Paul Smith's College

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Paul Smith's College
Paul Smiths College - Dining Hall - Student Center.jpg
Motto “It's about the experience”
Type Private
Established 1946
Budget $36.6 million in 2013[1]
President Cathy S. Dove
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,000[2]
Location Paul Smiths, New York, USA
Campus Rural
14,200 acres (57 km2) Wooded
35 buildings
Colors Green and White         
Athletics Yankee Small College Conference, USCSA
Mascot Bobcat
The Joan Weill Adirondack Library

Paul Smith's College is a private college located in Paul Smiths, N.Y. It is the only four-year institution of higher education within the Adirondack Park. Paul Smith's offers both two- and four-year programs in many fields, including natural resources, fisheries and wildlife science, forestry, recreation, biology, hotel and restaurant management, culinary arts and business.


Paul Smith's College was founded through a bequest of Phelps Smith, son of Apollos Smith, whose Paul Smith's Hotel was a famous 19th century establishment. The first class was matriculated in 1946, and was loosely based on the original hotel's business model. Paul Smith's College specializes in natural sciences, hotel management and culinary arts. Along with the money to start a school, Phelps also left more than 20,000 acres (80 km²) of land. Paul Smith's is located northwest of Saranac Lake, N.Y., in the hamlet of Paul Smiths in the Town of Brighton.

In 2015 Joan Weill, wife of financier and philanthropist Sanford I. Weill, offered $20 million to Paul Smith's College, but only if it changed its name to Joan Weill-Paul Smith's College, a change that would have violated the terms of the devise of the school's real property, which required that the school be "forever known" as Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences. Paul Smith's applied to the New York Supreme Court for a release from the naming clause of the original donor's will, arguing that its continued financial survival depended on receipt of Mrs. Weill's gift.[3] Justice John T. Ellis ruled that the college could not be renamed, and because her gift was contingent upon the renaming, Weill did not plan to make the contribution.[4]


Paul Smith's College is organized into two major academic divisions: the School of Natural Resource Management and Ecology (NRME) and the School of Commercial, Applied and Liberal Arts (CALA). Each division offers two- and four-year degree programs.

Classes are held in up to seven buildings on campus; these include the main classroom buildings at Pickett Hall, Cantwell Hall, and Freer Science Hall. Auxiliary areas include The Joan Weill Adirondack Library, The RATE classroom, The campus' sawmill, Saratoga Hall, The Saunders Sports Complex and the Joan Weill Student Center.

Students in the culinary-arts and hospitality programs have the opportunity to earn academic credit for hands-on experience in operating a campus restaurant, The St. Regis cafe. Open to the public, it serves American cuisine during the week when courses are in session and throughout the summer.


Bachelor’s degrees[5][6]

  • Baking And Pastry Arts & Service Management
  • Biology
  • Business Management & Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Culinary Arts & Service Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Forestry- Biology Concentration
  • Forestry- Ecological Forest Management
  • Forestry- Forest Operations
  • Food Service & Beverage Management
  • Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences- Fisheries Concentration
  • Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences- Wildlife Concentration
  • Hotel, Resort, & Tourism Management
  • Integrative Studies
  • Natural Resources Management & Policy
  • Natural Resources & Sustainability
  • Parks, Recreation, & Facilities Management
  • Recreation, Adventure Travel & Eco-Tourism (RATE)

Associate degrees[5][6]

  • Arboriculture & Landscape Management
  • Baking & Pastry Arts
  • Culinary Arts
  • Forest Technology
  • Hotel & Restaurant Management
  • Surveying Technology
  • Undeclared Major


  • Business Administration
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Communications
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Forestry
  • GIS
  • Natural Resource Sustainability
  • Craft Beer

Campus life[edit]

Lower St. Regis Lake from the College

Most of the college population lives on campus. Residence halls are divided by class. Freshmen halls include Lydia Martin Smith Hall, Currier Hall, and Livermore Hall. Incoming transfer students are housed in Clinton Hall. Upperclassmen share Essex, Franklin, Lakeside, Saratoga, Alumni, Upper St. Regis, and Lower St. Regis halls. Lambert House is women-only. A new LEED-certified "green" dorm for upper-classmen, Overlook Hall, was opened in 2011.[7]

Wellness buildings include Livermore Hall for freshmen and Blum House and Hillside Hall for upperclassmen.

