A generous gift from Class of 1964 alum Harvey Meer has tripled the number of electric vehicle charging stations on campus, supports St. Lawrence’s sustainability goals, and furthers the University’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
Back when he was a student, Meer cruised around campus in a Chevrolet Corvair, a gas-guzzler he paid around 30 cents per gallon to fill. These days, he drives a Tesla and is doing what he can to mitigate the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. He recently donated a pair of new ChargePoint Level 2 electric vehicle chargers, which were installed in the parking lot outside of Vilas Hall this spring. It’s a gift that recognizes and strengthens the University’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
“I believe the rate of adoption of electric vehicles is going to accelerate quite dramatically in the next five years,” predicts Meer. “This gift is a way of supporting St. Lawrence’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious and prepare for the future.”
This gift is a way of supporting St. Lawrence’s efforts to be more environmentally conscious and prepare for the future.”
–Harvey Meer, Class of 1964
Meer, an entrepreneur who has worked in numerous capacities including real estate, commercial arbitration, spice trading, and private investing, has lived and worked in the New York City metro area for much of his life. He credits his daughter with helping him understand the ways in which climate change can have an impact close to home.
“I remember her telling me when she was in college almost 18 years ago about the risks to New York City and surrounding areas from the rising oceans and storms that could damage whole communities,” says Meer. “I didn’t quite believe her at the time, but it has proven true.”
At her suggestion, he also served as chairman of the environmental commission in his current hometown of Cresskill, New Jersey. Meer has been making gifts to the University since he celebrated his 50th reunion. He established the Barbara J. Goldner Art Books Collection in 2014 in memory of his late wife, an artist, photographer, and publicist.
In 2019, Meer donated a series of behind-the-scenes photographs of Andy Warhol’s iconic Myths portfolio—a series of 10 screen prints featuring some of the 20th century’s most well-known fictional characters, from Uncle Sam and Superman to Howdy Doody and the Wicked Witch of the West. Goldner was allowed access to Andy Warhol’s studio, where she captured the artist, his models, and his assistants as they collaborated on images that would serve as templates for the final prints.
“Warhol would take hundreds of Polaroid stills of each model and choose one of those photographs to work into the final print,” says Meer. “Barbara was one of few people to be in the room with him during the process.” Goldner’s photos were exhibited in the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and now remain a part of the University’s permanent collection. Meer continues to donate books and funds to expand upon his initial gift.
“In looking at art over time, I realized that very often it encapsulates historic cultural and societal events through pictures and imagery. Art should be judged in part by the materials—the paints, tools, and technology—available to the artist and what he was able to create with them,” says Meer. “I thought I could help the school by having a nice treasure trove—a record—of different places and people through the eyes of contemporary artists.”
In early May, Meer made the nearly six-hour drive to Canton to celebrate the completed installation of his latest gift, one that is more science than art. Among the first things he did was plug in.
To learn more about how you can support the education, traditions, events, and spaces that shape the St. Lawrence University experience, please contact University Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-758-4438, or give now.