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10-22-2013

Clarkson University Dedicates Bench in Memory of James R. Spencer '15

In fall 2012, the Clarkson University Class of 2015 lost a great friend, classmate James R. Spencer. This year, on October 14, a group of friends from the Class of 2015, James’ mother Jackie and brother Jonathan, and Clarkson President Tony Collins celebrated that friendship as the James R. Spencer ’15 Memorial Bench was dedicated at Clarkson.

Clarkson University recently dedicated a bench in memory of James R. Spencer ’15. Above, friends from the Class of 2015, James’ mother Jackie and brother Jonathan, and Clarkson President Tony Collins celebrate James' friendship at the James R. Spencer ’15 Memorial Bench dedication.“Today we dedicate a remarkable memorial project, made possible by the generosity and compassion of an even more remarkable class, the Class of 2015,” said Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations, Steve Newkofsky.

Collins spoke of the importance of having a place to remember a good friend. “We have immense pride in the Class of 2015 for ensuring this shining example of friendship -- this bench, which will be greeted by the sunrise each morning and be present at Clarkson forever.”

Located at the top of Holcroft hill, the James R. Spencer Memorial Bench looks eastward and overlooks Hamlin-Powers residence halls and the Village of Potsdam.  

During the dedication ceremony, Abbie Cummings ’15 reflected on her friend, saying, “James was an amazing person. He always had the most contagious smile on his face. Even though he was only at Clarkson for a few months, his presence was unforgettable.

"Within those few months he made hundreds of friends; almost everyone in the Class of 2015 knew his face. When he passed away there was a sense of togetherness in the Class of 2015. We all mourned the loss of a fellow classmate and friend, but now we celebrate his life.

"He was one of the funniest kids I've ever met in my life; he could make you smile by just looking at you. He lived every day the best he possibly could. From what I could see, he had no regrets. He was incredibly smart and determined to do well at Clarkson.

"He would never go and hang out with friends unless all of his work was done. He was athletic and loved to play hockey and lacrosse and was always a team player. He was forgiving, selfless, courageous, respectful, and simply the best. “

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University recently dedicated a bench in memory of James R. Spencer ’15. Above, friends from the Class of 2015, James’ mother Jackie and brother Jonathan, and Clarkson President Tony Collins celebrate James' friendship at the James R. Spencer ’15 Memorial Bench dedication.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/spencerbench.jpg.]

[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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