NEWBURGH – An enthusiastic crowd of hundreds gathered to show their appreciation for Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, president of Mount Saint Mary College, who will be stepping down after the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year.
College trustees, campus personnel, student leaders, and regional leaders/partners such as Sen. William J. Larkin Jr. and businessman and philanthropist William Kaplan were present in recognition of Fr. Mackin’s service to the college and community.
Fr. Mackin, the fifth president of Mount Saint Mary College,was ordained a priest five decades ago. He has served as president of the college for nearly six years, and as a Franciscan friar, professor, and executive for more than 50 years, including 11 years as president of Siena College where he holds the title of president emeritus.
Among those who praised Fr. Mackin during the program were Joseph Valenti, vice president for college advancement; college chaplain Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm.; Louis Fortunato, professor of accounting, speaking as chair of the Faculty Senate and observing the president’s responsibility on campus "24/7 and 365"; and Sr. Ann Sakac, OP, president emerita, who spoke for the Dominican Sisters of Hope and gave a benediction for the special gathering.
"Fr. Kevin has served a truly diverse college community," said Valenti, "but he’s never forgotten that at the heart of this community is our students."
Student body president Mary Bocskocsky of Mohegan Lake, N.Y. thanked the esteemed educator for his commitment to strengthening the Mount community.
Fr. Mackin "is a passionate, innovative, and dynamic leader," she said. "On behalf of the student body, we thank you… your dedication to your students will forever be remembered and cherished. You will truly be missed at Mount Saint Mary College, but your legacy will live on through the loving community."
Dr. Albert J. Gruner, chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees, said that Fr. Mackin’s excellent leadership is evidenced in accomplishments such as the college’s recently launched physician assistant program, the accreditation of the business school, and an atmosphere that consistently fosters true academic growth. "I have personally witnessed opportunities for students being created on this campus that are difficult to find elsewhere," he revealed.