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After 43 years of service, Vice President for Student Affairs William D. “Bill” Laundry took one last curtain call at a farewell dinner Feb. 23, 2013, in honor of his recent retirement.
The celebration drew more than 260 staff, faculty, students and alumni to the Angell College Center ballrooms. Speaker after speaker praised him for his lifetime of dedication to students.
“People in student affairs tend to fall into two categories; the first is the ‘Dean Wormer’ from ‘Animal House,’ who is the fascist extreme. The second is the ‘Mr. Rogers,’ who always tells you it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood even when it’s not,” said President John Ettling. “Bill, for the nine years I have watched him, has found a way, day in and day out, to do this job without wavering or heading into either of these two camps. He’s perfect."
Living up to his "Mr. Plattsburgh" nickname, Laundry — who was named an honorary alumnus in 2005 — turned the focus back on the college.“I’m going to miss moments like tonight, but I’m also going to miss my college family: the faculty, staff and students that create our college community here at SUNY Plattsburgh,” he said. “Especially the students, that great, wonderful, boisterous, diverse group of young people who come to us from … all over the country and now from all over the globe. I’m going to miss them.”
Alumni and colleagues were eager to offer their own take on Laundry’s legacy. Here are some of the night’s best:
“I am personally both honored and blessed to share in 27 of those 43 years with Bill as a professional colleague and partner. After my retirement in 2001, I feel blessed that we have continued to be friends. Now, if only I could get him to use email, my life would be perfect.”
“We all have had our lives impacted positively by one or more people at Plattsburgh. For many of us it was Bill, whose guidance was welcomed and usually sought after and whose encouragement caused us to reach higher than we ever thought possible.”
“Your leadership can be described precisely by these qualities; a capacious work ethic, steady judgment, wit that penetrates at a glance to the heart of an issue and quietly unyielding decency.” – Dr. E. Thomas Moran, Director of the Institute for Ethics in Public Life and SUNY Distinguished Service Professor
Official Bill Laundry bobbleheads are available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Plattsburgh College Foundation. Cost is $20 plus shipping.
To order, call (518) 564-2090 or (800) 964-1889.