The St. Lawrence County Seat


For over 150 years, Canton has been a center for learning in the Northeast as home to St. Lawrence University (a private liberal arts college founded in 1856) and SUNY Canton (a public college of technology founded in 1906). The colleges combined enrollment exceeds 6000 students. Along with neighboring institutions Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam, the four schools form the Associated Colleges making our small area a hub for learning, innovation, and the arts. In addition, SOAR offers life-long learning programs to “Third Age” adults.

St. Lawrence University proudly asserts to prospective and current students that its location will shape who they are and who they will be. St. Lawrence would not be St. Lawrence if it were located anywhere else in the nation.

St. Lawrence enrolls 2,100-2,200 undergraduate students from 43 states and 46 nations, and about 120 graduate students in a non-residential Master of Education program. Over 95% of the undergraduates reside on campus. About 11% of its students represent U.S. ethnic diversity.

The mission of St. Lawrence University is to provide an inspiring and demanding undergraduate education in the liberal arts to students selected for their seriousness of purpose and intellectual promise.

Sustainability is built into the University’s core values and guides its curriculum and learning outside the classroom as well as its operations, including purchasing, physical plant development and many other University systems. St. Lawrence’s Board of Trustees approved a student-initiated resolution making sustainability a core University value in 2006, a year before Emeritus President Daniel Sullivan joined 280 college presidents in signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitments targeting carbon neutrality for St. Lawrence. The Board of Trustees recently approved a Climate Action Plan for the University, working toward the goal of carbon neutrality.

Valuing its classic, four-year, residential program of study in the liberal arts, St. Lawrence espouses the philosophy that a liberal education requires breadth, depth and integration in learning. It also requires the cultivation of those habits of intellectual and moral self-discipline that distinguish a mature individual. To these ends, St. Lawrence seeks to provide an education that fosters in students an open, inquiring and disciplined mind, well informed through broad exposure to basic areas of knowledge; an enthusiasm for life-long learning; self-confidence and self-knowledge; a respect for differing opinions and for free discussion of those opinions; and an ability to use information logically and to evaluate alternative points of view.

The University has received national acclaim for its innovative interdisciplinary First-Year Program and its unique program of semester-long study at a remote location in the Adirondack Park. About half of all St. Lawrence students study abroad at some point, through its extensive array of semester- and year-long programs, through special summer courses conducted abroad or through travel components of courses and independent study. Original, independent research conducted by students takes place across the curriculum, as well as collaborative research with faculty partners.

The University offers 32 intercollegiate athletic teams for men and women. The University’s philosophy of athletics includes shared understanding that intercollegiate athletics supports the institution’s learning goals for its students. Most teams compete on the NCAA Division III level; men’s and women’s ice hockey are in Division I and equestrian is non-divisional. In addition to being multi-divisional in the NCAA, St. Lawrence is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference and the Liberty League. The intercollegiate athletic program is always competitive regionally, and teams often challenge for conference titles, regional recognition and national ranking.

St. Lawrence University comprises 1,000 acres in Canton, plus property on Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks used as a conference center for campus groups and a vacation site for alumni. Much of the property remains pristine, exemplifying the long-held commitment to the environment. The University recently completed a 10-year initiative to improve, enhance and expand its facilities, with over $180 million invested. Among the projects completed during that time was the Johnson Hall of Science, the first LEED Gold-certified science building in New York State.

Among St. Lawrence’s best-known graduates are Maine Senator Susan M. Collins ’75; film star, author and philanthropist Kirk Douglas ’39; CEO and President Jeff Boyd ’78; actor Viggo Mortensen ’80; author Lorrie Moore ’78; television journalist Martha MacCallum ’86; musician Grace Potter ’06; and Boston Bruins player Rich Peverley ’04.

For more information on St. Lawrence University, visit

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s four and two-year College for technology, health, management and public service. SUNY Canton offers nearly 20 majors leading to bachelor’s degrees, more than 20 programs leading to associate degrees, and several one-year certificate programs. The College works with SUNYIT to offer students three master degree programs.


Many of SUNY Canton’s majors are available in class, online, or both. The College’s online branch, SUNY Canton OnLine, offers more than 150 courses each semester. Students can learn in a flexible and convenient self-paced environment while taking courses that will lead directly to a career.

Originally founded in 1906 as the School of Agriculture (SOA) at St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton was the first postsecondary, two-year college in New York authorized by the Legislature. In 1941, SOA was renamed the New York State Agricultural and Technical Institute (ATI). ATI became a member college of the State University of New York in 1948. To recognize advanced technology programs added in the 1950’s and ’60’s, the College underwent another name change in 1965, this time becoming the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical College at Canton or ATC. In 1987, the University’s Board of Trustees authorized yet another name change to the College’s present designation as State University of New York College of Technology at Canton.