The Millennium
2000-2009

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2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009

The year 2000 came and the Year 2000 problem, which foretold of the entire world grinding to a halt never, happened. The Y2K problem, or millennium bug, in computers was a design flaw in the hardware and software of a computer that could caused erroneous results when working with dates beyond Dec. 31, 1999. In the 1960s and 70s programmers designed computer systems and wrote programs and never believed their work would still be around in the year 2000. What they did was dropped the first two digits of a year when storing or processing dates to save space and limited memory. This recorded the year 2000 as 00 and could not distinguish it from 1900. In sorting, comparison, and arithmetic operations, the year 2000 would be treated as if it were equivalent to 0 rather than 100, causing incorrect results. Designer's work for years to correct the problem and 2000 came and went with the great collapse never happening.

OCCC now called SUNY Orange was celebrating its 50th anniversary. The celebration began in May 2000, with a string of events and celebrations and continued until the following year's commencement.

Did You Know?

Nursing Dental Hygiene 25th year
SUNY Orange created the first two-year Nursing program in the country. The Dental Hygiene program celebrates its 25th year as the college celebrates its 50th.

Did You Know?

  • Orange County community College has been called the "Cradle of Community College Presidents." Eight community college presidents have come from Orange County Community College faculty and administration, and even one alumnus: Robert Brown, who graduated from SUNY Orange in 1961, and thirteen years later became president of Ulster County Community College. Originally told that he wasn't "college material" by a high school guidance counselor, Brown spent 20 years heading UCCC, and credited his success in large part to the nurturing environment and high-quality education he received at SUNY Orange. Brown was one of the youngest college presidents in the SUNY system.
  • The original class consisted of 13 students. This year(2000), over 5,000 students were enrolled.
  • Tuition has remained low for the past 50 years: one year at SUNY Orange in 2000 costs approximately the same as one year at Vassar did in 1952.
  • Long before ecological awareness became fashionable, Biology Department Chair Raymond A. Wood urged people to be concerned about their environment and its future. He stated publicly in February, 1966: "Man is a meddler, we cannot undo damage done when a species is forced into extinction."

2000

March 21 Orange County Community College celebrates 10 Years in Newburgh.
May 22 389 students graduate at the college's 50th year commencement. Charles Cawein, an alumnus who graduated from the first OCCC class in 1952 spoke at the commencement. Cawein in his speech, spoke while holding his 1949 acceptance letter to the college. "It did everything for me."
June 09 Founders Day for the college, OCCC celebrates 50 years. From the first class of 158 students, over 5,000 will students attend this year.
June 14 More than 100 golfers will participate in the 18hole event at Stony Ford Golf Course in Hamptonburgh. In the future, organizers hope to fund a scholarship for students from each of the 17 high schools in Orange County.
August 31 Orange County Community College unveils 50th Anniversary commemorative brick program.

They can be personalized and will be laid along the sidewalk on 115 South Street, in front of Morrison Hall.

The commemorative program is in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the colleges founding; Orange County Community College was the first county-sponsored community college in the state.

Proceeds from the bricks will benefit the President's Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement, a full tuition scholarship which is awarded to Orange County high school students who maintain a 90% average or who are in the top 10% of their class.

rockclimbing student spectacular student spectacular in midletown

Students stage a student spectacular in Middletown.

mens baseball team 2000 Art at OCCC
For a full size image of the Baseball team Art still flourishes at SUNY Orange. For a full size image of Art at OCCC
Tribute to OCCC OCCC Calendar
For a full size image of a Tribute Renewed
A renewed tribute to SUNY Orange from the Alumni Assoc.
For a full size image of the OCCC 2000 calendar

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2001

May 19 385 OCCC Graduates celebrate at 51st commencement. The commencement marked the end of a yearlong 50th anniversary celebration at OCCC,
June 14

Orange County Community College announces results of Golfing for Scholarships

December 10 SUNY Orange faces tech challenge. Unless they are trained 80% of the tech jobs in the area may go unfilled.

