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Lynn Fox: "Fed" Advisor, Community Volunteer, Student Mentor

Although she’d heard about St. Lawrence from her husband and visited several times, Lynn Smith Fox says she has “a lot to learn” about the University she’s moved to, adding that she is “looking forward to learning about the St. Lawrence community – the one in Canton and the one around the world.” Fox says that people can expect her to be “a welcoming hostess, an enthusiastic spectator, a cheerleader for the community and a friend and mentor to students.”

Joining the staff of the Federal Reserve Board in 1985, Fox became a senior advisor in 2003, when her husband was appointed president of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo.  She supports special projects related to institutional management, communications and strategic planning; recent projects include guiding a study of workforce trends and their impact on the board, and overseeing development of a leadership development program for officers and senior managers. A native of Spartanburg, S.C., she attended Wofford College and is an honors graduate of Smith College with an MBA from George Washington University.

With her home base shifted from one Canton to another, Fox will continue her position with the “Fed,” working from home. “I do most of my work on the Internet and by phone,” she says. “I travel to Washington, D.C., for face-to-face meetings about once a month. And people might find me doing some work in ODY Library, for a change of scenery.”

In Missouri, Fox devoted volunteer time to downtown development, organizing a project to raise funds to refurbish a downtown theater; opening a volunteer-run store featuring local arts and crafts; and assisting several local women in opening small businesses. She worked with the office of the mayor and other local groups to sponsor creation of a downtown vision and plan.  She’s done “hands-on” work, too: Fox and over 2,000 other volunteers spent much of June 2008 in a successful sandbagging effort as the Mississippi River rose to historic levels.

“Bill and I own a historic building in Canton, Mo., that we’ve used as a space to encourage business start-ups,” she says. “It’s a project I hope to replicate in Canton, N.Y. I’ve loved that. It’s so satisfying to work on a project from its start to its successful conclusion. I miss some things about our former community, but I’ll never lose all the lessons I learned there.”

And what is she looking forward to the most? One might say it’s the practical things.

“Getting settled. And being in the same state as my daughter,” she laughs. Hallie Fox, who graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in May, has a position with Teach for America in the New York City area.

But, she adds, intangible things also hold great promise. “It is so meaningful for Bill to be returning to St. Lawrence to lead the University as its president,” she says. “I’m very excited about him closing that circle. I know the weather can be cold, but from what I’ve seen and heard, I also know that the University and the community have a very warm heart.”

St. Lawrence, Fox says, has already demonstrated tremendous energy. “Everyone on campus -- the students, the faculty, the staff – is so smart and so dedicated,” she observes. “It’s obvious that they are capable of doing amazing things together. I can hardly wait for the opportunity to participate.”

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