Hartwick Honors Phelps Family for Contributions

October 5, 2009

Thursday afternoon, October 1 was rainy on Oyaron Hill, but that didn't stop a large crowd from gathering in the lobby of Bresee Hall to thank Stan Phelps, his wife and Trustee Emerita Betsy Phelps, and their daughter Trustee Kate Phelps McNamara '86 for their extensive contributions to Hartwick College.

Among scores of other philanthropic works, Stan made a $1 million gift to fund renovations to Bresee Hall, Hartwick's oldest building. Trustee Emerita Betsy served on the Board from 1986-92, and Trustee Kate has been a member since 2004.

"Thank you all for joining us for this very important day in Hartwick's history," began Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich, Hartwick President.

James Elting, M.D., Chair of the Board of Trustees, noted that the assembly was intended to honor "a family that has chosen to make an extraordinary gift to Hartwick's future."

"They have been a wonderful addition to the Hartwick family for all the years I've been on the Board," he said.

The Phelps gift to renovate Bresee Hall was crucial in preserving Hartwick's history, Drugovich noted. The first building constructed on Oyaron Hill, Bresee Hall (then known as Science Hall) was completed in 1929, and stood as Hartwick's sole building for nearly 20 years.

"It is the only Hartwick building that every Hartwick student has certainly known," she said. "This gift is and will remain a tangible demonstration of the Phelps family's long-standing appreciation of Hartwick College and support for its future direction."

After reading a citation dedicated to the family, Drugovich invited Stan, Betsy, and Kate to reveal a plaque struck in honor of their gift.

Taking the podium, Stan offered words of wisdom to all those in attendance, including "Perseverance always wins," and "If you remember that second and last place have a lot in common, you will be well on your way to becoming a gold medal winner in life.

"You will be remembered for what you give--not for what you get," he said. "Leaving a legacy is not the goal of life. The only reason to put your name on anything is so that people behind you will give more to a good cause. Hartwick is one of the best causes available."

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030