Retirement and Planned Giving Opportunities Provided; to be Administered by the SUNY Orange Foundation

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – When Orange County was looking to establish a community college more than 60 years ago, Christine Morrison created a lasting legacy of generosity by donating her family estate to the county. Now, thanks to SUNY Orange’s newly created Christine Morrison Legacy Society, current friends of the College have an avenue to craft their own legacy of giving.

The College unveiled the Christine Morrison Legacy Society during its annual Leadership Awards event in Orange Hall Theatre on Thursday evening, Sept. 17. The Christine Morrison Legacy Society will be administered by the SUNY Orange Foundation and will recognize donors who have made bequests or other planned gifts that will benefit the College.

“Clearly Christine Morrison’s values, insight and generosity were extraordinary. She established new standards for all of us to emulate and clearly helped to define the Morrison family legacy in our community,” said Nicholas Illobre ’71, chair of the Foundation. “The Foundation Board believes she is the ideal figure to represent and honor the thoughtful individuals who have the foresight to include the College in their retirement and estate planning.”

Membership in the Christine Morrison Legacy Society is open to all individuals who include the College in their will or other estate plans. Folks who have already taken this important step should notify the SUNY Orange Foundation so it may coordinate membership in this group.

Those interested in joining the Society are encouraged to contact Foundation representatives who are prepared to answer questions and help design a plan to meet the individual or family’s retirement and estate planning goals, while simultaneously creating a legacy that enhances the future of SUNY Orange and its students. For additional information please contact the College’s Institutional Advancement Office at (845) 341-4726.

During the late 1940s, as the Committee for Higher Education was searching for a location to establish a community college, Christine Morrison—widow of John Horton Morrison Sr., who had died in 1946—was living alone in the four-story mansion along Middletown’s South Street. She ultimately agreed, in October 1949, to donate 16 acres of her family estate, as well as the mansion and carriage house, to allow for the creation of Orange County Community College. The College was founded on June 9, 1950, as the first county-sponsored community college within the State University of New York system, and opened its carriage house doors for classes later that fall.

At Thursday’s event, the College presented Leadership Awards to Advance Testing (Leadership in Business), The Kaplan Family Charitable Foundations (Leadership in Community), Barbara Bedell (Leadership in Community) and Dr. John Cummins (Leadership in Education). Manfred Altstadt, a 1970 SUNY Orange graduate, received the Alumni Leadership Award.

PHOTO: 2009 Leadership Award winners


The SUNY Orange Foundation presented its 2009 Leadership Awards in Orange Hall Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 17. Pictured, from left, are: Nicholas Illobre ‘’71 (chair, SUNY Orange Foundation), Manfred Altstadt“’70 (Alumni Leadership Award recipient), Dr. John Cummins (Leadership in Education), Sheila Kaplan, William Kaplan, Barbara Bedell (Leadership in Community), Joan Kaplan, James P. Smith Jr. (representing Advance Testing Company, winner of the Leadership in Business Award) and Derrik Wynkoop (chair, SUNY Orange Foundation Leadership Awards Committee). William, Joan and Sheila Kaplan represented the Kaplan Family Charitable Foundations, which also received a Leadership in Community Award.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940