Tree Honors Retiring Dr. William Richards for Commitment to the College and Support of Shared Governance

PHOTO: Shelley Paradies, Michelle Tubbs and Dr. William RichardsMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – In honor of the 12-year presidential tenure of Dr. William Richards, who will retire as of June 4, the employees of SUNY Orange have planted a bur oak tree on the Middletown campus and contributed $604 to the William and Helen Richards Scholarship fund.

The tree planting and scholarship donation were announced Thursday at the College’s annual end-of-year employee recognition ceremony.

The bur oak, a species indigenous to the region, is the only tree of its kind on the Middletown campus. It is planted adjacent to the Commencement stage near Morrison Hall on the campus’ Alumni Green and, once grown, will provide shade to the Green for years to come.

A memorial plaque, to be placed near the tree, reads “Dr. William Richards, SUNY Orange President 2003-2015, In recognition of your commitment to & support of shared governance. May 14, 2015.”

In March, SUNY Orange became the first community college to receive the State University of New York’s Shared Governance Award. At SUNY Orange, shared governance is the method through which faculty, staff, administration, the Board of Trustees and students cooperatively participate in the development of College policies and procedures and in decision-making that affects the College.

The structure of the shared governance system at SUNY Orange is that of a College Assembly that encompasses both campuses. Members of the Assembly include the College president; all full-time academic, professional and administrative staff; and full-time support staff who serve on a governance standing committee.

An official retirement celebration for Richards will be held beginning at 5 p.m., Thursday, June 4 at the College’s Newburgh campus.

Photo caption:
Michelle Tubbs (center), president of SUNY Orange’s Shared Governance, and Michele Paradies (left), vice president of Shared Governance, pose with College President Dr. William Richards in front of a tree that SUNY Orange employees planted to commemorate Richards’ 12-year tenure. Richards, who arrived at the College on Aug. 1, 2003, will retire on June 4. The tree, a bur oak, is located on the Alumni Green at the College’s Middletown campus. Additional donations from employees resulted in a contribution of $604 to the William and Helen Richards Scholarship fund. (photo by Chris Thurtle)

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940