For Immediate Release — August 22, 2003




GENESEO, N.Y. — On the eve of the annual Weekend of Welcome, as nearly 5,400 students prepare to return to SUNY Geneseo’s 220-acre campus in the heart of Livingston County, the college continues to enhance its reputation as one of the most outstanding public liberal arts colleges in the nation.

Some highlights of the year ahead, and the academic year just ended, are to be outlined in the president’s annual opening convocation address, to be delivered to faculty and staff on campus at 3 p.m. today:

• Geneseo Named One of the "Best of the Northeast" in National College Guides for 2004

In the 2004 edition of "America’s Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report, Geneseo is ranked in the top 10 in the category "Best Universities – Master’s" for the northern region. U.S. News takes into account both public and private colleges and universities in this category. The only SUNY school to appear in the top tier in this category, Geneseo appears at No. 10 on the list.

Geneseo also appears at No. 2 among the "Top Public Universities – Master’s" for the northern region.

Geneseo was also profiled in the just-published 2004 edition of "The Princeton Review," and the college was praised for its accessible and nurturing professors, its student life activities and its "beautiful campus."

• Phi Beta Kappa Votes to Establish Chapter at SUNY Geneseo; First Undergraduate Institution in SUNY to Achieve This Honor

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s best known and most significant honor society, has granted a charter for a new chapter to the faculty members of Phi Beta Kappa at the State University of New York at Geneseo. The decision was made this month at the Society’s 40th Triennial Council in Seattle.

Geneseo is one of only eight institutions of higher education across the nation to achieve the honor this year, and is the first non-doctoral and first undergraduate institution within SUNY to earn this distinction.

"The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the liberal arts, dating back to 1776," said Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl. "With membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Geneseo now takes its place among a select group of 270 of the finest colleges and universities in the nation as guarantors of quality in the liberal arts."

• Incoming Class One of Most Academically Qualified in College’s History

The college continues to attract high-achieving high school graduates. This year’s freshman class of 949 registered students boasts impressive academic credentials, according to Director of Admissions Kris Shay.

The mean combined SAT averages this year are 1252, according to Shay, an increase over last year’s average of 1230. She added that the mean high school average is 92.7, an increase over last year’s 92.5.

Geneseo freshmen will be officially welcomed to the campus at the New Student Convocation, to be held in the Alumni Fieldhouse Ice Arena at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24.

• Geneseo Foundation Raises Record Amount to Benefit College

In the fiscal year just ended June 30, the Geneseo Foundation raised a record $2,001,078. The Foundation, the fund-raising arm of the college, accepts and administers private gifts from friends, alumni, corporations, and other sources to fund programs that greatly benefit students and faculty at the college for which state support is not available.

• Research Grants Obtained Reach Record Levels

In the academic year 2002-03, SUNY Geneseo faculty obtained a record $1,230,000 in external grants to conduct a variety of research projects. An overview of grants received may be obtained by calling the Office of Communications and Publications at (585) 245-5516.

• Geneseo Faculty, Staff Earn SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence

Five SUNY Geneseo faculty and staff members have been named recipients of 2003 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence. Assistant Professor Anthony Yanxiang Gu, in the college’s Jones School of Business, received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, and Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching were presented to Associate Professor of English Rachel Hall, Associate Professor of History Michael Oberg, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Monica Schneider. Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Marilyn Moore received a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

• 2003 Excellence Awards Presented to Faculty, Staff at Opening Convocation

The following awards for excellence are to be presented to Geneseo faculty and staff at the president’s annual opening convocation at 3 p.m. on Aug. 22:

Isom Fearn of Geneseo, director, Access Opportunity Programs – President’s Award for Outstanding Professional Service; Celia Easton of Rochester, associate professor of English – President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Advising; Nader Asgary of Rochester, associate professor of business – President’s Award for Excellence in Research and Creativity; Thomas MacPherson of Hemlock, professor of art – Harter Faculty Mentoring Award.

• "Groundbreaking" News


Groundbreaking is expected to take place in September for Geneseo’s new Integrated Sciences Building (ISB), and, once constructed and occupied, the cutting-edge facility will provide a dramatic, soaring new space in which both classroom learning and cutting-edge research will be conducted.

The building will house the departments of biology, chemistry, physics and geological sciences, and will provide a spacious state-of-the-art setting for interaction among faculty and students in the various science disciplines.

The building will feature 105,000 square feet of new space, and will connect Greene Science and Newton Lecture Hall to create a spectacular visual backdrop to the College Green and upper quadrangle. A towering central glass atrium will lead students past instructional laboratories en route to lecture halls in Newton and faculty offices and additional labs in Greene.

Designed by HOK Architects, leading planners of science and research facilities, the ISB will be an imposing and impressive new campus landmark. The first phase of this extensive project will cost $33 million, and the second phase, the renovation of Greene, will cost an estimated $20 million.


Groundbreaking took place this summer for an 82-bedroom "connector" building between Allegany and Wyoming residence halls. This four-floor addition will house approximately 20 students on each floor, and is slated for August 2004 occupancy.

The connector building is a component of the North Village Master Plan, an innovative effort to create a more cohesive residential setting on the north side of campus. The project encompasses the renovation of five residence halls – Ontario, Wyoming, Allegany, Genesee and Erie.

"This new residential arrangement will be dramatically different from what we’ve had before," said Robert Bonfiglio, vice president for student and campus life. "The connector building will really modernize this part of campus, and will offer a striking, contemporary look."


The Mall at Mary Jemison, which opens today, will revolutionize the way students enjoy their meals on the Geneseo campus. According to Ed Abbott, director of Campus Auxiliary Services at Geneseo, The Mall is one of the most upscale eating facilities among colleges and universities today. The facility offers students a tremendous amount of options for their meals; everything is fresh, and cooked to order in front of the customer. The Mall features an Asian noodle bar, a salad bar, a grill, a bakery, a coffee shop, and a New York-style deli, all in a renovated two-story building overlooking the Genesee Valley. Renovation of this facility took several years and cost approximately $5 million.

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