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2017 UAlbany Citizen Laureates Honored

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 30, 2017) – The University at Albany Foundation honored a trio of outstanding leaders in the Capital Region at its 38th Citizen Laureate Awards dinner on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Hudson Valley Community College president Andrew Matonak received the Academic Laureate Award, while Rev. Kenneth J. Doyle and former Albany mayor Gerald Jennings ’76 each were recognized as a Community Laureate at the ceremony.

James J. Barba, 2013 Community Laureate and president & CEO of Albany Medical Center, and R. Mark Sullivan, 2006 Community Laureate and former president of the College of St. Rose, served as this year’s event co-chairs.

View photos from Thursday’s event:

About Citizen Laureate:

The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize outstanding leaders in business and industry, government, and academia, and are the most prestigious honors bestowed by The University at Albany Foundation.

Proceeds from the dinner benefit The University at Albany Foundation and student scholarships. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, The University at Albany Foundation continues to advance the University's strategic goals and sponsors efforts to build ties to the community.

Learn more about this event here.

Andrew “Drew” Matonak:

Matonak has served as president of Hudson Valley Community College since 2005, and his tenure has been marked by impressive growth and innovation in academic programming and student services as well as the transformation of the college’s 120-acre campus through a $200 million facilities master plan.

In the greater community, Matonak currently serves as a member of the Capital Region Economic Development Council and is on a number of local boards including the Capital Region Chamber, Center for Economic Growth, Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar and Capital Region Workforce Investment Board.

His career in higher education administration was shaped by his decision to attend Butler County Community College. He continued his education at The College of Wooster, where he earned a bachelor's degree in sociology, followed by a master's degree in student personnel administration from Michigan State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Houston.

Gerald “Jerry” Jennings ’76:

Jennings served five terms over 20 years as the 74th mayor of the City of Albany prior to his retirement in 2014. He successfully ran for election to the city's Common Council, serving the 11th Ward for 13 years before he won election as mayor in 1993.

A longtime Albany resident, Jennings began his career as a teacher – and subsequently an administrator – in the Albany school district. He earned his master’s degree in educational administration from UAlbany.

Through Jennings' steadfast leadership and commitment to his alma mater, UAlbany was able to partner on a wide range of initiatives with the City of Albany, including Operation Safe Corridor, UAlbany's downtown Student Housing and Revitalization Project at Alumni Quad, and the UAlbany Clean-Up Day of downtown neighborhoods. He was also a co-host of the New York State Summit on Preventing Student Alcohol Abuse.

Kenneth Doyle:

Rev. Doyle has served the Albany area for decades, most recently as the pastor of Mater Christi Parish from 1992 to 2016. Currently, he’s serving as a substitute sacramental minister in various Albany parishes and is the board chairman of the Albany County Airport Authority. He has also served on the boards of several organizations including St. Peter’s Health Partners.

Since becoming ordained in 1966, he’s overseen thousands of weddings and baptisms, and twice as many funerals, and led an immeasurable number of masses. His resume also includes stints as Rome bureau chief of the National Catholic News Service, information officer of the United States Catholic Conference in Washington, D.C., lobbyist for the New York State Catholic Conference in Albany, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., and chancellor for public information for the Albany diocese.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.