SUNY Potsdam Welcomes 202nd Incoming Class for 2018-19 Academic Year

SUNY Potsdam Welcomes Students with New Academic Programs and Major Campus Upgrades

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POTSDAM, NY (08/20/2018) SUNY Potsdam is preparing to welcome its 202nd class of new students this fall, as the Class of 2022 settles in on campus. The College will greet first-time and returning students during Welcome Weekend 2018, from Aug. 24 to 26.

Welcome Weekend

This year's freshman class is set to be the biggest in six years, with 885 first-year students set to arrive at SUNY Potsdam. The new students and their families will be buzzing around campus and the village on move-in day, beginning on Friday, Aug. 24.

The freshman class will be greeted by faculty, staff and upperclassmen during the First-Year Funnel at 5 p.m. on Friday. Campus community members will cheer on the long line of freshmen, as they walk to their New Student Convocation. At 9:30 p.m. on Friday, SUNY Potsdam will set off fireworks to welcome the Class of 2022, immediately followed by an outdoor movie screening of "Black Panther" in Marshall Park on campus.

On Saturday, Aug. 25, there will be a Transitions Conference for transfer students and freshmen who were unable to attend summer orientation, as well as teambuilding activities for all new students in the Academic Quad. Also returning this year is the Crane New Student Ensemble Concert, showcasing the talents of incoming Crane School of Music orchestral students as they perform selected works together on stage -- with little to no practice beforehand. The concert will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall. This event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

The College's annual Welcome Weekend Carnival will be offered on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Maxcy Hall Fieldhouse. The event is free for SUNY Potsdam students, faculty, staff and families. There will be a variety of games and activities, including tie-dying, a photo booth, a make-it-yourself stuffed animal station and more. The indoor rock climbing wall and pool will be open throughout the carnival. The event will also feature plenty of refreshments. SUNY Potsdam students will be entered for special prizes at the carnival, and there will also be activities and games for children under 12.

Returning students will move in throughout the weekend. The Fall 2018 semester kicks off on Monday, Aug. 27, with classes commencing in the morning.

New academic programs

SUNY Potsdam students will return to an expanded list of academic programs to choose from this year. The College has two new majors that students can declare beginning this fall, including a Bachelor of Science degree program in geographic information science, and a Bachelor of Arts degree program in arts management.

The new geographic information science (GIS) major prepares graduates to design maps and graphics, analyze data, manage databases and perform computer modelling or programming, in order to help organizations improve efficiency, make spatially-informed decisions and share information. SUNY Potsdam's GIS program will emphasize geography, mathematics and computer science as core components of the course of study, alongside required and elective courses in the natural sciences.

The arts management major will include coursework in business, communications, marketing and administration, to give students the skills they need to succeed in highly competitive fields. Unique to SUNY Potsdam's program, all arts management students will be required to develop their own artistic practice, by either majoring or minoring in a creative discipline, such as visual art, creative writing, theatre or dance.

This is also the first academic year that SUNY Potsdam is partnering with Jefferson Community College to offer a Bachelor of Arts degree childhood/early childhood education program in Watertown. The program allows students to earn their associate degree in childhood education at JCC, and then proceed without interruption to complete their bachelor's degree in the same field through SUNY Potsdam -- completing all of their regular coursework in Watertown.

In addition to the new majors, SUNY Potsdam students will have six new minors to choose from this fall, including:

  • Disability studies
  • Graphic design & new media
  • Musical theatre
  • Social justice
  • Sports management
  • Undergraduate education

Campus additions & updates

New and returning students will also see some upgrades across campus as they settle in this weekend.

Kellas Hall, the College's largest classroom and lecture hall building, received major upgrades over the past year and will open for classes again this fall. Kellas underwent an $8.3 million major renovation, including new HVAC systems, and completely upgraded lecture halls, classrooms and restrooms. The new lobby is completely redesigned to encourage students, faculty and visitors to use the space for socializing and studying.

Timerman Hall, which houses the College's departments of physics and geology, received a major $7.4 million renovation this summer. In addition to HVAC upgrades, all laboratories, classrooms and faculty offices have been updated with the latest technology. There will also be a beautiful new lobby space with a brand-new museum displaying SUNY Potsdam's collections of rare fossils, rocks and minerals.

The new $6 million SUNY Potsdam Child Care Center is set to open to families in time for the new academic year as well. The center is located across from The Crane School of Music, on Outer Main Street. The new facility will feature seven classrooms specially designed for every age group served by the center, as well as both outdoor and indoor play areas, a commercial kitchen, laundry area, stroller storage, reception space, parent waiting area, break room and library.

In addition to these major renovation and construction projects, students and faculty will also appreciate other upgrades, including complete renovations for eight residence hall bathrooms in Lehman Hall, repairs to the sidewalks outside Satterlee Hall and the addition of a new distance learning classroom inside, plus updated computer science labs and facilities in Dunn Hall.

To find out more about what's going on at SUNY Potsdam this fall, explore

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