Best of Luck and Congratulations!
Todd Travis ‘
I wanted to wish you and your family the best of luck! It’s been a pleasure serving with you at Clarkson over the last 30 plus years – and I’m more than happy to raise a pint of Fosters’ with you to wish you a very happy journey on to your next adventures! One of the highlights for me was definitely watching you present her diploma to my youngest daughter, Kelsey. From my family to yours – we’ll definitely miss you!
A legacy of which to be proud!
Amy Villeneuve ’86
Dear Tony and Karen,
As you embark on your next big adventure, it is important to take a minute to reflect and take a measure of pride in the impact you have had over your decades at Clarkson. The most obvious is the direct impact on the Clarkson students, many of whom have been “first in the family” college graduates. I am certain that the education they received in a warm (albeit not climate-wise 🙂 and welcoming environment has had a positive and long lasting impact. Beyond the actual student, however, you have had a force multiplier effect on their parents and the families that they have built. When you think about the companies that these students have gone on to influence, lead and found as well as the communities that have benefited, it becomes immediately apparent that your impact has been enormous. You have much to take pride in.
I have always said that students that go to Clarkson are the salt of the earth. They are hardworking and grounded, smart and industrious, and people you just like to be around. I believe that is a direct reflection of you both, Tony and Karen.
I wish you all the best in your new journey… you have certainly earned it!
Amy (Taber) Villeneuve
Congrats on your retirement!
Michelle (Pregent) Wright ’89
I have many fond memories of your classes, working in Rowley Labs, meeting your family over dinner and enjoyed your mentoring and advising. Clarkson has become such an amazing University under your time as President. I don’t know if you realize how many students you’ve impacted in a positive way over the years. Please relish that and be proud of it!! I hope you and Karen enjoy a wonderful retirement! You’ve earned it!
Michelle (Pregent) Wright, CEE ’89
Kelsey Hamilton ’25
President Collins and Mrs. Collins– Thank you so much for all that you’ve done for Clarkson staff, Clarkson students, and the Potsdam community. I couldn’t have asked for a better first year!
Thank You For Your Service and Support
Tony Brancato ’88
Tony, you have easily been the most supportive and the most approachable Clarkson President I have known since I first arrived on campus in the summer of 1984. I am happy to have had the pleasure of knowing you on a personal level for many years.
Your leadership during the University’s most remarkable period of growth is well-documented. The physical changes to the Potsdam Hill campus in particular will provide many generations of Clarkson students with state of the art facilities they will need to become the leaders of the future.
But your personal connections with students, alumni and staff are what set you apart from your predecessors and leave a blueprint for all future Clarkson presidents to follow. You have set an excellent example of how to lead by serving and supporting others. I will always remember how you supported a handful of us Pep Band alumni as we navigated uncharted waters by starting the Clarkson University Pep Band Alumni Association and, subsequently, the CUPBAA Scholarship Fund to provide financial aid to future pep band members like ourselves. You and Karen attended so many of our fundraising and social events and provided financial and moral support that means so much more than you know. We certainly could not have succeeded without your help.
I want to thank you and Karen for so many years of friendship and support. I wish you well in whatever lies ahead for both of you. Let’s go TECH!!
The People’s President
Devin Perkins ’10
Words cannot describe the impact you have both had on the Clarkson community. I will always remember just how present you both were in all aspects of life at Clarkson. It was never out of the ordinary to see you around campus, and it was always a happy thing. I don’t think in my 4 years you ever missed a hockey game, but also so many other events. Leading Clarkson wasn’t just your job, it looked like it was your life. I graduated in December 2010, but came back to campus in May 2011 for commencement, when I walked across the stage you handed me my diploma, gave me a hug and said “Welcome back, it is so good to see you again”. It really touched me that your remembered me and took that moment to acknowledge it. I hope to see you on campus again someday and return the gesture!
Lets Go Tech!
Joseph (Joe) Pulicare ’78
Congratulations Tony on an outstanding career. I want to thank you for your years of dedication to Clarkson and it’s students, always putting them and the University first. Good luck to you and Karen going forward in everything you do.
ENJOY your Retirement!
Tess Casler ‘
Tony – many thanks for the memories.
Don’t forget to stop by ‘Therapy Thursday’ if you are ever in town…we can always zoom you in! LOL
Wishing you and Karen all the BEST in Retirement!
Martha Whalen ‘
Best wishes for the future – enjoy!
Many thanks, Tony!
John Milne ‘
Many thanks, Tony, for your outstanding support to me these past 12 years and for leading all of us at the university!
During my on-site job interview visit in December 2009, you gave me the helpful advice that you typically took domestic plane flights from Syracuse and international flights from Montreal. Although I was initially surprised that you (as university president!) would attend a job interview reception, later I learned that you attend virtually every event possible and miss any of them only due to simultaneous events. Whether a hockey game, basketball game, reception of the smallest group, or university presentations, your omnipresence has been appreciated.
It was so kind for you to send me Thank You cards over matters as small as me helping one student with one issue, whereas it would have been more appropriate for me to send you Thank You cards over major matters in which you have helped me. You kindly stopped by my office intermittently to provide an encouraging word. One time, you said that at a meeting in Florida, some alum(s) had made favorable comments about me. Another time, you mentioned the continued generosity of Neil and Karen Bonke. Speaking of which, it was so good to work with you on strengthening that relationship and your wife Karen’s kind words to me after Neil and I spoke at the E2E alumni event about a decade ago. Speaking of which, Neil wrote to me last month that:
“Tony and Karen Collins visited us on their recent West Coast swing… We thought that they would be in the “lame duck” mode but Tony was still very animated about Clarkson future projects. I think he will “ work” his job until his very last day in office!”
I am so glad, Tony, that you stuck with us long enough to lead us through the pandemic. So often I would read about other universities not handling the pandemic nearly as well as you did. As my wife and I are in the covid-19 “high risk” category, I especially appreciate your support in us remaining safe.
One of my final (and fond) memories was a few months ago when you passed me in the hallways while you were talking with someone else. Due to teaching remotely followed by my sabbatical, it had been nearly two years since you had seen me in person. Though you could see only the top portion of my masked face, you instantly recognized me and said, “Hi, John,” as if we had chatted the prior day.
Many thanks, Tony, for helping me so often, for always making me feel welcome, for caring about me, for inspiring me, and for making Clarkson such a fantastic place. Saying you will be missed, Tony, is an understatement. I am so lucky you were here at Clarkson.