SUNY ORANGE HONORS FORMER COUNTY LEADERS DIANA AND LAHEY
College Names Middletown Phys Ed Building in Honor of Edward A. Diana; Newburgh Library after Bill Lahey
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The SUNY Orange Board of Trustees voted to rename two College spaces after former Orange County leaders on Tuesday evening, unanimously approving the naming of the Edward A. Diana Physical Education Center on the Middletown campus and the M. William Lahey Library in Kaplan Hall on the Newburgh campus.
The two new facility names take effect immediately, however dedication events for both have been tentatively scheduled. The Lahey Library dedication will take place at 10 a.m. on May 28 while the Diana Physical Education Center dedication is tentatively planned for June 12.
A lifelong public servant, Diana announced his retirement as Orange County Executive last year and concluded his 12-year term Dec. 31. Prior to his becoming County Executive, Diana served for 12 years as a county legislator, and was also a councilman and deputy supervisor in the Town of Wallkill in the 1980s.
A 1968 graduate of SUNY Orange, Diana has a member and supporter of numerous civic organizations over the years. Most recently, he was named to the Board of Trustees of the Orange County Citizens Foundation. He has also served on the boards of the Sons of Italy, the Middletown Elks, UNICO and the Goshen Historic Track. He is a former member of the Middletown Kiwanis, past president of the Middletown High School Booster Club, and former member of both the Horton Hospital and the Arden Hill Hospital Foundation boards.
As County Executive, Diana served as president of the New York State County Executives Association and the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC). He has received numerous commendations for his efforts and leadership by organizations throughout the Hudson Valley.
Lahey was chairman of the Orange County Legislature from 2006 to 2009, during which time the plans for the expansion of the SUNY Orange Newburgh Campus, including construction of Kaplan Hall, were developed and implemented. In all, Lahey spent 12 years as a county legislator, including seven years in roles of leadership. He was also a member of the Newburgh School Board for 11 years, including a two-year term as president, and spent 12 years as a New Windsor town councilman.
By virtue of his ability to build consensus among his colleagues, Lahey shepherded the Legislature through an arduous, protracted and often contentious Newburg campus site selection process, which ultimately led to the campus being developed at its current location. He also was instrumental in garnering overwhelming support from the Legislature to provide the necessary funding to make the expanded Newburgh campus a reality.
Additionally, Lahey held longstanding volunteer relationships with the New Windsor Little League and the YMCA.