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10/04/2003
Hudson Valley to Honor 50 Distinguished Alumni

CONTACT: Sarah Boggess or Janine Kava (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Saturday, October 4, 2003

Fifty alumni of Hudson Valley Community College will be honored at a brunch on Saturday, October 4, as representatives of the outstanding successes achieved by graduates of the college in its 50-year history. The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the meeting rooms of the Bulmer Telecommunications Center.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Hudson Valley selected 50 alumni who represent both traditional and non-traditional students who studied in various programs at the college since 1953. All 50 were asked to share their memories and impressions of the college's influence on their lives, as well as their challenges and successes since leaving the college.

Information gathered from these alumni has been used in a 50th Anniversary promotional campaign for the college entitled "Celebrating 50 for 50."

Among the 50 graduates is Dr. Robert Menchel '55, who was not only a member of the college's first graduating class, but also the college's first deaf graduate.

A graduate of Hudson Valley's Mechanical Technology program, Menchel went on to be the first deaf graduate of several other schools, eventually earning his doctorate degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Menchel will address the gathering at the 10:30 a.m.

Also among the "50 for 50" are:

  • Joyce Hughes-Carr '78, director of strategic planning and operations with the Division for Quality and Surveillance of the Office of Health Systems Management for the New York State Department of Health. She was a single mother of two, barely making ends meet as a licensed practical nurse when she was encouraged to enroll in the Physician's Assistant Program at Hudson Valley. She was recruited at graduation as a family care practitioner and then went on to implement the state's first school-based health clinics. She has been with the state Health Department for 21 years.
  • Claudell Dwyer Galea '57, the first female to enroll at and graduate from Hudson Valley. Dwyer earned her degree in Construction Technology, and went on to a career managing environmental quality review for school construction for the State Education Department.
  • Gennady Bratslavsky, M.D. '94, recently completed the third year of his five-year residency in urology at Albany Medical Center. When he arrived here in 1992 from Russia (where he completed pre-med and nursing studies in the Ukraine), he spoke little English. He studied Medical Laboratory Technology at Hudson Valley and then went on to graduate from Siena College and Albany Medical College with a distinction in research.
  • John E. Sweeney '79, who completed a degree in Liberal Arts at Hudson Valley before going on to become an attorney and ultimately a member of the United States Congress. More than a quarter million students have enrolled in courses and programs at the college since it was founded in an old Troy shirt collar factory in 1953. The college has awarded a total of 57,658 degrees over the past 50 years.

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 Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, Hudson Valley has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year.