Farewell Tony and Karen. I wish you and your family the very best.

Catherine Avadikian ’97 –


You were by far, the longest CU President that I have had the pleasure of working with during my tenure at Clarkson; and there have been five! Having said that, working with you began long before you became President.  

I remember very well one of our first meetings, which goes back to when I was the advisor for the E&M Program, an undergraduate student, and was working on a Student Advising Handbook.  I believe you were VP of Academic Affairs, and I decided I wanted to get your thoughts about the idea/development of an advising handbook, which at the time, was non-existent on college campuses.  Immediately, your reaction was supportive. You offered a great deal of feedback and encouragement to continue working on it and told me, “you must make it an electronic version, hard copy was good, but an electronic handbook would be better.” You were extremely supportive and this is when I knew you also valued the importance of academic advising, for which I discovered a strong passion.

Shortly after, I was making a career change and that was when you shared with me the increase in the number of applications for undecided students and made me Director of University Studies, also advising Engr. and Science Studies students, reporting directly to you.  Once you became President and I could no longer report to you, you made me Director of First-Year Advising with University Studies. That same year, I completed my Master’s degree.  You congratulated me by ordering my regalia, which I still proudly wear today.

This year, as you retire, I will celebrate my twenty-five years as a Clarkson alumnus and forty-five years as a Clarkson employee.  Much of this time was while you were at the University as well and in one way or another our paths always seemed to cross.  I will always remember my time as the advisor to Phalanx and the wonderful dinners/support you and Karen provided so graciously and the ceremonies I was actively involved with. 

Of course, I will remember and hold dear the hundreds/most likely thousands of students and families you sent my way during our time together. 

You and Karen are truly amazing people.  The way you handle yourselves day-to-day while juggling the unsurmountable load of responsibilities, even during a pandemic, was incredible. 

Tony, during the good and bad years, it was your attitude, support, and determination that kept me forging ahead as well.  Most importantly, I will always remember the day you told me. “Someday, there would be an Advising Office in the center of campus, and hope that I see you there”.  I am here.

Thank you for all you have accomplished during your time at Clarkson and for believing in me.

All my best,

Catherine Fuller Avadikian ’97 M.Ed.

Phalanx 1995

Director Office of University Advising