College mourns death of alumna Susan Basch ’76 ’80g, educator, artist and philanthropist

Susah Basch photographed by Ben Ashby for Women Create, 2019. Published. Oct. 1, 2019

It is with sadness that we share news of the death of Susan Basch ’76 ’80g (Elementary Education), who served as a teacher from 1977-1979 at the van den Berg Learning Center (Campus School) at the College. She passed away on Sept. 1, 2022, at the age of 70.

Susan married her husband, Eli Basch, in 1981 and the couple has been a part of the SUNY New Paltz family for many years. Eli is a former Chair and Director of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, interim College Council Chair, member of several presidential search committees, and dear friend. The two of them have shown extraordinary generosity to SUNY New Paltz and our students.

Susan and Eli Basch have been longtime and generous supporters of the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, always asking how they might best help our students and the College community. Together, they created the Susan Raymond Basch ’76, ’80g and Eli Burt Basch Endowed Scholarship Fund, stepped forward during the worst of the pandemic to support our Student Crisis Grant Fund, and have been loyal friends of the Dorsky Museum, to name a few areas that benefitted from their generosity.

“Susan, a double graduate of the College, exemplified the very best of our alumni through her exceptional talent, hard work, and generosity,” said Vice President for Development & Alumni Relations Erica Marks. “She will be profoundly missed by us all.”

A retired elementary art teacher, Susan will be remembered in the community not only as a philanthropist and educator, but as an artisan, having worked in her studio as a mixed media artist using the Japanese method of cord making, Kumihimo, to create one-of-a-kind necklaces. Susan earned many awards for her artwork, mostly recently from the American Kumihimo Society Juried Exhibition for Braids not to Wear, Diverse Materials, in 2020.

Susan served in various volunteer roles throughout her life, dedicating her time to the Silent Auction donations of hand-made jewelry, Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley, Ulster County Community College Foundation, United Way Hope’s Fund, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, Hospice Association, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Gateway Industries, and the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley.

Predeceased by her brother, Stephen Raymond, Susan is survived by her husband, Eli Basch, her sister-in-law, Shari Raymond, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Saul and Joli Basch, her beloved godson and nephew, John Raymond, as well as nephew, Adam Basch, and nieces Alie & Brie Basch.

Donations in her memory can be made to Congregation Emanuel of the Hudson Valley or Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Online condolences may be left for the family of Susan online at