Speeches & Statements

2018-19 Statements to the Campus

A Message from the College President

July 3, 2019

Good morning to the College faculty and staff,

Three weeks ago, Nicholas Powers, an associate professor of English, authored an article related to issues of race and class in America. In doing so, he used provocative and inflammatory language regarding a white, homeless person.

I want it to be clear that I do not agree with the hurtful, distasteful imagery and ideas shared in Dr. Powers’ statements nor do they represent the values or viewpoints of SUNY Old Westbury.

The current social and political climate in our nation lends itself to division and fracture. I ask that all of us, together, guard against those events and activities that drive us apart along racial, ethnic, sexual preference, and other lines – whether intentional or not. Further, I want to state clearly that I believe strongly in the right to free speech.

The mission of SUNY Old Westbury demands that we tackle difficult, uncomfortable issues in the hopes of preparing our students to succeed and to create a more just and sustainable world. We must do so by recognizing, and respecting, those we teach to, those we teach about, and even those with whom we disagree.

I close with an administrative point:  Dr. Powers’ article has been the subject of media coverage and may be the focus of further media scrutiny. Should you or your office receive a media inquiry, please forward it to the Office of Public and Media Relations at extension 3162.  All other external calls on this matter should be transferred, as politely as possible, to extension 5551 and the caller can be told that their concerns will be heard by appropriate college personnel.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President, SUNY Old Westbury

2019 Commencement Speaker Announced

May 7, 2019

Good morning to the SUNY Old Westbury Community,

I am proud to announce today the speaker for the 2019 Commencement Ceremony: Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, president of the Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School.

Rev. Dr. McMickle has across his call to service of more than 40 years fought for fairness and justice from the pulpit, in the community and on the national political stage. A native of Chicago, Illinois, he was fueled at first by the knowledge that a relative was killed registering to vote early in the 20th century and then spurred on to his life of ministry, activism and leadership after witnessing as a young man the inspirational presence of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Most recently, he has served since 2011 as the 12th President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, in Rochester, New York. Prior to that appointment, he was pastor of Cleveland's influential Antioch Baptist Church and a member of the Board of Trustees of Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. Rev. Dr. McMickle was also the Professor of Homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio, from 1996 to 2011. Upon retiring from Ashland Theological Seminary, the faculty named him Professor Emeritus.

I am excited that Rev. Dr. McMickle will be joining us for Commencement and look forward to the inspirational, aspirational, and motivational address I am certain he will give as we celebrate the successes of the Class of 2019.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

Mourning the Loss of a Student

April 8, 2019

Good afternoon to all,

It is with deep sadness that I report to the campus today on the loss of a student of SUNY Old Westbury.  Latisha German, a junior who had been residing in the Woodlands Residence Halls, passed away late Thursday evening in a motor vehicle accident. 

On behalf of the entire SUNY Old Westbury community, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Ms. German's family and friends. Losing a loved one is never easy, but my hope is that those who knew Ms. German best can at least take comfort in knowing that she is at peace.  

As we go through the coming days, I would ask that each of us take a moment to think of Ms. German and to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers.  Should any member of our campus find themselves in need of support during this sad time, counselors and staff of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness are available. 

Thank you, and my best to all.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

A Message from the College President

February 1, 2019

To the SUNY Old Westbury Community, 

My admiration for and dedication to the State University of New York at Old Westbury began many years ago while teaching in the Department of American Studies. The mission of the college aligned with my beliefs and life’s work. Having had the opportunity to serve as SUNY Old Westbury’s President for 20 years has been among the highlights of my personal and professional callings. 

Often you have heard me say "education and faith are the Tigris and Euphrates of our liberation, twin rivers at the source of our redemption."’ I have been fortunate to practice this sacred belief. 

For quite some time I have pondered what might be my next opportunity and challenge. I believe a closer, more direct relationship with students will be most satisfying and mutually beneficial. 

Effective January 21, 2020, I will be engaged in a study leave. Effective June 15, 2020, I will return to the classroom as a tenured Professor in the School of Arts and Sciences. 

