Butte College President Diana Van Der Ploeg to Visit SUNY Orange as Part of Pryluck Lecture Series

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Butte College president Diana Van Der Ploeg will discuss ways of implementing “green” technology and practices into higher education facilities during a pair of lectures at SUNY Orange on Tuesday, April 14. Her appearance is part of the Shep and Edna Pryluck Distinguished Lecture Series and is one of this spring’s featured events in the College’s ongoing “Global Initiative: Sustaining the Earth” program.

Van Der Ploeg will speak at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. in the Gilman Center for International Education, located in the Library on the College’s Middletown campus.

Butte College, located in Oroville, Calif., is considered a national leader in sustainability among community colleges and is presently the largest solar-producing college campus in the state of California, generating 44 percent of its electricity via solar technology. The College is aiming to be “carbon neutral” by 2015. Butte will be holding its third annual Sustainability Conference this August. College leaders from across the country attend this two-day conference to learn about integrating a sustainable approach to their college’s operations, developing a “green” curriculum, building “green” facilities, and more.

When Van Der Ploeg was named president of Butte College in 2003, she had already carved a decorated career in the community college arena, having served as interim president of Olympic College (Bremerton, Wash.), and president of Spokane Falls Community College (Spokane, Wash.) and Gateway Community-Technical College (New Haven, Conn.). During her tenure at Butte, she has integrated sustainability into the College’s strategic plan and has steered the College to its current position at the forefront of sustainability programming and operations.

Van Der Ploeg’s appearance returns the Pryluck Distinguished Lecture Series to the SUNY Orange calendar for the first time since 2005. The series, which began in 1982, has featured an array of noted presenters who have delivered lectures on topics such as civil rights, the Persian Gulf war, the Civil War, women’s rights, space flight, health care, technology and population growth.

As owners of Pryluck’s Pharmacy in Middletown, Edna Pryluck and her late husband Shep came to know generations of families throughout the community. Their generous contributions to SUNY Orange symbolized their commitment to the community, and their gifts allowed the College to endow the Distinguished Lecture Series and to create a scholarship designed to benefit students demonstrating financial need and studying in SUNY Orange’s nursing program.

As part of its ongoing “Global Initiative: Sustaining the Earth,” SUNY Orange is in the midst of a yearlong educational program designed to examine issues of environmental stewardship, explore measures to sustain a healthy environment for years to come, and celebrate local and global solutions to environmental problems. Each Global Initiative event in 2009 will attempt to address at least one of the following questions or statements: “Who we are,” “Where we live,” “How we Live,” and “What we can do.”

Global Initiative, coordinated through SUNY Orange’s Global Studies Department, is a College-wide interdisciplinary focus on a topic of global importance. Global Initiative seeks to expand students’ horizons, bring academic departments together in collaboration and infuse a global perspective on the College’s curriculum. It is also intended to incorporate the community-at-large into the topical discussions and events.

The project involves students, faculty, staff, and community members through the use of discussions, lectures, workshops, cultural events and other special events.

For more information on the Pryluck Distinguished Lecture Series, contact the College’s Institutional Advancement Office at (845) 341-4725. To learn more about “Global Initiative,” call (845) 341-4343 or visit www.sunyorange.edu/gi.

» Back to Headlines

Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940