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JCC’s Collaborative Learning Center to be Named for John Deans

(updated on February 12, 2016) - At the February 3, 2016 meeting of the Jefferson Community College Board of Trustees, the Board approved a resolution to name the College’s new Collaborative Learning Center in honor of Jefferson’s third president John W. Deans.  The John W. Deans Collaborative Learning Center, under construction since May 2015, is scheduled to open in late March.  Plans are currently underway for a ribbon cutting ceremony in March and a building dedication in April.

“The naming of the Collaborative Learning Center in his honor recognizes Dr.  Deans’ contributions to education, his 35-year relationship with Jefferson and his dedicated leadership in support of the work and mission of this College,” said James P. Scordo, chair of Jefferson’s Board of Trustees. “His commitment to lifelong learning, commitment to this College and his extensive service to the community truly epitomizes the spirit of Jefferson.”

The 36,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Collaborative Learning Center is designed to maximize opportunities for student success through synergistic collaboration among students, staff, faculty and community. Students will have direct access to essential academic support services, library resources, break-out rooms for team projects or group study, and flexible space filled with natural light and furnished to support a comfortable and collaborative learning environment.

“John Deans is connected with so many community organizations; his commitment to Jefferson Community College and to North Country is truly outstanding,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College. “But, first and foremost, John is a scholar, an educator, a true champion for student success. Dedication of the John W. Deans Collaborative Learning Center, a building designed for the purpose of helping students to succeed and achieve their academic goals, is a most fitting tribute to Dr. Deans.”

Dr. Deans retired from Jefferson in 2003 following a College career that spanned three and a half decades and included service as a professor of history and political science, department chair, academic dean and College president, a role he reprised on an interim basis in 2006.  Deans is credited for his vision in creating the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson and his understanding and advancement of the College as a community partner central to the continued growth of the North Country.  Under his leadership, the College expanded workforce training opportunities, established the Small Business Development Center at the College and solidified the College’s strong partnership with Fort Drum as a founding member of the SUNY Colleges of the North Country Consortium. 

Deans’ commitment to the community extends well beyond the campus and includes dedicated service to numerous organizations including the Fort Drum Chapter of AUSA, Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, Northern New York Community Foundation, Hospice of Jefferson County, Children’s Home of Jefferson County, Jefferson County Job Development Corporation, United Way of Northern New York, and the Greater Watertown North County Chamber of Commerce. It is noteworthy that among his community service positions, Dr. Deans has also served as Mayor of the Village of Sackets Harbor from 2003-2006.  Deans recently co-chaired a successful capital campaign for the Watertown Urban Mission and he currently serves as a Trustee of Watertown Savings Bank, a member of the Session of the United Presbyterian Church of Sackets Harbor and a member of the Sackets Harbor Local Development Corporation.  He resides in Sackets Harbor with his wife, Mary Jo.  John holds a doctorate in educational administration, a master of arts in American history and a bachelor of arts in history all from the State University of New York at Albany.

On April 8, the College will honor Dr. Deans with a ‘Spirit of Jefferson’ building dedication in the Collaborative Learning Center. The dedication reception is open to the public and tickets cost $35 per person. Guests will enjoy musical entertainment, vignettes, tours of the Collaborative Learning Center, beverages and refreshments. Several naming opportunities exist within the John W. Deans Collaborative Learning Center including the College’s library, two classrooms, a local history room, a Veteran’s Lounge, and a community room.  At Dr. Deans’ request, gifts will be used to establish the John W. Deans Endowed Scholarship and to support enhancements to the Center for Community Studies. 

To purchase tickets to the April 8 dedication event or to make a gift in honor of Dr. Deans, please visit www.sunyjefferson.edu/deansclc or contact the JCC Foundation at 315-786-2291 or via email at foundation@sunyjefferson.edu.