Donald Lougheed (Hon. '54) to Speak at SUNY Potsdam Commencement
The State University of New York at Potsdam Welcomes Honorary Alumnus and Benefactor to Address Class of 2019 at Commencement
Potsdam, NY (04/16/2019) — The State University of New York at Potsdam will welcome Donald Lougheed (Hon. '54), as the keynote speaker for this year's Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18.
The generous benefactor and honorary alumnus will share his reflections on life, and the lessons he has learned through his long business career and his philanthropic endeavors, with the SUNY Potsdam Class of 2019.
Along with his wife, Kathryn Kofoed Lougheed '54, Don pledged a historic gift commitment of $5.25 million to support applied learning initiatives at SUNY Potsdam last year. The Lougheed Learning Commons is named in their honor, as is the Donald and Kathryn Lougheed Center for Applied Learning. Prior to their applied learning gift, they have donated a total of $2.3 million in support of scholarships and the LoKo Arts Festival, which they established in 2012.
"Donald Lougheed has already impacted the lives of each of this year's graduates, by dramatically expanding applied learning and arts immersion opportunities here at SUNY Potsdam. Along the way, he has also gotten to know many students and faculty members, and cherishes each opportunity to speak with them. We look forward to hearing his message to the Class of 2019, as a truly special Commencement speaker and beloved member of the College community," said SUNY Potsdam President Kristin G. Esterberg.
Originally from Milford, N.Y., Donald Lougheed (Hon. '54) left Columbia University after three years to join the U.S. Air Force, where he became a flight instructor in propeller and early jet aircraft during the Korean War. After Don completed his military service, he and his wife Kathy settled first in Rochester, N.Y., where they raised their children, Scott and Alison, and in 1963, began a successful career building automobile and recreational vehicle dealerships in New York. During this time, Don became a founding member of the National RV Dealer Association and served as its president and later as chairman of the board. After moving to Texas, Don built three of the largest RV dealerships in the United States, in addition to developing several mobile home and RV parks. In retirement, Don enjoys building his antique car collection.
For her part, Kathy Lougheed '54 graduated from The Crane School of Music with a degree in music education. She went on to teach elementary and junior high vocal music in Greenwich, Conn., and Bryan, Texas, and later worked as a private piano teacher and assisted her husband with his growing business. Kathy volunteered as a docent for 28 years at the Blanton Museum of Art, located at The University of Texas at Austin, where she conducted tours of the exhibits for both adults and children, resulting in her receiving an excellent education in art history. Kathy was also a docent for the Austin Lyric Opera, and spent time visiting schools to teach children about operatic works in conjunction with educational performances.
Kathy and Don divide their time between their summer home in Northville, N.Y., and their winter home in Austin, Texas.
Since establishing the LoKo Arts Festival in 2012, they have gone on to become the largest individual donors in SUNY Potsdam history, having committed a total of more than $7.5 million to the College. In recognition of his dedication, Don was named an honorary member of his wife's Class of 1954 during Reunion Weekend 2013, and the couple was presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association in 2016.
SUNY Potsdam's 2019 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18 at 10:15 a.m. in the Academic Quad. Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students will cross the stage in the shadow of the Satterlee Hall clocktower to earn their bachelor's and master's degrees.
To learn more about Commencement at SUNY Potsdam, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/commencement.
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 http://www.potsdam.edu.