While accomplishments during my Presidency have been numerous, I cannot take full credit for them all. Over these next two semesters I look forward to recognizing our many achievements. 

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to lead this most fine institution and for your ongoing support. 

Warm regards, 

Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III 

President

Passing of Former SUNY Old Westbury President Harris Wofford

January 22, 2019

Good afternoon to all on campus and welcome to the spring 2019 semester.

Unfortunately, we begin this new semester with sad news. Harris Wofford, the founding president of the State University of New York at Old Westbury, died yesterday at the age of 92 in Washington, D.C. Mr. Wofford was appointed the president of the College in 1966 and served through 1970.

Many people can talk about the movements of change in the United States over the past 60 years, but very few can say they played a part in those events. Harris Wofford was one of those few. He played a part in creating American history and dedicated most of his life to helping shape the future of our nation by promoting social justice and civilian service among Americans.

His own list of service was long:

  • He served as a special assistant on civil rights for U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
  • He worked alongside Sargent Shriver in launching the Peace Corps.
  • He was a supporter, legal counsel and friend of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • He was president of Bryn Mawr College from 1970 to 1978.
  • He became a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania in 1991, influencing both the National Service Act A of 1993 and legislation that led to the establishment of such entities as Americorps and the Corporation for National Service.
  • He served on the boards of such organizations as Youth Service America and the National Commission of Service Learning, along with founding America’s Promise, a nonprofit national service coalition, alongside then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Most notable to our campus, of course, was his role as the founding president of SUNY Old Westbury.  His time as the leader of our campus was relatively short, but it was during that tenure that the foundation was laid for our ongoing mission to empower all students through education and to advocate for a just society for all humankind.

Following his tenure as president here, Mr. Wofford described the College in a report written for an international academic symposium: “Old Westbury proposes to be a ‘school of the world’ in the broad sense of the word ‘world,’ which is to mean the world students will go out into as it is defined by its problems. Take any of our major domestic concerns – urbanization, education, integration, automation, poverty – and they turn out to be world problems.”

As we remember and honor the memory of Harris Wofford today, we can still define ourselves in that way – as a college seeking to understand and to educate about those issues that face our world, so that we can, in the end, each do our part to improve that world for all who inhabit it.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President
SUNY Old Westbury

Mourning the loss of a First Year Student

November 20, 2018

Good afternoon,

With great sadness I must report to campus on the passing today of Khalid Hill, a first year student of SUNY Old Westbury. On behalf of the entire SUNY Old Westbury community, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Hill's family and to all of his friends, both on our campus and off.

Mr. Hill died this morning in a motor vehicle accident while driving on the Northern State Parkway. From Bay Shore, New York, he had elected to live on campus while pursuing his studies and was a resident of Woodlands Hall 1.  To aid those who may need it during this sad time, counselors and staff of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness are available to any member of our campus community.

As we have already twice this semester, we mourn today the life of a student who passed too soon and events such as this rightfully give us pause. This Thanksgiving, when we gather with family, friends, and loved ones, let us all remember to be especially grateful for all the good we share, both as a campus and as a greater community of people. Let us also remember fondly Khalid Hill and offer our hopes for strength and peace for his family and friends in this difficult time.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

Standing Together Against Bias

November 19, 2018

Good morning,

A student project left in one of our classrooms last week was vandalized. While damaging the work and property of others is not ever to be tolerated, what made this instance so worrisome to me when I learned of it is that the damage done seems to reflect a bias centered on religion, political beliefs, or both. 

Our College has always been a place where people from all walks of life can come to learn not only from their professors, but as part of a dynamic, diverse student body. Incumbent on all of us is to promote an atmosphere where no one is made to feel vulnerable on our campus.  

We cannot allow actions that dehumanize another or advance theories of dominance and empowerment of one race, ethnicity, creed or gender over another.  SUNY Old Westbury remains committed to doing all it can to discourage such acts and to encourage respect among all those who study, teach and work here.

