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SUNY Plattsburgh Receives Largest Gift in College History

PLATTSBURGH Ground-breaking is how officials are characterizing the news that the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh recently received the largest cash gift in its history. On Aug. 1, SUNY Plattsburgh received the final disbursement from the estate of Olive Mason Flynt, which resulted in a gift totaling $1,007,943.

Plattsburgh State President John Ettling expressed gratitude to Olive Flynt, a longtime supporter, former employee, and alumna of the College. This gift represents enormous confidence in the mission of SUNY Plattsburgh and the quality of our institution as a whole. It was an incredible surprise and most appreciated, he said.

Olive Flynt had a longtime connection with the College. She received her bachelor's of science and master's of science degrees from the College and after 27 years as a full-time employee retired as assistant to the president. In addition to her involvement in many community organizations, she also served as a member of the College Alumni Association was a charter member of the College's Heritage Society, a member and honorary board member of the Plattsburgh College Foundation, and received the "Once in a Century Alumni Award" and the College's "Presidential Award of Honor." She passed away in October 2005. Her husband Willard Flynt, former director of admissions, dean of students, and vice president for student affairs at SUNY Plattsburgh, died in October 2006.

Olive was such a wonderful mentor and fixture at our College for so many years, said William Laundry, vice president of student affairs at SUNY Plattsburgh who worked closely with Flynt during her tenure on campus. While the gift is a tremendous gesture on her part, over the years she contributed so much to our community in less tangible but equally important ways.

The donation will be used to establish The Olive Flynt Endowed Scholarship to provide tuition assistance to students enrolled in the College's Nutrition Program, which prepares students for careers in dietetics, nutrition, food service systems management, and related areas. The curriculum focuses on dietetics, the science of nutrition, exercise and nutrition, foods, and food service management, while providing a strong foundation in liberal arts and sciences, technology, and information literacy.

This gift is an incredible expression of Olive's devotion to SUNY Plattsburgh, said Anne Hansen, vice president for Institutional Advancement and executive director of the Plattsburgh College Foundation. It is also a breakthrough for the College's fund-raising program because it clearly states that the institution is worthy of such a significant philanthropic investment. We are deeply grateful.

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