Newsletter Detail

          By the time you are reading this, I will be off on a new adventure called retirement. The past seven years at SUNY Cortland and Raquette Lake were everything I could have hoped for and the most challenging of my entire career. I leave feeling grateful for the opportunity to serve and humbled by the power of this amazing place and the people who keep it vibrant.
    People have been asking me, “What will you miss most about Raquette Lake?” I find myself answering differently every time, though the answers always fall under the first definition of a noun that we learn in school – person, place or thing.
    First and foremost are the people I’ve met, worked with and gotten to know. A colleague of mine in the conference field once told me we have lots of “friends of place,” people you get to know briefly and who magically return every year at least once to renew the bonds you make. Cortland is filled with talented faculty, students, staff and alumni who have welcomed me and kept my engines running through thick and thin. I hope to stay in touch with many of you and wish you only the best in your future, both at Raquette Lake and beyond.
    Magical is the word I use to describe Camp Huntington and Antlers. Gold Metcalf and George Fuge ’49 knew what they were doing when they acquired these places for Cortland, and having the privilege to live where the Durants and Huntingtons vacationed and entertained the lions of industry and society was amazing. I probably have hundreds of sunset-over-the-lake photos from my backyard and thousands more deeply embedded in my memory of this spectacular setting.
    Yet the things that happen to people when they come to Raquette Lake may have made the biggest impact of all. One of our English professors stated on a promotional video that walking across the ice road or arriving on the big pontoon boat made everything that happened after that seem otherworldly. I will treasure the transition students go through from resistant to cautiously open to transformed by their time here. The programs, events, campfires, comical situations, tears and lifelong friendships made couldn’t happen anywhere else. They are the “why” behind what we do.
    We leave the camps in good hands with Rhonda Pitoniak as interim director and a great support staff. A number of projects are scheduled for completion this spring and beyond. The College plans to invest more money in the facilities, and there is a strong financial base for supporting more student programs in the coming years. All that is needed are the love and support that I know you, the faithful, will continue to provide, so that the magic of Raquette Lake will live on. To all of you who have become friends and been there for me, I thank you and say farewell!