Graduation Day

Graduation day

Orange County Community College announces results of Golfing for Scholarships

MIDDLETOWN - The Times Herald-Record team was the official winner of Orange County Community College's Third Annual Golfing for Scholarships, but the real winners were Orange County high school students who will benefit from the almost $30,000 raised by community participants.

The tournament, sponsored in part by Citizens Communication, was held at the Stony Ford Golf Course on Thursday, June 14th. Led by publisher Jim Moss, team members included Bill Elliott of Bill Elliott Office Interiors, in Woodridge, NY; David Roe of M&T Bank in Newburgh, NY; and Ralph Martucci, director of finance and administration for The Record.

Elliott also won the contest for the longest drive,116 golfers participated.

The community support of the college has been phenomenal, especially this past year as we celebrated our 50th anniversary. People really believe in the college. It's been so much a part of the community for 50 years that everyone in the area feels some connection.

This year was one of the most successful in terms of special event fundraising. Between the golf outing and the 50th Anniversary Gala earlier in March, over $100,000 was raised for the President's Scholarship for Outstanding Academic Achievement.

Tech Prep at Orange County Community College

80% of tech jobs in the area may go unfilled, unless they are trained for these high-paying positions.

MIDDLETOWN - Technology Career Paths Hudson Valley Consortium will sponsor information sessions about academic preparation for high-tech jobs in the region on Monday, December 10 and Wednesday, December 12, at Orange County Community College. Technology Career Paths is a regional partnership of colleges and industry formed to raise awareness of the need for engineering technicians in the region. A survey of the 22 member industries indicates that there is a need for at least 100 new engineering technicians every year, but the regional workforce can supply only about 20 trained workers.

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2002

November 25 SUNY Orange students start a drive to acquire funds to restore a 10,000 year old mastodon on display in Biotech Building since 1976.
December 22

SUNY Orange announces Horton Health Care Foundation gift to college's Radiologic Technology Department

MIDDLETOWN- On Monday, December 23, 2002, Jerry Bergman, trustee of Horton Health Care Foundation presented a check in the amount of $12,597.75 to Orange County Community College Chairperson of the Department of Radiologic Technology Robert Misiak. This donation was made in memory of Rob Kuhn, an employee in the diagnostic imaging department at Horton Medical Center. The funds will be used to enhance the radiography lab at Orange County Community College.

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2003

November 02 Voting escapes the young Local elections fail to make impression

"I don't care about politics," said the 23yearold Goshen man. "Besides, most local politicians don't care about working class people like me.""My one vote isn't going to make a difference," he said. Such views reflect a disturbing trend among young eligible voters across in Orange County, where voters ages 18 to 25 are shunning local elections, even if the issues directly affect their lives. There are a host of major issues on the agenda for this year's elections, ranging from growth and development, to health care, education, taxes and jobs, all of which should propel young people to the polls. But few seem to be interested. During last year's county elections show, just 22 percent of young registered voters turned out at the polls. In all, 4,176 of the 18,783 registered voters ages 1825 cast a ballot in 2002, data from the Orange County Board of Elections shows. And just over half are registered at all: Figures from the 2000 U.S. Census say there are 30,000 eligible voters ages 18 to 25 in Orange County. On a national level, some 27 million people age 18 to 25 make up 14 percent of the electorate, yet only 45 percent are registered, according to the Youth Vote Coalition, a conglomeration of youth groups.

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2005

February 15

SUNY Orange receives over $1 million from Oracle for technology

September 16

SUNY Orange Chopper Unveiled. The bike, is detailed in SUNY Orange, blue and orange was built by the famous motorcycle company headquartered in Montgomery, N.Y.

