Each year SUNY New Paltz presents awards during Alumni Reunion to recognize dedicated alumni and faculty.
This fall, the event will honor Mary Kastner ’71 (Art Education), Colonel Joseph D. Davidson ’90 (Political Science), Robert Thorn ’66 (Art Education) and Emeritus Professor Joe Paparone during the All-Class Dinner on October 15, 2016.
Heritage Awards: Recognize an alumnus/a or alumni couple and a faculty/staff couple or individual, whose devotion to the ideals of the College serve as extraordinary examples to the entire New Paltz community.
Honoree Mary Kastner ’71 (Art Education) has worked at SUNY New Paltz for more than 30 years; many of those years she has led design, print and mail operations in the Office of Communication and Marketing. She has played a key role in the College’s integrated marketing and communications efforts and has worked tirelessly to educate the campus on industry best practices. She has served on many campuswide committees and initiatives and has been a loyal donor for many years, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to the College.
Honoree Joseph C. Paparone, professor emeritus and a 43-year veteran of the SUNY New Paltz Department of Theatre Arts, retired in 2013. He has influenced the lives of many students and serves on the board of directors for McKenna Productions, a non-profit organization that since 1973 has granted funds and support to Theatre Arts students. Most recently, Paparone, along with family and friends, established the Joseph C. Paparone Endowed Scholarship to support juniors majoring in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Design Technology.
Alumni Professional Achievement Award: Recognizes alumni who have achieved distinction in a chosen profession or outstanding lifetime achievement.
Honoree Col. Joseph D. Davidson ’90 (Political Science) is a Cavalry officer who presides as commanding officer at Fort Hamilton Garrison in Brooklyn, N.Y. will soon assume a new role as the Deputy Commandant, United States Corps of Cadets, United States Military Academy at West Point. He has served in a number of command and staff positions in combat brigades throughout the U.S. and overseas, including combat deployments to Iraq. He previously served as Chief of Staff for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) where he managed a synchronized organization of 1,500 people in support of the global Counter-IED mission. Col. Davidson has proven his commitment to the growth and learning experiences of SUNY New Paltz students by returning to the College as a guest speaker.
Distinguished Alumni Service Award: Recognizes alumni volunteers who have made exceptional contributions in support of the activities of the SUNY New Paltz Alumni Association.
Honoree Robert Thorn ’66 (Art Education) served on the Alumni Advisory Council from 2014–2016 and is currently serving on the newly formed Alumni Council. This year marks his 50th reunion, which he will celebrate with his fellow 1966 graduates. Thorn took the lead in reaching out to his fellow classmates and has been integral in coordinating their attendance at Alumni Reunion this year. Thorn and his wife Jane Thorn ’68 (Art Education) have been generous donors to the College and have attended numerous alumni events.