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Paul B. Richardson

Paul B. Richardson, Director of the NYSIAAS at Utica, 1946-53. Before coming to Utica, he had been supervisor of the State Education Departments Bureau of Business Education for five years. Initial salary at NYSIAAS was $5,472. The salary rose to $9,250 by the time he resigned in 1953. In 1951, when the institution was known as the State University Institute at Utica, he served as president of the New York Association of Junior Colleges. He resigned May 18, 1953. He resided at 1232 Kemble Street, Utica. His letter of resignation:

The Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences at Utica has now completed the temporary phase of its life.
I believe it has proved beyond doubt its value to people of New York State whom it has served in so many ways during the past 6 ½ years.
The people of Oneida County through chosen representatives, have expressed their confidence in the work the institute has been doing in the recent overwhelming vote of the County Board of Supervisors, to assume sponsorship of the Institute in the future as a Community College.
To give the new board of trustees, which is soon to be appointed, a free hand in determining the paths that the Institute will follow in the future, I am therefore tendering my resignation.”
Before his appointment as director of the State University Institute in 1946, Richardson was supervisor of the State Education Department’s Division of Distributive Education. A native of Sandusky, Ohio, he was graduated from Oberlin College in 1923, after which he taught four years in Sandusky High School. He then took a Master of Science degree at New York University, after which he joined the staff of the Frederick Loeser & Company department store in Brooklyn, where he eventually became personnel manager. In 1933, Richardson took a post with the Hecht Company department store in Washington, D.C., as expense controller and personnel director. Six years later, he went to Albany as manager of W.M. Whitney & Company’s department store. He remained there until he joined the State Education Department staff in 1941.
While in Utica, he was a member of Rotary Club, Liberty Lodge 959, F&AM, Mohawk Valley Consistory and a communicant of Calvary Episcopal Church.

(undated article – apparently published in 1949, in Utica Observer-Dispatch) “People Worth Knowing – Directing the Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (one of five established in New York State in 1946 to meet the increasing educational needs of the youth of the State and to assure business and industry of a continuing supply of needed technicians), is Paul B. Richardson.
An enthusiast about his job, the school he heads, its purposes and the young people enrolled there, Richardson hails from the Middle West. Or did, when he came East, where he has since lived, about 21 years ago, after four years as a high school teacher in his home town, Sandusky, Ohio.
He was born there, (his mother, Mrs. William A. Richardson, continues to live in the family home), attended the public schools, including the high school of which his late father was principal for a considerable time….In the fall of 1918 he enrolled at Oberlin College where, though he had just turned 17, he promptly entered the Student Army Training Corps. (Had to start over a year later due to an extended bout of scarlet fever.)
The afternoon of his graduation in June, 1923, Paul and a friend in the senior class left for Europe. In Italy, where he visited the galleries and churches, he found that an elective course in art which he had taken with extreme disinterest in Oberlin, paid off. H was in Germany during the postwar inflationary period, when the work of a dollar in marks rose from 100,000 to 3 ½ million, all within 10 days.
That Fall, having returned to Sandusky, Richardson joined the faculty of the high school. During his four years there he spent one Spring quarter and two Summers in graduate work in psychology at the University of Chicago.
In 1928, after a year at the University of New York he obtained a master of science degree. Then, through the advice of friends, he went into the department store business, going to work for Frederick Loeser & Co., Brooklyn. There he was first system-and-planning manager, then was made assistant operating superintendent, manager of the receiving and marking division, then personnel director, all within five years.
In 1933, he was hired by the Hecht Co. department store in Washington, D.C., one of the largest in the East, as expense controller and personnel director. Six years later he went to Albany as manager of W.M. Whitney & Co.’s department store.
In 1941, Richardson was appointed supervisor of the New York State Distributive Education Department. In that capacity he traveled, out of Albany, through the state, advocating the need for vocational courses in training for the retail field, before chambers of commerce, boards of education, school superintendents and merchants associations.
Three years ago he was appointed to his present position as director of the first of the New York State Institutes of Applied Arts and Sciences to open its door to a class of students – numbering 61. The enrollment is now 500. …
Only 30 per cent of the students are now World War 2 veterans and the average student age is 19. In the beginning, 65 per cent of the enrollment was made up of G.I.s and the average age was 22 or 23. …
(The Richardsons’) daughter, Barbara Ann, attends Shepherd College, W. Va. A son, Paul Jr., is a senior student at Utica Free Academy…..”

(Nov. 21, 1949, Utica Observer-Dispatch) “Wherever She Goes, She Becomes Leader in Community Units – A newcomer to Utica, and already an active member of several local organizations, and officer of two, is Mrs. Paul B. Richardson, 1232 Kemble.
Mr. and Mrs. Richardson and their children, Barbara and Paul, came to Utica from Albany three years ago, when Richardson was named director of the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, New Hartford.
Shortly afterwards Mrs. Richardson founded the Faculty Wives Club of the Institute and served a year as its first president.
Her activities include being president of St. Luke’s Hospital Guild and first vice president of the Women of Rotary. A member of the board of the Mohawk Valley Crafts Organization, she served as chairman of the pricing and standards committee for the second annual crafts market Nov. 10 and 11. Mrs. Richardson is a former member of the local YWCA board.
She attends Calvary Episcopal Church and is active in Circle B of the church….
The former Mary Lucille Feick of Sandusky, Ohio, she was graduated from Ward Belmont Junior College, Nashville, Tennessee….
After graduation from Ward Belmont she studied social service at Scudder School, New York.
Later she did missionary work for a year with the Sisters of St. Mary at Sewanee, Tenn., and was one of three white women at a primitive Sioux Indian Reservation at Wakpala, South Dakota. Her missionary work there was confined mostly to the children. She was both a teacher and nurse for them. Later she was a resident worker at a settlement house in Nashville, Tenn….
After her marriage in January 1926, she lived in Washington, D.C., where she volunteered as a Pilgrim aide. …she served as a guide at Washington Cathedral.
Prior to coming to Utica, she lived in Garden City and Rockville Center, L.I., and Albany. In the latter city she served on the YWCA board for three years, and was president of an Albany Home Bureau Unit….

In 1996, Paul Richardson was living at 1515 S. Flagler Drive, Apt TS 1, West Palm Peach, Florida 33401. Tel 407-833-3435

(Ralph G. Hoag was Registrar & Assistant Director. Harold Burdick and Leonard Schwartz were Department Heads)


Dr. Albert V. Payne (1953-1968)

He was born in Bristol, England, December 25, 1902, and came to the U.S. in 1925. He earned a B.S.E.E., Newark College of Engineering, 1933, an M.S.E. from the Stevens Institute of Technology, 1936, an M.A. from New York University, 1941. He received the Sc.D., (honorary) from the Newark College of Engineering in 1964. Educational experience: Instructor, Newark College of Engineering, 1933-1935. Instructor, Utica School System, 1935-1946 (Boys Trade School). Assistant Supervisor, War Training Program, 1943-1945. Joined the NYSIAAS in 1946 (on opening day in October, 1946) as an instructor. Named Head, Technical Division, New York State Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences at Utica (State Street location), in June 1947. In September, 1953, he was named Acting Director of the new Mohawk Valley Technical Institution. He was named President by MVTI Trustees on October 6th, 1953, pending approval by SUNY Trustees. The appointment came at a luncheon meeting of the Trustees at the Industrial & Technical Division, 751 State Street, Utica. (His 1953-54 salary was $9,300.) The SUNY Board of Trustees approved the appointment on November 14th, 1953. He served in that role, for Mohawk Valley Technical Institute/Mohawk Valley Community College, until his retirement in December 1967. Salary in 1961-62 was $15,500. In April, 1964, he received the education award from the American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers in Detroit. The ASTME citation referred to him as a respected education, active in every phase of engineering training… a strong advocate of the promotion and upgrading of tool and manufacturing curricula… an organizer of many engineering seminars.” He received an honorary doctor of science degree on June 4, 1964. at Newark (NJ) College of Engineering. In 1966, he took a two-part sabbatical; to Puerto Rico to assist in establishing a two-year college program at the University of Puerto Rico, and then to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Iran on behalf of the State Dept. He served as vice chairman of the National Education Committee, American Society of Tool and Manufacturing Engineers, was chairman of the Planning Council of the Utica Community Chest, and the Oneida-Herkimer Manpower Council. In retirement, he worked as an educational consultant in the Washington Technical Institute. He also worked with the U.S. Office of Education to prepare a document on developing curriculum with specific applications to local business and industry. He traveled in Scandanavia, Romania, India, the Middle East, and was a U.S. representative to a news organization on the human environment and world population at United Nations Conferences in Stockholm and Bucharest. He was an active member of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital and the Oneida Historical Society. His wife was the former Helen Canfield, granddaughter of W.W. Canfield, a former editor of the Observer-Dispatch.

(April 1950, Utica Newspapers) – “People Worth Knowing – Albert V. Payne – Directing the Industrial and Technical Division of the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, State St., is Albert V. Payne, who came to this country from his native England about 25 years ago ‘to stay for two years.’
He has returned to England five times since – for visits. But ‘the States’ and particularly Utica and vicinity years ago became ‘home’ to him.
Payne hails from Bristol, a city of historic background and tradition. He attended the Merchant Venturers’ Technical School, named for an organization which in this day we’d call a ‘civic group,’ many centuries ago instrumental in opening England’s trade with ‘foreign’ countries the world over. It was the Bristol Merchant Venturers who financed great explorations such as, for instance, those of John and Sebastian Cabot, who were to discover the territory to be known thereafter as Newfoundland.
As a boy Bert grew accustomed to ships from all over the world anchored at Avonmouth, port of Bristol. And he and his friends took for granted the docks, lapped by the Avon River, from which the buccaneers set sail for their dark adventures in the days of Queen Elizabeth.
Having graduated from the technical school and served an apprenticeship with an electrical concern, Payne, as he puts it, was ‘claimed by the wanderlust.’ He tried to get a job in Singapore and, when that idea fell through, aimed to leave for South Africa. His parents put a stop to that.
It was along about then, that, happily for his plans, he discovered a distant relative living in Winnepeg. This individual having pass muster with the reluctant senior Paynes, Bert departed for the Far West.
In Manitoba, that first Summer, he hired out as a seasoned teamster to a threshing outfit (though he had never driven a horse previously). That, despite his English accent and seemly deportment, the threshers accepted him as one of them, wholeheartedly, was one of the nicest tributes he had ever received, up to that time.
At the close of the season he worked briefly for the Winnepeg Electrical Co., and then went to Toronto where he was employed for about three months by an electrical contractor. There he met a brother of Frank Despard who gave him a letter of introduction to the Utican. Arriving here Bert obtained a job with the Franklin Automobile Co….
Four Years at the Newark, N.J., College of Engineering (where he financed his course by working for a Newark consulting engineer), gave him top rating as a student, a B.S. in engineering, an instructorship at the college and a scholarship at Stephens Institute of Technology, Hoboken. At Stephens he obtained a master’s degree in engineering after a two-year course, while teaching at the Newark College. (Subsequent Summer courses at New York University gave him a master’s degree in education.)
Returning to Utica, John A. DeCamp, then superintendent of public schools, appointed him to a position as teacher in the Boys’ Trade School, held for nine years.
When the Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences … opened in the Fall of 1946, Bert was appointed an instructor and that year, when the Industrial and Technical division was started, was placed in charge…..”