December 28 SUNY Orange Adopt a Family program brings holiday cheer. The third annual AdoptAFamily program

MIDDLETOWN - Orange County Community College is the recipient of over $1 million in technology grant money from Oracle's Campus Enterprise Application Interface (EAI) Program. The purpose of the grant is for the college to implement Oracle's portal solution product over the next five years. This means, according to Jim Dutcher, associate vice president for technology at SUNY Orange, that the college will be able to increase many online services for students. "We want to be able to offer anything online that we offer face-to-face," says Dutcher, "including admissions, registration, communications, bill-paying, and even more flexible learning environments than we offer now." Even more, says Dutcher, the Oracle environment will enhance the administration's operations, allowing the college to collaborate and work electronically in virtual groups and by department, sharing calendars and other information.

MIDDLETOWN - Orange County Community College launched the beginning of a raffle to benefit the technology for students last Friday, Sept. 16 at the College's Student Life Day celebration. Driven by an Orange County Chopper employee, a bike built by the famous motorcycle company headquartered in Montgomery, N.Y. and featured on the Discovery channel was unveiled on the Alumni Green behind Morrison Hall at the Middletown campus on 115 South Street. The bike, detailed in SUNY Orange blue and orange, will be raffled off; proceeds will benefit students directly via several technology projects on campus. The brainchild of the college's computer club, the raffle is being spearheaded by that club and by Jim Dutcher, the associate vice-president for technology at SUNY Orange."I think [the motorcycle] is gorgeous," said college president Bill Richards, "but the benefit to students is what's most important." Other students were simply wowed. "I think it's awesome," said second-year medical laboratory technology student Amy Sisco. "It's a very good idea. It's definitely one of a kind." Rob Hay, president of the computer club, said that the idea came from talk of how the club could be more involved with the school, and of how the club could improve the technology at the college. "We wanted to see what we could gather up for the students at the school," said Hay.

Middletown-Through the AdoptAFamily program at SUNY Orange, nearly 70 needy families were provided gifts, food and other necessities by almost every college department. Each department adopted one or two families. "The mother asked for a bathrobe," said English professor Anne Sandor, whose department regularly adopts a family, "but we always throw in something extra that she would never buy for herself."
Schueler, whose organization provides necessities year round to families in need, works with several other organizations throughout the holidays to provide gifts for
families, but for the neediest families he turns to SUNY Orange. "The really desperate ones need OCCC," he said. The most stirring story this year was that of a boy who
was blind and so severely disabled that ordinary gifts would be unsuitable. His family was "adopted" by the college's Department of Health Services. The director, Mary Mulrooney Kenny, RN, learned that the boy's lifelong dream was to attend the Radio City Music Hall show. The department not only bought tickets for him and his mother, but also bought a third ticket for a nurse to accompany him, and researched Radio City Music Hall to make sure that there were sufficient accommodations for his disability. Additionally, they gave him spending money. Schueler said the Family Empowerment Project started more than a decade ago with simple holiday baskets and has grown since to the large scale giving project it is today.

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2006

August 5 SUNY Orange's Commons on South Street carries a new name.
September 27 Committees split over SUNY campus site in Newburgh
October 18 SUNY Orange looks to close South Street

Middletown-One of the lovely surprises of summer is to see that SUNY Orange's Commons on South Street carries a new name. It is now the George E. Shepard Student Center and will be officially dedicated in honor of one of the college's most devoted sons at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 29. George Shepard's name is synonymous with the college. He retired in 1983 after 32 years on staff, ending as dean of students. This columnist was privileged to be the only non SUNY member on the committee planning his retirement party, which was attended by more than 400 people. And only a few years ago, during the college's 50th anniversary party, I was George's "date" and his last dance partner. Shortly after, he developed Alzheimer's disease. There will be more written about his contributions to the college before the dedication. As Jack McMahon, a former college staff member, so eloquently wrote in a recent note to me, "His efforts for the college predate his employment there and even the founding of the college itself." George would be so proud to see his name stretched across the brick facade of the building where he had his office. It is vividly recalled how delighted he was when a plaque and a tree in his honor were placed in a garden outside the Commons side entrance.

