The State University of New York at Potsdam is a liberal arts college in the far north of the state.
The village of Potsdam was named after the eponymous German city just south west of Berlin because its sandstone buildings were a similar shade of red. It is by Norwood Lake, which separates the village from nearby Clarkson University, and just 30 miles from the Canadian border. Montréal, the nearest major city, is 100 miles away. The state border with Vermont is 90 miles west, while Syracuse is 140 miles south west.
Founded in 1816 as St. Lawrence Academy, and later Potsdam Normal School and Potsdam State Teachers College, in 1926, it incorporated Crane Normal Institute of Music, established 40 years earlier.
SUNY Potsdam has offered liberal arts degrees since 1964. Since the 1980s, it has become renowned for mathematics, boasting one of the largest cohorts of maths students in the country, as well as music and education, which has been a key part of its offering for longer.
Alumni include opera singer Renée Fleming, one of the most successful American sopranos of all time, who sang Amazing Grace at the original ground zero memorial service in New York City, William Buell Richards, the first ever chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and Stanley Kunitz, a former US poet laureate who was awarded the accolade at the age of 95, five years before his death. National Basketball Association hall of famer and former Potsdam coach Ernest Blood and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Stephen Savoia are among the others.