Inauguration of Cayuga’s Eighth President

May 17th, 2016 Posted in Cover Story

Editor’s Note: Cover Photo courtesy of The Citizen.

0028With much anticipation, faculty, staff, local dignitaries and invited guests gathered on the Auburn Campus to observe the inauguration of Cayuga Community College’s eighth president on April 15th.  The formal ceremony began with the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band and Professor Steve Keeler serving as Mace Bearer.  As College President Dr. Brian M. Durant entered, the atmosphere became benevolent with expectation.  Our National Anthem was sung by Kelly Newton, Class of 2016; Jeffrey L. Edwards, Chair of the Board of Trustees, welcomed guests; and Dr. Anne Herron, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, served as master of ceremonies.

During the event, special greetings were given by the Honorable Keith Batman, Chair of the Cayuga County Legislature; Foundation Director Guy Cosentino; Faculty Representative Eric Zizza; and Student Trustee Molly Sharples.  The group spoke about Dr. Durant’s focused priorities which include the importance of supporting excellence in teaching strategies to increase student success outcomes. “At every meeting, Dr. Durant always asks the same question, “How does this help our students?” CCCC Foundation Executive Director Guy Cosentino said. “He reminds us that our most important mission is to make sure our students get a great education.”  Former colleague and guest speaker, Dr. Kristine Duffy, President of SUNY Adirondack agreed that his work is unwaveringly student-focused.

0178Dr. Linda VanBuskirk, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees and Co-Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, presented Dr. Durant followed by the  Investiture conducted by Johanna Duncan-Poitier, SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline.  During his Presidential address, Durant said “Ultimately, all that we do is about the student. We have an emphasis on student success. Student outcomes in the areas of graduation, retention, and individual goal completion will always be our focus for continuous improvement. Student success is institutional success.”  He laid out his vision for the college and spoke about other areas of concentration including expanding strategic partnerships with K-12 and local industries, and exploring the impact of student housing.

Addressing the assembly, the new President said, “This is a tremendous honor.  It is my absolute pleasure to serve as President of this fine institution.” He concluded his inaugural address by stressing the importance of teamwork and unity as the college moves forward.  “When we all commit toward the same collective good, together, we will achieve something extraordinary.”

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