QUEENSBURY New SUNY Adirondack president Kristine Duffy climbed into a 12-foot-high Adirondack chair April 10 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new campus landmark.
Moments later, about a dozen college students surrounded Duffy in her high perch overlooking the campus, engaging her in conversation.
The ceremony was one of a several events last week at SUNY Adirondack, held in conjunction with Duffy’s inauguration as the community college’s seventh president.
The college’s Student Senate presented Duffy with the giant chair, installed in a roundabout in front of the new SUNY Adirondack dormitory.
Student Senator Dan Roberts watched students climb up the ladder and join Duffy, chatting with her about the new installation.
“If there’s a definition of leadership, it’s her,” he said. “She always has in mind what’s best for the students.”
Since starting in her position July 1, Duffy has launched several initiatives, whether it’s increasing the college’s technology programs, seeking grant funding to expand academic facilities, or establishing an agricultural curriculum which would feature sustainable farming.
Earlier this year, Duffy announced that the college would be focusing on preparing many more of its students toward careers in health care, technology and science — with curriculum targeted to fulfill specific career opportunities locally.
She and college officials are working towards offering an array of new programs in health care management, information technology, advanced manufacturing, quality assurance, natural resources conservation, environmental research, food processing and distribution, cyber-security, entrepreneurship, as well as training for medical assistants.
To achieve this initiative, Duffy and other college administrators applied for a $20 million state grant to pay for about two-thirds of the cost of constructing a new 70,000-square-foot building to accommodate new and existing programs.
During the ribbon-cutting for the huge chair April 10, SUNY Adirondack senior and Student Senator Victoria Rexrode offered her thoughts to the gathered crowd. She said the chair was an appropriate symbol for the college.