Alan Dunefsky ’69 (Biology) ’91g (Multi-Cultural Education) considers himself a nostalgic man. His affinity for the past has kept him at SUNY New Paltz in a variety of roles for decades, from life as a student to a retiree working part time.
This strong connection to the College motivated Dunefsky to volunteer his time and expertise as a member of the Alumni Advisory Council, to which he was appointed in 2014.
“I probably know more alums than anybody. I’ve always been involved here at the College,” said Dunefsky. “And now I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to draw them back to New Paltz.”
Dunefsky first returned to campus after his graduation in 1969 in an effort to acquire his master’s degree in Biology. To pay for graduate school, he began working in the athletics department. By the time he retired in 2005, he had coached women’s volleyball and softball, and was the Director of Recreation and Intramurals.
“The next thing you know, it’s 34 years later,” he said. “All the years were great. Working with young people and seeing their pride and self-esteem grow as they represented the college was rewarding.”
Dunefsky retired from the Athletics and Wellness staff in 2005 after working within the department for more than three decades. That year, he began working part time in the College’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations as a special projects assistant. His responsibilities include fostering relationships with alumni and helping with campus events like Reunion and the annual SUNY New Paltz Golf Tournament. He is chair of the Retired Faculty group and was a 2009 Heritage Award recipient. The award honors those whose devotion to the ideals of the College serves as an extraordinary example to the entire New Paltz community.
“I’m very proud of my alma mater,” said Dunefsky. “Once you wear the orange and blue you are officially honored to be a part of the New Paltz community.”
Dunefksy’s abundant institutional memory makes him an asset to the College population and the Alumni Advisory Council, noted Alumni Relations Director Brenda Dow. He often draws on his personal memories and rich history at New Paltz to assist with projects and to reconnect with alumni who have lost contact with the College.
“I’m the missing link here,” he said. “I think a big part of re-engaging alumni is rekindling memories from their time as a student. Coming back to campus is the first way to do that, because when you come back, you remember.”