April 14 scholarship fundraiser recognizes 20 honorees, including local leaders, who boosted Excelsior’s rise
Albany, N.Y. (April 5, 2011) — Excelsior College begins celebrating its 40th anniversary by honoring 20 Capital Region leaders whose professional talent, personal commitment, or financial support have helped grow the institution from its roots in 1971 into a 21st century role-model for nonprofit distance education.
Honorees from the Capital Region and beyond will be recognized at Excelsior’s annual Partners in Lifelong Learning scholarship fundraising event on April 14 from 5-9 pm at the New York State Museum. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Excelsior’s Office of Development at 518 464-8539, or by downloading an online registration form.
This year’s partners are posted on Excelsior College’s Web site and listed below. Another 20 leaders will be honored in 2012.
“This event typically honors a single individual or organization,” said Cathy Kushner, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “But in honor of our 40th anniversary, we will recognize 40 honorees this year and next – people and organizations who have advanced Excelsior’s work. Their dedication has helped to ensure that adults from all walks of life have access to higher education.”
This year’s 20 honorees, many with local ties, come from academia, law, health care management, finance, the military, public relations, family-owned businesses, and the alumni community. Among them are:
- David Miranda, a partner with Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., the largest upstate New York law firm focused exclusively on intellectual property law. He advises and represents Excelsior on matters that help protect the College’s copyrights and trademarks. A graduate of Albany Law School, Mr. Miranda is past president of the Albany County Bar Association and served as secretary of the New York State Bar Association. He is on the board of directors of the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce and was honored by The Business Review with the “40 Under 40” award for his community service and professional achievement.
- Pamela Sawchuk Brown, vice president for community development at Albany Medical Center, served as public relations counsel to Excelsior College during her tenure as the head of Sawchuk Brown Associates in Albany, which she founded in 1979 with her late husband, David P. Brown. At Albany Medical Center, Ms. Brown now oversees community development activities and establishes alliances that further Albany Med’s mission and vitality. She is on the boards of the Howard & Bush Foundation, Proctors Theatre and the Center for Economic Growth. She serves on the Capital Region Advisory Board for Key Bank and the steering committee of the Forum for Executive Women, which she helped create.
- Dr. Joshua L. Smith, EdD, a steadfast advocate for Excelsior since its beginnings in 1971, was among the first appointees to the Regents College Board of Overseers which served as both an advisor to the NYS Board of Regents and to the College’s administration on its operations. When the College was chartered as a private non-profit institution in 1998, Dr. Smith served as one of five incorporating trustees. He became chair of the board of trustees in 2005 and was named trustee emeritus in 2010. Dr. Smith has served as a professor and director of the Program in Higher Education and the Center for Urban Community College Leadership at the New York University School of Education. In 2002 he was appointed Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, and has served as president and dean of several other institutions. He earned his Doctor of Education and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Harvard University.
Excelsior College, a private, nonprofit distance education institution, was founded in 1971 and was formerly known as Regents College. It was chartered as an independent college in 1998 and renamed Excelsior College in 2001. Since its founding, Excelsior has grown to include a student population of nearly 30,000 distance learners, more than 10,000 of whom are members of the military and veterans. The college now has more than 140,000 alumni worldwide.
Excelsior took a founding role in The Presidents’ Forum, a collaboration of distance learning institutions nationwide, and through the Forum Excelsior President John F. Ebersole has taken a lead role in policy issues impacting student access to distance learning. Excelsior has the largest School of Nursing in the U.S. and the only college-based credit-by-examination program in the nation. Excelsior employs nearly 450 at its Columbia Circle, Albany headquarters.
Excelsior College awards degrees at the associate and bachelor’s levels in liberal arts, nursing, business, technology, and health sciences, and at the master's level in liberal studies, nursing, and business. Certificate programs are also offered by the Schools of Business & Technology, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Nursing.
Excelsior's student body represents a diverse group of adult learners.
- The average age of an Excelsior student is 40; about 55 percent are female, 45 percent are male.
- More than one-third of our enrolled students are from groups historically underrepresented in higher education.
- Ten percent of our students come from New York State; others are from the rest of the United States and other nations.
For information about the upcoming event, please contact Marcy Stryker, Director of Development: 518 608-8287, or firstname.lastname@example.org
This year's honorees are:
- Wally Altes, Former President and CEO, Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce; member, Excelsior College President's Advisory Council
- Dr. Joseph E. Bowman Jr., Director of UAlbany Center for Urban Youth and Technology, New York State Regent (Ret.)
- Capital Region Workforce Investment Board, Excelsior partner organization
- Sanford A. Cohn, Vice President and CTO, GSS Infotech, Inc., Excelsior alumnus
- Toby Friedland, Excelsior Admissions Counselor (Posthumously)
- J.O. Wells Memorial Education Foundation, Inc., supporting foundation
- Cindy Canzeri-Labish, Nursing Director, Wesley Health Care Center
- Abraham M. Lackman, President of Praxis Insights, Former President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu), 2010-2011 Clarence D. Rapplyea Government Scholar in Residence at Albany Law School's Government Law Center
- Dr. Meredyth Leahy, Excelsior Dean of Liberal Arts (Ret.)
- Dr. Richard Leveroni, Excelsior faculty member (Ret.), Excelsior alumnus
- Jackie Mahoney, Director of Grantmaking and Donor Services, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region
- Morris Massry, Tri City Rentals and Massry Realty Partners, former Excelsior trustee
- First Lieutenant Katie McGovern, NYARNG MNP-ED, Education Services Officer, Excelsior alumna
- David P. Miranda, Partner, Heslin Rothenberg Farley & Mesiti P.C., intellectual property attorney
- Dr. Paula E. Peinovich, President, National Labor College (Silver Spring, MD), former Excelsior Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost)
- Pamela Sawchuk Brown,Vice President for Community Development, Albany Medical Center, PR counsel
- Dr. Bernard Schumacher, Associate Dean, Excelsior School of Business & Technology (posthumously)
- Dr. Joshua L. Smith, Professor and Director, Program in Higher Education and Center for Urban Community College Leadership, New York University, School of Education (Ret.), Excelsior Trustee Emeritus
- Lawrence E. Vertucci, HSBC Executive VP & Regional President (Ret.), Excelsior Trustee Emeritus
- Dr. Barbara Zittel, Executive Secretary to the New York State Board of Nursing, NYS Education Department, nursing advocate