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'It was a good run': Cazenovia College's last day of class before the school closes for good

The quad at Cazenovia College on May 1, 2023. This is the last day of classes at the campus which is closing just shy of 200 years.
Ava Pukatch
The quad at Cazenovia College on May 1, 2023. This is the last day of classes at the campus which is closing just shy of 200 years.

Monday was the last day of classes at Cazenovia College — ever. Students are spending their last few days on campus before the college shuts down for good.

Cazenovia College's campus was quiet with an almost empty bookstore noting 75% off sales on the few remaining items and just a few students walking through between classes.

Sophomore student Savannah Elliott said it's shocking to see the campus so empty.

"Usually we still have a lot of people on campus," Elliott said. "A lot of people left because we did most of our finals last week. It's just finishing the last day of class and then moving out."

The college cited financial concerns accelerated by the pandemic when it announced it would be closing after the spring semester. Cazenovia College partnered with several other institutions to provide pathways for students to continue their education elsewhere, like first-year student Kylie Behan who will be headed to Russell Sage College next year.

"It kind of just hit me today because it's just the last classes that are ever going to happen here," Behan said. "Obviously, it was very unexpected, but I think I enjoyed my time here. It's a very pretty campus and I met some great professors. It was a good run."

First-year Vincent Rigney is headed to Wells College next year.

"It sucks," Rigney said. "I would have loved to come back here. My sister went here that's why [I chose] the school. It sucks but it is what it is."

Le Moyne College, another teach-out partner, is set to maintain Cazenovia College student, alumni and human resource records. A space in the Noreen Reale Falcone Library is set to display the history and artifacts of Cazenovia College allowing it to live on.

“Le Moyne is pleased to support and recognize the many contributions that Cazenovia College has made to the higher education landscape during its nearly 200-year history,” Le Moyne President Linda LeMura said. “We look forward to welcoming Cazenovia students to our campus this fall and engaging Cazenovia alumni in the coming years.”

Cazenovia College's final commencement will be held May 13. The college has one last summer session where all classes will be held online.

Both the main campus and the equestrian campus are up for bid for a total of 271 acres and 500,000 square foot of buildings. There is no price listed for the property and the real estate company said it will consider offers for one or both campuses.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.