Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Paul Smith’s College VIC names building for Frank M. Hutchins, founder of Adirondack Park Institute & longtime college trustee

PAUL SMITHS—The Paul Smith’s College VIC honored Frank M. Hutchins, one of its earliest supporters, by naming its main building in his honor. The VIC dedicated the Frank M. Hutchins Lodge in August.

Hutchins, who died in 2012 at 90, served as a Paul Smith’s College trustee for 33 years. He founded the Adirondack Park Institute in 1989 to support the then state-owned visitor interpretive centers in Paul Smiths and Newcomb. As a longtime summer resident of the Adirondacks, he was passionate about the joys of nature—and intent that visitors learn about the significance of the Adirondack Park as well.

“Frank was one of our greatest ambassadors,” said Scott van Laer, director of the Paul Smith’s College VIC. “He understood the importance of the conservation lessons taught by the Adirondacks, and he took it on himself to share those lessons with others as well. It’s fitting that, as people who come to the VIC learn about the Adirondacks, they also learn about Frank and the power of his commitment.”

Hutchins, a lifelong resident of Rochester, maintained a second home in the Adirondacks since 1963. A successful advertising executive for many years, he was known just as much for volunteer work with a long list of organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, Dartmouth College, and St. Paul’s Church in Rochester.

“My father loved the Adirondacks, and loved the VIC,” said Katharine H. Welling, Hutchins’ daughter. “He knew that the Adirondacks are a special place because people have worked hard across generations to keep it that way. His enthusiasm and tireless fundraising were his contribution to the future. Our family is grateful for this opportunity to honor him and his work.”

About the Paul Smith’s College VIC:

The VIC provides more than 25 miles of walking trails for visitors of all abilities, as well as birding, cross-country skiing, art exhibitions, lectures and more. Through Paul Smith’s partnership with USA Nordic and US Biathlon at our Center for Sport and Education, the VIC’s world-class 10km biathlon network and shooting range are a training ground for elite biathletes and Nordic combined skiers.

About Paul Smith’s College:

At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. As the only four-year institution of higher education located in the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, Paul Smith’s provides real-world, hands-on learning in fields such as business and hospitality, culinary management, forestry, environmental sciences and natural resources. We are able to draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. Our community of resourceful, enterprising, supportive and adventurous individuals collectively provide experiential education, student support in the classroom and beyond, and meaningful opportunities for our alumni. We pride ourselves on research and advocacy on issues that improve our planet and the lives of the people who inhabit it. Learn more at paulsmiths.edu.


Photo at top: The family of Frank Hutchins celebrates the naming of the main building at the Paul Smith’s College VIC in his honor. Photo provided by Ken Aaron, courtesy of Paul Smith’s VIC.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

2 Responses

  1. Roger Kessel says:

    It was heart warming to learn of such a fitting tribute to such a very fine man. I knew Frank professionally going as far back as the 1960’s. Frank’s deep fondness for the Adirondacks and Lake Clear in particular was well known. He was unselfish to the bone and believed that the magnificence of the Adirondacks should be shared. How fitting that his name now adorns the VIC at Paul Smith’s!

  2. David Gibson says:

    Frank was very open and generous in his relations with many people, and many organizations. When I worked for the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks I could have candid conversation with Frank, and sometimes different opinion, but they were never overheated conversation. They often concluded in laughter. I am glad for his devotion to the VIC – and for honoring his name there.

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