On August 23, 2023, John S. Nader, PhD, President of Farmingdale State College (FSC) hosted the College’s 2023 Convocation. The annual State of the College Address highlighted FSC’s successes and challenges over the past year, and recent campus community accolades. Attended by over 350 faculty and staff, President Nader acknowledged over 60 faculty and staff who have earned promotions, as well as 26 new faculty members joining in the 2023-24 academic year, and over 100 new staff members.  

Other major advances seen over the past year include $75 million from the State University Construction Fund and the Empire State Development’s Long Island Investment Fund (LIIF) to fully fund a new computer science building—the single largest award for a LIIF; a successfully launched Honors Program that was funded entirely with $2 million in philanthropic support; $1.28 million from the State University of New York (SUNY) Transformation Fund, the largest allocation in the SUNY system; $900,000 in FSC professional development; and nearly $900,000 in funding from the Offshore Wind Training Institute (OWTI). 

“We have led in many areas,” President Nader said. “And we need to be sure we are continuing to build on that as we move forward. We have been given a lot, but much will be asked of us in return.”   

Over the past year, FSC has enhanced student life with residence hall improvements, expanded student services, grounds beautification, and a scheduled monthly calendar full of student events. 

“We have made some significant enhancements in engaging students, and our staff deserves credit,” he said. “And I am proud to say, many of the ideas for improvement came from our students.”  

FSC just concluded its single greatest fundraising year with over $5.5 million raised. More than $300,000 was raised for the Student Emergency Fund, which has already assisted over 100 students.  

“Your belief in us, your unwavering support and your trust in the potential in Farmingdale students like myself has not only provided financial relief but emotional and mental stability for us to get through the semester,” Kay-Fin McQueen ’26, a Geographic Information Systems major and Student Emergency Fund recipient, said in a recorded video message.  

FSC’s challenges in the year ahead will center largely on enrollment, retention and graduation rates. 

“We discovered there is a significant decline in credits completed in the third and fourth years and that’s a real issue,” President Nader noted. “We need to get ahead of that.” 

President Nader also highlighted Eight for ’28, FSC’s strategic vision for the next five years and beyond. The dynamic plan identifies eight goals and 40 measurable objectives that engage every level of the College community and prioritize the College’s commitment to academic excellence, student success, and fostering a culture of inclusion and civic responsibility.  

“We really have to stay on our game,” he said. “We are ahead, but there is a lot of competition out there.” 

Honors and Awards 

As a part of Convocation, President Nader took time during the event to recognize awards and honors earned by faculty and staff. This included two FSC athletics awards; 17 marketing and communications industry awards; two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) awards: Killian Dreisbach and Dr. Sherry Manansingh; and introduced FSC’s seven SUNY Chancellor Awards for Excellence winners: Dr. Jennifer Gonder, Dr. Kerry Lutz, Dr. Marya Howell-Carter, Dr. Nancy Maggio, Jessica Bernadotte, Dr. Bahar M. Zoghi, and Linda Webel; and FSC’s first SUNY Distinguished Professor Dr. Robert A. Saunders. 

President Nader also invited to the stage the three 2023 CARES (Commendation & Recognition for Excellence in Service) Award winners: Dr. Yetunde Odugbesan, Dr. Carly Tribull and Beata Shortall.  

“Dr. Tribull created and helms Farmingdale State College’s Food Pantry, an immensely valuable resource to our community,” he read from Tribull’s nomination. “Carly’s commitment to this landmark initiative is driven by a genuine passion for service.” 

“This is the kind of individual we need at Farmingdale,” President Nader read from Odugbesan’s nomination. “Indeed,” he added.  

“Betsy’s caring demeanor extends far beyond the level of enthusiasm and dedication she demonstrates in her work responsibilities,” President Nader read from Shortall’s nomination. “More extraordinary is Betsy’s caring approach in her daily interactions with the people she serves.” 

“Here at Farmingdale, the vast majority of us make a difference,” said President Nader. “Let’s remember this: colleges and universities are here to critique; it is our fundamental role. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also be kind.” 

To view the event’s presentation please visit Convocation 2023 

View more photos from Convocation 2023: A State of the College Address on our Flickr Gallery.