Bertrand H. Snell Award Recipients

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2021 - Kate Fish
Kate Fish and Clarkson President Tony Collins

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Kate Fish, retired executive director of the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) at a reception in her honor hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University Trustees on October 15, 2021.

Fish’s unyielding optimism and energy, coupled with a contagious vision for the future helped drive ANCA to be seen as a leading organization looking to strengthen and identify new opportunities in the region. Prior to her recent retirement, Fish was recognized as a leader who led ANCA to becoming an innovative and responsive organization that produces tangible results for every sector on which the organization focused. 

“Kate Fish worked relentlessly during her term as executive director of the ANCA to develop a skilled staff and board, to establish a sustainable clean energy program, to identify and secure new sources of revenue and to fast-track the organization’s entrepreneur and small business programs,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University. “Kate left an eternal legacy at the organization, as well as the Adirondack North Country. Her vision, her innovative way of thinking and her penchant for achievement has helped ANCA to become a real leader in sustainable economic development.”

Fish joined the organization as executive director in 2010 and quickly identified renewable energy as a critical path to developing more resilient local economies. She focused ANCA’s strategies on creating stronger local economies, including a clean energy economy. In addition to building a professional and efficient organization with an outstanding staff, she helped to attract millions of dollars in investment into the region. ANCA’s Clean Energy Program and Center for Business in Transition – developed under Fish’s leadership – have become models for other rural areas.

Prior to joining ANCA, Fish served as the managing director of Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in Europe, a global nonprofit that works to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions. Headquartered in Paris for six years prior to moving to the North Country, her experience developing social responsibility strategies for major multinational corporations, developing climate policies and clean energy transportation strategies and leading complex collaborations between companies and other stakeholders has served ANCA well. 

Before BSR, Fish was vice president of Public Policy for the Monsanto Company. There, she directed the company’s global stakeholder engagement program and its global biotech advisory council, both very sensitive and complex challenges.

Fish was a member of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority board of directors and a former member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Community Advisory Group. She also served on the executive committee for the North Country Regional Economic Development Council and was a member of the Common Ground Alliance Core Team.

Fish received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Mills College in Oakland, Calif., and her master’s degree in education from St. Louis University. She moved to Vermont upon her retirement to be near her two daughters and six grandchildren.

2021 - Dana McGuire, Jolene Munger
Snell Award, Public Health, Dr. Andrew Williams, Dana Olzenak McGuire ’02, Marcella McGuire, Sabrina Fredrick, Chelsea Bice, Pam Charleston, Alexandra Horner, Shannon Beldock, Renae Johnson, Jolene Munger, and Clarkson President Tony Collins

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, including its recent former Director Dana McGuire, Ph.D., and Interim Director Jolene Munger, MPH, at a reception in their honor co-hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University Trustees on October 15, 2021.

The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, McGuire and Munger were recognized, in part, for leading the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the direction of then-director McGuire and current interim director Munger, the Department of Public Health helped to guide residents of the country through unprecedented times while fulfilling the department’s commitment to its 17 other programs, including rabies and flu clinics, early intervention referrals and other communicable disease investigations. The department had a hand in nearly every phase of the fight against the pandemic, including coordinating efforts at hospitals, rescue services, schools and colleges.

“The measured and comprehensive manner with which the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department responded to the pandemic cannot be understated. The swift action of the department reflected the invaluable leadership shown by Dana McGuire and Jolene Munger,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University. “The knowledge, work ethic and capability to strive for excellence during this health crisis served residents of the county well and saved countless lives.”

Raised in Minnesota, McGuire first moved to the North Country in 1998, working as a physical therapist for United Helpers. She studied and taught at Clarkson, earning her master’s degree in business administration in 2002 and she served on the task force for the St. Lawrence Health Initiative. She later earned her doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Rochester in 2015. 

