key returning players, including goalie Katey Snyder, defenseman Tim Fuller, and forward Kyle Bond.
“The current team will help us recruit for future varsity teams by opening a discussion with prospective students,” explained Director of Hockey Andrea Kilbourne-Hill. “Many high school seniors want to play collegiate hockey, but few find the right fit. Watching, following and learning about the current team will introduce a whole new group of students to the opportunity to play at PSC.”
New faces at the AWI
The Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) brought on two Adirondack conservation experts, Zoë Smith and Dr. Michale Glennon, to play key roles in its efforts. Smith, deputy director, was previously the director of the Adirondack Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“I’ve been so impressed with the contributions that the Adirondack Watershed Institute has made in our region,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to joining the Paul Smith’s College team to help strengthen and grow the services at AWI. I’m particularly excited about integrating the community-based partnerships that I developed over the past two decades into AWI’s well established programs to expand the profile of the college in our communities.”
Glennon, who holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Forest Biology, serves as the AWI’s science director. Glennon, a Lake Placid native, is an ecologist who spent 15 years as director of science for the Adirondack Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said Glennon. “I have the utmost respect for the staff and the work of AWI and of Paul Smith’s College. The chance to become a part of this group, and to also join a great institution where we’ll have the ability to integrate Paul Smith’s students into our programs, is absolutely great, I feel extraordinarily fortunate.”
Five former Olympians join PSC as sports advisors
This past August, Paul Smith’s College announced the formation of the college’s Advisory Committee for Olympic Sports, a select group of men and women with world-class athletic resumes whose experiences as Olympians will help guide the college’s Olympic sports initiative.
Joining the committee are:
- Tim Burke, a Paul Smiths native and four-time Olympic biathlete.
- Billy Demong from Vermontville, a Nordic combined gold and silver medalist.
- Andrea Kilbourne-Hill of Saranac Lake, a 2002 women’s hockey silver medalist and current director of hockey for PSC.
- Chris Mazdzer, also of Saranac Lake, a silver medal-winning luger who took the podium earlier this year in Pyeongchang.
- Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid, a two-time Olympic medalist in alpine skiing.
The five athletes represent a combined record of 17 Winter Olympic Games appearances and six medal wins.