News

Mount bids farewell to beloved president

May 01, 2014

Newburgh, NY -

Fr. Kevin and Mary

Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM, Mount Saint Mary College president, embraced Mary Bocskocsky, student body president, after her speech. Photo by Lee Ferris.

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, NY 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.”

Kaplan and Fr. MackinDr. 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.

Gruner presented to Fr. Mackin a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis and other farewell gifts from the Mount community.

Right: William Kaplan, Newburgh businessman and philanthropist (left) greeted Fr. Mackin at the recent farewell reception. Photo by Lee Ferris.

Under Fr. Mackin’s direction, the Mount purchased the Dominican Center, and launched “A Call to Excellence: The Campaign for the Dominican Center” in 2012, to raise $10 million for the transformation to a new, truly state-of-the-art library and living-learning environment.

Since 2008, the college achieved a fully online RN to BS degree program, an interdisciplinary major in technology and digital media, and a new sports management concentration.

The college is currently taking applications for its new physician assistant program (pending accreditation – provisional). Students will be immersed in the Mount’s rigorous natural sciences undergraduate curriculum for three years. Following completion of the undergraduate requirements, successful applicants will complete their studies in two years, graduating from the Mount with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in physician assistant studies.

“I truly believe that when one door closes in life, another door opens,” said Fr. Mackin. “Yes, this door at the Mount is closing for me, but another is slowly opening: a door to new forms of pastoral ministry.” He added, “The Lord be with you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

In addition to several other events, Fr. Mackin will speak at the college’s invitational commencement on May 17.

More key accomplishments during the presidency of Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM:

  • Established the Catholic and Dominican Institute at Mount Saint Mary College
  • Achieved specialized accreditation for the Mount's academic business programs
  • Hired more full-time faculty and improved student/faculty ratio
  • Ranked a Tier 1 Regional University by U.S. News & World Report
  • Created a fully online RN to BS degree program
  • Introduced the interdisciplinary major in technology and digital media
  • Focused on academic and co-curricular environment
  • Implemented a new sports management concentration of courses, and expanded the inter-collegiate athletic programs, with 20 varsity teams this fall

The below video was shown in honor of Fr. Mackin at his farewell reception on April 24.