History of Phalanx & University Recognition Day

Prior to 1929, students who participated actively in campus affairs and also attained high scholastic standing received no special recognition at Clarkson. That year Phalanx was organized to honor such individuals. William M. Farrisee, then associate professor of civil engineering and later dean of students, assisted several members of the Class of 1929 in designating 12 charter members.

Now established as Clarkson's highest honorary society, Phalanx has stimulated campus activities and provided recognition of academic achievement, while promoting the qualities of leadership. Just as Phalanx referred to the formation of ranks in ancient Greece, the society's constitution explains "so does Phalanx mean the formation of those who rank high in the affairs of Clarkson."

The purpose of Phalanx has remained the same throughout its many years: to recognize the achievements and promote the interests of students, faculty, staff and other community members in extracurricular activities, scholarship, and athletics at Clarkson. Full consideration is given to a candidate's leadership qualities, including personality, ability to lead, and ability to follow.

It has been a recent tradition to hold an annual reception honoring members of Phalanx- Faculty, Alumni, Active and Newly Tapped- in the spring.

The Phalanx President's Ball and University Recognition Day, sponsored by the members of Phalanx, recognizes scholastic achievement as well as outstanding leadership in extracurricular activities at Clarkson.

Current Members

Select a dropdown menu below for a full list of members:

Phalanx Members

Advisor: Erik Backus '97

  • Megan DeRidder, President
  • Jordan Meteer, Vice President
  • Will Miles, Treasurer
  • Shawn Schneider, Secretary
Faculty and Administrators
  • Goodarz Ahmadi
  • Farzad Mahmoodi
  • Catherine Avadikian '97
  • Kate Mikel
  • Erik Backus '97
  • John Moosbrugger
  • Jennifer Ball
  • Michael Ramsdell '97
  • Stephen Casper
  • Tamera T. Rizk
  • Anthony G. Collins
  • Christopher Robinson
  • Karen Collins
  • Jeffrey D. Taylor
  • Marc S. Compeau '01
  • Selma Mededovic Thagard
  • Michelle Crimi '95
  • Kenneth D. Visser
  • Erin Draper
  • Luciana Echazu
  • Jon D. Goss
  • Andreas Wilke
  • Jerry Gravander '09
  • Stefan Grimberg
  • Kerop D. Janoyan
  • Gary F. Kelly
  • Susan Powers
  • Shane Rogers
Retired & Late Members
  • Egon Matijevic
  • Donald R. Dangremond '72 & '74
  • Stephen Newkofsky
  • Mark J. DeRitis
  • Amy Zander
  • Karen M. St. Hilaire
  • Kathryn B. Johnson
  • Steven Yurgartis '79
  • Barbara Parker
  • Owen Brady
  • William Vitek


Nominations for Phalanx are currently closed. The nomination period is generally in October of each year. Check back then to nominate a student or colleague.


The Commendable Leadership Award

This award is presented to juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administration members who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities and quality participation in organizations associated with Clarkson and the Potsdam community. The award candidate should exhibit exceptional leadership qualities and the versatility to balance all aspects of college life. The new Phalanx members are selected from the group of Commendable Leadership award recipients. 

The Commendable Service Award

A limited number of Commendable Service Awards are presented annually to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, and administration members who have demonstrated quality in service to their area/organization. The award candidate should be a well-rounded individual who excels in all aspects of college life and is especially dedicated to serving his or her organization. 

The Distinguished Service Award

This award is presented to the campus department or organization that has been recognized by the CUSA or University administration. This group will be selected on the basis of service above and beyond the activities for which it has been established. This service shall be of significant benefit to the Clarkson community and/or the surrounding area. 

Make Your Mark Campaign

Select a dropdown menu below for more information:


Since 1922, Phalanx has been tasked with ensuring the recognition of leadership and accomplishment on campus. However, Clarkson’s continued evolution as a campus has resulted in the evolution of how Phalanx performs its duties. Recognition alone is inadequate unless the whole campus is involved in the celebration. Furthermore, the process of recognition should also motivate and inspire new ideas throughout the campus community. To promote campus involvement and inspire leadership, Phalanx is kicking off the “Make Your Mark” campaign - a set of events organized by Phalanx to not only recognize accomplishment on campus, but to help enable future change. 

How it works

With the Make Your Mark campaign, Phalanx hopes to help foster relationships among campus leaders and more actively recognize accomplishment. Networking, especially with members of upcoming classes, combats campus apathy and promotes new collaboration. Also, showcasing the leadership of individuals will ideally provide motivation to enact change. By building community and recognizing leadership, Phalanx hopes to inspire students and administrators to develop their own legacy at Clarkson.

Get Involved

An easy way to get involved is by sending us examples of people on campus who are making a difference! We’ll profile them in the Integrator and Clarkson Facebook Page! 

Nominate those students, faculty, and staff who you feel have made their mark