(October 31, 1954, Utica Newspapers) – “People Worth Knowing – Helen Canfield Payne - …. Born and raised in the Southwest…the daughter of a former Utican, Fred W. Canfield, who, while an art teacher at the Carlisle Indian School, Pa., met, fell in love with and married another teacher there, a full-blooded Indian girl, Anna Goynetay, of the Laguna Pueblo, village of Scama, New Mexico, at that time Indian Territory.
Canfield, son of the late W.W. Canfield, former editor of The Observer-Dispatch and before that long-time editor of The Utica Observer, went to Carlisle after his graduation from the New Paltz Normal School. His wife-to-be had been in attendance at Carlisle from the age of 12, had gone on to Pennsylvania normal school, from which she was graduated. She had returned as an instructor to Carlisle, maintained by the Federal government from 1898 to 1918 as the leading institution in the country for the education of American Indians, including those of tribes clear into Alaska.
The young couple after their marriage went to Zuni, Indian Territory, to conduct a school for the children of the pueblos and in that Indian village Helen was born. She attended the Zuni school and those taught by her parents in other Indian villages. She spoke the Laguna language, as well as the English the Canfields stressed for their pupils; lived in a cool adobe house, played with Indian children, attended Indian ceremonials and at 12 was driving the family’s Model T over the rough roads of the pueblo country.
For a time, when her father varied his teaching career by becoming a forest ranger, she lived with her parents in a log cabin, up 9,000 feet in the Laguna Mountains. There she climbed the trails on horseback, drank out of a mountain stream. It was during that experience than Fred Canfield staked out the site of Moro Castle, a national monument, centered by a boulder on which clearly appear the names of Fernando Cortez and his men, etched there by that Spanish conqueror of Mexico in 1519.
From the mountains the Canfields went back to teaching at Paraja and Laguna Villages, then at the Albuquerque Indian School and on to Haskell Institute, Kansas, from which they retired a few years ago, returning to Albuquerque to live. There today Fred Canfield tends to his four-acre farm, for recreation hunts with the Indians and continues his studies of the Pueblo tribes.
Helen attended Sherman Institute, California, for a while, was graduated from Albuquerque High School and, on his invitation, in 1929, took the long journey East to spend a Summer with her grandfather at his home in Kenyon Court. Once before she had visited him, with her parents, when the W.W. Canfield family home was on Johnson Park, so she was not entirely unacquainted with Utica.
Instead of one summer she stayed on with her grandfather as his housekeeper (Mrs. W.W. Canfield having died some time previously), drove him back and forth in his big car to the newspaper office, took piano lessons from Johannes Magendanz, became active in the young people’s groups of Calvary Episcopal Church. The thing she found hardest to get used to, she recalls, was Utica’s Summer weather, the air heavy, humid and breathless at 80 degrees, ‘a weight on one’s lungs,’ She was used to the dry air of the Southwest, ‘invigorating, like a tonic, even at 110 degrees.’
Six years after coming to Utica she was married to Bert Payne, who, following a teaching position in the Boys’ Trade School, was placed in charge of the Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences, and this year was named president of the successor to that school, the Mohawk Valley Technical Institute.
After their marriage the Paynes lived first in Genesee Court, then in Prospect st., later in Mallory Rd., out of Chadwicks, where four years ago they built their present home – literally built it themselves, to the last nail, with the exception of excavating and heating jobs, which they turned over to contractors.
It’s a picturesque many windowed house, individualized in its furnishings by Mrs. Payne’s collection of Indian rugs, pottery and mask dolls. The masks, by the way, are replicas of those worn in Southwest Indian tribal dances which Helen, as the child of an Indian mother, has seen, but which no pure-blooded Caucasian has ever been permitted to attend, even Helen’s father. …”

(May 3, 1967, Utica Daily Press) – “MVCC’s President Payne Retiring, Effective Jan. 1 – Dr. Albert V. Payne, Mohawk Valley Community College’s first president, last night announced his retirement from the position he has held for 14 years.
The Bristol, England, native, who saw MVCC grow to be ‘a truly comprehensive community college,’ told an informal meeting of the faculty earlier yesterday:
‘The State University’s board of trustees has a policy of retirement at age 65. Although our own board does not, I think it is a good policy.’ Dr. Payne will be 65 next Christmas.
‘These jobs are quite demanding,’ he continued, still with a trace of his British accent. ‘In fairness to the institution, I have chosen to retire.’ He will continue to serve until Jan. 1.
Thomas S. Kernan, chairman of the college’s board of trustees, acknowledged Dr. Payne’s retirement, on behalf of the board, ‘with the greatest regret.’
Kernan will serve as an ex-officio member of a committee of three trustees who will seek a successor to Dr. Payne. They include the chairman, Dr. Rudolph Schatzel of Rome, former board chairman; Charles W. Hall, board chairman of Oneida National Bank and Trust Co,, and Stuart MacMackin, an attorney associated with General Electric Co.
Kernan said the committee’s selection would be subject to approval by the State University. He said he did not know how long a decision would take, but he did not rule out the possibility of a selection from within the present college staff.
Dr. Payne, who began his career in Utica education as a teacher in the Boys Trade School, said his plans for the future are ‘quite indefinite.’
He said he has no permanent position in mind, expects to do some traveling, and perhaps some consulting as the occasion arises.
In his youth it was a longing to travel that led the blue-eyed Payne to attend the Merchant Venturers’ Technical School in Bristol. Then, his wanderlust for Singapore and later South Africa thwarted, he set out for Winnipeg, Canada.
More travel and three university degrees later, Dr. Payne came to Utica in 1935 to begin his permanent voyage on that unusual educational canal that connects high school and university training.
He has served the Utica area in the field of technical-liberal education for 30 years, offering an opportunity to those pupils who might otherwise have failed in their attempt at higher education. At the same time, his field of education has paid dividends to the community.
After nine years at the Trade School, Dr. Payne, in 1946, became an instructor at the State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences in New Hartford – the forerunner to today’s MVCC.
Later the same year he was placed in charge of the school’s Industrial and Technical Division on State Street where instruction continued night and day to serve Mohawk Valley’s metamorphosis from a textile to a metal-working center.
Dr. Payne became the school’s first president in 1953 when it took the name Mohawk Valley Technical Institute and Director Paul B. Richardson resigned. As a community college of the State University, enrollment and physical services to the community grew.
In 1960 the college moved to its present, sprawling, multi-million dollar complex in southeast Utica. And in 1963, to reflect the caliber and range of its academic programs, it changed its name to Mohawk Valley Community College.
Dr. Payne said of community education as it has progressed through the years: ‘Students tend to be more serious now, because the college is making more demands.’ MVCC will graduate its first liberal arts class this spring, a far cry from the old institute’s first course in retail management.

The college’s curriculum has more than doubled and now offers transfer programs in liberal arts and engineering science. In 1960 it was fully accredited by the Middle State Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
William Robbins, dean of students at MVCC, remarked last night:
‘It is with surprise and regret that news comes of President Payne’s resignation. Not many colleges have the good fortune of a strong presidency for almost 15 years. Under his leadership and during a time of major change in American education, the college has grown in many ways.’
‘He has led in the creation of a fine new campus and the development of strong educational programs, in the bringing together of a competent faculty, in the educating of thousands of students, and in building a college of service to the county and whole area.’
‘Albert Payne has been a conscientious educator at the college, and a warm friend of his colleagues. He will be sorely missed.’
Roy L. Mitchell, head of MVCC’s General Education Department, said:
‘I have been associated with Dr. Payne since 1946 when he first came to the old institute. I feel regret at his leaving but happiness that he will be free of the responsibilities of a college president.’ ”

(December 5, 1975, Utica Daily Press) – “Mrs. Albert Payne, Wife of Ex-College President, Granddaughter of Former O-D Editor – Mrs. Helen Canfield Payne, 67, of 9605 Mallory Road, New Hartford, wife of Dr. Albert V. Payne, president of Mohawk Valley Community College from 1953 to 1967, died Wednesday (Dec. 3) in St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital Center.
She was the granddaughter of William W. Canfield, editor of the Utica Observer-Dispatch for many years until his death in 1937.
Mrs. Payne was born in Zuni, Indian Territory, N.M., daughter of Fre W. and Anna Goynetay Canfield. She attended Zuni schools and schools taught by her parents in other Indian villages. She also attended Sherman Institute, California, and was graduated from Albuquerque, N.M. High School.
While living in New Mexico, she learned to speak the Leguna Indian language. Because her mother was Indian, she was also permitted to attend Southwest Indian tribal dances. No pure-blooded Caucasian was allowed to attend.
She moved to Utica in 1927 and worked as a housekeeper for her grandfather. … Burial was in Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica.

Dr. Payne was commencement speaker in 1981. He passed away in October 1998 at the age of 95. He lived in New Hartford at the time.

Robert D. Larsson

In January 1966, he served as Acting President while President Payne was on a six-month sabbatical leave. In January 1968, as Dean of Instruction, was again named Acting President, as a replacement was sought for recently retired President Albert V. Payne. (Also see below, under “Other”)

W. Stewart Tosh (1968-1974)

He joined the faculty at SUNY Oswego in 1950 as a member of the department of education faculty, and later coordinated the college’s student teaching program. In 1958 he was appointed Associate Dean of the College, and in 1962 as Assistant to the President for Business Affairs. In 1966 he was named Vice President for Administration. He was appointed MVCC President by Board of Trustees in July 1968, at the age of 51, and was inaugurated on October 17th, 1969. Thomas S. Kernan, past chairman of the Board of Trustees, presided at the 11:00 a.m. ceremony. Greetings were delivered by Prof. Roy Mitchell, representing faculty, Phillip Zeller, representing students, and Ernest L. Boyer, vice chancellor of the State University, who also presented the Presidential Medallion. The ceremony was followed by a luncheon for delegates and special guests, a musicale and an inaugural reception. Presidents of these institutions marched in the processional: Mount St. Mary’s College, Hamilton College, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Canton, SUNY Morrisville, Ricker College, Broome Technical Community College, Utica College, Auburn Community College, Hilbert College, Jefferson Community College, Niagara County Community College, Onondaga Community College, Sullivan County Community College, Cumberland County College, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Genesee Community College, Housatonic Community College, Middlesex Community College and North Country Community College. The procession was led by Robert Jorgensen, chairman of the faculty, carrying the college mace. The Rev. John S. Finnegan, MVCC Newman House Chaplain, delivered the invocation, and the benediction was spoken by Rev. E. Richard Davenport, MVCC Protestant chaplain.
A special 30-piece orchestral group from the Utica Symphony Orchestra provided music for both the ceremony and an afternoon concert which followed a luncheon addressed by County Executive Harry S. Daniels. A reception at 4 concluded the day’s events.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Tosh said that the “central question facing higher education today – it may well be a matter of survival – is the role of the college or university as an agent of social change.” He commented that the intelligence with which colleges play their role will determine the future of higher education in the United States for years to come, “indeed, it may well determine whether we have a role to play in the years ahead.” He expressed his belief that a college should be “an academic community willing to assume the responsibilities entrusted to it of keeping its house in order, realizing fully that it is possible to have order without freedom but never freedom without order.”
For only when we understand what the college or university can or cannot do best will we be able to be about our business, unburdened with the problems associated with those activities best undertaken by those institutions designed as social action agencies.” He said it was not surprising to him that colleges find themselves deeply and directly involved in the struggle between continuity and change, for this great clamor for the academic community to change in order to be more relevant in a changing society is not an unfamiliar sound on the campus.
“What is surprising, at least to me,” he said, “is the irrational and immature way in which certain segments of the academic community have responded to the demands made upon them.” This motivation, he continued, the desire “to help solve the major social problems of our age” – is on the ascendancy and this is as it should be. “It can be viewed as a signpost that man, in his struggle for identity, is beginning to realize that our most important and pressing problems and no longer technological but political and social.”
Dr. Tosh told is audience that while he was sure all would agree that a college or university should not be a sanctuary where both faculty and students may retire from the realities of life to pursue narrow, personal goals, equally important is the concept that an institution cannot afford to become an instrument for any particular group.
The president stated that the academic community dedicated to freedom of inquiry and expression must be free from restraints that destroy or inhibit the imaginative process involved with learning.
In relating his views on academic responsibility to the community colleges, Dr. Tosh noted that this is a point in time when the two-year college movement is emerging as a strong and viable force on the educational scene. This unique American idea in higher education has, in reality, opened the doors of opportunity to countless young people as well as adults of all ages, he said.

Dr. Tosh came to MVCC from SUNY Oswego, where he had been vice president for both business affairs and administration, after serving as an associate dean and a faculty member. He had been at SUNY Oswego for 18 years. He was a former Little Falls teacher and principal, head of the social studies department from 1946 to 1948, principle of Monroe Street and Benton Hall Schools 1948-1950. A native of North Adams, Massachusetts, he grew up in Schenectady, as did his wife, the former Lela Rockefeller. He graduated from Draper High School, Rotterdam and was president of the Senior Class. He was a tour guide at WGY. At Union College, he was a member of Delta Phi fraternity, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. They were the parents of three children, Douglas, Scott, Carolyn. He held a A.B. degree in history and political science (1940) from Union College, and an MS and doctorate in educational administration from Maxwell School at Syracuse University (1942), and Doctor of Education from Syracuse University (1954). At Oswego, he supervised student teachers in the Utica-Rome area two days a week. He has also been assistant to the president for business affairs, associate dean, professor of education, and coordinator elementary education student teaching. He taught in Mexico, NY from 1940 to 1941, then went into private industry with American Locomotive Company, Schenectady, as a materials expeditor before entering military service in 1943, serving until 1946. After military duty with the Air Force in the Pacific Theater, he became chairman of the social studies department at Little Falls High School, and later elementary school principal. He also taught social studies in Mexico, NY. His residence was at 17 Thornwood Road, New Hartford (before donation in 1970 of Gorea home at 1111 Parkway East). His daughter Carolyn was a French major at St. Lawrence University. His eldest son Douglas Stewart was a student at Union College, his son Brian was enrolled at New Hartford High School.


MVCC President W. Stewart Tosh submitted his resignation effective at the end of the 1973-1974 academic year. The announcement was made November 20, 1973 by Russel C. Fielding, Chairman of the MVCC Board of Trustees. The text of Mr. Fielding’s announcement:
“It is with regret that I announce the resignation of Dr. W. Stewart Tosh as President of Mohawk Valley Community College. Dr. Tosh’s resignation was submitted October 9. However, the Board of Trustees preferred he not leave the Presidency. At the request of the Board, Dr. Tosh took additional time to review his decision.
Following deliberation with me and members of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Tosh still preferred to pursue his original plans. The Board respects his decision and reluctantly accepts his resignation.
Dr. Tosh has been an outstanding President. We will miss his energetic leadership, dedication and administrative ability. He can take pride in his accomplishments.”
The text of Dr. Tosh’s letter of resignation, dated October 8, 1973:

Mr. Russell Fielding, Chairman
Board of Trustees
Mohawk Valley Community College
Utica, New York

Dear Russ:
This letter is submitted as official notification of my resignation as president of Mohawk Valley Community College effective with the conclusion of the current academic year.
You will recall from our recent discussion that my decision to resign came only after a great deal of deliberation. It had been my intention to conclude my active professional career at MVCC; however, certain compelling reasons have surfaced which makes my decision timely for both the college and me.
I consider myself most fortunate to have been associated with the members of the Mohawk family during the six years of my tenure. I am especially appreciative of the Board of Trustees, collectively and individually, for few presidents have had the unqualified and dedicated support from their trustees that I have received. During this period, the college has made great strides in fulfilling its educational responsibilities in a most trying period in higher education.
The continued leadership of the Board of Trustees plus the quality and caliber of the staff and students all auger well for the continued success of Mohawk Valley Community College in the years ahead.
Sincerely yours,
W. Stewart Tosh

(Nov. 24, 1973, Observer-Dispatch) “Tosh Will Consider Other Possibilities” – Dr. W. Stewart Tosh, president of Mohawk Valley Community College who will resign in August, said yesterday he wanted to explore alternatives in higher education.
Tosh, 56, the college’s president for six years, said any plans now would be tentative.
‘My reasons for leaving are very simple. Colleges go in cycles. I’ve been here for six years now and many things have been resolved. I want to move into other problems,’ Tosh said.
Tosh said he would like to be with a college or university with a higher education department, or become involved in a program of alternatives in higher education.
Tosh expressed interest in cooperative education programs in which students are part-time and older than college-age youths (early 20s).
Saying that he wants to become ‘more educated,’ Tosh said he was investigating many of the recommendations of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. ‘There are enough changes coming along that are intriguing.’
Tosh confirmed remarks by Russel C. Fielding, chairman of the board o trustees of the college, that there were no bad relations concerning the resignation.
Tosh’s letter of resignation was dated October 8, but the announcement was not made until last Tuesday. Tosh said the trustees had considered his resignation all fall.
Fielding said the trustees preferred Tosh not leave the presidency, and at the request of the board Tosh took more time to review his decision. After deliberation with the trustees, Tosh said he preferred to pursue his original plans….”

Dr. Tosh died August 17th, 2001, at the age of 85. He was living in New Port Richey, Florida, at the time.

George H. Robertson (1974-1983)


George H. Robertson assumed the Office of President on September 1st, the first non-US citizen college president in the SUNY system. He was previously Dean of Faculty at Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterboro, Ontario, a post he had held since 1967. He was 41 years old at the time of his appointment. Dr. Robertson received his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in 1958 from the University of Toronto, where he majored in mechanical engineering. He also held an Ordinary National Certificate in Mechanical Technology from Royal Technical College, Glasgow, Scotland; a Master of Applied Science degree from the University of Toronto; and a Master of Education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. (He did not yet have his Doctorate when appointed as MVCC’s President, but was scheduled to receive it in the near future from Florida State University, a Ph.D. in higher education.) He began his academic career in 1959 as a demonstrator in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto. In 1961, he joined the faculty of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto as a lecturer in the Mechanical Technology Department. In 1963, he was promoted to Chairman of the Mechanical, Metallurgical and Aeronautical Technology Department and the Civil Technology Department. In 1967, he joined Sir Sandford Fleming College as Dean of Faculty. He has worked as a designer/field supervisor with J.L. Richards and Associates, Ottowa, and as an engineer with Stone & Webster (Canada) Ltd., Toronto and Boston. His starting salary as MVCC’s President was $32,500. He played trumpet with the MVCC Orchestra.

(June 27, 1974, Utica Daily Press) – “Scot Who Left School at 14 Is New President of MVCC –The new president of Mohawk Valley Community College left school at the age of 14 and did not continue his education until five years later.
George H. Robertson, 42, whose appointment was approved by the trustees of the State University of New York yesterday, said that wasn’t unusual in his native Scotland.
At 19 he emigrated to Canada, as many young Scots have done anticipating greater opportunities, and it was there that he continued fulltime studies.
He is currently the dean of faculty of Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont., a post he has held since 1967, when community colleges were founded in the province.
After leaving home in Scotland, he worked as a draftsman, and then took a night course as a technician.
He worked his way through school in Canada as a draftsman, and playing trumpet in area night clubs. He is still an enthusiast of jazz and big bands, but reserves his playing for the college band.
Robertson received a bachelor of applied science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1958, and later a master of applied science degree from the same institution. He also holds a master of education degree from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
After working as an engineer in Boston and Toronto, he began teaching an evening class at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto. He then taught there fulltime, inaugurating his teaching career. Two years later he was chairman of the mechanical, metallurgical and aeronautical technology and civil Technology departments. ….”

(June 26, 1974, Rome Daily Sentinel)- “…Prior to entering the field of higher education he worked as a designer-field supervisor with J.L. Richards and Associates of Ottawa and as an engineer with Stone and Webster, Ltd., Toronto and Boston….”


MVCC President George H. Robertson was awarded a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in higher education by Florida State University. Dr. Robertson’s doctoral dissertation was entitled: “A Proposed In-Service Training Program for Academic Administrators in Ontario Community Colleges.” (April 1976)


(March 26, 1978, Observer-Dispatch) – “ ‘I See Myself As an Individual’ – MVCC’s Wanda Robertson: Student, Housewife – Wanda Robertson doesn’t think of herself only as the wife of a college president.
‘I see myself as an individual with my own aspirations and goals,’ she said.
Wanda, 32, is a second-year liberal arts major at Mohawk Valley Community College, where he husband, George, is president.
She plans to transfer to Utica College in the fall for her bachelor’s degree and eventually would like to study law at Syracuse University.
She’ll study full-time again in the fall and if she takes summer courses will be graduated in 1980.
It’s an ambitious schedule, she admitted, but said she and her husband work it out.
‘He doesn’t always get dinner or his laundry done,’ she said, ‘but he feels my goals are important. He’s the one who talked me into studying full-time.’
The Robertsons live at 1111 Parkway East in a comfortable two-story home they rent from the MVCC Foundation. …
The Robertsons will have been married three years this June. They met in Canada when he was vice president of Sir Sanford Fleming Community College in Peterboro, Ontario; she was its public relations officer. She had previously done public relations work with Canadian General Electric.
Robertson came to Utica in September of 1974, when he was named MVCC president. They were engaged at the time. Mrs. Robertson remained in Canada, where they were married the following June…..”

In May 1978 President Robertson and Vice President Robert Barde were the subject of a faculty-student no-confidence vote. Faculty, led by social sciences Milton Jannone (spokesman for Faculty Concerned with Student Concerns), voted 116 no to 20 yes. Students, led by Guy Martin, voted 564 no to 141 yes. (Enrollment at the time was over 3,200) A contract with the College’s Professional Association was in negotiation at the time. There was also unhappiness with a decision not to rehire probationary sociology instructor Patrick McGuire or science instructor Forest Gochnour, and not to award tenure to geology associate professor Ronald Janowsky. Students were also asking for a role in faculty evaluation. At their June 13 meeting, the MVCC Trustees unanimously voted confidence in President Robertson. Their resolution indicated “full faith, support and confidence” in President Robertson “as an administrator with the experience, intellectual capacity and administrative ability to meet the challenges confronting the college and to continue its tradition of excellence and service.” The resolution was introduced by Board Chairman Stuart MacMackin.

President Robertson’s wife, Wanda, 32, was a second-year liberal arts major at the College in 1978. They were married in June 1975. They met while he was at Sir Sandford Fleming Community College in Peterboro, Ontario, where she was public relations officer She had also done public relations work for Canadian General Electric. There were visa complications for her, and she was deported four times.

(May 8, 1979, Utica Daily Press - “ ‘Stolen’ letters sent to faculty, trustees – Two letters from the president of Mohawk Valley Community College seeking positions as president of Canadian colleges have been removed from his office and anonymously mailed to some college faculty members and trustees.
President George Robertson said yesterday the letters must have been stolen from his office, where they were locked in a drawer.
In the letters to P.S. Ross and Partners, a Toronto management consultant agency, Robertson said he was interested in being named president of George Brown College in Toronto and St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology in Windsor, Ont.
Some faculty members, union officials and college trustees were mailed copies of the letters last week in typewritten envelopes with Utica postmarks but not return address.
Robertson said the letters, dated Nov. 8, 1976 and December 21, 1977, had to have been illegally moved from his office, where they were kept in a locked drawer….
In the letters, Robertson said he was eager to return to Canada, where he had been president (editor’s note – he was actually dean of faculty) at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont. He outlined he success he had in transforming MVCC from ‘a mess when I came here’ to a college with ‘almost an embarrassment of successful new programs’ and ‘a complete turnabout in press coverage.’
Robertson said in the letters that when he accepted the MVCC position in 1974, ‘I undertook to stay no less than three years,’ and at the end of the 1976-77 academic year ‘I will have done what was required to put the educational, financial and administrative systes of the college on an orderly footing.’ ”


The American Council on Education published a paper by President Robertson, entitled “Lifelong Education as a Rationale for Colleges.” The paper had been delivered previously at the Council’s annual meeting in Houston.


President Robertson was named 1981 Person of the Year in Region II of the National Council on Community Services and Continuing Education. He was also selected to represent New York State in a cultural and educational exchange with Yugoslavia, as a guest of the Yugoslavian Ministry of Education. He attended a conference in Dubrovnik, and visited schools in Beograd, Kosovo, Arandjelovac, Kragujevac, Pristina, Prizren, Bosnia, Herzegovina and the University of Zagreb.


President Robertson conducted a project for the SUNY Central Administration, on a study leave of absence from February 1st through August 31st, 1983. Dr. Robertson was working with SUNY’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Service on a study of manpower and training needs of high technology industries in New York State.

(Nov. 11, 1986, Dayton Daily News and Journal Herald) – “Trustees Dismiss president of Clark Technical College – Springfield, Ohio – Clark Technical College President George H. Robertson was fired by the school’s board of trustees Monday night.
Robertson, 54, who had been president since 1983, was dismissed by a 6-0 vote, board Chairwoman Maureen Grady said. One member was on vacation, she said.
She would not comment about the decision or about Robertson’s severance package.
Robertson, who came to Clark Tech from Mohawk Valley Community College in New York, was paid $62,381 a year….”
(He was the second president at the 24-ear-old school. Clark Tech had about 1,200 students in two-year degree programs and an $8 million dollar yearly budget.)

(Jan 27, 1987 Observer-Dispatch) – “Robertson fired from Ohio post – Former Mohawk Valley Community College President George H. Robertson, 54, who left the area in 1983, has been dismissed from his job as president of Clark Technical College in Springfield, Ohio. …. Robertson stayed at Clark for three years before being unanimously fired by the board late last month. Clark officials wouldn’t comment on why he was forced to leave the $62,381-a-year position.”


Dr. Thomas D. Sheldon

The MVCC Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Thomas D. Sheldon as Acting President of the College, to serve from February 1st through August 31st, 1983. Dr. Sheldon was retired president of Utica College where he served from 1977 to 1982. He served as the College’s chief administrative officer while President Robertson conducted a project for the SUNY Central Administration, on a study leave of absence. Dr. Robertson was working with SUNY’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Service on a study of manpower and training needs of high technology industries in New York State. Dr. Sheldon began his career as a science teacher and sports coach at Split Rock, NY, followed by a similar position in Minoa, NY. He had also served, in his early career, as principal of Mineola High School, Hempstead (NY) Superintendent of Schools, and served from 1968 to 1971as the Baltimore, Maryland Superintendent of Schools. Later he was NYS Deputy Commissioner of Education, and a general with the Air National Guard. Following his service at MVCC, has also served as an interim president at Onondaga Community College, and was a professor of educational administration at Syracuse University. He held a BS degree in science and physical education from Syracuse University, and MS and EdD degrees in science education from the same institution.

Michael I. Schafer (1983-2007)

He was named president by the Board of Trustees in July 1983. He was 40 years old at the time, and had been dean of instruction at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park (1980-83), and previously was dean for instruction at Muskegon Community College in Michigan (1971-77, 1978-80). He was originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, but spent high school and college years in Florida. Held an Ed.D. degree in high education administration from the University of Florida. During the 1977-78 school year, he took a leave of absence from Muskegon to serve as a special assistant to Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. He also served as associate director of the Florida Community Junior College/Inter-Institutional Research Council (1969-71), as an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Florida (1969-71), as a biology teacher at Santa Fe Junior College in Gainesville, Florida (1966-69), and as a science teacher at Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Florida (1964-66). His community involvement while at MVCC included service as a board member or officer of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of Central New York, WCNY, the Utica Symphony, United Way of Greater Utica and New York State, Mohawk Valley Applied Technology Commission, Private Industry Council, Children’s Museum of Utica, Mohawk Valley Regional Education Central for Economic Development, Oneida County Industrial Development Corporation, Mohawk Valley EDGE, School & Business Alliance, Rotary Club of Utica, Rome and Mohawk Valley Chambers of Commerce and the Business Council of New York. St. Elizabeth Hospital named him “Humanitarian of the Year” in 1996 for his work on a cardiac care task force that obtained approval for open heart surgery in Utica. He served as co-chair of the legislative relations committee of the Association of President of Public Community Colleges. He was also president of the Post-Secondary International Network, which included community colleges or similar institutions in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. In 1998, the Association of Community College Trustees named him Northeast Region Chief Executive of the Year. In 1989, he headed a Rotary International Group Study Exchange to New Zealand. He also traveled to the former Soviet Union in 1987 and to the Czech Republic in 1994 representing the SUNY system. He held three degrees from the University of Florida, a B.S. in chemistry and biology (1964), an M.Ed. in junior college science teaching with a minor in research and statistics, and an Ed.D. in administration of higher education, in 1969. He also received an Ed.S. from the University of Florida in 1967, with a major in behavioral research and computer applications, and a minor in junior college administration. The University of Florida Institute of Higher Education presented him with its Outstanding Graduate Award in 1997.

MVCC President Michael I. Schafer was elected president of the Industry-Labor-Education Council of the Mohawk Valley, succeeding Dr. Donald Butcher, president of Morrisville Ag & Tech. The local council was founded in 1978, with assistance from MVCC, to link educational interests with business and labor. (April 1987)

Delivered the Commencement address in May 1993 to mark his 10th anniversary as president.

In (June?) 1994, he traveled to Prague, the Czech Republic, to present a paper at an international seminar on professional higher education. The seminar was part of an effort by the Czech Republic to create a new system of post-secondary professional schools similar to American community colleges. Dr. Schafer spoke on “Strengthening Links with Business & Industry.”

(May 20, 2004, MVCC News Release) – MVCC President Michael I. Schafer Announces Plans to Retire in 2005 – Mohawk Valley Community College President Michael I. Schafer today announced plans to retire from that position effective June 30th, 2005.
The announcement came during a faculty-staff recognition luncheon, part of Summer Institute, an annual end-of-year series of personal and staff development workshops for MVCC employees. It was reiterated during an afternoon news conference. He was joined at the news conference by members of the College’s Board of Trustees, and a number of the College’s faculty, staff and administrators.
MVCC’s Board of Trustees will soon initiate a national search for President Schafer’s successor.
Dr. Schafer was appointed president of Mohawk Valley Community College in 1983. His more than 20 years as MVCC’s president makes him one of the most senior community college presidents in the State University of New York system.
In 2001, the College completed a major $21 million renovation of the Utica Campus, with significant changes in nearly every campus building, culminating in construction of the new 65,000-square-foot Information Technology/Performing Arts Center Building with a state-of-the-art theater, the BlueCross BlueShield Conference & Training Center, extensive computer laboratories and a series of modern classrooms. The College recently acquired a Steinway 150th Anniversary Model D concert grand piano for the theater, hosting a year-long series of benefit concerts to raise funds for purchase of the instrument.
This was preceded in 1989 by construction of the Utica Campus Science & Technology Building housing a variety of labs for chemistry, welding, electrical and mechanical engineering technology.
The Plumley Complex at the Rome Campus was opened in 1991, and houses classrooms, laboratories, a library and administrative offices.
Total square footage of buildings on the Utica and Rome campuses has grown from 370,000 square feet in 1983 to 610,000 now.
The College recently held ground-breaking ceremonies for a new $6 million 155-bed residence hall to be opened for the fall semester in 2005. A current review of athletic facilities and the College’s Rome Campus may lead to significant developments in both areas over the next few years.
Nearly 20 new programs have been introduced at the College during the Schafer presidency. These include Public Policy, Theater, Emergency Medical Services/Paramedic, Business Management, Chemical Dependency Practitioner, Digital Animation, Website Design & Management, Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Computer-Aided Drafting, Computer Science, Environmental Analysis/Chemical Technology, Fine Arts, Restaurant Management, Health Studies: Radiologic Technology, Hotel Technology, and International Studies.
Additional programs created during his presidency include General Studies, Childhood Education, Medical Assisting, Nutrition & Dietetics, Respiratory Care, Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, and Telecommunications Technology. Other programs have seen major changes and redevelopment, including Office Technologies, Graphic Communication, Health Information Technology, Culinary Arts Management, and Recreation & Leisure Services.
The College also added an Export Assistance Center, an ACT learning and testing center, ISO 9000 certification assistance, customized training for area employers, tractor trailer truck driving instruction, and has become home for the Mohawk Valley Police Academy.
Partnerships with other community educational organizations have been a major MVCC activity during Dr. Schafer’s presidency, including the Millennium Project, with the Utica City School District, and the developing Synergy Project with the Rome City School District. For several years, the College partnered with the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute to provide a fine arts degree; today both institutions offer their own fine arts programs. The College also has a long-standing relationship with the College of Nursing at St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Last year, MVCC helped establish the Mohawk Valley College Consortium, in which students and employees at Utica College, Hamilton College, Morrisville State College, the SUNY Institute of Technology and Herkimer County Community College, as well as MVCC, are able to take courses at each of the institutions on a no-cost space-available basis.
During the Schafer presidency, assets of the MVCC Foundation frew from approximately $87,000 to more than $2 million. Today, the Foundations awards approximately $150,000 in scholarships annually.
President Schafer came to MVCC from St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as dean of instruction from 1980 to 1983. He also served as dean for instruction at Muskegon Community College in Michigan from 1971 to 1977, and again from 1978 to 1980. During 1977-1978, he was on leave from Muskegon Community College to serve as a U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare Fellow/Special Assistant to Secretary Joseph Califano, in Washington, D.C.
He has also served as associate director of the Florida Community Junior College/Inter-Institutional Research Council (1969-71), as an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Florida (1969-71), as a biology teacher at Santa Fe Junior College in Gainesville, Florida (1966-69), and as a science teacher at Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Florida (1964-1066).
While at MVCC, President Schafer has compiled an extensive record of community service. He has served as a board member or officer of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of Central New York, WCNY, the Utica Symphony, United Way of Greater Utica and New York State, Mohawk Valley Applied Technology Commission, Private Industry Council, Children’s Museum of Utica, Mohawk Valley Regional Education Center for Economic Development, Oneida County Industrial Development Corporation, Mohawk Valley EDGE, School & Business Alliance, Rotary Club of Utica, Rome and Mohawk Valley Chambers of Commerce, and the Business Council of New York. St. Elizabeth Hospital named him “Humanitarian of the Year” in 1996, for his work on a cardiac care task force that obtained approval for open heart surgery in Utica.
He is serving as co-chair of the legislative relations committee of the Association of Presidents of Public Community Colleges, representing 30 SUNY community colleges as well as six institutions in the City University of New York.
He is also president of the Post-Secondary International Network, an international organization comprised of community colleges or similar institutions in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
In 1998, the Association of Community College Trustees named him Northeast Region Chief Executive Officer of the Year.
In 1989, he headed a Rotary International Group Study Exchange to New Zealand. He also traveled to the former Soviet Union in 1987 on behalf of the American Association of Community & Junior Colleges, and to the Czech Republic in 1994, representing the SUNY system.
President Schafer holds three degrees from the University of Florida, a B.S. in chemistry and biology (1964), an M.Ed. in junior college science teaching with a minor in research and statistics, and an Ed.D. in administration of higher education (1969). He also received an Ed.S. from the University of Florida in 1967, with a major in behavioral research and computer applications, and a minor in junior college administration. The University of Florida Institute of Higher Education presented him with its Outstanding Graduate Award in 1997…. Dr. Schafer resides in Utica with his wife, Kathleen. He has a son, Adam, a daughter, Michelle, and a grandson, Glen.

(July 21, 2004, MVCC News Release) – MVCC President Michael Schafer to Defer Retirement to 2007 – The following announcement is issued by Mr. John Stetson, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mohawk Valley Community College:
The Board of Trustees and Dr. Michael Schafer have agreed that Dr. Schafer will continue as President of the College until June 30, 2007.
Since President Schafer originally announced his intention to retire June 30, 2005, the Board has been engaged in a thoughtful study of the presidential search process. We were preparing to appoint a search committee this summer so that a national search could commence in September. The committee was to include faculty and professional staff, support staff, students, student services, the County, and the Foundation.
In recent discussions with President Schafer, we considered the many challenges and opportunities now facing the College. In the course of those discussions, it became apparent to all that MVCC would benefit greatly if Dr. Schafer would continue as president for three more years. Based on this mutual accord, Dr. Schafer agreed to defer his retirement until June 2007.
This is a very happy outcome and nothing has been lost in the process. The Board is very pleased with Dr. Schafer’s decision.

Vice Presidents:

Jerome Alvermann was appointed vice president for administrative services in July 1982, effective in September. He came to MVCC from Community College of the Finger Lakes, Canandaigua, where he had been dean of financial and administrative services since 1979. He held a BS degree in natural science from Niagara University, and a M.B.A. from the University of Rochester. Retired in 2001.

Dr. Robert E. Barde - Born in Haiti, son of a Marine. Dr. Robert E. Barde of Marietta, Ohio, was named Dean of Academic Affairs at MVCC (not vice president, but with similar responsibilities) in July 1975. He came to MVCC from Marietta College, where he was Assistant Dean of the College, and had previously served as Director of Records and Registration. He was a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring with the rank of Colonel. Served in both Korea and Vietnam (two tours), won a Bronze Star. Enlisted as a private in 1942. Became commanding officer of an infantry battalion, a senior staff officer in personnel management and logistics, and an administrative assistant to the Marine Corps chief of staff. Held a BS (Civil Engineering, through U of Maryland while stationed in Washington, attending night classes at Pentagon), MA (history, 1957) and Ph.D.(history, 1971, also from U of Maryland) – dissertation was “The Battle of Midway – Study in Command.” (A condensed version appeared in Reader’s Digest in November 1972 as “Miracle at Midway.” Was an Officer Candidate School instructor at Quantico, VA. Retired from Marine Corps in 1972, was director of records and registration at Marietta College, Ohio – then was assistant dean, and registrar. Initial salary in June 1975 was $23,000. Was 50 years old at time of appointment. He succeeded Edwin Warner, who had retired. He held three degrees from the University of Maryland: A BS in civil engineering, an MA and PhD in history.

(December 5, 1975, Utica Observer-Dispatch, by Richard Benedetto) – “MVCC Dean An Expert on Dec. 7 Attack – Robert Barde, the dean of academic affairs at Mohawk Valley Community College, is an expert on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
He’s met the Japanese pilot who led the air strike and spoke the words, ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ which was the Pearl Harbor code for ‘attack.’
And he knows the Japanese navy commander who more than anyone else planned the attack that led to America’s entrance into World War II 34 years ago this Sunday….
Barde’s involvement in the study of the Pearl Harbor attack began nearly 20 years ago when he was a graduate students in history at the University of Maryland. His professor was Gordon Prang, the man who wrote the book, ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’…
Barde went to the National Archives in Washington and studied the logs of Navy ships operating out of Pearl Harbor and recorded their movements from the summer of 1941 up to Dec. 7.
His research showed that American carriers always patrolled south and west of the Hawaiian Islands. Never to the north.
‘The Japanese attacked from the north,’ said Barde….”

In 1978, was included with President Robertson in a vote of no confidence by faculty and students. (See detail under Robertson)

(March 12, 1979, Utica Daily Press)- “MVCC president dismisses dean – Dr. Robert Barde, dean of academic affairs at Mohawk Valley Community College, has been dismissed from his position by college President George Robertson.
Barde said yesterday he had been asked to resign, but refused. A few days after that, on February 23, he was ‘called into Robertson’s office, given a sealed envelope, told to turn in my master key and asked to leave the building.’
The letter, he said, contained his notice of dismissal signed by the president and approved by the board of trustees. Robertson could not be reached for comment.
Stuart MacMackin, chairman of the MVCC Board of Trustees, said the board agreed to ask for Barde’s resignation at an executive session following the Feb. 13 board meeting, but that no formal action had been taken. That action, he said, is expected at a 4:30 meeting of the board today.
MacMackin said that before Barde was dismissed, he had met with him on at least two occasions. In those meetings, Barde was asked to resign and conditions of the termination were discussed, MacMackin said.
‘A lot of consideration was given to him to make sure we did this in a manner that was most considerate. The letter was preceded by a long series of negotiations,’ MacMackin said. He said Barde was put on a six-month paid terminal leave.
Neither Barde nor MacMackin disclosed the reasons for the dismissal, but college sources said Robertson and Barde had not been on speaking terms for some time.
Last year, most of the faculty voted that they had no confidence in either Robertson or Barde and sources said Barde felt that faculty dissatisfaction was a much more serious problem than Robertson did.
At the time of that vote, faculty members said the college administration seemed to be more involved in attracting students and saving money than in keeping up the academic quality of the college.
Barde, the college’s second in command before his dismissal, said the Feb. 23 meeting with Robertson was the first time his dismissal had been mentioned.
On Friday, Barde met with the college’s Faculty Organization to explain his dismissal.
MacMackin said an acting dean would probably be named by the board today. He added that the board also expected to consider reorganizing the administration.
Sources said William R. Pulhamus, associate dean, had already been named acting dean by Robertson and that John H. McMillan, head of the Civil Technology Department, had been named acting associate dean to replace Pulhamus.
Barde came to MVCC in 1975 at a salary of $23,000 after serving as assistant dean and registrar at Marietta College in Ohio. Before that he was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 28 years, including service in Korea and Vietnam.”

Dr. John K. Bolton was appointed vice president for instruction in December 1996. He came to MVCC from Montgomery College, Rockville, Maryland, where he was a professor of English and had served previously as academic dean. He had been dean at Montgomery College from 1970 to 1978, and had served as Professor of English and English as a Second Language from 1978 to 1996. He was coordinator and founding director of the American English Language Program, based in the Washington, DC area, serving 3,500 students in 100 countries. He was director and co-founder of the Writing Center at Montgomery College, and had been involved in educational projects serving students in Pakistan and Vietnam. He had also served as Assistant Dean of Faculty at the Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA, from 1966 to 1970, and Instructor of English & Philosophy at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan, from 1962 to 1966. He held a BA degree in English and philosophy from Grinnell College, Iowa, and an MA degree in English language and literature from the University of Iowa. He earned a DA degree from the National Center for Community College Education at George Mason University in Virginia. He retired in 2003.

Dr. Thomas H. Brown was appointed vice president for instruction in June 1984. He came to MVCC from Cumberland Community College in Vineland, New Jersey, where he was dean of instruction, and had also taught history and political science for 14 years. (June 1984) In 1989, he published a historical biography, George S. Boutwell: Human Rights Advocate, published by the Groton (Massachusetts) Historical Society. From 1967 to 1981 he was a history and political science instructor at Cumberland County College, chairman of the social and behavioral science dept (1972-1979) and chairman of the division of liberal studies (1979-1981). Held BA degree in history from University of Maryland, MA and PhD degrees in history from New York University.

In 1990, he resigned to become president of Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey.

Dr. John J. Cavan of Linwood, New Jersey, was appointed Dean of Community Services at Mohawk Valley Community College in August 1978, effective October 1st. (He succeeded Dr. Armond Festine, who had passed away.) In 1979, following the dismissal of Dr. Robert Barde as dean of academic affairs, Cavan was named Vice President for Instruction in a restructuring of senior administration. The new position combined the positions of Dean of Academic Affairs, and Dean of Community Services. Dr. Cavan, who came to MVCC from Atlantic Community College, New Jersey, was named 1978 “Man of the Year in Community Services” by the American Association of Community & Junior Colleges. During 1977-78, he was president of the National Council on Community Services and Continuing Education. He held a doctorate from Yeshiva University in New York City, a master’s degree from Newark State College, and a bachelor’s degree from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, La. He had joined Atlantic Community College in 1968 as coordinator of special educational projects, becoming associate dean for community services and development in 1974. He resigned in 1983 to become president of South Side Community College in Virginia.

Denise DiGiorgio - (College news release, Jan 8, 1998) – “DiGiorgio Named MVCC Vice President – Denise M. DiGiorgio was recently promoted to the position of vice president of student services at Mohawk Valley Community College.
In that position, she will oversee a wide range of services for students at the college, including access and retention, admissions, athletics and intramurals, child care, counseling, food service, health center, services to students with disabilities, social awareness, student activities, student employment, student life, and residence halls.
A Utica resident, DiGiorgio has been employed at MVCC since 1978. She has served as assistant to the director of the former Placement & Transfer Office (1978-1985), as coordinator of off-campus student services (1985-1988), as executive assistant to the president (1988-1990), as special assistant to the president for student services (1990-1991), and as dean of student services from 1991 until her recent promotion to vice president. …
A 1976 graduate of MVCC’s liberal arts and sciences curriculum, she also holds a BS degree in elementary education from the SUNY College at Oswego, and an MS in education from the SUNY College at Cortland. She received the MVCC Excellence in Service Award in 1987, and the MVCC Alumni of Merit Award in 1996.”

Ralph J. Feola (From College news release, May 29, 2001) – “Ralph J. Feola, 2013 Tamarack Street, Rome, has been appointed vice president for administrative services at Mohawk Valley Community College. He will serve as the College’s chief fiscal officer and treasurer, and be responsible for fiscal planning, and custody and control of all funds in both the College’s operating and capital budgets. The new vice president will also supervise the College’s Business Office, Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, Office Services Department, Facilities & Operations Department, and Campus Safety Department. The new MVCC vice president succeeds Jerome Alvermann of Oriskany, who is retiring after 19 years in the MVCC position. Feola comes to MVCC from Onondaga Community College (OCC) in Syracuse, where he has been vice president of administrative services and finance since 1989. … Feola is also a former assistant administrator/chief business officer at Rose Hospital, serving in that position from 1976 to 1982. From 1972 to 1976 he was a senior state accounts auditor for the New York State Department of Audit ad Control. He holds a B.B.A. degree from Siena College and an M.B.A. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute….”

