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‘Farmingdale Forward: 10 Goals For 10 Years’

Farmingdale State College (FSC) President W. Hubert Keen made a grand public announcement following one of many celebration events of its centennial, and just days before the campus would reach its 100th year mark. Keen presented “Farmingdale Forward: 10 Goals for 10 Years”—an impressive agenda for FSC’s future—which includes increasing enrollment by 1,000 students, expanding academic programs to include FSC’s first master’s degrees, the hiring of 70 new faculty members, and the next phases of renovation.

“Farmingdale is poised to enter a new phase of growth and development, an extension of the success we have enjoyed in recent years,” Dr. Keen said proudly. “We call this vision ‘Farmingdale Forward,’ because it represents the steps we must take to ensure an enduring excellence. Our ‘10 Goals for 10 Years’ will transform Farmingdale again. By 2022, the college will be very different, with growth and improvement apparent in every important measure.”

The changes are already apparent to anyone who had last visited the campus just one year ago. The Nathan Hall building has been renovated, complete with an art gallery and student lounge area. Memorial Hall is currently under construction, and plans are in place for new dormitory housing.  

“It has never been my nature, or Farmingdale’s nature, to be complacent or satisfied with all we have achieved. And we have achieved plenty.  But now is the time to shape the college for the future, because, with our knowledge and vitality, Farmingdale will help shape Long Island’s future,” Keen told the audience.

Keen shared some of the main points of the ‘Farmingdale Forward’ plan:

* to increase enrollment by nearly 1,000

* to offer master’s degrees—the first of which, Engineering Technology Management, will be offered in 2013; among others to be proposed are Criminal Justice and Security Systems, Construction Management, Biotechnology, and specialized areas of Information Technology

* to hire 70 new faculty members, at the rate of seven per year, and raise the level of scholarly research

* to open a new Campus Center in December 2012, breaking ground on a new School of Business building later this year, and build two additional academic buildings by 2015, as part of an on-going $185 million renovation and modernization project.

* to make FSC a model of green technology and hire a campus coordinator for its pioneering efforts in sustainability

Other elements of ‘Farmingdale Forward’ also include growing its admissions selectivity, increasing fundraising, developing a state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, increasing resident student population, and expanding links with business and industry.

“Farmingdale State College is one of SUNY’s greatest success stories, and we are so proud to celebrate with them on their 100th anniversary,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “The college has progressed parallel with its community and has emerged as a beacon of innovation for all of Long Island. We can only hope their great achievements continue for 100 more years to come.”

In addition, Keen praised Chancellor Zimpher and SUNY Trustee Cary Staller for their support of the college’s efforts and commended the college’s faculty and staff, adding, “A campus can only thrive with the dedication of the people who educate, conduct pioneering research, and bear the responsibility of keeping the institution in excellent financial and administrative health.”

In referencing the college’s evolution from an agricultural institute when it was established in 1912 to a four-year (baccalaureate) college, Dr. Keen said Farmingdale’s meteoric progress would not have taken place without the support of local legislators, such as Senator Kenneth LaValle, Senator Charles Fuschillo, and Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, who delivered the state funding for the campus construction projects.

“Farmingdale State College has demonstrated tremendous growth and progress and seen an 80 percent increase in full-time enrollment in the past decade,” said Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, chair of the State Senate Committee on Higher Education. “More importantly, they have equipped students with the skills to make them desirable employees, especially in the areas of technology, which is critical to the economic development and well-being of Long Island. Now, as Farmingdale [State College] celebrates its 100th anniversary, it is time to create a vision for the college’s next 10 years.”

While the majority of the student population is made up of Suffolk County residents, nearly 38 percent of the present students reside in Nassau County. FSC’s present enrollment also includes students from New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut, and study-abroad and exchange students from Dominican Republic and China.

Keen also thanked the state’s federal delegation—Congressman Steve Israel and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand—for their efforts in supporting federal research grants obtained by the college.

“For 100 years, Farmingdale State College has played an integral role on Long Island through its commitment to students and dedication to our region,” Congressman Steve Israel said.  “I am honored to have such a distinguished institution in my district that cultivates tomorrow’s leaders, problem solvers and many returning veterans.  I am excited to see what successes will come in the next 100 years.”

The college is also a leader in ‘going green.’ It created the first accredited Solar Energy Center in the Northeast, has established a Green Building Institute, which conceives and designs energy-efficient buildings, and is a partner with LIPA in a $12 million Smart Grid project along the Route 110 corridor.