After working as an epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, McGuire returned to the North Country to serve as the county’s public health director. In her role with the St. Lawrence County, McGuire directed local health department programs, activities and grants, and led countywide opioid response efforts. She regularly briefed community stakeholders and the county Board of Legislators on the COVID-19 pandemic. She also led the department’s testing-contact tracing and initial community vaccination efforts. McGuire returned to Clarkson this summer as clinical associate professor of physical therapy.

Munger, a native of Croghan, NY, in Lewis County, was appointed interim public health director when McGuire resigned to take on her new role at Clarkson. She has taken on responsibilities once held by McGuire, which have expanded to include vaccination efforts and screening and testing at local schools.

She is an experienced project manager with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital and health care industry. Prior to joining the public health department in 2020 as deputy director of public health, Munger served for three years as practice transformation program manager at the Adirondack Health Institute in Glens Falls, NY. She also served as DSRIP/population health coordinator for Carthage Area Hospital in Carthage, NY.

A strong business development professional, Munger earned a master’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of Kansas and a second master’s degree in public health from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She received her bachelor’s degree in history and archeology from State University of New York College in Potsdam. She returned to the North Country in 2015.

2021 - Ellen Rocco
Rocco is pictured with her son, Pierre Nzuah ’16, and Clarkson President Tony Collins

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Ellen Rocco, longtime station manager for North Country Public Radio (NCPR), at a reception in her honor hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University Trustees on October 15, 2021.

A native of Manhattan, NY, Rocco earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the City College of New York. She was active in the civil rights and peace movements of the 1960s. In 1971, Rocco moved to St. Lawrence County and purchased Red Truck Farms, selling hay, gardening and raising sheep and horses. 

During the late 1960s and through the 1970s, she worked a variety of jobs, including time as an arts organization administrator, a social services caseworker, a bartender and waitress, a substitute teacher, a community organizer, an editorial assistant at Rootdrinker magazine and a columnist for the Gouverneur Tribune Press.

Rocco has had an indelible impact on local, state and national public radio. She began as development director at NCPR (then known as WSLU) in 1980 and was promoted to station manager in 1985. During her nearly 35-year tenure in that position, the station grew from serving only St. Lawrence County to reaching a third of New York State through a network of more 30 transmitters. Twice a finalist, Rocco’s “North Country at Work” project won the Current’s Local that Works contest. The station has been recognized regularly as a leader in public journalism and digital innovation.

“Ellen Rocco’s commitment to honesty and her aspiration to maintain the highest journalistic standards through public radio exemplifies the principles on which the Bertrand H. Snell Award for Community Service was founded,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University. “Her professional success, along with her dedication to enhancing the lives of the residents of the North Country, are a testament to Ellen’s drive and compassion. Her impact will be felt by generations of citizens of the region.” 

She has been active within the community and with numerous professional affiliations. Rocco served on the board of National Public Radio and the board of the New York Council for the Humanities. She sat on advisory panels for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, her local school board and on various local arts and economic boards and panels. She is dedicated to improving the future for the flora, fauna, communities and people of the Adirondacks as a current board member of the Cloudsplitter Foundation.

Rocco’s son Joseph earned his undergraduate degree at Clarkson University. In addition, her son Pierre received his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson.

2021 - Betty Little
Hon. Betty Little and Clarkson President Tony Collins

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Betty Little, former New York State Senator, at a reception in her honor co-hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University Trustees on October 15, 2021.

Senator Betty Little retired from elected office after completing her ninth term representing the residents of the 45th Senate District, which comprises Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Warren and parts of St. Lawrence and Washington Counties. Prior to first winning election to the state senate in November 2002, Senator Little served in the New York State Assembly for seven years.

“In a quarter-century as a state representative, Betty Little earned a reputation as go-to person from the North Country who worked hard for the benefit of the citizens she represented,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University. “As a true friend to the region, Betty has an extensive list of accomplishments. She was a strong supporter of veterans’ issues, led the drive to lower property taxes, helped businesses within the Blue Line of the Adirondack Park to balance the ups and downs of the tourism economy and was a leader on local environmental issues. Her successes will positively impact the citizens of this region for generations.”