J. Paul Graham joined MVCC in 1954 as a faculty member and head of the Retail Business Management Dept. Became Associate Dean of Administration in 1962, at a salary of $10,320. In 1970, was elected president of the Community College Business Officers Association of New York State. In October 1978, as Dean of Business Affairs, announced his retirement at the end of the 1978-79 academic year. In March 1979, before his retirement, his title was changed to Vice President for Administrative Services as part of a restructuring of senior administration. (Other dean titles also became vice presidents.) He was a graduate of Grove City College in Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh. He taught at Millard Fillmore College, University of Buffalo and West Virginia University before joining MVTI. He had a master’s degree in retailing from the University of Pittsburgh. He and wide Geraldine lived at 614 Pauline Avenue, Deerfield, and later on Edgewood Road, Utica. He died on May 9th, 1986 in Tampa, Florida. He had lived in Largo, Florida since his retirement in 1980.

Dr. Daniel P. Larson was appointed vice president for instruction in March 2003. He came to MVCC from St. Charles Community College in St. Peters, Missouri, a post he had held since 1999. He had also been deans of arts and sciences at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan (1997-1999), and was founding chair of the Humanities Department at Avila College (later Avila University) in Kansas City, Missouri (1987-1996), where he also served as a member of the music faculty from 1977 to 1996. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Robert D. Larsson was named dean of instruction (equivalent to vice president) in September 1963. He came to MVCC from Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, where he had been a mathematics professor. He succeeded Seymour Eskow, who had resigned to join Rockland Community College (he became president there). Among other activities, he was (while at Clarkson) vice president of the Westminster Foundation of New York State, a member of the board of directors of the New York State Council of Churches, and the General Council of the Synod of New York of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA. He served as a Naval aviator from 1941 to 1946. In 1968, he was elected Chairman of the Upper New York-Ontario-Quebec Section of the American Society for Engineering Education, effective July 1969. He also served as Chairman in 1960-61. In 1969, he was re-elected for a second term as President of the New York State Council of Churches. In January 1965, he was named Acting President while President Payne was on a six-month study leave. In January 1968, as Dean of Instruction, was named Acting President, as a replacement was sought for recently retired President Albert V. Payne. He and wife Carolyn, with five children, lived at 23 Court Knolle, New Hartford. In June, 1970, he was named president of Schenectady County Community College. He held an AB degree from the University of Maine, and an MA degree from Syracuse University, where he was enrolled in a doctoral program as of June 1970. When he was named president at Schenectady, that institution was one year old. He succeeded the first president, Dr. Charles E. Scholes.

John W. Harniman was appointed vice president for administrative services in November 1979, to succeed J. Paul Graham, who had retired. He was a 1964 graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. At the time of his appointment, he was enrolled in an MBA degree program at RPI. Before coming to MVCC he was assistant business officer at HCCC. From 1965 to 1970 he was in the Air Force, where he reached the rank of captain. He lived in Westernville. He resigned in 1982 to become controller at Tompkins-Cortland Community College. Before taking over as MVCC vice president, he was director of the Auxiliary Services Corporation for a year, and assistant business officer at HCCC for a year and a half.

Dr. Linda Spink was appointed vice president for instruction in December 1990. She came to MVCC from Massachusetts Bay Community College, where she was associate dean for health science and technology. She had also been an assistant professor in the college of nursing at Southeastern Massachusetts University, North Dartmouth, Mass., from 1982 to 1984. She has also been a faculty member in the Boston College School of Nursing, and an assistant professor at Lasell Junior College in Newton, Massachusetts. She had served as a nurse at Westwood Lodge Hospital, Westwood, Massachusetts, and at Ventura Community Hospital in Ventura, California, and served on the school of nursing faculty at Citizens General Hospital in New Kensington, PA. She held a BS degree from Michigan State University, an MS degree in psychiatric nursing from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in administration of higher education from Boston College. In 1996, she resigned to become president of Antelope Valley College, Lancaster, California.

Dr. Lewis A. White was appointed Dean of Students in February 1969, succeeding William A. Robbins. He came to MVCC from SUNY Geneseo where he served as Placement Director, Acting Dean of Students and as Acting Dean for Long-Range Planning and Research. He had also taught in the Binghamton area public schools, and served as guidance director for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Treadwell, NY. A native of Pennsylvania, he held a Doctorate in Education from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Guidance from Bucknell University, a B.S. degree from Wilkes College, and an A.A. degree from Keystone Junior College, LaPlume, PA. His responsibilities at MVCC were to include counseling, financial aid, physical education and student activities. Title changed to Vice President for Student Services in 1979 as part of a restructuring of senior administration. He retired in August 1983.

Rome Campus Deans

Dr. Ronald G. Cantor was appointed dean of the Rome Campus in July 2004. He came to MVCC from Jefferson Community College in Watertown, where he had served as associate dean for liberal arts since 1996. He held a BS degree in administration from the University of New Hampshire, an M.Ed. degree in higher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Ph.D. degree in cultural foundations of education/history from Syracuse University.

Dr. Jonathan Gibralter was appointed dean of the Rome Campus in 1993, coming to MVCC from SUNY Morrisville where he held a variety of positions between 1986 and 1993, including instructor and assistant professor in the General Studies Department, director of individual studies and associate dean in the School of Liberal Arts. He held a B.A. degree in psychology from SUNY Binghamton, and an M.A. degree in counseling psychology at New York University. In 1997 he received his Ph.D. degree from Syracuse University in child and family studies. He resigned in June 1998 to become dean of academic affairs at Corning Community College. Later became president of SUNY Farmingdale. In 2006 left Farmingdale to become president of Frostburg State University in Maryland.

Michael B. Sewall - Professor Michael B. Sewall was appointed dean of MVCC’s Rome Campus in January 1984. Sewall had been a member of the MVCC faculty since 1971, in the College’s Human Services & Psychology Department. He has been Rome Campus coordinator for the Division of Public and Health Services since 1982. He returned to the faculty in Human Services & Psychology in 1993. (See also Faculty & Staff)

Samuel Smith appointed dean of the Rome Campus in July 1998. Was a retired Air Force Lt. Col, had been director of personnel at Griffiss AFB. Came to MVCC from Herkimer County Community College where he had been assistant dean of academic affairs since 1995. He held a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, master’s degree in business management and supervision from Central Michigan University, and a certificate of advanced studies in higher education from SUNY Cortland. He later became director of the Cosmopolitan Center in Utica.


Denise Alleyne was appointed executive assistant to the president in March 1986. She held B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from Springfield College (Massachusetts). She came to MVCC from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she was director of residential life. She later became dean of students at Drew University, NJ.

Dr. John G. Brereton

Appointed Director of Cooperative and Career Placement in December 1970, replacing Frederick M. Spaugh, who had retired. He had been a coordinator of cooperative education at the College since 1968. He held a Ph.D. in dairy chemistry from Cornell University, an M.S. in dairy technology from the University of Minnesota, and a B.S. in dairy science from Cornell. He was also the former President and principal stockholder of Whitman Laboratories, Inc., in Norwich, NY, a manufacturer of industrial chemicals and processing equipment. At Cornell, he has been an instructor of dairy science and dairy chemistry. In 1942 he joined National Dairy Products Corporation as a product development supervisor and subsequently became technical director of its Sheffield Farms Co. subsidiary. In 1949 he was appointed President and Treasurer of Sheffield Chemical Co., another National Dairy subsidiary. He left National Dairy in 1956 to form his own company in Norwich, Whitman Laboratories, Inc, marketing industrial chemicals and processing systems for foods and pharmaceuticals. He was killed in a car crash on Route 13, near Norwich, in June 1978, returning home from a class reunion at Cornell. He was 62 years of age. His position at the College, and the Cooperative Education program, had been eliminated the year before.

Gerard Brophy – in 1968 was listed as Director of Counseling Services (See Faculty-Staff)

Jerome M. Brown –Joined MVCC in 1973 as an assistant professor in Human Services & Psychology, promoted to associate professor in 1981. From 1981 to 1987, he served as executive assistant to the vice president for instruction. During that period, he filled temporary assignments as acting vice president for instruction, acting dean of the Rome Campus, and acting director of personnel. In 1987, he became Dean of Human Resources. Received MVCC Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 1988. Held an A.B. degree from Hamilton College, in psychology (1963), and M.S. degree from SUNY Albany in educational administration (higher education) (1977), also completed doctoral course work at SUNY Buffalo in social psychology. Before joining MVCC, he was on the faculty at SUNY Geneseo.

William R. Buell was appointed Buildings Superintendent, December 1974. Had been employed at the College since 1962, serving as Assistant Superintendent of Buildings since 1968. Before joining the College staff, he owned and operated a plumping, heating and electrical company in Holland Patent, where he continued to reside. He served in a Navy Seabees construction battalion.

Benjamin Davis – (In 1961 was head of the Mechanical Technology Department)

Richard J. Dickson was appointed Director of Public Information in January 1970. Had served previously as a Boy Scout executive and as an editorial and advertising assistant in an industrial arts-vocational education textbook firm. His A.B. degree in English was from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.

Richard Drumm – was director of employee relations, resigned in September 1978. He was also certified by the National Rifle Association as an instructor in rifle and pistol workmanship, and taught a non-credit course at the College in handloading and benchloading of ammunition.

Frank Elias was named executive director of the Center for Community & Economic Development in July 2004. He came to MVCC from Herkimer County Community College where he had been Manager of Training and Workforce Development. He held an AAS degree in Marketing from HCCC, a BS in Industrial Management and an MBA from Clarkson University.

Seymour Eskow was an original member of the faculty on opening day in October 1946. He had previously been an English teacher at Fairleigh-Dickinson Junior College, Rutherford, NJ, and a teacher at City College of New York. Was head of the General Education Department beginning in 1953 (salary $6,100), promoted to new position of dean of instruction (January 1956) at a salary of $7,200. His duties included: Orient new faculty members, assist in development of new programs in the evening school, develop in-service training program, coordinate the activities of faculty committees which were making studies on which improvements in the instructional program might be based, assist in developing the cooperative work program, and conduct studies as directed by the president. He was affiliated with the institution since it was established in 1946 by the state as the New York State Retail Business Institute. His first assignment was as instructor in communication skills. Later this field was expanded to include speech and radio workshop when the institute was identified as the State University of New York Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences. In 1951 he instructed the night school course for the Theater Workshop in play directing. Held a B.A. degree from the University of California, M.A. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was also an instructor in English. He also taught at Benjamin Franklin High School and Farleigh-Dickinson Junior College and City College of New York before coming to Utica. He resigned in 1963. A testimonial dinner was held on June 17, 1963 at Twin Ponds. Later became president of Rockland Community College, starting September 1, 1963 at a salary of $18,000, succeeding Dr. Frank K. Mosher, who retired. His address in 1953 was 1515 Kemble, Utica, and in 1956 was 1915 Bradford Avenue.