Paul Smith's rural location lends itself to many campus-based activities. Student-directed clubs administrated under the Office of Student Activities include fishing and hunting, Artisans' club, Outing club, Students for Environmental Action, Society of American Foresters, the Wildlife Society, WPSA (the campus's official radio station), Student Government Association, Whitewater Kayaking, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Ski and Snowboard Club, Gaming club, Fish and Game Club, Honors club, and Wrestling club, among others.[8]

The campus is located on Lower St. Regis Lake. Students have a beach with lifeguard as well as docks and storage for canoes and kayaks.

The Lakeside Dining Hall is operated by Sodexo food service. A bakery in Cantwell Hall opens a few days a semester to sell student-produced baked goods.


The college raises a variety of sports teams from the school's general population, including basketball, soccer, rugby and cross-country. Most are under the direction of administrative staff and faculty.

The college also offers sports programs reflecting its outdoor character, such as snowshoe racing, co-ed woodsmen's and Nordic skiing teams, and canoe racing.[9] In the warmer months students may rent canoes to use on Lower Saint Regis Lake, located on the southern side of campus.

The newly renovated Saunders Sports Complex houses the Bobcat fitness center, a gymnasium, dance studio, and campus pool. It is home to the school's SCUBA and dive training programs, the kayaking club's whitewater training, and log birling practice, an event in woodsman lumberjack sports competitions.[10]

The facility is open to the general public for a nominal fee.[11] A 32-foot (9.8 m)-tall climbing wall was opened in the adjacent Buxton Annex gymnasium in 2010.

Timbersports take place in both Fall and Spring semesters, with teams practicing every month of the school year. Events include pole climbing, log birling, chopping, splitting, sawing, pulp toss, ax-throw, and pack-board relay.

The Paul Smith's woodsmen's team's nine-year winning streak (from 1957-1966) in the sport's biggest event, the Spring Meet, is the longest in the history of intercollegiate lumberjack competition.[9] The school's highly regarded squad travels to meets throughout the Northeast and Ontario, Canada.

Both the men and women's soccer teams at Paul Smith's compete in an annual rivalry game with the teams from SUNY-ESF (State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry), known as the Barkeater Cup.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Budget 2013". 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2015-10-23. 
  2. ^ "Paul Smith's enrollment largest since 1981". 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  3. ^ Hussey, Kristin (August 17, 2015). "Paul Smith's College Will Get $20 million, if It Changes Its Name". New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ Hussey, Kristin (October 22, 2015). "After Ruling, Paul Smith’s College Won’t Get Weills’ $20 Million Renaming Gift". New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b School of Natural Resource Management and Ecology
  6. ^ a b School of Commercial Applied and Liberal Arts
  7. ^ "Residence Hall Living". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  8. ^ "Clubs & Organizations". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  9. ^ a b "Woodsmen's Team". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  10. ^ "Recreational Programs". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  11. ^ "Facilities Operation". Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  12. ^ "International Paper's Adirondack park opens" Memphis Business Journal, June 27, 2006
  13. ^ ""YouTube viewers turn chefs into unlikely stars"". Finz, Stacy.SFGate.January 13, 2011. June 27, 2011. 
  14. ^ ""The Creator of Time Warner, Steven J. Ross, Is Dead at 65." ". Cohen, Roger.The New York Times.Dec 21, 1992. December 21, 1992. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Hardware Stories". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°26′06″N 74°15′08″W / 44.43500°N 74.25222°W / 44.43500; -74.25222