POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — SUNY Potsdam has announced the death of one of its campus leaders.

According to SUNY Potsdam, its Officer-in-Charge Dr. John L. Graham died unexpectedly on Saturday, November 27. This was announced to the campus the following day by SUNY Potsdam College Council Chair June O’Neill.

“While Dr. Graham has only been a member of the SUNY Potsdam family for a few months, he made a tremendous impact on our campus as he has guided us through turbulent times,” O’Neill said in a message to the community. “He was so full of life, joy and passion. He greatly believed in the power of education and was fiercely bold in his way of improving access to quality education for all.”

Dr. Graham was appointed SUNY’s First Student Advocate back in September 2020 by Chancellor Jim Malatras.

During his time in the North Country, he was a member of the Chancellor’s Executive Leadership Team, the principal spokesperson for SUNY initiatives and efforts related to student life and facilitated the Systemwide Student Mental Health and Wellness Task Force and the Food Insecurity Task Force.

Dr. Graham also served on the Steering Committee of the SUNY COVID-19 Re-Opening Task Force and Chairs the Student Wellness Working Group and the SUNY Systemwide Athletics Working Group. 

Earlier in his career, Dr. Graham worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Department of State and served as a member of the Negotiation Team, Commission on Sustainable Development at the United Nations.

Dr. Graham received his doctorate from Michigan State University and has post-graduate certificates in leadership from the American Association for State Colleges and Universities’ Executive Leadership Academy, State University of New York Executive Leadership Academy, Millennium Leadership Initiative, Institute for Educational Management and Executive Education at Harvard University.

Information has yet to be released on memorial services and arrangements. More information on Dr. John Graham can be found on his website.