I've said before that our historic commitment to diversity and our championing for equity among all is perhaps our greatest strength.  With it, I believe, SUNY Old Westbury promotes an increased understanding among our students of the ideas, experiences, and opinions of those whose lives are much different than their own. 

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

Recent National Events

October 31, 2018

Good afternoon to all,

Our hearts were saddened over the loss of life at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh over the weekend, just as we were horrified by last week's mailing of explosive devices to national leaders and others over issues of political disagreement. 

At the link below, you will find a message from SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall and SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson about the tragic shooting this weekend:  

A Letter from SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson

As we study, learn, teach and work on our campus, SUNY Old Westbury is a place where we reflect the diversity of the world around us. Here, we seek to build among ourselves an awareness of, and healthy respect for, the backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of others. 

All of this occurs in the hope of educating students, tomorrow's leaders, to be better citizens and to do better as a society in its entirety. This has been part of the mission of this College since its founding, and it has never been more important than it is in the times we find ourselves in today.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

The Passing of Dr. John D. Maguire

October 29, 2018

Good morning to the campus community.

With heartfelt sorrow I must report this morning the death of Dr. John D. Maguire, president emeritus of the State University of New York at Old Westbury.  Dr. Maguire passed away early Friday morning in California.

The president of SUNY Old Westbury from 1970-1981, he provided vision and leadership that has served as a bedrock of our College's mission for most of its more than 50-year history. Dr. Maguire was a distinguished national and international scholar, administrator, and civil rights activist. A Freedom Rider who befriended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he was an active participant in the struggle for equity and fairness in America for more than 50 years. After Dr. King's death, Dr. Maguire became a founding member of the King Center for Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia, and later its chair. Along with his leadership at Old Westbury, he also was president emeritus of Claremont Graduate University and a senior fellow of the Institute for Democratic Renewal. Since 2004, he and Mrs. Lillian "Billie" Maguire had been Woodrow Wilson Foundation Visiting Fellows, making regular visits to colleges throughout the country.   

Dr. and Mrs. Maguire last visited Old Westbury in 2011, when Dr. Maguire provided the Commencement Address for our graduating class. While here, he touched on the relation of moral philosophy and religious thought to contemporary society; and on issues of human rights and social justice. Touching on those ideals was no surprise to the long-time faculty members who knew him best. His was the leadership that helped forge the commitment to diversity of which we remain so proud and that set the course of what we continue to explore -- what he called "the riddle of human justice."

He represented the best of what is at the very core of the Old Westbury experience -- a belief that all humankind shares this Earth equally, and that we must focus both on what brings us together and what divides us. 

Every freshman student of Old Westbury today is required to read from a textbook created by faculty of our College titled “The Ethics of Engagement.” In that textbook on page 329 is an address Dr. Maguire made on this campus in 1980 called “What Old Westbury Is Really About.” In that speech, he told the students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni present that this College: 

  • Was committed to examining civic as well as intellectual values 
  • Was committed to educating, not training  
  • Operated with the belief that remembering, creating and imagining led to new understanding, and 
  • Above all, that Old Westbury educated people to lead resourceful, courageous and compassionate lives. 

I am proud to say I have followed in the footsteps of Dr. John D. Maguire as president of an institution dedicated to solving “the riddle of human justice” as we endeavor to stimulate a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world among our students. As I lament his passing, I will also remember all the good he has done across a lifetime of service and commitment to others.   

Please take a moment today to give thought and prayer to Mrs. Maguire and the Maguire family as they mourn the passing of this great activist, educator, and leader. 

Thank you. 

Calvin O. Butts, III
President 

Mourning the passing of a student

October 9, 2018

To the Campus Community,

I write today to express great sadness at the passing of SUNY Old Westbury student Madelyn Bowen. A junior Politics, Economics and Law major, Ms. Bowen was active as a member of the Panther women's softball team and was respected by her classmates, teammates and coaches.

Details regarding services in honor of Ms. Bowen are available here.

I would ask that all on campus offer a moment today in honor of Ms. Bowen and to remember her loved ones during this time of sorrow.

