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Hudson Valley to Mark 50th Anniversary With Year-Long Celebration

CONTACT: Sarah Boggess or Eric Bryant (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, January 9, 2003

Hudson Valley Community College will skate into its 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Feb. 1, with a nostalgic "skate hop" to kick off festivities through the year. The opening event for the 50th anniversary celebration will feature public skating (and dancing) to music by the Lustre Kings from 4 to 6:15 p.m., in Hudson Valley's Conway Ice Rink at the McDonough Sports Complex. Fifties nostalgia will mark the occasion, from refreshments to decorations. Admission to the event will be 50 cents, and refreshments will be offered at mid-century prices.

Also during the Skate Hop, Hudson Valley President John Buono will unveil a set of three commemorative paintings the college's Foundation commissioned from award-winning area artist Len Tantillo. Buono also will announce plans for the anniversary year, including guest speakers, academic lectures, and cultural offerings.

It was previously announced that internationally acclaimed poet and author Maya Angelou will be keynote speaker at one of the major events. Also, a gala dinner-dance is planned for Oct. 3 and a homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Members of the college community met in committees throughout last year to plan the year's events. The theme for the 50th anniversary celebration is "Innovation and Excellence: Our Tradition Continues."

Founded in 1953 with sponsorship by Rensselaer County, Hudson Valley was the eighth community college established in New York subsequent to the adoption of a 1948 education law permitting counties to create publicly funded two-year colleges.

Rensselaer County converted the Veteran's Vocational School on Seventh Avenue in Troy into a broader technical training program first called the Troy Technical Institute. That name was changed within a few months to Hudson Valley Technical Institute, to reflect the wider area the school hoped to serve, and then again to Hudson Valley Community College as the school's educational mission broadened.

The college moved to its present 120-acre campus on Vandenburgh Avenue in Troy in 1960, where it is currently preparing for the construction of a $7.5 million academic administration building and the $8 million reconstruction of its Siek Campus Center.

Hudson Valley is among the largest of the state's community colleges, with an enrollment of more than 11,000 students. The college 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 is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.