Goshen – Thanks to a split committee vote today, the full Orange County Legislature next week will consider two sites for a SUNY Orange campus in Newburgh: Broadway and the
KeyBank building. The result followed a 2 1/2hour debate this afternoon at the Government Center over three possible locations for the 200,000 square foot school.
Today was a joint meeting of three legislative committees that have oversight over the project. Two committees agreed to locate the campus at the KeyBank building while the other voted to put the college on the Broadway site that city leadership and other benefactors preferred.

Middletown — Safety is the issue. Whether or not to close the city street that runs through SUNY Orange's main Middletown campus to automobile traffic is the dilemma.
As part of an update on college expansion plans, College President Bill Richards told members of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce yesterday that the college will formally ask the City Council within six months to close South Street. The street, which lies between the college and much of its parking, was the site of 14 traffic accidents,
three involving pedestrians, last year, Richards said. "Thank God nobody has been killed," he said. "But we know this is probably a tragedy waiting to happen." But Middletown Mayor Marlinda Duncanson said emergency officials and residents have their own concerns about how the road closure might affect traffic patterns around the school.
"I can understand why they want to do it," said Duncanson. "I'm just not sure it's the best course of action."

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2007

January 31 SUNY Orange to present plans for Newburgh campus
April 25 Gilman library work set to begin in July.
September 19 Frontier's campus communications connection is the centerpiece of a new telecommunications curriculum at SUNY Orange

Middletown — SUNY Orange is set to begin a $1.4 million library renovation That will pay tribute to a former congressman who represented the area for three decades. The outside of the 49,000squarefoot building will be transformed with a curved, glass enclosed entrance bearing the name of its benefactor, Ben Gilman. Its reconfigured interior will include a lecture hall, a rea and a rotating exhibit of documents and photos from Gilman's 30 years in Congress. Construction is set to begin in July. College officials expect to complete the exterior by the end of the fall.

newburgh design
This artist's rendering shows the east view from Broadway at the proposed SUNY Orange campus in Newburgh.

Newburgh — If all goes as planned, SUNY Orange's extension center in Newburgh will blossom into a full fledged branch of the community college — a four building campus taking up nearly a full city block. Orange County officials, moving relatively quickly after months of debate over which Newburgh site to develop, are ready to present lawmakers with a design proposal and a cost estimate they say will be close to their original $80 million price ceiling. The project would consist of buying and renovating two buildings — including one where the college now leases three floors for its extension center — and building two others. It would give the college more than 2½ times its current space in Newburgh. The campus would overlook the Hudson River near the eastern end of Broadway, bordered by Broadway, Grand Street, First Street and Colden Street. The expansion could be a boon for students in eastern Orange, expanding the range of available courses while allowing them to earn a two year degree in Newburgh without having to travel to Middletown to complete course requirements. SUNY Orange President Bill Richards and other officials plan to show their plans to county lawmakers tomorrow and then meet with three legislative committees in February to discuss the proposal. With a go ahead from the committees, the Legislature will be asked to commit to funding the project at its March meeting. It would be a big expense at a time when the county is already building a $43 million emergency center in Goshen. But much of the cost could be covered by $41 million in state and private funds, committed by then Gov. George Pataki and local businessman Bill Kaplan. About 1,400 of SUNY Orange's estimated 6,500 students take classes in Newburgh. Richards said he expects the number of Newburgh students to double within three years of the expansion. Some prospective students now wait years to get into the college's healthcare programs. The Newburgh expansion would open 128 more nursing spots, Richards said. It would also boast a cluster of new programs focusing on high paying, high tech careers, such as designing and developing computer networks. Some of these courses will be offered only in Newburgh, and not at the Middletown campus.

