Hartwick Bids Farewell to Cahill

October 1, 2010

Since 1977, Donna (Avery) Cahill has been a fixture at Hartwick College, and in the Office of Academic Affairs since 1982. In that time she has served four presidents, three provosts, two vice presidents of academic affairs, five faculty chairs, 10 chairs of ATP, and five support staff.

"More importantly, she has served the entire Hartwick College community," said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Tannenbaum. He spoke before a large crowd recently assembled in the Celebration Room of Shineman Chapel House to celebrate Cahill's contributions on the occasion of her retirement.

"I never met anyone more dedicated to the students, faculty, and staff of Hartwick College," Tannenbaum said, reading from comments submitted by former VPAA Dr. John Anderson.

Professor Emeritus of English and former Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Tom Beattie agreed. "I won't be able to do justice to all she has meant to me, or to the College," he said. "It wasn't until I worked with her on a daily basis that I realized how truly professional she was. Working with Donna Cahill is at the top of the list of things I miss about working at Hartwick College."

Planning Associate and Research Analyst Judy Walsh took the podium to regale the audience with tales of Cahill's devotion to Hartwick soccer--including assembling a group of staff and community members to travel hours by van to take in important away games.

"There are many special people at Hartwick College," she said, "but we will have to go an awfully long way to find someone else like Donna."

Professor of Mathematics, Faculty Chair, and ATP Chair Dr. Ron Brzenk noted Cahill's remarkable work.

"She is that exceptional colleague who performs way above expectations in terms of both quantity and quality of work," he said. "I will miss her wisdom, her pep talks, and her keeping an eye on me. I am a better person because of her."

"We probably had lunch together more times than we did with our own families!" noted Nancy Heffernan, faculty secretary. "Hartwick won't be the same without you. Happy and healthy retirement, dear friend."

Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich took the podium to sing Cahill's praises.

"We are here today to celebrate a colleague who has spent so much of her life and dedicated so much of her self to what we do here, which is educate," she said. "She has educated so many, including me.

"What will this place be like without Donna?" Drugovich asked. "When it comes to you and the impact you had on all the people in this room, all I can say is thank you. We will miss you."

Drugovich presented Cahill with a special "Streak of Blue" Award--a stunning blue vase crafted by Resident Artist Erik Halvorson, and Tannenbaum offered a Hartwick-sealed captain's chair inscribed to mark Cahill's service.

"I feel like you're all talking about someone else, not me," Cahill said. "My work in Academic Affairs afforded the opportunity to work closely with the faculty and much of the staff of Hartwick College, and for that I will forever be grateful."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030