A former teacher and realtor, Little first entered public service as a member, and later Chair, of the Town of Queensbury Recreation Commission. In 1986, she was elected as an at-large supervisor to the Warren County Board of Supervisors for the Town of Queensbury.  

At the state level, Little served as the ranking minority member on the senate’s Education Committee. She also sat on committees for Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation; Environmental Conservation; Finance; Health; Housing, Construction and Community Development; New York City Education; and Rules. During her tenure, she sponsored several successful amendments to the New York State Constitution to assist residents, the economy and the environment in the Adirondacks.

The mother of six children, including an active-duty combat veteran, Little was known as a strong voice for veterans at the state capital. She sponsored Patriot Plans I and II, which expanded benefits and services available to New York’s military personnel and their families. She also sponsored a law designating the Adirondack Northway, I-87, the “Adirondack Veterans Memorial Highway” in honor of all New York veterans who have served the country. For her advocacy on behalf of armed services men and women, she was presented the Mary G. Roebling Distinguished Service Award in 2011 by the Association of the United States Army First Region

Little has been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions during her years of public service. In 1992, she was awarded the prestigious Liberty Bell Award for Community Service and in 1997 she was presented the Adirondack Girl Scouts’ Women of Distinction Award. In 2000, Little received the Public Service Sector Partnership Award from the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council. In 2005, she was recognized as Legislator of the Year by Families Together in New York State for her advocacy on behalf of families with children suffering from emotional and behavioral disabilities. Little has also been recognized by the New York State Economic Development Council, the New York State School Boards Association and the New York State Farm Bureau. 

Born in Glens Falls, NY, Little earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. In 2007, the proud grandmother of 18 was awarded an honorary doctorate by her alma mater. She also received an honorary civil law degree from Paul Smith College in 2019.

2021 - Garry Douglas
Joel Wood and Kristy Kennedy from the North Country Chamber of Commerce accepted on behalf Garry Douglas. They are pictured with Clarkson President Tony Collins

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Garry F. Douglas, long-time President and CEO of the North Country Chamber of Commerce, at a reception in his honor hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University Trustees on October 15, 2021.

Under his leadership since 1992, the Chamber became the largest business and economic development organization in northern New York, and one of the five largest Chambers in the state. It is a recognized leader in Quebec-New York relations, infrastructure development, the attraction of foreign direct investment and advocacy for the region in Washington, Albany and elsewhere. Douglas served as vice chairman of the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation for nine years. Prior to his return to the North Country in 1992, Douglas served for 14 years as executive assistant to U.S. Representative Gerald Solomon of New York.

“Garry Douglas is a transformative leader in regional economic development and business advocacy,” said Tony Collins, President of Clarkson University, who served with Douglas as co-chairs of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council for eight years. “His experience in Washington along with his eternal optimism for the North Country has greatly benefited many sectors of the economy across the region. Garry is a recognized leader in broadening and deepening the connections between Quebec and New York and for positioning Plattsburgh and the region as a unique beachhead and center of expertise for Quebec business growth in the U.S.  As he always says, Upward and Onward!”

Douglas, co-founder and co-president of the Quebec-New York Corridor Coalition, is also the founder of the North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment (NAmTrans), a multifaceted cluster organization serving more than 60 transportation equipment and aerospace companies in the bi-national region. Former Quebec Premier Jean Charest referred to Douglas as “Quebec’s best friend in the U.S.”

He has held leadership positions focused on attaining funding for numerous major projects. Most notably, Douglas was instrumental in helping to obtain $170 million for the Champlain/Lacolle Port of Excellence border crossing, $125 million for Norsk Titanium, Plattsburgh and $50 million for redevelopment of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. 

He also secured major funding for the Strand Performing Arts Center, the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing, CV-TEC: Industrial /Mechanical Tech programs and the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. In addition, he played key roles in federal and state awards and appropriations for affordable housing projects, health care facilities, workforce training programs, hotel developments, downtown revitalization projects, energy distribution infrastructure, wind farms, industrial park infrastructure, the Trudeau Institute, rail infrastructure enhancements and historic preservation projects. 

