SUNY Potsdam Names Richard C. Dorf an Honorary Alumnus

Longtime Supporter Richard C. Dorf is Given Honorary Lifetime Membership in SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association

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POTSDAM, NY (07/30/2018) The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored Richard C. Dorf with Honorary Lifetime Membership during the College's Reunion Weekend.

Honorary Lifetime Membership is presented to non-alums who have made exceptional contributions to the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association and/or the College. Dorf was recognized for his commitment to and longstanding support of the College.

About the recipient:

Richard C. Dorf is no stranger to Potsdam. A 1955 Clarkson University graduate, he met SUNY Potsdam student Joy MacDonald '58 at the Potsdam Methodist Church in 1956, and they married the following year. Neither of them at that time could have imagined the indelible impact they would later have on their respective alma maters.

For the Dorfs, their Clarkson and Potsdam educations "opened doors, made us employable and enabled us to do the work we wanted to do. Because of the size of the two schools, it was personal. The excellent programs fit us, and they were affordable. With scholarship supplement, we left college debt-free."

In 2005, Dick and Joy established the first of two scholarships supporting SUNY Potsdam students. In 2007, they established the Richard C. '55 and Joy M. Dorf Chair in Entrepreneurism and Innovation, which is housed at Clarkson University. Their endowed chair has supported the work of Dr. Augustine A. Lado, who specializes in entrepreneurship in developing countries.

Encouraged by the impact of their gifts to both Potsdam and Clarkson, the Dorfs were inspired to establish SUNY Potsdam's first-ever endowed position with an outright gift of $1.05 million. The Joy (MacDonald) Dorf '58 and Richard Dorf Endowed Director for Applied Learning supports the work of the program's director, while also providing support to students and faculty for applied learning experiences through the "Yes Fund."

After making their gift, Dick issued a challenge to the College: "We want you to go out and raise more money in support of applied learning and use our gift as a catalyst."

Their challenge was met with great enthusiasm by other SUNY Potsdam alumni and friends, as evidenced by the recently named Donald and Kathryn Lougheed Center for Applied Learning, and the Lougheed Learning Commons. It is because of Dick and Joy Dorf's generosity and vision that SUNY Potsdam is home to SUNY's only endowed director for applied learning, as well as being the first SUNY campus with an endowed and named center for applied learning.

For more information about the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association, visit

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges -- and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit