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Walkway renamed in DeFleur’s honor

By : Eric Coker

The Central Campus Walkway, traveled daily by thousands of pedestrians making the trek from the Lecture Hall and academic buildings to the University Union and back, has a new name.

Welcome to the Lois B. DeFleur Walkway.

The University Council approved a resolution during its April 16 meeting renaming the walkway for the University’s retiring president. A plaque honoring DeFleur will soon be embedded in the walkway.

“I’m truly honored,” DeFleur said. “This is near and dear to my heart. I love the inviting nature of that area, which means so much to students, faculty and staff.”

University Council Chair Kathryn Grant Madigan read the resolution, which provided a long list of DeFleur’s environmental accomplishments.

“One of the most significant projects undertaken as part of Operation Green Space involved the renovation of the Central Campus Walkway from a wide, unattractive asphalt walkway to a beautifully landscaped, well-lighted promenade lined with large, deciduous trees, wooden benches and gathering places that invite people to gather and spend time outside,” Madigan said.

DeFleur’s other achievements, as noted in the resolution, include:

• Replacing more than 85,000 square feet of formerly paved areas with green space, including the planting of Canadian cherry, maple and flowering pear trees.

• Protecting the University’s 900 acres, much of which has been left in its natural state.

• Serving as a charter signatory in endorsing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Also at the meeting, University Council members heard from Gerald Sonnenfeld, vice president for research. Sonnenfeld provided an overview of “Research and its Strategic Development.”

Many of the main points of SUNY’s recently released strategic plan — “The Power of SUNY” — are already addressed by research, Sonnenfeld said. For example, the plan emphasizes that SUNY can help in the economic revitalization of the state.

Sonnenfeld pointed out that the University’s Center of Excellence and its predecessors have generated more than $700 million in economic impact since 1996.

The division even plays a part in improving the education “pipeline” — another main point of the plan — by offering a summer Go Green Institute that prepares seventh-graders for research.

“We will support ‘The Power of SUNY’ by continuing our activities and beginning new enterprises that embrace the goals and themes of the plan,” Sonnenfeld said.

The division has seen a 37 percent increase in sponsored research awards compared to last year; a 140 percent increase in patent license revenue during the past two years; and multiple new partnerships with industry, Sonnenfeld told the council.

“The strength of our research efforts is growing dramatically,” he said.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08