Douglas also sits on the executive board of the Can/Am Border Trade Alliance. He was the founding chair and a current board member of the North Country Workforce Development Board. 

Douglas completed the Institute for Organization Management at the University of Delaware after earning his master’s degree in public administration at Russell Sage College in Albany. He received his bachelor’s degree from Siena College. 

2018 - Dr. Laura Schweitzer
Dr. Laura Schweitzer & Clarkson President Tony Collins

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Capital Region academic and community leader Laura Schweitzer, Ph.D., at a reception in her honor co-hosted by Clarkson University, the Center for Economic Growth and the SUNY University at Albany on August 28, 2018.

“Dr. Laura Schweitzer truly understands the importance of partnerships to organizations that have been created to serve the public good and that want to achieve their goals,” said Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University. “She brought her collaborative mindset and skill sets to the Capital Region and put them to good use strengthening educational and economic development initiatives in the greater regional community.  She is committed to public-private engagements and the critical intersection higher education can have as a driver of economic development.”

Schweitzer served as president of Union Graduate College (UGC) for six years prior to the institution’s official merger with Clarkson University in February 2016.  During her tenure at UGC and its transition to Clarkson, she also served as a member and then Chair of the Board of the 300-plus member, eight-county Council for Economic Growth (CEG) Board.  She has also been an appointed member to the New York Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council for the Capital Region.  

While her original plan was to retire after initiating the merger of UGC into Clarkson, she answered the call of former UAlbany President Robert Jones to serve as Vice President for Health Sciences and Biomedical Initiatives. In the last two years, she has helped the public research institution expand its health sciences programs. She plans to officially retire again in September from this post to spend more time with her children and grandchild in Kentucky.  

A neurobiologist by training, Schweitzer is well known as a skillful academic and administrator.  She came to the Capital Region after serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Upstate and Chief Academic Officer at Bassett Healthcare. Prior to that position, she had earned a series of progressive promotions in administrative roles at the University of Louisville, where she became the first female Ph.D. believed to ever lead a U.S. medical school.  She has served on the external advisory committee for a National Science Foundation's ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Program at the University of Cincinnati and on the national faculty for the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology and Engineering Program at Drexel University. 

Schweitzer earned a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Duke University, where she was named to the research faculty. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Miami.

The ceremony held in the Capital District Physician’s Health Plan Conference Center in Albany was only the 15th time in more than 37 years that Clarkson has presented the Bertrand H. Snell award.

2017 - Stephanie Ratcliffe

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe. Above, Clarkson President Tony Collins (right) presents the award to Ratcliffe.

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe at a dinner hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University trustees on May 11.

"Through her role as executive director of the Wild Center, Stephanie Ratcliffe drives innovation, creative problem-solving solutions and forward thinking behind the positive change and growth to our Adirondack-North Country region" said Clarkson President Tony Collins. "Her ceaseless work to make the Wild Center and Tupper Lake a true tourism destination has brought to life the original vision of the Wild Center's founding board members. Clarkson University is proud to honor Stephanie with the Bertrand H. Snell Award."

Stephanie Ratcliffe has served as executive director of the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y., since 2007, after joining the launch team as director of operations and programs, four years before its 2006 opening.

A transformational leader, Ratcliffe has been at the helm during the creation of the Wild Center museum’s current exhibits and programs, including all of the interior live exhibits and multimedia presentations. She has been responsible for the majority of major initiatives, including the development of Wild Walk, an award-winning 850-foot-long elevated treetop walkway.

Ratcliffe oversees several initiatives on climate change, including the Youth Climate Program, which was recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and by international groups such as UNESCO. She also oversaw the production of the award-winning film “A Matter of Degrees,” narrated by Sigourney Weaver, and convened at the Wild Center a national policy conference and two regional conferences on climate change.

