Board Grants Emerita Status to Outgoing President

At its board meeting of June 19, 2012, the Onondaga Community College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve President Emerita status to outgoing President Debbie L. Sydow, Ph.D.

Dr. Sydow became President of Onondaga in June 2000. During her twelve years of leadership, student enrollment grew 65 percent making it one of the fastest growing colleges in the SUNY system and the nation.

Dr. Sydow oversaw more than $110 million in capital investment. Her major initiatives included the establishment of classroom design standards; renovation and conversion of classrooms and labs into smart classrooms; creation of the Ann Felton Gallery and Multicultural Center; the expansion of the Gordon Student Center and the establishment of Student Central; the expansion of the Children’s Learning Center to double its capacity; the creation of the College’s first residence halls; the expansion of Allyn Hall and the establishment of the SRC Arena and Events Center; the acquisition, renovation and rehabilitation of Mulroy Hall to serve as the new home for the College’s Regional Higher Educational Center, Small Business Development Center, and Workforce Development programs as well as administrative offices; the renovation and repurposing of H-3 into additional student housing; and the construction of Academic II – fulfilling a vision established more than 40 years prior with the College’s first master plan.

“We are forever indebted to Dr. Sydow for her vision, leadership, and the accomplishments she led during her tenure at Onondaga. The transformation of the College has been absolutely remarkable under her leadership. This year, the College celebrated its first 50 years of service to the community, and with gratitude to Dr. Sydow, she has ensured that the College is in a strong position for the next half-century and beyond,” said Interim College President Margaret M. “Meg” O’Connell.”

Board Chairman Allen J. Naples said, “Dr. Sydow’s leadership has made Onondaga the model for community colleges across the state and the nation. We are forever grateful to her for more than a decade of dedicated service, which resulted in unprecedented growth, investment, and most importantly, commitment to the Central New York community we serve.”

Dr. Sydow became the new president of Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Virginia, on July 1, 2012.