SUNY Chancellor Moves to Downtown Albany

October 31, 2014

Zimpher’s long commitment to urban engagement realized in move to historic neighborhood


Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that she has moved to 423 State Street in the city of Albany.

Zimpher lived in Menands beginning in 2009, when she moved to New York State from Ohio and assumed the chancellorship of the State University.  

“It’s my pleasure to welcome Chancellor Zimpher to living in the historic heart of Albany,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “The chancellor is a true champion for cities, and to have her both working and living in downtown Albany is a shot in the arm for our whole community. I’ve had the great privilege of working with the chancellor on projects downtown and in our school system. I know her enthusiasm is infectious, and the city is lucky to have her.”

One of the missions of SUNY’s dynamic strategic plan, created under Zimpher in 2010, is the University’s systemwide commitment to building vibrant communities across the state. “Moving into downtown Albany, into a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood, is part of my own personal commitment to helping to build a vibrant community right where I live,“ Zimpher said.   

Zimpher, an expert in university-community engagement, served as chair of the national Coalition of Urban Serving Universities from 2005 to 2011, an organization whose mission is to cultivate the relationships between urban universities and their communities. She is active in CEOs for Cities, and served as chair of its board in 2011.

Locally, Zimpher serves on the board of Capitalize Albany Corporation, the development arm of the City of Albany, and in this capacity she and SUNY have been instrumental in the creation of Impact Albany, the initiative that helped transform historic Kiernan Plaza on Broadway. The building now houses headquarters for SEFCU and Clough Harbor & Associates, both of which relocated to downtown Albany from outside the city, as well as some offices for SUNY Poly. The chancellor is also one of the founders and the convener of The Albany Promise, a cradle-to-career collective impact initiative designed to improve education outcomes in some of Albany’s most challenged schools and neighborhoods, including West Hill, Arbor Hill, and the South End. 

“Chancellor Zimpher has been an invaluable member of the Capitalize Albany board of directors, providing a combination of experiential insight from her vast resume of community building and her keen ability to articulate a vision and rally for its support,” said Michael Castellana, president and CEO of SEFCU and a stakeholder participant in The Albany Promise. “She has been instrumental in our Impact Downtown Albany project serving on the subcommittee that directs the effort.  When combined with the actions of SUNY, one of the largest employers in downtown Albany and the headquarters of the largest public university system in the country, we have been able to expand private sector support and move the needle on downtown. To have her physically both live and work at the heart of our capital city says volumes both about our potential but also about the commitment of SUNY and the Chancellor. Chancellor Zimpher is a community gem that is making a difference and we are fortunate to have her as an Albany advocate.”

“The Washington Park Neighborhood and Center Square area are thrilled to welcome Nancy Zimpher to State Street,” said Bill Pettit, president of the Washington Park Neighborhood Association, which represents the streets that boundary the park, and includes 423 State Street. “Our close-knit neighborhood prides itself on its world class historic architecture, its liveliness, its diversity; the chancellor is a welcome addition, and we look forward to seeing her at neighborhood events and out and about on the street.”

“The Washington Park Conservancy is honored to have Chancellor Zimpher as an active member of our organization,” said Bill Brandow, president of the Washington Park Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization that works with the City of Albany to improve, maintain, and protect the integrity of the park, a National Register-listed asset. “We know that she and her husband will be great neighbors, and having their support means a lot to the Conservancy.”

The building, constructed around 1900, served as a residence until 1949, when it was purchased by the YMCA to serve as the organization’s local executive offices. The University at Albany Foundation purchased the building in 1992, and it housed the University’s National Center for Security and Preparedness, which recently relocated to space at the Rockefeller Institute for Government.  

The three-storey building continues to be owned by the University at Albany Foundation; Zimpher pays $3,600 a month in rent, the market rate.

“Universities are an essential part of creating strong, vibrant cities at a time when cities around the country need strengthening,” Zimpher said. “It is my hope that future chancellors of the State University will embrace city living and make 423 State Street their home as well.”  

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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