She was one of 17 international science museum directors selected to participate in a year-long leadership program funded by the Noyce Foundation. The Noyce Leadership Fellows program seeks to enable chief executives of science centers to deepen their institutions’ involvement with their communities.

Ratcliffe also serves as executive committee secretary and diversity committee chair of the Board of the Association of Science Technology Centers (ASTC) based in Washington, D.C., serving science centers internationally.

Dedicated to the sustainability of Adirondack communities, Ratcliffe understands the many roles that museums can play, including as economic drivers, and has served as a board member of the Adirondack North Country Association since 2004.

Originally from West Virginia, Ratcliffe earned her bachelor of science degree in art marketing and museum management from Appalachian State University and her master of science in teaching/museum education from George Washington University.

She was recruited to join the Wild Center team from her position of senior director for all exhibitions at the Maryland Science Center, where she worked for 13 years. She began her career in museums at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Prior to her work at the Smithsonian, she also developed exhibits for the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Ratcliffe and her husband, Peter Shrope, artist and Town of Brighton supervisor, live in Rainbow Lake, N.Y.

2015 - Robert J. Duffy

Robert Duffy

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon former New York State Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy at a dinner hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University trustees on May 7, 2015.

Serving as the Rochester Business Alliance president and chief executive officer, the Rochester native served as lieutenant governor in Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration from 2011 to 2014.

As lieutenant governor, Duffy chaired the Regional Economic Development Councils aimed at rebuilding New York's economy and positioning the Empire State to be a global economic leader. He also served as chair of the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission, where he oversaw an effort to make New York's government more modern, accountable, and efficient.

Duffy was an ardent supporter and champion of the North Country’s initiatives and diligent about ensuring that state agency staff and personnel visited and included North Country representatives in their decisions.

Duffy served as mayor of Rochester from 2006 to 2011 and as police chief from 1998 to 2005, when he resigned his post to run for mayor. He joined the Rochester Police Department in 1976.

During his tenure as mayor, Duffy was widely recognized for navigating the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by reducing the cost of government, improving services, lowering tax rates, and attracting millions of dollars in private-sector investments.

He also played an instrumental role on the governor's Mandate Relief Council by chairing a series of statewide mandate relief hearings, which sought input from local government officials and constituents on the statutory and regulatory burdens faced by local governments and school districts.

In 2012, the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations awarded Duffy the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognizing notable American citizens who demonstrate a life committed to community service.

Duffy holds two degrees from Monroe Community College, a bachelor of science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, and master of arts degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

2014 - Edward Reinfurt

Edward Reinfurt

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Edward Reinfurt at a dinner hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University trustees on May 8, 2014.

Reinfurt is the former executive director of NYSTAR of the New York Foundation for Science, Technology, and Innovation from 2007 until its reorganization in 2011 into the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), New York State's primary economic development agency. He served as director of ESD's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation until his retirement in February.   

Reinfurt worked to expand NYSTAR's outreach to companies of all sizes throughout the state. He championed partnerships between corporations and colleges and universities, and raised the visibility and importance of the State's technology assets within the three gubernatorial administrations he served.

NYSTAR is responsible for the oversight and administration of the state's 10 Centers of Excellence, including Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP); 15 Centers for Advanced Technology; and 10 Regional Technology Development Corporations (RTDCs).

Uniting the missions and capabilities of NYSTAR and ESD in 2011 was a recognition that innovation and technology are an economic imperative for growth in the 21st Century.

Prior to his appointment at NYSTAR, Reinfurt served as vice president of the Business Council of New York State Inc., from 1980-2007. The Business Council represented more than 3,000 member businesses, chambers of commerce and professional and trade associations. Reinfurt was responsible for the development of the Business Council's first major policy initiative encouraging the State's investments in its research universities as part of its overall economic development strategy.

Reinfurt is a 1975 graduate of the University at Albany of the State University of New York. He has served on numerous government, community and non-profit organizations. He serves as a member of the board and chairman of Pioneer Bank, headquartered in Troy, N.Y.

