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08-21-2003

Clarkson University To Sell President's House

[A photo of Hepburn House is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/hepburn.jpg]

Clarkson University’s official president’s residence, known as Hepburn House, will be sold. Clarkson Board of Trustees Chair John S. Welch made the announcement in a statement to the Clarkson community this morning.

The Board of Trustees had formed a special committee to consider the future of the President’s residence, located at 71 Pierrepont Ave. in the Village of Potsdam, and elected to sell the home in preparation for planning a new president’s residence on campus that would better meet the needs of the University. hepburn

The University will establish a president's house fund with the proceeds of the Hepburn House sale, and undertake preliminary planning for construction of a new president's house on the Clarkson “hill” campus. No timetable has been set for construction.

“With the shift of essentially all elements of the institution to the hill campus, the location of the president's house has been a major concern of the Board of Trustees,” said Welch in his announcement. “What highlighted this concern occurred during the Presidential Search. The inadequacies with the Hepburn House were expressed by all final candidates, and, in fact, several of the final candidates indicated that they would require a new residence as a condition for acceptance of the presidential position.”

After an extensive investigation, an ad-hoc board committee concluded that a new president's house was required. The committee identified two key functions for a president’s house: serving as a home for the president and family, and also as a location to involve Clarkson’s  constituents and the campus community in presidential functions.

In both cases Hepburn House would require substantial investment to meet these needs into the future. Further, given its location, Hepburn House would never be an integral part of the campus or easily accessible to University faculty, students and staff.

Tony Collins, who became president of Clarkson on July 1, has been living with his family at their own home in Potsdam while the Board of Trustees explored the status and future of the president’s residence.  “We would like to express our appreciation to President Collins and his family for being flexible through our deliberations and for their willingness to support this significant transitional phase for Clarkson,” said Welch.

Hepburn House was donated to Clarkson in 1933 by Archibald J. Matthews.
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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