President's Forum Highlights College's Past, Present & Future

March 21, 2011

SUNY Cobleskill, celebrating its charter centennial year, hosts a special panel discussion on the College’s past, present and future on Friday, April 1, at 12 p.m. in Bouck Hall Ballroom. The President’s Forum features current President Dr. Donald P. Zingale and Presidents Emeriti Dr. Thomas J. Haas and Dr. Neal V. Robbins.


The event is open to the public by invitation only. Media interested in attending should e-mail or call 518-255-5443.


Zingale (2008 – present) is the 11th president of New York State’s premier public polytechnic college. Under his leadership, SUNY Cobleskill recently opened the Center for Environmental Science and Technology and has helped spark revitalization efforts in downtown Cobleskill.


A contemporary scholar with broad ranging expertise in higher education, Zingale’s career for more than 30 years has been devoted to preparation of professional practitioners in an eclectic mix of health, human service and technologically oriented disciplines at public comprehensive and polytechnic institutions.


Haas (2003-2006) was SUNY Cobleskill’s 10th president. During his tenure, the College opened an equestrian center, received its first federal appropriations for biowaste-to-bioenergy research, and was approved to award its first B.S. degree in Child Care and Development. He currently serves as president of Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich.


Robbins (1986-1991) served as deputy to the chancellor for community colleges for the SUNY System before becoming the eighth president of SUNY Cobleskill. In Robbins’ five-year administration, the College awarded its first B.T. degree in Agricultural Science and constructed the field house that now bears his name.


Perry Odak ’65 moderates the panel discussion. Odak is president U.S. Portfolio, of Devonshire Investors, a private investment firm affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments. Prior to joining Devonshire Investors, he acted as chief executive officer of Evenflo Company, served as president and CEO of Wild Oats Markets, Inc., and as president/CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.


The President’s Forum is one of the marquee events of SUNY Cobleskill’s Centennial Celebration. The College hosts the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series, the nation’s premier lumberjack competition, at the Cobleskill Fairgrounds on April 29 & 30, and welcomes acclaimed animal science professor and autism activist Dr. Temple Grandin to Albany’s Palace Theatre on Wednesday, May 4. For more information, visit