Alumni, Staff, Students and Friends Gather in Honor of SUNY Orange’s Founders Day

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Nearly 200 SUNY Orange alumni, staff, faculty, students and friends gathered Wednesday evening (June 9) in the Physical Education Building in Middletown for an informal barbecue to celebrate the College’s 60th Anniversary.

Originally slated to be held under a tent on the Alumni Green, the barbecue was moved indoors because of daylong rains that pelted the Hudson Valley. Guests dined on hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, corn on the cob, assorted salads and drinks. Sixtieth anniversary cakes and coffee capped the dining fare.

PHOTO: Sara MorrisonThe informal program included a welcome from Vinnie Cazzetta, SUNY Orange vice president for institutional advancement, as well as remarks from College President Dr. William Richards. Attendees were treated to a seven-minute video that chronicled an overview of SUNY Orange’s 60-year history, along with a video detailing the many features of Kaplan Hall, an 85,000-square-foot building presently under construction at the College’s Newburgh campus. The SUNY Orange Symphonic Band provided musical entertainment to close out the night’s events.

On display were renderings of the College’s planned Science and Engineering Center and Lab School, both of which are in design for the Middletown campus. Richards updated the crowd on progress in Newburgh and also explained the upcoming infrastructure improvements that will soon be under way in Middletown, including renovations and improvements schedule for the existing greenhouses on campus.

Charles Cawein, the first student to apply to the College following its establishment on June 9, 1950, traveled from Florida to attend the event. Jack McMahon, a 1953 graduate of Orange County Community College who worked at the College from 1965 through 1983 and later became the first alumnus to serve on the College’s Board of Trustees, was also in attendance.

Sara M. Morrison (right), who’s grandmother Christine Morrison donated her 16-acre estate for the creation of the College, was on hand for the 60th anniversary as well, joining current Trustees Joan Wolfe (chair), Dr. Roberto Calderin and Gert Mokotoff for the festivities.

From its modest beginnings in September 1950 when 154 students attended the College’s first classes, Orange County Community College has grown to service nearly 7,000 students today on campuses in Middletown and Newburgh, as well as satellite locations at Monroe-Woodbury, Port Jervis and Warwick Valley high schools. The College also conducts a robust continuing education program that features business training, certification and enrichment courses.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940