Frontier comm labFrontier TechLab at SUNY Orange - The lab, with $500,000 of new equipment supplied by Frontier Communications Solutions and its vendors, is the centerpiece of a new telecommunications Curriculum at the college. "It's a great partnership with Frontier/Citizens ... for many, many years to come, everybody wins," said SUNY Orange President William Richards. "In my view as a college president, it's the best of a very generous gift and partnership with the business community and corporate America." He said the origin of the lab goes back about two years, to when he trekked to Stamford, Conn., for a get acquainted session with Maggie Wilderotter, chief executive officer at Frontier. As Richards talked about the college and potential future programs, he recounted yesterday, she rapidly committed to have the company build a research lab at SUNY Orange. Subsequent meetings between SUNY staff and Frontier engineers began in the summer of 2006, and the college set aside 1,400 square feet of space to Frontier's specifications. Meanwhile, it designed a new telecommunications program to go with the lab. Local Frontier workers at yesterday's ceremony said the lab's equipment is the same caliber as they work with in the company's switching offices. Students said they appreciate the opportunity the lab provides. Fernando Marrero of Wallkill, a student, said "it's excellent. The equipment is state of the art." Marrero and Tujuana Smithen of Port Jervis said they now have three new telecommunications electives to boost their electrical, engineering and technology studies. "It's a good hands n program," said Mark Lybolt of Middletown

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2008

March 14 The Newburgh campus will feature two buildings, SUNY branch design goes for a green rating
March 28 Ben Gilman opens the Gilman Center for International Education at SUNY Orange
June 28 SUNY Orange Symphonic band to play at Museum Village.
November 04

Newburgh Campus receives State "Branch Campus" status. SUNY Orange Now Cleared to Confer Degrees on Students for Programs Taken Entirely in Newburgh

MIDDLETOWN — Former Rep. Ben Gilman is Middletown through and through, but he's always managed to be a man of the world as well. He flew 35 missions over Japan during World War II, which earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. He spent 30 years on the House International Relations Committee, including a stint as chairman from 1995 to 2002. And he was a congressional delegate to the United Nations. Gilman retired from Congress in 2002, but his global legacy continues. Yesterday afternoon, he was on hand as SUNY Orange celebrated the opening of its Gilman Center for International Education. Gilman, who lives in Middletown, can still play the politician: giving a speech, schmoozing with attendees and shaking plenty of hands.

newburgh Goshen — SUNY Orange's future Newburgh branch will feature solar energy panels, an energy recovery system that captures excess heat from lights and computers, and a vegetation roof that helps absorb rainwater. These are some of the many features that architects have begun incorporating into the design of the $65 million construction to make it eligible for a nationally recognized green building certification. "In summary, the county and the City of Newburgh will be benefiting from a new branch campus in a unique urban setting with a state of the art sustainable set of buildings," said officials with JMZ Architects and Planners of Glens Falls, the designer for the project. The goal is to achieve 26 points, the minimal amount, for certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, a rating system put out by the United States Green Building Council. LEED awards points to projects in a number of categories, including saving energy, reducing waste, and improving indoor and outdoor air quality. The Newburgh project consists of a 90,000square foot north building, with a 158,300 square foot parking garage underneath at Grand and First streets. The county also plans to renovate the existing 85,000 square foot Tower Building at Broadway and Colden Street. Other construction features designed to help meet the LEED point system include: Automatic lighting control that adjusts brightness based on how much outdoor light is entering the building. An underground parking garage with a landscaped plaza on top to reduce the exposure of asphalt parking lots that heat the air during the summer. Circulation of outdoor air into the building. Taking wood from sustainable forests; using recycled ceiling tiles, carpets and wallboard; and relying on renewable materials, such as bamboo, cork and wheat board, a new alternative to traditional wallboard that uses moisture resistant panels made of chopped wheat straw, thus preserving forests. The amount of savings to be realized in reduced energy bills, tax credits and rebates remains unknown until an energy model can be completed. The project is likely to be eligible for for state and federal tax credits.

newburgh plaza northwest corner
Newburgh Campus Southeast Plaza Newburgh Campus Northwest Corner

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2009

May 13

Summerstar theatre to celebrate 10th year in 2009. “Urinetown: The Musical” to be Performed at SUNY Orange Theatre

May 18

Summer Hours to begin at SUNY Orange College to Operate Four Days Per Week Through July; Offices to be Closed on Fridays.

