College Mourns Passing of President Emeritus Andrew J. Matonak

November 9, 2020

Hudson Valley Community College’s sixth president, Andrew J. Matonak, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 7 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Portrait of Drew Matonak smilingBetter known on campus and in the greater community simply as Drew, President Matonak became president of Hudson Valley in April 2005 and retired in June 2018. He led the college during a 13-year period of impressive growth and innovation in academic programming and student services, as well as a striking transformation of the college's 120-acre campus and its technological infrastructure.

“Drew’s remarkable career in higher education spanned more than four decades, with countless contributions at several colleges and universities. As he retired, he said that Hudson Valley Community College will always be in his heart. We will hold him in ours as well, and recall him as a genuine, caring and compassionate leader, mentor, colleague and friend,” said Dr. Roger Ramsammy, who succeeded Matonak as president of Hudson Valley Community College.

"Drew provided remarkable leadership for Hudson Valley, and we're extremely grateful for his many years of dedication to the college and also for his commitment to partnership and service within the greater community," said Neil Kelleher, chairman of the Hudson Valley Community College Board of Trustees.

Under President Matonak's leadership, the college introduced more than 25 new degree and certificate programs while significantly expanding online offerings and high school pipeline programs such as the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School. In addition, President Matonak led the expansion of progressive student support services including the creation of the Center for Academic Engagement, the Marvin Library Learning Commons and the Wellness Center.

President Matonak guided a $200 million facilities master plan and the construction of a pedestrian-friendly, high technology campus with several new, state-of-the-art buildings including the $47.4 million Science Center; $13.5 million Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies (TEC-SMART) in Malta; $9.4 million Administration Building; as well as the $4.5 million parking garage and $4.5 million Outdoor Athletic Complex.

Another hallmark of President Matonak's tenure was the campus visit of United States President Barack Obama and Dr. Jill Biden in 2009. President Obama and Dr. Biden discussed the importance of community college economic development and workforce training initiatives similar to those developed at Hudson Valley. Recognizing the vital role Hudson Valley plays in economic and community development, President Matonak took on leadership positions with numerous organizations and boards, including the Capital Region Economic Development Council, the Capital Region Chamber, Center for Economic Growth, Saratoga Economic Development Council and Troy 2020 to name a few.

Prior to joining Hudson Valley, President Matonak served as president of Northwest Iowa Community College. He also served in leadership positions at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio; Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Conway, South Carolina; University of Houston; Lee College in Baytown, Texas; and Eastern Iowa Community College District.

President Matonak earned an associate degree at Butler County Community College in Butler, Pennsylvania, an experience that shaped his personal and professional life. He continued his education at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sociology, followed by a master's degree in student personnel administration from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Houston in Texas.

Those wishing to remember President Matonak may consider a gift to the President Andrew J. Matonak Student Leadership and Scholarship Fund at the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation. Visit our Make a Gift webpage to contribute. In the days ahead, the college will share additional plans to celebrate President Matonak’s life.

The college community shares its sincerest condolences with President Matonak’s wife, Karen, and daughter, Taylor, who are in our thoughts and prayers.

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