College Honors Outgoing President as Emeritus

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- In recognition of Dr. William Richards’ “strategic vision, unwavering leadership and tireless commitment” as president of SUNY Orange over the past 12 years, the College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution Thursday morning (June 4) naming Richards as “President Emeritus.”

The honor, announced at the Board’s annual planning retreat and awarded on Richards’ final day on the job, was among several special actions taken by the Trustees over the past weeks to demonstrate their appreciation for Richards guidance of the College.

The Trustees also presented Richards with a wooden captains chair adorned with the College seal during Thursday’s retreat, and at its May meeting the Board passed a resolution renaming the Emeriti Room in Morrison Hall as the “Dr. William Richards Round Room.” The Emeriti Room, with its circular walls and unique architectural features, is located within the President’s suite in Morrison Hall and was a heavily used meeting space during Richards’ tenure.

The Board resolution on Thursday cited Richards for having guided the College to “great heights” while overseeing the following significant accomplishments in which SUNY Orange:

  • Constructed a branch campus in Newburgh that now serves approximately 1,500 students
  • Developed and renovated facilities on the Middletown campus to include: the Rowley Center for Science and Engineering, a new parking garage, the Morrison Lab School and the Gilman Center for International Education
  • Successfully completed a $25.1 million Defining Moments Capital Campaign that has enhanced facilities, supported teaching innovation and pushed the College’s scholarship endowment to an all-time high
  • Completed three College-wide strategic planning initiatives along with revisions to the institution’s mission, vision, values and goals statements
  • Successfully navigated a pair of Middle States Commission on Higher Education self-study accreditation reviews
  • Collaborated with three other local community colleges to establish the Hudson Valley Educational Consortium designed to expand access to first responder and innovative technology programs (credit and non-credit) for residents of Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
  • Established the Colt Athletic Hall of Fame to honor the College’s athletic heritage
  • Strengthened relations between the Board of Trustees and the SUNY Orange Foundation Board of Directors
  • Addressed budgetary challenges by securing more than $17 million in grants over the past 12 years

On Thursday evening (June 4), the College hosted a retirement ceremony for Richards on the Newburgh campus. Richards’ successor, Dr. Kristine M. Young, will begin her tenure at the College on Monday, June 8.