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Former Chemistry Professors Honored With Donation to Hudson Valley Community College's Science Center

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Sept. 12, 2014

The Hudson Valley Community College Foundation has received a $50,000 commitment from the family of the late Cecelia and Helmuth (Erik) Jorgensen, both emeriti professors of chemistry at the college. In recognition of the contribution, a suite of chemistry faculty offices on the second floor of the 100,000-square-foot Science Center, newly opened in fall of 2103, will be named for the couple in a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m.

Cecelia and Erik Jorgensen joined the college in 1967 and 1969, respectively, and both moved through the ranks to full professor prior to retiring in 1990. Highly regarded by colleagues, administrators and students, the Jorgensens were recipients of numerous awards during their years here.

The donation comes from Dr. Erika Jorgensen, Dr. Maria Jorgensen and Paul Jorgensen, the couple’s children, who commented, “Growing up with two chemistry professors for parents, it seemed natural to us that chemistry was a part of dinnertime conversation and certainly a key part of any education. We hope that this memorial will keep alive their love of chemistry as practical knowledge for living with new generations of students.”

Ray Kimmelblatt, executive director of Hudson Valley’s Foundation, said, “It’s people like the Jorgensens who make Hudson Valley such an exemplary institution. Cecelia and Erik Jorgensen were extremely dedicated to the college and this made an impression on their children. This generous gift comes out of the loyalty the entire family feels for the college and the children’s determination to create a legacy for their parents. We are grateful and look forward to the opportunities this money will afford students in the science disciplines.”

“Faculty are the heart of Hudson Valley Community College, and Cecelia and Erik Jorgensen demonstrated what that means when they worked here. We are pleased that their children have decided to give this gift in honor their parents’ contributions to the college and in recognition of its renowned science education,” said Andrew J. Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College.

Hudson Valley’s technologically advanced Science Center has twenty-five fully equipped laboratories for the study of biology, chemistry, physics, biotechnology, earth science and forensics. The center also houses 11 classrooms, faculty and staff offices, conference spaces, a science study center and a greenhouse.

Nearly 7,000 students from 25 different academic degree and certificate programs take classes in the facility each semester. The college’s highly respected science program graduates bring a solid educational foundation to the job market or to other institutions of higher learning.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; 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 more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.