Oct 03, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
More than 100 people showed up last Saturday, Sept. 28, for the official naming ceremony of Cazenovia College’s new “Jephson Campus” at 10 Albany St. The event was held in honor and recognition of the recent $1 million commitment from the Jephson Educational Trusts to the college as part of the college’s ongoing, multi-million-dollar campus improvement campaign.
The Trusts’ donation will go toward the planned refurbishment and expansion of the college’s studio-arts facilities on the site previously known as South Campus. These improvements are anticipated to include the construction of a third building on the site and the upgrade and improvement of the current Building A.
“Naming this historic place today ‘Jephson Campus’ is truly testimony to the generosity and vision of Lucretia Davis Jephson,” said Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno during the ceremony that was attended by college administrators, trustees, faculty, alumni, students and parents, as well as by Cazenovia village officials and residents.
Jephson, whose family has “deep roots” in the Cazenovia community, had a great interest in education during her lifetime, said Bob Taisey, a trustee of the Jephson Educational Trusts.
Jephson’s father, Robert Benson Davis, was born in Pompey in 1843 and was the founder of the Davis Baking Powder Company. He purchased the Hillcrest estate in Cazenovia while the mansion was still under construction in 1905. Lucretia and her husband George Jephson owned the property until her death in 1979.
Jephson established the Jephson Educational Trust No.1 in 1946, while a second educational trust was created by her will. Both trusts were created to benefit mainly educational institutions. Jephson’s will designated four specific colleges to be assisted by the second trust, of which Cazenovia College was one, Taisey said.
Because of this, and because Jephson was “so influential” in Cazenovia, the Trusts felt it to be “fitting” to make its recent donation to the college’s fundraising campaign,” Taisey said. “I hope this campus thrives,” he said during brief remarks at the ceremony.
The new Jephson Campus was chosen as one of the college’s six funding priorities in its five-year, $10 million project — officially called “Building Futures One at a Time: The Campaign for Cazenovia College” — because the institution’s division of art and design needs more space, said Prof. Betsey Moore, chair of the art and design division. “We are so thankful” for this donation, because it will give the program “the benefit of modern, bright facilities,” she said.
Approximately one-third of the college’s students are in the art and design program.
Carol Satchwell, vice president for institutional advancement, said the Jephson Campus improvement project is currently only in the early planning stages, but the vision is to build a new building in between the two current existing buildings — called Building A and Building B — and to upgrade Building A.
The goal of the college’s five-year fundraising campaign is to raise $10 million by June 2015. No work on the Jephson Campus will begin before the campaign ends, and in the time between now and then the college will “figure out” and finalize exactly what the Jephson Campus project will entail, Satchwell said.
“Clearly the Trusts’ gift gives us a launch pad in that direction,” she said.
The Jephson Educational Trusts’ gift is the largest commitment so far toward the overall $10 million goal in the college’s fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign has raised $7,070,581.
While the campus improvements will not occur for years, one new addition to the campus will be seen in the near future, Tierno said. Two new bronze medallions designating the campus as “Jephson Campus” have been approved by the village and will be affixed to the stone pillars fronting the campus on Albany Street, he said.
Mayor Kurt Wheeler, who attended the ceremony, said the village is “delighted” by the planned campus upgrade “because a strong college makes for a more vibrant and successful community.”
“This is a mutually beneficial situation and we’re appreciative of their continued investment in our community,” Wheeler said.
For more information about the Building Futures One at a Time campaign and its priorities, visit Cazenovia.edu/campaign.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.