Hundreds of local college students are processing the shock that their Madison County educational institution is closing its doors for good once the current seniors graduate.
“Unfortunately the last Senior class there is,” 23-year old Cazenovia College Senior Hannah Garrett said. She’ll be one of the last to graduate in May.
Garrett is a transfer student who has been at Cazenovia since the Spring of 2021.
“I think it was a pretty big shock for most people,” Garrett said. “The conversation about what was happening was not nearly as transparent as I believe it should have been. There were email updates from SGA, and from the president, saying what they could say, which was not much, unfortunately. We had an open house in the middle of November so I think a lot of the students and prospective students and a lot of the factually were under the impression that we were remaining open after the Spring semester, so I don’t know what happened.”
Garrett said she always knew graduating college would be bittersweet, but now it’s so much different, because on her resume it will say she got a degree from a college that no longer exists.
“I’ve been reassured that that won’t effect my resume,” Garrett added. “I am trying to have all my ducks in a row for when I graduate. Having all of my transcripts, having every piece of paper and document that I could ever possibly need in the future is just another thing I need to focus on.”
Alum upset over Cazenovia closure: What happens next?
FingerLakes1.com also spoke with alum Monica EverDyke, who was a student at Cazenovia College from Fall 1998 to Spring 2002. During the summer after graduating she worked with the Summer College program on weekends, and then joined the College full time as the Director of Student Activities from August 2002 – December 2009.
Here’s the statement EverDyke shared with us late last week:
“I am truly in disbelief regarding the closure of Cazenovia College. A school having been around for nearly 200 years you start to think that it’s invincible, but that does not seem to be the case. Cazenovia College is where found myself; where I grew into myself. It has shaped me into the person I am today. My ENTIRE college experience provided me the necessary skills that have provided me success post-graduation.
I’m not referring to just the education that I received in the classroom, but my experiences as a Residence Advisor, a member of the softball team, and involvement in clubs and organizations – not to mention the life-long friendships I developed. These experiences paved the way for me, and now other students will not be able to have these experiences. Cazenovia College Is home to so many. Its where upon your return it feels like you never left. The memories come flooding in and can take you back in time. There are faculty, staff and administration whose worlds have been more turned upside down than myself as an alum.
These folks give their all day in and day out to the students. From maintenance, to grounds, to dining staff, cleaning staff, faculty – everyone who helps that campus run day in and day out. Where are they left to go? What does this mean for the community? The financial impact on the village is concerning as well. There are so many unknowns and so much to process. Cazenovia College has faced many hardships in its nearly 200 year history, that in many ways I just figured it would be able to survive another wave of difficulty, but unfortunately based on their announcement that is not going to happen.
The alumni base on social media are all wondering if there is anything they can do now, or if it’s too too late. Hearing that the college announced closing back in the /0s, but that they were able to turn it around and stay open is leaving many with hope Alumni are asking the questions to each other, but we don’t know who to address them to on the campus. As you can tell it’s a wide range of emotions. I’ve experienced death of loved ones, and even a divorce. For me personally, this cuts deeper than that. As you can tell, Cazenovia College holds an immensely important place in my heart, and always will. That’s why the comprehension of all of this is just so difficult to understand and accept.”
Rebecca is a veteran multimedia journalist serving as one of our core reporters in the Finger Lakes region. She is responsible for telling stories that matter to every day Upstate New Yorkers. Have a question or lead? Send it to [email protected].