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College Council Chair and 1953 Alumnus Arnold Amell Dies

The SUNY Plattsburgh community is mourning the death of Arnold “Arnie” Amell ’53, chair of the College Council. He died at his home in Scotia, N.Y., on Thursday, Jan. 6.

"Our SUNY Plattsburgh family has lost a stalwart, loyal son,” President John Ettling said. “Arnie's ties to his alma mater spanned more than six decades -- over half the history of the college. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Joan, their children and grandchildren."

“He was an extraordinary leader of the College Council and dedicated himself to years of service at the college, playing many different roles,” said College Council Vice Chair Salvatore Graven ’02. “It was an honor to have known him. SUNY Plattsburgh has lost a true friend.”

Mr. Amell had been a member of the College Council since 1989. Former Gov. David Paterson selected him as chair of the council after Donald Garrant ’57 stepped down in 2008. Prior to that, he had served as interim chair for 10 months after Robert Garrow ’52 left the position in 2004.

In addition to serving on the council, he was a member of the college’s Alumni Association Board of Directors for 37 years. Mr. Amell had previously served on several search committees for the college and was participating on the search committee for a new provost/vice president for academic affairs at the time of his death. His past service had earned him the college’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

Mr. Amell also served at the state level, as a member and two-time president of the Association of Council Members and College Trustees, where he worked to increase communication with other members.

He believed in community service and was the former president of the Kiwanis Club of Schenectady, N.Y., the Northeast Parent and Child Society and Phi Delta Kappa International Educational Fraternity board of directors.

In addition, Mr. Amell had a reputation as a distinguished educator in the Capital District, serving as director of guidance and principal at the former Linton High School in Schenectady. He was also the assistant superintendent for personnel in the Schenectady School District. In 2005-2006, he worked part time as interim assistant superintendent for personnel in the Troy (N.Y.) City School District.

Mr. Amell is survived by his wife, Joan, and three children – Mary Joan, James and Jeffrey –as well as a number of grandchildren.

His wake will take place Monday, Jan. 10, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Glenville Funeral Home, 9 Glenridge Road, Glenville, N.Y. The funeral will be held Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church, First Street, Scotia, N.Y.

Those interested in making a gift in Mr. Amell’s honor may do so by giving to the Arnold Amell Scholarship Endowment through the Plattsburgh College Foundation.

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