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May 13, 2021

Dear Fredonia Community,

Happy Thursday evening! I hope your week has gone well and you are looking forward to the weekend.

COVID-19 Cases
As of today, the final week of this semester, we have three active cases. This is one up from the two active cases we had last week. While I had hoped for a zero active case by the end of the semester, I see many reasons for great relief and gratitude for the tremendous effort to conclude the year safely and successfully. I want to thank everyone for doing their part to keep this campus open during the academic year. Great job, everyone!

Hope for Next Fall
I continue to be encouraged by reports that many individuals are fully vaccinated. I believe this will provide us with the layer of security needed for a more extensive in-person instruction. As I indicated previously, we are planning for in-person classes and extracurricular activities in the fall. At the same time, we will have contingencies in place to allow us to revert to our current modality should there be a need to do so. 

Given the extraordinary nature of this academic year, it is not difficult to imagine the amount of effort it took to conclude this year safely and successfully. In last week’s update, I acknowledged the efforts exerted by all in getting us through this semester. I also recognized our supporters and well-wishers everywhere for the things that they have done to get us here. Among those supporters are donors whose generosity made differences in the lives of our students during this challenging academic year. I am very grateful to all our donors. 

Over the course of the academic year, approximately 40,000 COVID-19 tests were administered on the SUNY Fredonia campus by a limited number of faculty, staff, and volunteer teams that included students. Because of their work, we were able to keep the number of COVID-19 infections low. By minimizing the spread of the virus on campus, we kept people safe and kept the campus open to carry out our mission.

Also, during this academic year, we experienced an exceptionally high leveraging of information technology (IT) to carry out instruction, administrative functions, and business functions, and did so with a very high degree of reliability. How many classes and other college communications were delivered to you via information technology? How many meetings were held by faculty, staff, and students this year via information technology? How many persons teleworking relied on IT support to remain connected to their offices and to carry out their work? And who supported these needs? The staff in Information Technology Services (ITS)!

So, as we conclude the 2020–2021 academic year, I want to recognize the COVID-19 testing team and the staff of ITS as FREDHeroes. We all owe special thanks to these two groups for their work and commitment to this university. Please join me in expressing our gratitude to them. 

Commencement Day: Saturday, May 15, 2021
Congratulations, Class of 2021! Hundreds of graduates took part in-person in four stage walks this semester. Now, all of us will be able to watch these recorded events as part of the Commencement video celebration, which takes place this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. I hope you can celebrate this Saturday from wherever you are and cheer on your friends and graduates.

I want to thank the Commencement Committee and volunteers for the incredible amount of time, work, and creativity that went into planning this year’s hybrid Commencement video. A special thanks must go to Marketing and Communications for putting together a professional-quality video that I anticipate families and graduates will cherish for many years to come. To all the graduates, you should feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as you watch the video. I hope it brings you smiles, laughter, and joy for years to come. Happy Commencement Day, Class of 2021!

Until Next Fall
Returning students, there are many opportunities for taking courses this summer and getting ahead. You can access the list of courses available for this summer at Also, here are some exciting things for incoming and returning students to look forward to in the fall:

  • Renovation of Houghton Hall. The Departments of Physics, Geology and Computer Science will be moving into their newly assigned and renovated spaces this summer. The final construction phase, which includes the state-of-the-art facilities for the Department of Mathematics and additional classrooms, should be completed in time for Spring 2022 classes. You are going to like what awaits you in Houghton Hall.
  • FRED Laptop. The new optional FRED Laptop Program is well underway. This program is available to all incoming first-year students who place an order before June 20. Students will be provided with an enterprise-grade laptop with premium warranties and comprehensive on-campus support services, allowing students access to Fredonia's digital tools, device standardization for academic instruction, and the ability to convert quickly to virtual instruction if needed. The goal is for the university to become a laptop campus where, in four years, every undergraduate student will have a laptop so that learning can occur from anywhere and at anytime under a variety of opportunities and/or circumstances.

·FredWell Lounge. Under the management of graduate assistants and counseling staff, the new lounge offers a safe place for students to decompress and rejuvenate. An array of wellness resources is available and student-led peer groups and clubs will be available in the fall to support student wellness initiatives.

·Student Advisory Group on Campus Safety. This past year, University Police partnered with the Student Association to establish a “Student Advisory Group on Campus Safety.” This group, composed exclusively of students selected by students, was charged with providing advice on improving community policing, enhancing pathways of communication and trust among students and police officers, and resolving concerns Fredonia students may have regarding policing on and around the campus. Chaired by SA President Israel Ortiz, the Group’s work will continue in the fall.

·Student Activities. Spectrum Entertainment Board and Campus Life are planning for a full slate of Welcome Week Activities for returning students. Activities night, which is Fredonia's annual club fair, will be held on Wednesday, September 1, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. I encourage all returning students to have fun exploring over 150 academic, intercultural, athletic, music, dance, religious, social and other clubs offered on the Fredonia campus.

As I shared with you last week, this is my last weekly Thursday update for this academic year. When needed, I will be happy to get in touch with you during the summer. For updates on plans for the fall semester, please visit

Finally, students, I am proud of you for hanging in there during this challenging year. You should feel particularly good about all the things you achieved. Faculty and staff, thank you for your dedication to SUNY Fredonia and your support during my first year as President of this wonderful university. It has been my pleasure connecting with you each week. I appreciate the time you took to read my messages. Thank you.

Everyone, please have a safe and joyful summer. Enjoy!

Very truly yours,

Dr. K.
Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., Ph.D.
President and Professor

Dr. Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., President

  • 138 Fenton Hall State University of New York at Fredonia Fredonia, NY 14063

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