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Former Campaign Co-Chair Kathy MaGaw to Receive Distinguished Service Award

SUNY Plattsburgh alumna Kathy MaGaw ’72 will receive one of the college’s highest tributes this May: the Distinguished Service Award.

The College Council gives the award to honor individuals who have played a key role in advancing SUNY Plattsburgh — its vision, mission and purpose.

Most recently MaGaw was known on campus as the co-chair of the college’s successful Bright with Promise Campaign, a seven-year effort that raised a record $16,085,634 in gifts, surpassing a $15 million goal.

“Her leadership as co-chair of the Bright with Promise Campaign exemplifies the best of SUNY Plattsburgh and serves as a model of volunteerism for current and future students,” said Interim College Council Chair Salvatore Graven ’02.

But MaGaw's involvement with the college doesn't end there. She has been a member of the Plattsburgh College Foundation Board of Directors for more than a decade, serving as treasurer and sitting on the executive and investment committees.

She is also a long-time donor to the college. Among her many gifts was $10,000 in seed money to start the Student-Managed Investment Portfolio. This fund allows students to gain valuable experience in real-world investing.

In addition, MaGaw was named to the SUNY Honor Roll of Alumni in 1998, was honored with the college’s Distinguished Alumna Award in 1987 and returned to the campus as a Distinguished Visiting Alumna in 1992.

MaGaw said that she gives, in part, because of everything SUNY Plattsburgh has offered her.

“I received so much from the college whether it was from education, friendships, colleagues — just really good feelings all around — so that giving back seemed like a natural thing to do,” MaGaw said.

And while the work may look like a lot on paper, MaGaw said that it didn’t seem like a lot when she was doing it.

“When you’re getting positive results and you’re seeing the returns that we’ve achieved on the investment committee; when you get auditing committees up and established; when you put policies in place that really work or that put us ahead of another foundation at another institution, and we get recognized for that, you very quickly turn around say, ‘Gee, we accomplished a lot, but, boy, was it worth it.’

“Yes, you put time in, but it’s that thing that you love doing, and then you get good results as an outcome — what more can you ask for?”

She added that she was very humbled to learn of the award, especially since it came from people she respected.

“You know, they can have budget cuts; they can have tough times in Albany; they can have lots of things going on on the campus; and they rise above it time and time again. It’s a group of people I’m very flattered to be involved with — but then to have them give me this nod, it’s very humbling.”

MaGaw will be honored during the college’s commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday, May 19.

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