June 22

College to test On-Campus Emergency Alert System June 26 of Indoor Message Boards; Interior and Exterior Public Address Speakers.

August 04

New SUNY Chancellor to visit SUNY Orange Thursday, Aug. 6. Middletown Stop Part of Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher's 64-Campus Tour of SUNY

September 11 Kaplan Hall is just getting under construction and isn't expected to be ready for its first class of SUNY Orange students until January 2011. But the transformation of what was once a humble extension center of the community college has begun.

summer star theatre 10th yearA comical tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution comes to life on stage at SUNY Orange this June as SummerStar Theatre celebrates its 10th season with a production of “Urinetown: The Musical.”

The six performances, slated for the College’s Orange Hall Theatre, will begin at 8 p.m. on June 12, 13, 19 and 20, and 3 p.m. on June 14 and 21. As it commemorates its 10th season, SummerStar Theatre continues its commitment to bringing Broadway and off-Broadway plays to the Hudson Valley while utilizing the skills of community members in all facets of the production.

In order to reduce energy costs and lessen its environmental impact, SUNY Orange will be operating on a “Summer Hours” schedule at both its Middletown and Newburgh campuses beginning Monday, May 18. The College will be closed on Fridays but will have extended office hours the remaining four days of the week.

SUNY Orange will test alert set up after Va. Tech deaths

Disaster testSUNY Orange will test its new emergency alert system in the late morning and early afternoon Friday at its Middletown campus. The system includes scrolling message boards in indoor high traffic areas, 30 indoor public address speakers and several outdoor public address speakers. The college will broadcast test messages several times during the day. The tests are expected to be audible in the neighborhood around the campus. After the Virginia Tech shootings of April 2007, SUNY Orange officials decided to reassess their emergency response plans, much as other colleges around the country have. In the past year, SUNY Orange has done a lot on its main campus: installed video surveillance, beefed up security presence, revamped emergency response plans, installed automated electronic defibrillators in the buildings, trained staff and created a behavioral intervention team to spot potential problems. That will supplement Web site, email and text alerts the college already uses. "It's one of those things where we've done a lot, kind of quietly," said Mike Albright, the college's communications director. The goal, he said, is "to put it in place and never have to use it."

SUNY Newburgh Branch on the Rise

The transformation of what was once a humble extension center of the community college has begun with the hiring of new teachers and the start of six academic programs that will allow students to take all their courses in Newburgh for the first time. Now declared a bona fide SUNY branch, the Newburgh satellite campus this semester began offering associate's degrees in criminal justice, business management and four other subjects without requiring students to take at least some of their courses at the main campus in Middletown. The $52.3 million budget recently approved for the college includes $583,100 to hire seven full time professors, an assistant director and other new employees for Newburgh — the first wave of hiring being planned to accompany the $85 million expansion and upgrade of the campus. The new teachers are already on board. Seventeen new faculty members were hired this summer, nearly half of whom are assigned to Newburgh, college spokesman Mike Albright said. More Newburgh professors will be hired to prepare for the opening of Kaplan Hall in 2011. The construction of Kaplan Hall — an 87,000 square foot building with a parking garage beneath it — marks the first phase of the project. Students are expected to move from the Tower Building, where they now take classes, into Kaplan Hall before the start of the second phase: a complete renovation of the Tower Building.

Kaplan Hall Construction Starts

Before Contruction

Kaplan Hall before

Under Construction

Kaplan Hall

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