In 1979, then-Chancellor Melvin A. Eggers invited Barclay to become a University trustee. Barclay liked and admired Eggers, having worked with him on the KeyCorp and Empire Airlines boards, and was happy to accept. In 1987, Eggers asked Barclay, who was awarded the George Arents Pioneer Medal for Excellence in Law and Public Service from SU in 1984, to head the University's first major capital campaign. Barclay wasted little time in surpassing the $100 million goal by $60 million. By establishing endowed professorships, improving and expanding programs and facilities, and creating merit scholarships, the campaign marked the University's first step toward what Eggers called "the next tier of academic excellence." In recognition of Chancellor Eggers' many years of outstanding service to the University, Barclay was instrumental in securing a naming gift from members of the Board of Trustees, including himself, to honor Eggers and assist in building an addition to the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Chancellor Eggers once taught at Maxwell and chaired the economics departent.). The addition gave the school much-needed space, and came packed with high-tech advances like video conferencing, which made new and innovative programs possible. "Eggers Hall is a strong attraction for faculty and graduate students to come here," says John Palmer, dean of the Maxwell School. "It demonstrates the central importance of the school to the University and helps us maintain our number-one ranking as a public policy school."
      As chairman of the board, Barclay's greatest contribution to the University has been his leadership style. He encourages people to solve problems themselves. Faculty and administrators are doing this by creating mentoring and advising programs. Sometimes Barclay provides the solution-in the form of a library, for example, which he established for the College of Law, or through state funding for a research project or building.
      This is the same approach he used as senator. And in New York State, the results are still being felt. In the late sixties, New York City was in desperate need of low- and moderate-income housing. Working closely with Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, Barclay created the State Urban Development Corporation. Now called the Empire Development Corporation, the UDC could issue bonds, provide flexibility in the application of local codes, arrange for real estate tax exemptions, condemn properties, obtain federal funding for projects, and invest in real estate at low interest rates. It built hundreds of thousands of apartments.
quote Eggers_Hall The former New York State senator relaxes in the atrium of the law school's H. Douglas Barclay Law Library, named in his honor. The four-level library is scheduled for expansion, taking over the fifth floor of White Hall.



      In the late seventies and early eighties, after hearing from communities where housing programs didn't meet residents' needs, Barclay created four housing programs-the Rural Rental Assistance Program, the Rural Area Revitalization Program, the Neighborhood Preservation Companies Program, and the Rural Preservation Companies Program. Together and individually these programs empower communities to actively identify housing problems and seek solutions, rather than waiting for outside agencies to impose programs upon them.
      "The Rural Preservation Companies Program provides us with annual administrative funds of $65,000," explains Alan Hipps, executive director of the Housing Assistance Program of Essex County Inc., in Elizabethtown, New York. "This provides the spark that runs the engine. It allows us to have core administrative staff seek solutions to the housing needs in this county. Today, unemployment is 5 percent or less across the country; in Essex County it's about 10.7 percent. So we have significant housing needs."
      Hipps's program alone has received $12.5 million to make major repairs on nearly 1,000 housing units. The staff does everything from preserving historic buildings and turning them into low-income housing for the elderly to helping flood victims find new housing.
      Another of Barclay's legacies, the St. Lawrence Eastern Ontario Commission, was in the forefront of environmental planning. A state agency from 1969 until 1995, when its funding was cut, the commission helped towns review development projects and, if necessary, seek alternatives to them. The commission has permanently protected 3,000 acres of land along the St. Lawrence River from developers. In addition, the St. Lawrence Seaway Trail, which attracts thousands of tourists to the area, is an outgrowth of the commission's work.
      Lately, as Metropolitan Development Association president, Barclay has been trying to boost Central New York's economy. "For 20 years or more I've wanted to make this area a dynamic place economically," Barclay says. "I've always said, 'Why can't we get a number of people to get the best thinking done, and create a plan for what this area needs to move forward?' It's taken me this long to finally come up with the other people, and a plan. The plan is the MDA's Vision 2010. If properly executed, the plan will make this area really blossom."
      Even though Barclay, who was presented with an honorary doctor of laws degree at this year's Commencement ceremonies, stepped down in May as chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, and Joseph Lampe '53, G'55 took over, he still has big dreams for SU. At board meetings, Barclay would flash five fingers at Gershon Vincow, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Vincow would flash five fingers back. Five fingers represented five Nobel laureates at Syracuse University, where currently there are none.
      "It will take time," Barclay says, "but it can happen. All you need to start is a vision."
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Main Home Page Summer 1998 Issue Contents
Chancellor's Message Opening Remarks In Basket
H. Douglas Barclay Vision Quest Student Career Services
Reserve Officers Training Corps Quad Angles Campaign News
Student Center Faculty Focus Research Report
View from the Hill University Place


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