SUNY Orange Graduate Named to Prestigious International Honor Society

PHOTO: MaryLee ShorrMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – MaryLee Shorr, who in December completed her degree requirements at SUNY Orange, has been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, it was announced today by State University of New York Interim Chancellor Dr. John B. Clark and New York Community College Trustees Association President Anton N. Kasanof.

Shorr is one of 60 new members of the international honor society that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students. Members must have a GPA of between 3.25 and 4.0 and must sustain high academic standing throughout their two-year enrollment. In addition, members have very strong records of service to the campus or greater community.

Shorr, who now resides in Florida, N.Y., graduated with an Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts, with a concentration in Humanities and Social Sciences. Shorr plans to pursue a career in acting. While at SUNY Orange, she was an active member of the Apprentice Players, the College’s student theater group, including serving as that organization’s president. She performed in nearly every production on campus during her tenure as a student.

She was also a co-founder of the non-profit group Women in Arts, which serves to promote local female artists while also raising money for local charities. Involved in theater for much of her life, Shorr played Rosalind in a community production of “As You Like It” in the summer of 2006. She co-starred in January 2007 with SUNY Orange professor Max Schaefer in the two-person, two-act play “Reunion” presented on campus to benefit the College’s Theater Arts scholarship program.

Last summer, Shorr and SUNY Orange classmate Jeff Fina were among 12 students selected for the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts’ “2007 Visual Arts/Liberal Arts Workshop,” a month-long international summer program that immersed the participants in the works of Rembrandt and William Shakespeare.

The inaugural four-week workshop, made possible through a grant from the NEA, took the students to New York City, Giverny, France; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Stratford-on-Avon, England. Shorr and Fina, the lone community college students selected for the trip, joined students representing such schools as the Chicago Art Institute, the University of California at San Diego, Gonzaga University, Tulane University, the University of Chicago and St. John’s College.

“I congratulate our students for earning admittance to Phi Theta Kappa, one of the nation’s most prestigious academic honor societies for two-year colleges,” Clark said. “Together with their families, the community college trustees, campus presidents, faculty and staff, we share a deep sense of pride and satisfaction in the social and academic accomplishments of these outstanding students.”

“The New York Community College Trustees are pleased to sponsor and organize the annual Phi Theta Kappa Awards ceremony and to recognize the accomplishments of our most outstanding students," Kasanof added. “Recognition by Phi Theta Kappa honors not only our students but also their families and all the people who work so hard on the campuses—faculty, staff, administrators and trustees—each and every day to provide an environment of academic excellence and social awareness.”

Clark and Kasanof honored the new members at a special ceremony today in Albany, jointly sponsored by NYCCT, the Association of Presidents of Public Community Colleges (APPCC) and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges (FCCC).

The 60 students hailed from 18 SUNY and CUNY campuses. Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education, with more than 1.5 million members and 1,200 chapters located in all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, please visit:

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 427,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940