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10/28/2005
Hudson Valley Community College Installs Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D. as its Sixth President Photos Available

CONTACT: Janine Kava (518) 629-8071 or cell (518) 248-4555
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, October 28, 2005

Photo AvailablePhotos Available

Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D., a seasoned community college administrator with more than 30 years of experience in higher education, was installed today as the sixth president of Hudson Valley Community College.

More than 350 faculty, staff and students, and local, county and state dignitaries, including Lt. Gov. Mary O. Donohue and State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick, attended the installation ceremony, which formally welcomed the president and his family to the college community and the Capital Region. Matonak assumed the presidency in April 2005, after serving as president of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Iowa, for three years. Additional biographical information here.

After receiving the college's presidential medallion – engraved with the college's seal and motto "To Improve the World, We Must Improve Ourselves," and the name of each president who came before him – Dr. Matonak gave a brief address that celebrated the work of the college's faculty and staff, their impact on the lives of students, and the ways in which Hudson Valley graduates make a difference throughout the region.

Since its founding in 1953, the college has graduated more than 60,000 students – about 80 percent of whom live and work locally. For example, at Clough, Harbour & Associates, one of the nation's leading engineering firms, 15 percent of the employees at its Albany headquarters call Hudson Valley their alma mater, including three of CHA's top executives.

"Our graduates – your graduates – leave Hudson Valley and transform the community in which we live – in which they live – in ways both large and small; in ways that fuel the region's, and indeed, the state's economy, in ways that touch thousands of lives, or just one," Dr. Matonak said.

The president described a meeting with officials at Albany Medical Center to discuss how the college could continue to partner with the hospital to meet the ongoing demand for highly-skilled health care professionals. The college is an engine for the region's health care workforce, with hospitals consistently topping the list of employers that hire graduates of Hudson Valley's School of Health Sciences.

"As I was touring the neo-natal intensive care unit, I saw a tiny preemie that could fit in the palm of my hand … the baby had been in distress and had a tracheotomy. One of our Respiratory Therapy students was assisting the doctor who gave that baby breath, life, hope," Dr. Matonak recalled. (The full text of Dr. Matonak's speech is available at www.hvcc.edu/about/pres_speech).

The installation ceremony was held in the Field House at the McDonough Sports Complex and was presided over by Dr. Robert H. Hill II, chairman of the college's Board of Trustees.

"From his first day on campus … it was clear that the Dr. Drew Matonak we saw during the search and interview process was the Dr. Drew Matonak we got," Dr. Hill said. "We wanted an open, accessible leader who could create positive and effective relationships with all constituencies … a spokesperson for the college, someone who would make connections with business leaders, community leaders and political allies … a leader who would walk the walk and talk the talk, a leader who could be trusted and who would lead by example. And that's what we got."

Added Sen. Bruno: "I am pleased and honored to welcome Andrew Matonak as the sixth president of Hudson Valley Community College, New York's fastest growing community college. With nearly 30 years of experience in higher education, and a firm grasp of the importance of community colleges and the education they can provide, I am confident that President Matonak will make great things happen at Hudson Valley and I look forward to working with him."

"As a resident of Troy, I have watched Hudson Valley grow from one of our small community colleges within the SUNY system to the premier educational institution it is today," Lt. Gov. Donohue said. "Dr. Matonak has the character, experience and vision necessary to build on the tradition of excellence at Hudson Valley and continue that growth well into the future."

In addition to representatives from the college community – including the Student Senate, Faculty Association and Alumni Association – Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino and Rensselaer County Legislature Chairman Neil J. Kelleher also spoke at the installation.

"I have every confidence in Drew Matonak's ability to lead Hudson Valley Community College and look forward to continuing our working relationship as we strive to further the educational opportunities available right here in Rensselaer County," Mrs. Jimino said.

"Hudson Valley Community College is a tremendous asset to our residents who can receive a first class education there and our business and industrial communities who can be assured of qualified individuals for their ever-changing employment needs."

Added Mr. Kelleher: "Drew has turned out to be not only an asset to Hudson Valley but the entire Capital Region. Like John Buono, Drew knows how important Hudson Valley is to our area, and he has been tireless in continuing to move the educational and training programs of Hudson Valley forward."

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.