Giving Societies

In honor of St. Lawrence's 150th anniversary in 2006, new giving society names were established that recall our distinguished history.

Lifetime Giving Recognition

Cornerstone Society

The Cornerstone Society honors individuals whose lifetime commitment to St. Lawrence totals $500,000 and above. The University finds it helpful to celebrate leadership philanthropy and the example it sets. Cornerstone Society members have made generous gifts during their lifetime and/or through their estates. The University greatly appreciates these examples of exceptional philanthropy.

Laurentian Leadership Society

In recognition of alumni, parents and friends whose lifetime commitment to St. Lawrence totals $100,000 and above.

Annual Giving Recognition

Owen D. Young Society

$50,000 and up

Entering St. Lawrence at the age of 15, he went on to become the head of General Electric (GE), founder of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and a candidate for the 1932 Democratic nomination for president before deferring to his good friend Franklin D. Roosevelt. He devised the Young Plan for European recovery following World War I. A philanthropist, he kept St. Lawrence at the top of his list of beneficiaries, and served as chair of the Board of Trustees, 1924-33. His name remains at the core of the University, gracing the main library.

Emily Eaton Hepburn Society


The only person to have two of her names on two different campus buildings, she graduated from St. Lawrence in 1887, in a period when few women went to college, and married North Country entrepreneur and philanthropist A. Barton Hepburn. They provided for Hepburn Hall in 1926, and a year later she and two close friends, Gouverneur sisters Jennie and Cora Dean, funded Dean-Eaton as the first residence hall for women. The first woman named to the Board of Trustees, she served with distinction on the board for nearly 60 years.

Irving Bacheller Society


An 1882 graduate, he pioneered the concept of newspaper syndication of fiction writers, introducing to the public such authors as Rudyard Kipling and Stephen Crane, and wrote the first best-seller of the 20th century: Eben Holden, based closely on his childhood in Canton and the countryside surrounding it. A longtime trustee, he gave the carillon in Gunnison Memorial Chapel in memory of his wife.

Candle in the Wilderness Society


While there is some uncertainty as to who actually uttered the iconic phrase "We have lit a candle in the wilderness which will never be extinguished," it was in all likelihood one of the University's founders. The phrase turns up from time to time, for example in the title of the University's centennial history book and in the stained-glass "Great North Window" in Gunnison Memorial Chapel.

Herring-Cole Society


Herring Library was the second building on campus when it was constructed of Potsdam sandstone in 1870; before that, the library had been a room in College (now Richardson) Hall. Cole Reading Room was added to it in 1903. Listed (as is Richardson) on the National Register of Historic Places, the venerable structure is today a quiet place for study as well as for lectures, readings, receptions, Phi Beta Kappa inductions and similar functions.

1856 Society


This was the year of the University's chartering by the Legislature of the State of New York, which officially occurred on April 3. St. Lawrence was for its first 43 years two separate institutions: The Theological School and the College of Letters and Science, which began as "preparatory department" for the "TS" as it came to be known. They both struggled initially but eventually thrived, thanks in large part to gifts. The designation of this club represents the fact that gifts have been critical to the University's progress from its very first days.

Founders' Society


Pinning down the founders of St. Lawrence is like specifying precisely who made any other important step in history; as is usually the case, many people were involved. St. Lawrence would not have come into being without the vision and persistence of Rev. Thomas Jefferson Sawyer, an influential Universalist minister from Massachusetts who pushed the idea of a new seminary for 20 years before Canton village leaders helped pave the way for the fruition of that dream; principal among them were Martin Thatcher, Levi Storrs, Barzillai Hodskin and Theodore Caldwell. As the first president (later changed to chairman) of the Board of Trustees, Sawyer get the fledgling institution off the ground in 1856.

Alumni who graduated within the past 14 years may join the Founders' Society at the giving levels below:
1 year out $100
2 years out $200
3 years out $300
4 years out $400
5 years out $500
6 years out $600
7 years out $700
8 years out $800
9 years out $900
10 years out $1,000
11 years out $1,100
12 years out $1,200
13 years out $1,300
14 years out $1,400

Chapel Bells Club


The bells "ring out the ending of each day" when classes are in session, according to the St. Lawrence song made famous by the Laurentian Singers, perpetuating one of St. Lawrence's most beloved traditions and forming the purpose of a student job that is unusual enough to have received national media attention.

Scarlet and Brown Club


These have been the St. Lawrence colors since 1876, when three seniors, one of whom was future President John Clarence Lee, proposed the idea and the Thelomathesian Society-even though it was a debating club and not the student government in those days-approved the step. There are two equally plausible stories, neither of which can be verified, for the choice of those colors: that they refer to the autumn leaves on campus, and that they allude to Saint Lawrence's martyrdom on a gridiron in the third century.

Quad Club


"The Quad" - the open square bounded by the chapel, Vilas Hall, the arts complex and Dean-Eaton residence - is at the physical center of the campus, just as support from the University's alumni, parents and friends is at its philosophical center. From the Quad Experience during first-year orientation to reunion parades, it's also at the center of Laurentian lives.

Sustaining Saints

In recognition of alumni, parents and friends who have given consecutively for at least five years, or who have given every year since graduation (two-year minimum).