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Payson-Martin Society

The Payson-Martin Society is an honorary society for alumni and friends of SUNY Canton who have made future plans for the college through trust, estate, or future gifts. Named for two extraordinary benefactors of the college, the Society recognizes the vital role benefactors have played over the century in helping Canton emerge and maintain itself as the preeminent college for affordable, technically-minded, higher education in Northern New York. Membership in the Society involves no extra obligations, yearly pledges, or solicitations, but it allows the college to thank you and give recognition for the plans you have made and generosity it may inspire in others.

Membership

  • The Payson-Martin Society is an honorary society for alumni and friends of SUNY Canton who have made future plans for the college through trust, estate, or future gifts. Named for two extraordinary benefactors of the college, the Society recognizes the vital role benefactors have played over the century in helping Canton emerge and maintain itself as the preeminent college for affordable, technically-minded, higher education in Northern New York. Membership in the Society involves no extra obligations, yearly pledges, or solicitations, but it allows the college to thank you and give recognition for the plans you have made and generosity it may inspire in others.
  • Included SUNY Canton in your estate plan through a will or living trust
  • Created a charitable remainder trust, administered by the Canton College Foundation or a third-party trustee
  • Entered into a charitable gift annuity agreement with the Canton College Foundation
  • Named SUNY Canton as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan
  • There is no minimum required gift level for membership in the Payson-Martin Society

Benefits

Members of the Payson-Martin Society receive special Society-exclusive benefits. Benefits include:

  • Invitations to exclusive Payson-Martin Society events on campus and around the country
  • Personal dinner with the College President
  • Specially designed Payson-Martin Society lapel pin
  • Display worthy membership certificate
  • Special distinction in our annual After Canton alumni magazine and Society website

History of the Payson-Martin Society

The Payson-Martin Society was founded in 1999 by a group of committed alumni and friends of the college as a society to honor those alumni, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the college who have decided to make a lasting impact on the college through their wills, estate plans, or living trusts. Members of the society show their commitment to ensuring SUNY Canton can carry out its mission now and long into the future.

The Payson-Martin Society was named after two extraordinary men, Dr. James Milford Payson and Edson A. Martin. Each man had a significant impact on shaping SUNY Canton's future and are partially responsible for the college being what it is today.

Dr. James M. Payson served the College for 22 years, including two years as Director from 1917 to 1918, and was one of the most beloved figures from the School of Agriculture (SOA). Many referred to him as a "founding father," prolific educator, and an amicable friend. Dr. Payson shaped many students' lives and was a strong advocate for the school that he took great pride in seeing grow. Dr. Payson was also responsible for preserving the early history and heritage of the college in his work entitled, A Brief History of the State School of Agriculture. He was dedicated to providing a promising future to his students and future students of the College. Dr. Payson's work epitomizes the mission of the Payson-Martin Society.

Edson A. Martin donated the land that the SUNY Canton campus is built upon. When talks surfaced of the possibility of moving the College out of Canton, Martin gave the farm property in the northwest edge of the village to ensure the College didn't leave the community. His gift provided the space for the campus to evolve into a leading college in the North Country and assured its future. A great leader in the North Country, Edson Martin has left a legacy at SUNY Canton for generations to come. His generosity and vision continue to impact the lives of our students every day. These men were leaders for their time. Their common vision was to provide an opportunity for students to receive an outstanding, hands-on education and ensure that the North Country had access to this education. SUNY Canton established the Payson-Martin Society to carry forward their vision and passionate dedication to the value of a SUNY Canton education. The Society honors all those who plan deferred gifts to SUNY Canton and continue the tradition of investing in our current future students.

Join the Payson Martin Society
If you have questions about joining the Payson-Martin Society, or believe you qualify to be a member of the Society, please contact the Canton College Foundation at (315) 386-7844, or email us at foundation@canton.edu.

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