(Observer-Dispatch, May 9, 1963) – “Eskow Appointed Rockland College Head at $18,000 – Seymour Eskow, dean of Mohawk Valley Community College, has been named president of Rockland Community College in Suffern….Eskow will succeed Dr. Frank K. Mosher, who recently was appointed to the newly-created post of coordinator of teacher preparation at Utica College.
Eskow’s appointment to the $18,000-a-year post will be effective with the new fall term. However, he will leave Utica July 1… to spend time as a consultant at the Suffern College. Mosher will assume the Utica College post Aug. 31.
Eskow will become Rockland’s second president. Mosher assumed the post in February 1960. The two-year college is four years old.
The MVCC dean has been with the college and its predecessors – Mohawk Valley Technical Institute and the New York State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences – since the school was established in Utica….
Rockland CC web site: Where Mosher was a paragon of stability, Eskow was the avatar of change. Where Mosher advocated evolutionary growth, Eskow sought revolutionary expansion—or so it seemed to many of his colleagues.
Eskow believed that a college is encumbered by the very infrastructure that undergirds it—state and local regulations, committees, various constituencies. The challenge of leadership, as he saw it, was to recognize all of those disparate components yet still push the whole juggernaut forward.
How did he accomplish that? "In my time that meant kicking dust in the face of the Legislature, telling them to back off," said Eskow, who is seventy-five and lives in Goleta, California, near Santa Barbara. It meant " challenging the Board of Trustees on occasion, offending the faculty, and in general being the kind of buccaneering leader that is harder to get away with these days."
One of Eskow’s first acts as president was to reclassify faculty ranks, based on his conclusion that the instructors were "overranked and underpaid. "A bitter fight ensued in which some faculty members resigned. Eventually a compromise solution was forged consisting of a two-tiered ranking system with accompanying pay scales. Within a few years this hybrid plan was discontinued, but the enmity it engendered lasted much longer.
Eskow acknowledge that he had little interest in the daily grind of managing a college, the quotidian business at which Frank Mosher excelled. Eskow’s bailiwick was taking risks, launching initiatives—and the sooner the better. "I confess to putting in too little time on remembering the rules, and less on obeying them," he said.
Nothing better illustrates Eskow’s attitude toward bureaucratic imperatives than his response to Dr. Ernest Boyer, a SUNY chancellor, when asked about the progress of his state-mandated five-year plan for the college: "I’m up to next Thursday."
Although his style proved abrasive to some, Eskow never deviated from the egalitarian mission of a community college. "He really brought the word ‘community’ into the title of the school," said Belle Zeck. "I remember once saying that the trouble with us is we were trying to be all things to all people. And he said that’s exactly what we should be trying to do. That is how a community college is different from a traditional college."
Eskow stressed that theme from the beginning. His second month on the job he conceived Inauguration Week, a series of events, panels, and workshops form which evolved the college’s plan to serve as a community resource through the use of facilities such as the cultural arts center, field house and modern library.
Dr. Carolyn Evans was appointed Associate Dean for Business Division in June 1975 (see Organization). Position upgraded to Dean as part of 1979 restructuring. (See March 1979) Had joined MVCC faculty in 1964 as an assistant professor in the Business Dept.

Dr. Armond J. Festine was named Director of the Division of Continuing Education in July 1969, then Dean of Continuing Education in August 1970. Had served since previous year as Director of Continuing Education, succeeding Dr. Leonard Schwartz, who retired in August 1969. Served previously as a faculty member since 1956, when he joined the College as an evening division instructor in mathematics. In 1958, he was appointed Assistant Director of the Continuing Education Division. Was appointed Associate Director of the Division for Continuing Education in 1964. In 1967 and 1968 he was Acting Director of Admissions. In 1975 became Dean of Community Services. Dr. Festine was a Utica College graduate and held and Masters degree and an Ed.D. degree from Syracuse University (1967). Died Feb. 24, 1978, shortly after taking early retirement due to illness. Received SUNY Award for Excellence in Professional Service posthumously in May 1978. During World War II he was a cryptographic officer, wounded twice while in Italy. A native Utican, he was a graduate of Utica Free Academy, and held AAS and BA degrees from Utica College with majors in mathematics and physics. He also held a Master’s degree in adult education from Syracuse University. When he joined MVCC he was president of the Modern Tailor Shop in Clinton.

(Observer-Dispatch editorial March 18, 1978) – “Dr. Armond Festine: A Never-Ending Quest – Education used to be thought of almost exclusively in terms of the first 20 years or so of a person’s life. Grammar school, high school, college. That was the process – a process viewed as having a beginning and an end – and when schooling was over, a person ‘went out into the world.’
Not any more.
Education today is viewed as a continuing process. Educational facilities around the country – particularly colleges – are responding increasingly to a demand for services from a panoply of ‘students.’
Here in the Mohawk Valley, colleges have made enormous strides in recent years designing programs for the new education-seekers:
- For the housewife who decides to take up a teacher’s assistant course or who wants to become a dental aide.
- For the engineer who has a desire to study the classics he brushed over in his technically-oriented college days.
- For the person who wants to develop a long-ignored artistic talent.
- For the police officer, social worker, salesman, etc. who wants to learn more about, and advance more quickly in, his chosen profession.
- For the manufacturing firm that wants to diversify and expand, but which first must send its workers to school for technical training.
The list gets longer each year as people of all ages seek out practical training to start new careers or to progress in their present careers; as they seek out programs to broaden their cultural, social, intellectual and economic horizons; as they seek to be part of the new perception of education as a never-ending process for both tangible and intangible fulfillment.
All colleges in the Mohawk Valley have been part of this exciting progressive change in the concept of learning. At Utica College, Upper Division, the community colleges and Hamilton College, educators have shown great energy and perception in integrating college curricula with the community’s needs and desires in the sphere of continuing education.
One educator, in particular, comes to mind for his leaderships and accomplishments in developing and channeling college resources for the benefit of evermore community residents and the community itself – Armond Festine, who, until his recent death, was Dean of the Division of Community Services at Mohawk Valley Community College.
Dr. Festine’s achievements and innovations in the field of continuing education are far too numerous to list here. His interests ranged from serving the technical needs of area concerns such as Griffiss Air Force Base , Cyprus Wire and the hospitals to improving the quality of government agencies; to developing special programs for women to facilitate their expanding role in society, to re-acquainting senior citizens with the joys of learning, to opening all manner of doors to new opportunities for the area’s people.
When Dr. Festine first became associated with MVCC’s Community Services Division in 1958, there were 229 full-time equivalent students in 190 classes. By 1976 there were 1,364 FTE’s in 902 classes. In large measure due to Dr. Festine’s efforts, a technical-vocational annex was opened in East Utica, and the extension center in Rome grew dramatically to serve close to 1,000 students annually.
A colleague of Dr. Festine’s recently wrote a letter, as did many other people, recommending Dr. Festine for the New York State Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Services. The colleague said:
‘The history of evening education at Mohawk Valley Community College has been one of continued growth in numbers, increasing diversity in course offerings, innovation to meet changing times, and a willingness to serve the every need of the community.’
Indeed, Dr. Festine’s work showed the great potential for personal and community progress when the needs and resources of college and community are joined in a never-ending quest for learning.”

Natalie Festine was appointed dean of student and community services in October 1984. She had been serving as acting vice president for student services for the previous year, and as coordinator of student services at the Rome campus from 1981 to 1983. In 1989 she became director of community programs. Before joining MVCC, she was an admissions counselor at the SUNY College of Technology at Utica/Rome, and served as an assistant to the coordinator of student affairs at the Junior College of Albany. She was an MVCC graduate (Class of 1975) and held a bachelor’s degree from the SUNY College of Technology at Utica/Rome and a master’s degree in educational administration from SUNY Albany.

Dr. Norman A. Flannigan was appointed dean of academic affairs in August 1971. He came to MVCC from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he was associate dean. He previously was associated with State University College at Buffalo, in the Science Dept. He has also been director of training for Bell & Howell Corp., Rochester. He held Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Buffalo, and a doctorate in physical science from Cornell University. (NOTE: He apparently did not take the position, as Edwin Warner was appointed to the position in September)

Suzanne M. Fletcher was appointed dean of lifelong learning and community services in August 1981. She had been director of the Center for Community Education in Washington, DC. She held a bachelor’s degree from Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama, a master’s degree from Seton Hall University, and was a doctoral candidate at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. She resigned in 1984 to take a position at Edison Community College, Florida.

Mrs. Josephine Franaszek took charge of student housing in 1961 under Dean William Robbins.

Ronald L. Giles was appointed Director of Data Processing in April 1970. Responsible for the College’s computer center, systems operation and scheduling. A native of Joliet, Illinois, held a B.S. degree in education from Northern Illinois University.

Alice Griffith, Professor, Library Director

John C. Haaksma was Registrar, 1971-1973. Died Feb 8, 1973. Was a native of Michigan. Had been assistant registrar at Ferris State College, Big Rapids, Michigan, and registrar at Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tennessee.

Robert Haggett served as President of the MVCC Foundation, and as Director of Institutional Advancement. Came to MVCC after retiring as vice president for human resources at Special Metals Corporation, New Hartford. (See also MVCC Foundation)

Dr. William D. Head was appointed assistant to President W. Stewart Tosh in September 1969. Was previously a public school principal in Potsdam, NY. Had also been a principal in the Cortland Central School System, a grade supervisor in Naples, a remedial reading teacher in Honeoye, and a sixth grade teacher in Horseheads. Held a doctorate in law from Union University, and a master’s degree in education from SUNY Geneseo, a bachelor of laws degree from Albany Law School, and a B.S. degree in business administration from Suffolk University.

John V. Hollinger was appointed Registrar June 25, 1973. Came to MVCC from Penn State University, where he had been a graduate assistant and was scheduled to receive an M.Ed. degree. He had served previously as registrar at Juniata College, PA, and at Rider College, NJ. Received MVCC Excellence in Service Award in 1986. Retired in 1994.

Mary K. Hornig –An associate dean, was named in 1961 to assist with student activities.

Robert J. Houston – Joined MVCC in 1964. Was associate dean of students, retired in 1977, was named dean emeritus. Had joined MVCC in 1964, after serving as director of guidance at Canton Central School. Was a paratrooper in WWII with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and wrote a book about his experiences, “D-Day to Bastogne” covering his service in France and Belgium. He received the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star and a battlefield commission as an officer. Before coming to MVCC he was director of physical education and later director of guidance and counseling in Canton (NY) School District. Held BA degree in physical education from Ithaca College (1939), and Master of Education degree from St Lawrence University (1947). Died in August 1984 at the age of 67.

Dr. Frank M. Jackson – Was appointed associate dean of humanities and communications in December 1978, succeeding Roy Mitchell. Jackson came to MVCC from Genesee Community College, where he was chairman of the Humanities Division. He was a graduate of Brown University, Wesleyan University and the University of Texas, and had taught English at Jamestown Community College, the University of Texas and SUNY Potsdam. In March 1979, position was upgraded to Dean as part of a restructuring of senior administration. This position was eliminated in a1985 reorganization (see Controversies), when he became Learning Resources Department Head. He held an AB in English and American Literature from Brown University, an MAT in English education from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) and a Ph.D. in English curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas.

Barbara Jubenville - was secretary to the president and board of trustees, resigned September 1978.

Paul Katchmar came to MVCC in 1988 as a programmer analyst in Computer Services, and was promoted to senior systems analyst later that year. In 1996, he became acting director of computer services, and assumed the post full-time in 1997. Sometime later the title was changed to director of information technology. Held BA from SUNY Potsdam

Denis Kennelty was listed in 2005 as Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management. Held BA and MSEd from SUNY Plattsburgh

James Kiernan joined MVCC as director of development in 1986. In 1989, his title was changed to director of development and alumni affairs. He held an MVCC Associate degree in advertising design and production, class of 1958. He served as a county legislator for 12 years before joining the college and played a major role in discussions related to development of the Rome Campus, generally assuming the same position as other Utica-area legislators. Retired 1995.