2009 - Abraham M. Lackman

Clarkson University's highest community service honor, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, was bestowed upon Commission on Independent Colleges (cIcu) and Universities Sixth President Abraham M. Lackman at a dinner hosted by Clarkson President Tony Collins and University trustees on campus Friday night.

“During his seven-year tenure as the president of the state’s private higher education advocacy group, Abe Lackman raised the profile of all of New York’s higher education assets to a national level.  In particular, he brought relevance to the international stature of New York’s prized global research enterprise, which generated a true sense of pride among the hard-working cohort of educators, students and alumni who are committed to New York’s colleges and universities as well as the welfare of their communities,” said President Collins.  “All colleges and universities in New York State -- not just the independent sector -- are better off today because of Abe."

Chair Foster added that, “New York State’s critical support of higher education opportunity programs for youth, scholarship aid and investments in research to build economic development are in large part due to the voice and persistence in seeking action that Lackman brought to the issues.  The North Country and its young people who want to build rewarding careers and family lives in our communities all benefit.”  

Abraham M. Lackman was selected as the sixth president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) in 2002. He will conclude his tenure at cIcu in November of 2009, when he will launch the education and government consulting firm Praxis Insights.

At cIcu, Lackman was responsible for leading and coordinating the state and federal public policy advocacy of more than 100 college presidents of New York State's private, non-profit, independent institutions of higher education and for carrying out the policy directives of cIcu's Board of Trustees. 

Prior to joining cIcu, Lackman was secretary of the New York State Senate Finance Committee since 1995. Concurrently, he was a special advisor to the Senate's Majority Leader, Joseph L. Bruno. In the preceding year he served as budget director of the City of New York under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. For ten years, 1984-93, he was the Senate Finance Committee's director of Fiscal Studies. Earlier, he was for four years a legislative analyst for the committee. 

Lackman has served on numerous community, state, and national boards and committees. On the state level, he was appointed to the New York State Commission on Higher Education, the Public Authority Governance Advisory Committee and the Special Commission on the Future of the New York State Courts. 

Lackman is the immediate past-chair of NAICUSE, the umbrella group for state executives of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Bertrand H. Snell was one of the North Country's most highly regarded political leaders and entrepreneurs. Born in Colton, N.Y., he founded the Raquette River Paper Company in Potsdam and the Snell Power Company at Higley Falls. In 1914 Snell won his first race for elected office, a seat in the House of Representatives. Later, despite the endorsement of his opponent by President Herbert Hoover, Snell won the House Minority Leader's position, which he held for eight years until his retirement in 1938. 

One of his most enduring contributions to the North Country during his 24-year career in Washington was his sponsorship of the original St. Lawrence Seaway legislation. Snell died just months before the Seaway opened in 1958.

In his 47 years as a Clarkson trustee, including 25 as chairman of the board, Snell and his family generously supported projects like Snell Hall, the Sara M. Snell Auditorium, and the Snell Athletic Field. Snell’s late daughter, Helen Snell Cheel, was also a generous benefactor of the University who helped make construction possible of both the Cheel Campus Center and Bertrand H. Snell Hall. His son-in-law, William E. Petersen, and his grandson, W. Hollis Petersen, continued the family tradition of support of the North Country and Clarkson University serving as Trustees.

The Bertrand H. Snell Award assures the remembrance of Clarkson's patron, while it recognizes and honors a new generation of a new generation of leaders who embrace the institution’s mission and its role in the North Country regional economy. Recipients of the award are chosen for their professional, business or educational accomplishments, combined with demonstrated integrity and concern for the community. The award has only been given out ten times previously.

The award is a five-inch, cast-bronze medallion, revolving in a bronze ring and set on a polished block of Potsdam Sandstone. A likeness of Bertrand Snell is cast on the obverse side with the words “achievement, integrity and community concern” displayed on the reverse.

Founded in 1956 by a small group of private, not-for-profit college and university presidents, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of the chief executives of more than 100 independent colleges and universities in New York State.

