Fred Altstadt

Fred Altstadt"SUNY Orange has played an important part in my life. I always felt that the professors cared about the students. There was a partnership between the students and the professors, and there was a genuine bond there. Forty years later, I still have very fond memories of the College.”

When Fred Altstadt was hired by Mutual of America Life Insurance Company in 1977, he could not have imagined spending the next 33 years with the same company. Yet today, more than three decades later, he remains with Mutual of America as the company's chief operating officer.

A 1970 graduate of SUNY Orange's accounting program, Altstadt says he found a home at Mutual of America and likens his time there to a partnership. "Sometimes you find a home someplace and you stick with it. As our company has grown, my responsibilities have grown."

Mutual of America ranks in the top 100 life insurance companies in America with assets in excess of $12 billion. The company offers retirement and other annuity products to employees of small and mid-size organizations, and manages pension plans for more than 14,000 not-for-profit charities, including the United Way of Orange County.

Altstadt is active in many local and regional organizations, having served on the boards of numerous charities, and has ardently supported SUNY Orange as a member of its alumni and foundation boards.

Because of family finances, Altstadt said Orange County Community College was his only educational choice when he graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 1968. At $200 per semester, he found "an excellent school at an affordable price."

After transferring from engineering to accounting following his first semester, Altstadt enrolled in a class taught by Professor Russell King. The two clicked and King took Altstadt under his wing.

"Within one semester, he got me my first accounting job at a small firm in Middletown. And he helped me get a full scholarship to NYU (where Alstadt earned a bachelor's degree in 1972). Without him, I may not have had a career in accounting. He's been very special to me my entire life."

SUNY Orange is a special place for the Altstadt family as well. "When my daughters were looking at colleges, I could afford to send them anywhere. Money wasn't a concern, but I told them that if they wanted to start at Orange County, that would be an excellent first step.”

His daughter Amanda took accounting courses at the College and later earned a BA from Mount St. Mary’s College and two Masters Degrees. His daughter Elizabeth earned her degree in social science from SUNY Orange in 1999 and two advanced degrees from SUNY New Paltz.

"SUNY Orange has played an important part in my life. I always felt that the professors cared about the students. There was a partnership between the students and the professors, and there was a genuine bond there. Forty years later, I still have very fond memories of the College.”