Chancellor King Gives Memorable Keynote Address at Annual Event 

On Friday, February 9, 2024, John S. Nader, PhD, president of Farmingdale State College (FSC) hosted the College’s 2024 Legislative Breakfast, which featured State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor John B. King, Jr. as the keynote speaker, and remarks from New York State Senator Monica Martinez, and New York State Assemblymembers Steve Stern and Kimberly Jean-Pierre.  

Nearly 100 attendees came from across Long Island for the annual event, including elected officials and government partners, business and community leaders, and members of the media. Also in attendance were SUNY Trustee Cary F. Staller, Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg, ‘02, and Huntington Town Councilman Sal Ferro, ’84.  

During the event, President Nader offered a comprehensive overview of FSC’s recent growth in enrollment, programs, faculty, campus facilities, community partnerships, and philanthropy. He shared a powerful look at FSC’s student population and successful student outcomes while noting FSC’s profound impact on the local economy with 76 percent of graduates working on Long Island six months after graduation. 

“Farmingdale providing students with the skills and the personal practices to be successful in the workplace, so they can get those good jobs, is the key to making Long Island a place where folks who’ve grow up here can stay here and thrive,” said Chancellor King.I’m so impressed and inspired by what happens every day at Farmingdale.” 

“We are certainly proud of everything that has been accomplished here, as Long Island residents,” Assemblyman Stern said of FSC. “I look at Farmingdale and things are very bright--the future is unlimited. We understand that the future of Long Island, particularly the workforce, depends on all the wonderful things that happen here.” 

Greater Opportunities, Fewer Obstacles 

“We are defined by who we serve, and how well we serve them,” President Nader said of FSC’s students. “Here at Farmingdale State College, and in the State University of New York, the original SUNY motto was, ‘Let each become all one is capable of being.’ We are exemplars of that--we live it on a daily basis and display it proudly in our Campus Center. We have what I sometimes refer to as the virtuous circle taking place, from enrollment, to student engagement, to completion, to success.” 

Chancellor King lauded FSC for its “extraordinary work” on behalf of its student veterans, leadership in the Offshore Wind Training Institute, role as "an engine of social mobility" for low-income students, and its nationally ranked completion rates among Latino and African American students.  

“Farmingdale is here to give them a path into opportunity,” he said. “And that to me is the core of the SUNY tradition. It is what we have been about for 75 years, and Farmingdale perfectly reflects that.” 

The Chancellor also recognized President Nader, who received a standing ovation, for his leadership. “I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all he has done for so many,” he said.  

“I believe deeply in the transformative power of education, because I have lived it,” Chancellor King added. “I was lucky there were teachers and a school counselor who were willing to . . . invest in me. Everything I have is because those educators poured into me. And that’s the kind of educator that John Nader is--the kind of educator who believes in students, who gives his all for students.” 

A Budget to Match a Vision  

“We are very, very appreciative of the significant increase in state support that we have received,” President Nader said. “We expect to perform based on that. We have led the system in a number of ways, and certainly our sector in a number of ways. I believe more will and should be expected of us going forward.  

“We believe we have a vision that matches that, this great system, and we expect to fulfill that,” he added, referring to FSC’s new strategic plan, Eight for ’28. 

“It is important to highlight the positives of the SUNY system, but it’s also important for us legislators to understand, we need to fund this system,” said Senator Martinez. “And for me, that is my commitment to you. It will always be my commitment to you. I am a proud SUNY graduate. Let’s make sure that our students who attend SUNY have the best education they possibly can get.” 

“Public institutions are so critical to the [community’s] development,” agreed Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre. “Folks who necessarily cannot afford the Ivy League schools, well you can come to a public institution and get that Ivy League education. If it wasn’t for a public institution, I would not be here representing Farmingdale as a New York State Legislator. 

“I will continue to fight for resources for Farmingdale State College to ensure that we can provide an excellent education,” she added. 

“Thank you for all you that have done for this college, for our students, for advocacy,” President Nader concluded. “The number of people who talk about things that they’ve heard about Farmingdale is really amazing. Thank you, Chancellor. Thank you to our legislators, who are always there for us. Thank you.” 

View more photos from the 2024 Legislative Breakfast on our Flickr Gallery.