2007 - James Wright

James Wright

Clarkson University Awards Bertrand H. Snell Award to State Senator James Wright on the 13thday of May 2007. Throughout his 15 years of service to the state of New York, Senator Wright has been a leading advocate for improving the state's business climate. He has worked to improve economic development throughout the state by sponsoring legislation to extend the Empire Zone program. He has accomplished this by working for laws which cuts taxes and red tape for New York's small business community.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, Senator Wright led the fight to reduce energy taxes and was on the conference committee that created Power for Jobs. He is also an advocate for the use of alternative energy by extending net metering laws to include wind and methane digester, which will be a significant help to New York's farm families.

2005 - John M. McHugh

John McHugh

The Board of Trustees on the 7th day of May 2005 proudly presented the Bertrand H. Snell Award to the Honorable John M. McHugh, congressman for the 23rd district of New York state in recognition of his levels of achievement, personal integrity and community concern.

Making the federal government less intrusive and cutting taxes have been hallmarks of McHugh's 30 years of public service. He represents 11 counties making up the 23rd District in the House of Representatives. Congressman McHugh secured $250,000 for agricultural renewable energy research at Clarkson. His role as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee also makes him vital to the future of Fort Drum in nearby Watertown.

As a state senator, McHugh secured bipartisan support for the design and construction of the Center for Advanced Materials Processing. He has also encouraged Clarkson's participation in Department of Defense research programs, especially in advanced materials processing.

2003 - George E. Pataki

George Pataki

New York State Governor (1994-2008) George E. Pataki received Clarkson University's highest community service award, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, at a ceremony held on the 14th day of February 2003. 

He was first elected to the state senate in 1992, serving the 37th district in the mid-Hudson region. During his tenure, Pataki was chairman of the State Ethics Committee and named “Environmental Champion of the Year” by the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. Prior to that, he was an elected member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 91st district of the mid-Hudson region from 1985-1992. As an assemblyman, Pataki was named “State Legislator of the Year” by the Environmental Planning Lobby, a coalition of more than 100 New York environmental groups. He also co-sponsored the Hudson River Estuary Management Act, Solid Waste Management Act of 1988 and Hudson River Greenway Council, and numerous other important environmental initiatives.

Through his advocacy of the historic 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond and the Environmental Protection Fund, the governor has protected more than 300,000 acres of critical open space in New York. He has been honored for his environmental achievements by the Adirondack Council, the League of Conservation Voters, the Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, and the National Audubon Society of New York

1994 - Ronald B. Stafford

Ronald Stafford

New York State Senator Ronald B. Stafford received Clarkson University's highest community service award, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, at a ceremony held on the 14th day of October 1994.

Ronald B. Stafford represented the 45th District of New York State, spanning Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren and Washington counties. First elected to the New York State Senate in 1965 at age 29, Senator Stafford served as Deputy Majority Leader for Legislature Operations, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and on the Senate Committee on Codes and the Senate Higher Education Committee. Senator Stafford practiced law in Plattsburgh with the firm of Stafford, Trombley, Purcell, Lahtinen, Owens and Curtin.

During his 37 years in Albany, Stafford sponsored many significant bills that became law. Among them was the 1974 legislation creating the state's Tuition Assistance Program, as well as a handful of bills to curb acid-rain damage in the Adirondacks.

1992 - David O'B. Martin

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Congressman David O'B. Martin received Clarkson University's Bertrand H. Snell Award at a ceremony held on  the 17th day of October 1992.

Martin, a representative from New York, was born in St. Lawrence County, New York, on April 26, 1944. He attended the public schools of Colton and Canton, graduating in 1962 from Hugh C. Williams High School. He received a  B.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1966 and a J.D. from Albany Law School in 1973.

He served in the United States Marine Corps as a captain from 1966-1970; admitted to the New York bar in 1974; elected to the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators, 1973-1975; member of the New York State Assembly, 1976-1980; elected as a Republican to the Ninety-seventh and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1981-January 3, 1993); professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, 1993-1994; private advocate; and business executive. Martin is a resident of Rockville, Maryland.