“Farmingdale State College is one of Long Island’s best assets,” said president and CEO of the Long Island Association Kevin Law. “I applaud President Keen for leading the college through a remarkable period of growth and innovation that has prepared our students for their futures and boosted the regional economy. Farmingdale’s new 10-year plan reinforces its importance to Long Island and lays the foundation for increased enrollment, additional faculty, and new programs.”

Farmingdale’s full-time enrollment has swelled 80 percent since 2000 and its total enrollment has increased 49 percent in that time. The college ranks among the top 150 public colleges in the nation in terms of the earning power of its graduates, according to the school’s analysis by Among the school’s academic programs showing the most dramatic growth are Bioscience -which has increased enrollment from 30 to more than 300 in nine years, and Applied Psychology, which has increased from 7 to 100 in four years.

Centurion Club: Top 100 Alumni of FSC’s First 100 Years Honored

FSC held its annual Alumni Awards Dinner at Crest Hollow Country Club, raising $30,000, the highest amount in its history. The Alumnus of the Year honor was given to Commack resident Dennis Goldensohn, who graduated in 2002 with a BS in Management Technology.

Bethpage Federal Credit Union (BFCU) COO Wayne Grosse accepted the Outstanding Employer Partner award on behalf of BFCU. Melissa Pagdanganan, a 2009 graduate from FSC’s Visual Communications bachelor’s program, was named Outstanding BFCU Alumni Employee.  

More than 250 attendees celebrated as FSC also inducted its first 20 “Centurions,” identifying the top 100 alumni of the school’s first 100 years:

Frank Blazich, 1969, Raleigh, NC
Jayne Cafaro, 1974, North Massapequa
Joe Egan, 1970, Massapequa Park
Robert Ench, 1960, Bridgeton, NJ
Sal Ferro, 2009
William Fichtner, 1977, Glendale, CA
Marvin Fischer, 1975, Medford
Bob Gary, 1959, Avon, CO
Fred Harrison, 1950, Melville
John Kelly, 1958, Troy
Carl Lanzisera, 1959, Huntington
Kenneth Lawrence, 1958, Commack
Larry Lopez, 2001
Anthony Mastroianni, 1950, Huntington Station
Vincent Naab, 1978, Easton, PA
Howard Rowland, 1976, Patchogue
Theresa Santmann, 1969, Babylon
Bill Wilkinson, 1956, Manorville
Posthumous inductees were Walter Becker, 1949 and Alice Ting, 1973.

Designed to cultivate fellowship and loyalty among alumni, the Alumni Association at FSC assists the college by meeting its educational needs, and promotes educational benefits to students. The association touts more than 87,000 members who represent FSC’s 100 years of providing excellence in higher education.  

The many sponsors for the alumna awards included Arkwin Industries, Egan Consulting Family Foods, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and EW Howell.

FSC Rededication of Historic Memorial Oak to Military Veterans

On April 12, Farmingdale State College’s legendary Memorial Oak was rededicated. It stands outside the eastern entrance to Whitman Hall and was originally dedicated in June 1921 to honor the contributions of student veterans of World War I. Soils from the allied nations, as well as the states from which FSC student veterans were from, were used in the planting of the majestic oak tree.  

This oak tree was rededicated as part of FSC’s century-old celebration. The patina surface of one of the original dedication plaques in the ground next to the tree reads, “Memorial Oak Plaza: A Gift of Farmingdale Alumni Association, in Memory of Dorothy M. Laffin, 1964.”

The program included remarks from President W. Hubert Keen.

An honor guard, accompanied by FSC student veterans, carried the flags of each of the Armed Forces branches. Matt Lubliner, a Farmingdale High School student, played Taps. Alumna and staff member Kathryn Burke sang the national anthem. Brian Maher, director of Long Island Educational Opportunity Center, gave a brief invocation.

President Keen explained the plans for a new centennial tree, and unveiled the contents from the original 1987 time capsule and the content of a new time capsule that will be buried.

Assemblyman James Conte was on hand to present a citation to the school on the anniversary, the actual date of the campus’ 100th year is April 15, 1912. The school opened its doors on March 1, 1916 with an enrollment of 60 students and presently enrolls over 7,600.

For more information about Farmingdale State College, including the Farmingdale Forward brochure visit: http://www.