By ALAN RIZZO
CANTON — Grinning from ear to ear, SUNY Canton President Dr. Zvi Szafran became the second north country college president to get soaked for ALS Monday, responding to a challenge from Clarkson President Anthony C. Collins. More than 700 Clarkson freshmen who were also challenged by Mr. Collins’ responded Sunday, challenging their fellow freshmen at St. Lawrence County colleges to do the same.
Before getting wet, Mr. Szafran challenged his fellow SUNY presidents, saying he was more than happy to do his part to battle a disease that has affected so many.
He was soaked by college mascot Roody Roo, who slowly poured a 5-gallon bucket of water chock full of ice over his head in front of SUNY Canton’s Miller Campus Center.
“They say the wet head is dead, but it really is not,” he said, joking that the mascot was cruel in taking his time.
Mr. Szafran promised to make a donation to the foundation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, though he isn’t sure yet how much he will give. “After all that ice, my assets are frozen,” he said.
Canton’s freshmen class also may participate, though the college has no concrete plans yet.
SUNY Potsdam President Dr. Kristin G. Esterberg will respond to the challenge today in front of Satterlee Hall, getting wet with the help of student leaders.
Freshmen at Potsdam also will take part in their own way this weekend, being allowed by the college to decide when, where and how they will respond.
St. Lawrence University President Dr. William L. Fox — who made a donation to the ALS Foundation early last week when challenged by a student — does not have plans yet to get wet, nor do SLU freshmen, who already are busy with first year programs, Director of Media Relations Ryan P. Deuel said. Mr. Collins began the process Friday, when he took the challenge during a welcome to the Clarkson freshmen class.
Video of the Clarkson challenge can be found at http://wdt.me/clarkson-ice