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Athens Generating Delivers $1 Million to Hudson Valley Community College

CONTACT: Judith White (518) 629-8063 or Sarah Boggess (629-8071)[Hudson Valley Community College]
Kristine Schettini (518) 945-2471 [Athens Generating]

FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Largest Gift Received in College History

\"ImageOfficials at Hudson Valley Community College today celebrated receipt of the largest charitable gift in the college's 49-year history when an area power company presented $1 million to the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation.

An oversized check from Athens Generating Company was presented to Hudson Valley President John Buono this morning by Steven Wolfgram, vice president and chief administrative officer of PG&E National Energy Group. A competitive "merchant" power producer now under construction in Greene County, scheduled to be in service in 2003, Athens Generating is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of PG&E's National Energy Group, headquartered in Bethesda, MD.

A degree program at the college in Plant Utilities Technology will be the focus for improvements and support from the donation, said Gail Reynolds, executive director of the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation. She said the gift will fund six full scholarships annually to full- or part-time students from Rensselaer, Albany, Columbia or Greene counties, who are matriculated in the Plant Utilities Technology or Environmental Studies programs at the college. These programs train students in the specialized skills needed to effectively support the operations of a modern generating plant.

The gift presentation took place in the lobby of the Bulmer Telecommunications Center at Hudson Valley.

President Buono forecast that the gift from Athens Generating would encourage others to support the future of the college.

"In showing confidence in our capabilities to educate the people of our region, Athens Generating has established a path for others to follow. Hudson Valley Community College is here to educate industry and business leaders of tomorrow, and we will continue to do so, with pride, with excellence, and with the support of companies like Athens Generating," Buono said.

William F. Fagan, president of the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation and a 1973 graduate of the college, remarked that the gift from Athens Generating is like "a good neighbor helping another good neighbor to become a great neighbor."

"This generous gift not only supports our students and our academic programs, but also helps Hudson Valley expand its resources to meet the needs of the communities around us," Fagan said.

Representing Athens Generating, Wolfgram told the gathering, "This gift is our way of giving back to the community that we have joined. We are making an investment in the workforce of the future and in a cleaner tomorrow."

Witnessing the event was a group of invited guests, including State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King, Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino, trustees of the college and of its Foundation, members of the Hudson Valley faculty, and several students who have received significant scholarship assistance through provisions of the Athens Generating gift.

The bulk of the million-dollar gift will be used to provide equipment, such as a simulation lab and software and hardware upgrades to enhance the Plant Utilities Technology Program. The gift also will fund curriculum enhancements and course development, including distance learning opportunities within the program.

PG&E Scholarships were presented last month to Matthew McLoughlin of Athens and William Parsons of Troy. Both are majoring in Plant Utilities Technology at Hudson Valley. McLoughlin served as a weapons technician for the U.S. Navy for three years and is a graduate of Coxsackie-Athens High School. Parsons worked as an industrial hygienist for years, and is now a full-time student in Environmental Sciences at Hudson Valley. He attended New Mexico schools. He was unable to attend the event on Wednesday.

Another PG&E Scholarship recipient, Craig Parsons of Kingston (no relation to William Parsons), was also recognized by speakers at the college\'s press conference. Craig Parsons is a senior majoring in Plant Utilities at Hudson Valley. He was among the first group of students to receive the awards, last spring.

In a "1 + 1" agreement between Columbia-Greene Community College and Hudson Valley Community College, students in those programs may enroll for the first year of study at Columbia-Greene and the second at Hudson Valley, or attend Hudson Valley for both years.

"We greatly appreciate Athens Generating's choice of Hudson Valley and Columbia-Greene community colleges for this very generous gift," said State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King. "A gift of this magnitude demonstrates Athens' long-term commitment to improving educational opportunities for our students and their investment in a new power plant will provide New York with good jobs and a reliable source of electricity for generations to come."

Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said, "With this generous donation, Hudson Valley Community College is in an even better position to build on its outstanding service to the community and enhance its reputation as a first-rate educational institution. Fostering partnerships between local companies and area colleges and universities is an important part of our efforts to revitalize the Capital Region economy," he said.

"It is inspiring to see another fine marriage between industry and education in Rensselaer County, and we're quite proud that marriage is taking place at Hudson Valley Community College," said Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino. "This new relationship will enable Hudson Valley Community College to further enhance its educational programs and local workforce contributions."

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.