1990 - Sister Kathryn Healy, G.N.S.H

Sister Kathryn Healy

Sister Kathryn Healy, G.N.S.H, former executive director of Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley, was awarded on the 12th day of October 1990 this prestigious award because she “exemplifies the very same characteristics and unselfish dedication to community that Bertrand Snell also exemplifies.”

Since arriving in the North Country 30 years ago, Sister Kathryn’s many contributions have continued to enrich the lives of everyone she encounters. She has been honored by various groups and organizations, including being selected as Woman of the Year by the Potsdam business and professional women; recipient of the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Board of Directors Service Award; and recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from Potsdam college.

1987 - Hugh Douglas Barclay

Hugh Douglas Barclay

Hugh Douglas Barclay received Clarkson University's highest community service award, the Bertrand H. Snell Award, at a ceremony held on the 16th day of October 1987.

Barclay was a longtime New York state senator and a former United States ambassador to El Salvador. He was born in Pulaski, New York, and earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University and his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University. From 1961 until 2003, Barclay served as a partner for the upstate New York law firm of Hiscock & Barclay, a law firm that receives a tremendous amount of New York state funds, specializing in Banking and Administrative Law. From 1965 to 1984, Barclay served as a Republican New York state senator, and held several positions, including chairman of the Codes Committee, chairman of the Select Task Force on Court Reorganization, and chairman of the Senate Republican (Majority) Conference.

His appointment as the ambassador to El Salvador by George W. Bush was announced August 21, 2003, andsworn in on November 12. He completed his tour as ambassador in July 2006.

1984 - Edward S. Litchfield

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Edward S. Litchfield, late president and chairman of the board of directors of the Litchfield Park Corporation in Tupper Lake, was posthumously awarded the Bertrand H. Snell award during a ceremony on the 26th day of November 1984.

Mr. Litchfield’s company generated more than a million dollars annually into the northern New York economy, His belief in proper land management and respect for wildlife were incorporated at Litchfield Park by directing logging operations with environmental and ecological concern, thereby assuring an abundant supply of timber for future generations. He also strongly supported the Natural Conservancy, both in the Adirondacks and Florida.

Litchfield was one of the original directors and vice chairman of the Clarkson Development Corporation, providing valuable direction and support to Clarkson’s Entrepreneurship Program. He was a charter member of its board and served as director since the program’s inception in 1976 until his death in 1984.

1982 - Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, M.D.

Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, M.D.

Dr. Francis B. Trudeau, M.D.,  founding president of the Trudeau Institute, a research organization in Saranac Lake, New York, received Clarkson University's Bertrand H. Snell Award on the 1st day of October 1982.

In 1990, The Scientist, a scientific newspaper, cited the Trudeau Institute as one of "a few small independent research institutes in this country that carry just as much clout (or more) as do the 'monoliths of medicine.'" The Scientist ranked the Trudeau Institute seventh on a list of 20 high-impact independent biological and biomedical research institutions in the United States (based on the number of scientific publications it produced and the number of times the papers were cited in other scientific papers).

Trudeau was born in Saranac Lake on July 21, 1919, and graduated from Yale in 1942. He was in the Navy in World War II and said he first became interested in medicine after he was wounded in North Africa. Dr. Trudeau graduated from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1950. He trained as an intern and resident at Bellevue Hospital and New York University and took further training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

Dr. Trudeau considered himself a country physician, and from 1954 until he retired in 1985 he practiced internal medicine in Saranac Lake. From 1960 to 1977, he was chief of medicine at the General Hospital of Saranac Lake.

1981 - Leon “Duke” Elliot

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Leon “Duke” Elliot received Clarkson University's first Bertrand H. Snell Award on the 2nd day of October 1981. 

Elliot has given freely of his time and talents to make his community a better place. His civic activities include service to the Republican Party at the county and state levels; active involvement with the United Way, the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts; and many other organizations. Whenever help is needed, Elliot takes an active role in getting the job done for the betterment of the country."