Theresa M. Santmann, one of Long Island’s leading health-care advocates, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of New York at Farmingdale State College’s 2015 Commencement on May 16.
Ms. Santmann, who lives in Babylon, is a registered nurse and author of two books, In Gratitude to My Guardian Angel and Life in Babylon: A Life of Joy and Anguish. She has had a decades-long relationship with Farmingdale, where she received a nursing degree in 1969, and was named Farmingdale’s Alumna of the Year in 2005.
In 2011, she gave $1 million to the college’s School of Health Sciences, which has since been renamed the Theresa Patnode Santmann School of Health Sciences. The gift, the largest in the college’s history, is dedicated to funding scholarships, supporting faculty research, and enhancing student resources. Ms. Santmann has been a long-time contributor to the college, donating funds for a 9/11 memorial, laboratory and classroom building improvements, nursing faculty awards, and landscaping projects. She is also a member of the Farmingdale College Foundation.
“Theresa’s success as an entrepreneur, her devotion to Farmingdale State, and her extensive humanitarian activities make her highly deserving of this honor,” said President Hubert Keen. “The impact of her generosity is spread throughout the campus and Long Island.”
“I am proud and pleased to be selected to receive an honorary doctor of humane letters,” said Ms. Santmann. “Giving back to my community and to Farmingdale State College has been a joy for me.”
In 2012, the Farmingdale College Foundation awarded Ms. Santmann its highest honor, the Ram’s Horn Award, for her philanthropic support of Farmingdale State College.