August 11, 2010

Final and Official!

I have had the honor of looking at several versions of the MOU (Memo of Understanding), and unless I am completely missing appears that the "Mr. C."scholarship will start being available to Theatre Education majors this year!!

Thanks again to all the donors for your support, as well as patience. Who knew it would take so long to get a scholarship established! Donations will always be needed to sustain this scholarship long-term, so please consider making your annual nonprofit contribution to the new "Mr. C" Theatre Education scholarship at SUNY Potsdam!

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Memories of "Mr. C"

  • "Mr. Champney was my friend, mentor, college professor and all-around guide during my four years at SUNY Potsdam. He and I came from similar blue-collar, no-nonsense middle class stock. And we both shared a passion for theatre, film, etc. Mr. Champney could and would cut through the clutter of high brow theatre talk and tell it like it was. I'm honored to help out current and future Postdam students in his name." Tim Christensen, '82 Drama Major
  • “I adored Mr. Champney too. He was by far the best teacher I had outside of Crane and I always looked forward to his classes, which is why I took almost everything offered that he was teaching. He was a lot of fun, very dedicated and understanding, and totally motivating.” Arlene Kuhlberg, ‘82
  • “Back in 1989, it was Mr. C's "Orientation to Theater" class that got me into adding drama as second major. He certainly had an enthusiasm and sense of humor that made you enjoy the theater as it was made to be enjoyed. It also helped that he fully enjoyed what he did and the students that were learning his trade. One of the most memorable moments that I remember with Mr. C was the first day in an advanced drama class that 2 newbies entered by mistake. One of our own (who will remain nameless) walked in late and had obviously gotten a breast reduction over the break, so everyone in the class was staring at her. She went full blown saying loudly; ‘So what do you think about my new breasts?’ The newbies, who now wanted to escape but couldn’t, were mortified. So in a fashion that only Mr. C could deliver, he said; ‘Common now settle down, you’re scaring the straights!’ Those 2 never returned and it was one of those Potsdam moments that I could never forget.” Tom Collins, ‘92
  • “I remember Mr. C. He was a fantastic professor. I also had his intro to theater class and was in a couple shows of his. Good times!” Stephen Buess, ‘91
  • “Mr. C. was a great man with a great laugh, and a good friend as well as a great teacher. Not enough superlatives to express how he impacted my life and the lives of my classmates.” Dennis Booth, ‘75
  • "I had had a little background in carpentry before Potsdam but Mr. C. really taught me the field. He showed me how to read a scale ruler one day and showed me the working drawings for some set. It might have been A Cry of Players. I wound up on that stage crew and never felt such a family feeling or being an integral part of something important, even though my job was to run onstage in a blackout ad clear a bucket! His famous witticisms and salty sayings keep the atmosphere light and easy and being part of his crew was something special. He also got me into acting. I was so shy and scared that it wasn't until I took his Reader's Theatre class that I felt confident enough to try for more. When I hit Oscar Loop in Futz I never looked back. I'm AEA, SAG, AFTRA, SSD&C & sometimes USITT. I've acted & directed in NYC and freelanced with William Morris, Phoenix, Zoli and was signed with Sanders. I've taught theatre for 17 years at the College level and Designed Lights for 12 professionally and Mr. C. was a big part in getting me going. It's still going and every Tech Direction and Design Class I teach hears at least one Mr. C story." Mark Wenderlich '76
  • "My late father (Crane Prof. Robert Holland) and Bill were good friends both on and off campus, sharing a love of both acting and techinical theatre crafts. I remember Bill as a boundless fountain of energy both on and off the stage. In the early 60s, at about age 10, I auditioned for a bit part in "The Man who Came to Dinner". I got the role of the telegraph boy, and remember Bill an upper-classmen undergrad. I was terrified of the play, but Bill took me under his wing. It was pretty awe-inspiring for a young kid to be "accepted" by grown-up college men. His attitude about both of us "being professional" helped give me the confidence to pull off my first stage role. I got quite a bit of experience working with him (and my Dad) over the next ten years or so (all the way up through my short years as a student at SUNY) doing tech theatre and special effects for the Theatre dept., Crane summer operettas, Potsdam Community Theatre. Good times, all. What a great guy. I'd bet Bill and Dad are up there somewhere trying on rubber noses or figuring out how to fly without wires." - Mark Holland (Dallas, TX)
  • "What a wonderful endeavor in Bill's name. I had the pleasure of being in the drama dept. in the early days of the major (drama was my second major). Between Mr. C and Mrs. G it was quite a department! Bill was a wonderful teacher and mentor, and I have very fond memories of him and my time at SUNY Potsdam. I will happily send in a donation to this worthy cause!" - Kathy Norris
  • "I graduated as a Drama major in 1975 and was fortunate to have spent 4 years working with Mr. C. He made building sets and hanging lights so much fun that I was there working every night (long after I fulfilled my 100 hour P&P requirement). He was also the only faculty member who was down to earth and made me feel like a valued member of the team. Although I never pursued a career in the theater, I now have a 17 year old son who aspires to being a theater major when he starts college in a year. I hope he meets a "Mr. C." along the way. I plan on honoring Mr. C by designating all of my future donations to his scholarship program. What a great idea!" - Ellen Feinman Sobczak