SUNY Orange to Honor and Remember Former Dean of Students Who Died in January

PHOTO: George Shepard at his deskMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. –SUNY Orange and friends of George Shepard will hold a memorial service for the late dean of students at 2:15 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 28 in the Fireplace Lounge of the Shepard Student Center on the College’s Middletown campus.

Shepard died on Jan. 22 at the age of 92 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Speakers at the memorial service will include retired Congressman Ben Gilman; former adjunct instructor Nina Griffin; retired director of student services Tom Goetz; and Barbara Bedell, columnist for the Times Herald-Record. Dr. William Richards, College president, will participate as well.

Gilman will discuss Shepard’s pre-College days as a Middletown radio broadcaster and his role in helping bring a community college to Orange County. Griffin, a 1953 graduate and long active in College dramatics, will reflect upon Shepard’s interest and advocacy for the arts and the theatre.

Goetz will explain Shepard’s remarkable ability to establish mutual respect with students of all ages and his role in establishing the College’s policies on student rights. Bedell will assess Shepard’s impact on the greater Orange County community.

PHOTO: George Shepard at CommencementShepard enjoyed a remarkable 32-year career as the College’s first, and only, dean of students. He joined the College in 1951 when it had fewer than 200 students and little in the way of student activities. He created a comprehensive student personnel and co-curricular program that had few equals in New York State. Beyond that, he left an indelible imprint on the College through his diverse talents and leadership on all College fronts.

In addition to the speakers, the Memorial committee is comprised of Regina Corbacio, administrative assistant for the College Association; Helen Elia, retired secretary for Shepard; Dom Elia; Orlando Gonzalez, retired College bookstore manager; Nona LaVorgna, retired secretary for Student Activites; professor emeritus Nancy Swartwout; and Jack McMahon, retired assistant to the College president and former chair of the Board of Trustees.

For more information, call McMahon at (845) 343-8849 or email him at

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940