Ronald Kleppinger – Director of Degree Programs in the Continuing Education Division.

Andrew LaManque was appointed executive assistant to the vice president for instruction in June 1993. He held a BS degree in management science-finance from SUNY Geneseo, and MA and MS degrees in economics and educational administration from SUNY Albany, and an EdD degree from SUNY Albany.

Thomas W. Lascell – Appointed personnel director in November 1978. Resigned in 1985 to take similar position at SUNY Canton. He held an AA degree from Jamestown CC, and a BA from SUNY Fredonia.

Alan C. Latona was listed as director of financial aid in 1970.

Carolyn Leavitt – Appointed assistant to President George Robertson in December 1978. In 1985, she became coordinator of off-campus administrative services at the Rome Campus, after serving for a brief time as assistant director of personnel. She had been assistant to Dr. Samuel Babbitt, president of Kirkland College. Died in 1987 at the age of 52. She held a BA from the University of Rochester, and a master’s degree in education from Syracuse University.

Ian B. Lindsey was appointed Director of Admissions in August 1971. He had joined the College in September 1970 as Associate Director of Admissions and had been appointed Acting Director of Admissions in October 1970. Came to MVCC from SUNY New Paltz, where he was an admissions counselor. Held a B.S. degree in English from Farmington State College in Maine, and an M.S. degree in student personnel services from the University of Maine. He had also taught elementary school in Portland, Maine.

Walter “Gary” McGuire – was appointed in 1975 as director of special programs in the Division of Community Services

John H. McMillan, head of the Civil Technology Department, was named to serve on the Statewide Advisory Committee for Civil and Construction Technology. (December 1971). He was also elected a Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers. The top-grade membership was held by approximately 17% of the national organization’s total enrollment. (September 1972) He was appointed to the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology in June 1984, to represent the Society of Civil Engineers on the Commission. (June 1984) Was named Associate Dean of the Division of Mathematics, Sciences & Technology in 1975. Position upgraded to Dean in 1979 as part of restructuring of senior administration.

Malcom A. McNall, a resident of Old Forge, appointed Director of the Physical Plant, December 1974. Was retired U.S. Air Force officer, served as Director of Operations and Deputy Group Commander, 498th Tactical Missile Group, Okinawa; Director of Operations, 483rd Air Base Group, Japan; and Commander, 6127th Air Terminal Group, Seoul, Korea. He was associated with Bell Aerospace Co., Buffalo, as a senior management engineer, and owned and operated the KOA campground in Old Forge.

Thomas Mihevc was listed in 2005 as Director, Information Technology-Educational Applications. Held BS from Rochester Institute of Technology, MS from SUNYIT.

John E. Milavec was Director of Admissions in 1969

Borden H. Mills, Jr. was named to the new position of Director of College Personnel in September 1970. Came from SUNY Agricultural and Technical College at Alfred, where he served as financial secretary since 1960, and had previously work for 10 years as a senior personnel administrator for the State University in Albany. He held a BA degree in English from Union College, and had done graduate work in public personnel administration at Syracuse University.

Roy Mitchell – In June 1975 was named Dean of the new Division of Humanities & Communications (See Organization). He had joined MVCC in 1947 as an instructor in communication. In 1955 had been named department head in General Education, succeeding Seymour Eskow, at a salary of $6,500. Held bachelors and masters degrees from Columbia University. Received emeritus status in June 1978. (See also Hall of Fame)

Jean Montano was appointed an instructor in the Business Department in 1970. She held a BS degree from Hartwick College and had taught commercial subjects in area schools.

Carl Nelson – Appointed affirmative action officer in January 1979. Responsibilities included recruiting faculty and students from minority groups and acting as a counselor for minority students looking for aid programs.

Donald New was appointed an instructor in the Business Department in 1970. He held a BS in business administration from Cornell University, and an MBA from Syracuse University.

Samuel W. Patterson was appointed an instructor in advertising design and production in 1970. He had been an art teacher at Mount Markham Central School and Oneida County BOCES. He held BFA and MA degrees from Syracuse University.

Mary Porn – Appointed as assistant to the director of personnel in January 1979. (Her father, John, served on the Board of Trustees)

David Portman Resigned in spring 1981. Had been dean for program planning and resources. Previously he had been assistant to the dean of academic affairs, and in 1975 had been named associate dean of community services. Was appointed in 1972 as Assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs, was the editor of a new book entitled “Early Reform in American High Education.” The volume was an anthology of 11 essays originally published in popular and literary journals by authors writing during the Post-Civil War period. The 221-page volume was published by the Nelson-Hall Company, Chicago. (August 1973) In 1978, as associate dean of community services, he published a book entitled “The Universities and the Public: A History of Higher Adult Education in the United States.” He held a PhD in higher education administration from Syracuse University. He received AB and MA degrees from the University of Michigan.

William Pulhamus was promoted to Professor in September 1965. In 1969, while head of the Electrical Technology Department at MVCC, was elected Mayor of the Village of Holland Patent. He had served previously as a trustee of the village for eight years. In June 1975 was named Dean of the new Division of Mathematics, Science & Technology (See Organization, Hall of Fame)

Donald Reese served as executive director of the Center for Community & Economic Development, and director of the Export Assistance Center (See chapter on Export Assistance Center for more detail). Was a faculty member and department head in the Business & Management Systems Department before that.

Feb 24-March 4, 1994, participated in Japanese government’s Leadership Program, by invitation. The event was sponsored by the Institute for International Studies & Training in Tokyo, with support from the Japanese Ministry of International Trade & Industry. He was one of only 20 individuals worldwide selected for the program, and one of only five from the U.S. The program covered Japanese values, politics, international trade policy, economy, and Japan’s view of its place in the world community.

William A. Robbins joined MVCC in 1954 as an instructor in social science. Named associate dean of student personnel services in 1957. In 1961 became dean of students, a new position, to supervise all student activities with two assistants*, and continue direct supervision of student loan and counseling programs. (*Mrs. Mary K. Hornig, an associate dean, would assist with student activities. Mrs. Josephine Franaszek would take charge of student housing.) Robbins earned an A.B. degree from Drew University, an M.A. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University, a B.D. degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York City. He had also completed residence work for a Ph.D. degree in history from Columbia University. He and his wife Doris lived at 28 Wills Drive, New Hartford. He resigned in 1968 to become Associate Director of the Center for Student Development Services for Two-Year Colleges at the State University of New York at Albany. He had previously been a Methodist minister.

Glenn W. Salsberg – Joined MVCC in 1965. Was a counselor in the Evening & Extension Division in 1968, later associate dean for Community Services. In 1978 he was named acting dean after resignation of Armond Festine. In September 1981, he was named dean for program planning and resources (after serving as executive assistant to the vice president for instruction). He held BS and M.Ed degrees from St. Lawrence University. Retired in 1984.

William C. Sanford was appointed director of institutional research in October 1970. Had previously served as both registrar and director of institutional research. He was succeeded in 1971 by Merlen Ward.

Carmen Scalzo started as a job placement coordinator in the Cooperative Education program, later became director of special projects and development. Secretary of the MVCC Foundation. (See also MVCC Foundation, Mohawk Executive Forum)

Dr. Leonard C. Schwartz retired in August 1969 as Director of Continuing Education after 23 years of service to the College. He had joined MVCC in 1946 as Director of Placement, and was named Director of the Evening & Extension Division in 1952. He founded the Mohawk Valley Training Association. He was a native of Erie, Pennsylvania. Received a BA degree from Hillsdale College, an MA degree from SUNY Albany, and an Ed.D. degree from Syracuse University. Lived in Waterville.

Walter B. Sheppard was named director of admissions in December 1965. He came to MVCC from Haverstraw-Stony Point High School, where he had been director of guidance. He held AB and MS degrees from Syracuse University.

Samuel Smith – (College News release, July 15, 1998) – “Smith Appointed Dean of MVCC’s Rome Campus – Samuel C Smith… Rome, has been named dean of Mohawk Valley Community College’s Rome Campus.
Smith comes to MVCC from Herkimer County Community College, where he has served as assistant dean of academic affairs since 1995. Dean Smith is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel, and was director of personnel at the former Griffiss Air Force Base for four years. He has extensive collegiate teaching experience, at HCCC, Utica College, SUNY Binghamton, Sage College and the SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome.
He holds a B.A. degree in general studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, an M.A. degree in business management and supervision from Central Michigan University, and a certificate of advanced studies in higher education from the State University of New York College at Cortland. … He succeeds Dr. Jonathan Gibralter, who recently became dean of academic affairs at Corning Community College….”

Frederick M. Spaugh was Director of Cooperative Placement in 1968, and was named chairman of a nationwide committee to study the relationship of two-year colleges to cooperative education programs. The committee was jointly sponsored by the Cooperative Education Association and the Cooperative Education Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. He retired in 1970, and was succeeded by Dr. John Brereton.

Rosemary Cevallos Spetka was listed in 2005 as Registrar. Held a BA from the School of Social Work, El Salvador, and a BA from UCLA

George Waldheim of Elkhorn, Nebraska, was appointed Dean of Technology & Business in 1980. He held an AAS in construction technology from Erie CC, BS, MS and EdD degrees from SUNY Buffalo. He was an associate professor and coordinator of admissions and academic standards at the University of Nebraska College of Engineering & Technology. It appears that he did not accept the position.

Merlen K. Ward was appointed Director of Institutional Research in August 1971. Had joined MVCC in January 1970 as Assistant to the Dean of Instruction. Came to MVCC from Middlesex County College in New Jersey, where he had been assistant/acting registrar. He previously taught high school English in Middletown, NJ, and from 1961 to 1965 was an English instructor at Northeastern Christian Junior College in Pennsylvania. He was a B.A. graduate of Harding College, where he also received an MA degree in education. He has also taught junior high school in Ketchikan, Alaska. He retired in 1993.

Dr. Beverly Warner was appointed head of the Nursing Department in September 1969. Previously served as a head nurse in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, as an assistant supervisor and senior staff nurse for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York City and was director of technical studies for the Peace Corps Brazil Health Project at NYU.

Awarded Ph.D. in Nursing Education from New York University in 1969. Her thesis investigated “The Relationship Between Reported Self and Body Image Satisfaction and Attitudes Toward Aging of Senior Nursing Students Enrolled in Hospital Schools of Nursing.”

Dr. Beverly A. Warner, head of the nursing program, was elected president of the New York Associate Degree Nursing Council. As president, she would serve a two-year term with the Council, made up of heads of associate degree collegiate nursing programs in both public and private institutions across the state. (August 1971)

In June 1975, was named Associate Dean of the new Division of Health & Social Services (See Organization) In 1979, position upgraded to Dean as part of another restructuring of senior administration. Retired in 1985. (Also see information under Faculty-Staff.)

Edwin G. Warner joined the college in 1952 as an instructor after serving on the faculty at both Clarkson College and the SUNY Ag & Tech College at Canton. Was named head of the Mathematics & Science Department in 1960. Promoted to Professor in September 1965.…In September 1970, was named Acting Dean of Academic Affairs following resignation of Robert Larsson, and was named to the position permanently in September 1971. A member of the faculty since 1952, he held an A.B. degree from Hamilton College and an M.S. degree from Syracuse University. He received emeritus status in June 1978. He passed away in 1989.

Elinor J. Wilson was manager of Bookstore. Elected president of the College Stores Association of New York State in April 1970, in its second year of operation.

Carol Young – resigned in late 1978 as affirmative action officer. (See also Faculty-Staff)