Semiconductor Company CEO is a 1973 Graduate of SUNY Orange; College to Confer Close to 760 Degrees

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Christine King, a 1973 graduate who serves as president and chief executive officer of SMSC, a global semiconductor company headquartered in Hauppauge, N.Y., will deliver the keynote address at SUNY Orange’s 59th Commencement Exercise, slated for 10 a.m., May 16 on the Alumni Green of the College’s Middletown campus.

In all, approximately 760 graduates have completed their associate’s degree or certificate requirements during August, December or May of this current academic year. Any student who completed the necessary academic requirements during the 2008-09 academic year is eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Nearly 400 students are expected to take part in Commencement.

College President Dr. William Richards will conduct the Commencement, with addresses to be delivered by student Patrice Wiley and nursing professor Jean Halpern. Additionally, Board of Trustees Chair Joan Wolfe and Orange County Executive Edward Diana ’68 will offer remarks. Philip Dreyhaupt will serve as the student marshal.

SUNY Orange issues diplomas to students who earn Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degrees, while presenting graduation certificates to those who complete the College’s various certificate programs.

PHOTO: Christine KingKing assumed her role at SMSC—a global company with operations in North America, Asia and Europe—this past October after more than six years as the CEO of AMI Semiconductor. When she was named to the top post at AMI in 2001, King became the first female CEO in an industry that was widely considered to be the toughest high-tech profession in terms of the advancement of women. During her tenure at AMI, the company saw its sales escalate from nearly $280 million to more than $600 million. AMI also acquired several other companies in that time.

She earned her trailblazing appointment at AMI by crafting a remarkable 23-year career at IBM—covering three different stints with the company. She also spent five years the owner of her own company.

As a single mother in the late 1960s, King was down to her last 33 cents and realized she needed to make a change. By utilizing tuition grants and welfare assistance, she was able to care for herself and her son while putting herself through college. Her SUNY Orange education led her to her first job at IBM and then a bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Halpern, a faculty member at SUNY Orange since 1990, is an associate professor in the nursing department. Thanks to her leadership and research in recent years, the College has injected the use of simulation technology throughout its nursing curriculum. Through simulation, which employs “life-like” manikins outfitted with state-of-the-art technology, students are able to respond to potential real life situations in the safety and comfort of a supportive learning environment. In 2008, Halpern was named a recipient of the Hudson Valley Nursing Excellence Award.

Wiley, of Middletown, will complete her associate’s degree in mathematics this May. In April, she was one of 238 students in the State University of New York who received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. During this current academic year, Wiley served as president of the Student Senate in the Fall and was chair of the student Board of Activities throughout the year. She has represented the College as a Student Ambassador and has been a new student orientation leader for the College’s Student Activities Office. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and SUNY Orange’s annual Adopt a Family campaign.

As student marshal, Dreyhaupt, of Greenwood Lake, will lead the graduating class during the processional. Set to graduate from SUNY Orange’s renowned Physical Therapist Assistant program, he, too, has been an orientation leader and Student Ambassador, and is a recipient of the 2009 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

He is president of the PTAcer’s, a club comprised of students within the Physical Therapist Assistant program. He has been on the Dean’s List during each of his three semesters at SUNY Orange. Within the community, Dreyhaupt is an active member of the Greenwood Lake Volunteer Ambulance Corps, where he was named “Junior Member of the Year” in 2007. He holds the rank of Eagle Scout and currently mentors younger Boy Scouts.

Commencement will begin with the graduate procession at 10 a.m. Music will be provided by the SUNY Orange Symphonic Band and the national anthem will be performed by the College’s Choir. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Physical Education Building.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940