Counselors and staff of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness are available to any member of our campus community who might need support during this sad time.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

Mourning the loss of a student

September 24, 2018

Good morning to all,

I am deeply saddened to report to you this morning of the tragic loss of one of our students. Christopher Brown, a senior student of the School of Business, passed away early Saturday morning in a fatal incident involving a motor vehicle. Mr. Brown had been active on campus, most specifically as a member of the College's men's golf team. He will be greatly missed.

On behalf of the entire SUNY Old Westbury community, I want to express our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Brown's family and friends. I ask that we each find a personal moment to remember Mr. Brown and to keep those closest to him foremost in our thoughts in the days ahead. For those who are available, a moment of silence for Mr. Brown will be offered before the 4 p.m. kickoff of today's women's soccer game on campus.

Counselors and staff of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness are available to any member of our campus community who might need support during this sad time.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

SUNY Old Westbury Earns Prestigious HEED Award

September 20, 2018

To the Campus Community,

As it has since its founding, SUNY Old Westbury seeks to serve a diverse and dynamic student body that reflects the world we live in. Through our academic programs and co-curricular activities, our campus seeks to cultivate critical thinking, empathy, creativity and intercultural understanding as we endeavor to stimulate in students a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world.

Because of those long-held, mission-based beliefs of our College, I am very pleased to announce that the State University of New York at Old Westbury has been named for the first time a winner of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education.

The HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campus. The award this year was bestowed on only 96 institutions of higher education across the nation.

Open to all colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada, the HEED award measures an institution’s level of achievement and intensity of commitment in regard to broadening diversity and inclusion on campus through initiatives, programs, and outreach; student recruitment, retention, and completion; and hiring practices for faculty and staff.

SUNY Old Westbury is one of five institutions in SUNY to be honored with the HEED Award in 2018. Other recipients include: the SUNY System Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the University at Albany, Buffalo State College, and Stony Brook University.

The HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees -- and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.

Congratulations to all on campus! This is an honor of which we are truly proud.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

SUNY Trustee to Visit

September 11, 2018

To the Campus Community, 

Ms. Eunice Lewin, a member of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, will visit campus tomorrow, Wednesday, September 12. Her visit reflects her interest in learning more about our college and the students who choose to study with us. 

While she is with us, Trustee Lewin will tour campus and hear from a group of students about their experiences at Old Westbury. 

Should you happen to meet Trustee Lewin during her visit, please be sure to welcome her to campus. 

Calvin O. Butts, III 
President 

Today’s 9/11 Anniversary

September 11, 2018

Good morning.

September is upon us once again.  Tradition has long held that this month marks the beginning of school for students of all ages in our area.  It is the time we begin to watch the leaves on our trees for change and enjoy the crisp wind in the air.  In 2001, a new element was added to our fall tradition when the tragedy of 9/11 changed the lives of so many. 

I find it hard to believe that it has been 17 years since the events of 9/11 became so indelibly marked on the soul of our nation.  Four airplanes were taken and crashed in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Two skyscrapers fell. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives. Seventeen years, which means some of our newest and youngest students were likely just one year old on that tragic day.

Like the rest of the nation and world, I am certain that we at Old Westbury are taking time out today to remember in our own personal ways those that were lost. Of course, we must be certain to take time to empathize with the families of those who were lost and injured in the acts of terror that day. Additionally, it is important to remember the many who have died or been injured in the military conflicts that have followed, or because they selflessly rushed into the flames to aid those in distress, or because they worked in downtown Manhattan to clean up the site while seeking to bring closure for the victims’ families.

As you consider the anniversary of 9/11 today, please make sure you take the opportunity to thank those who give of themselves as first responders and law enforcement personnel.  Give thanks also to those who have served and continue to serve our nation through its armed forces. They continue to give selflessly of themselves to protect and serve the lives and rights all in America hold so dear.

A great irony lost in the occurrences of that fateful day is that September 11, 2001 was actually the United Nations International Day of Peace.  Since 1981, the UN General Assembly has held that the opening day of its regular session in September “shall be officially dedicated and observed as the International Day of Peace and shall be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”  In 2001, the opening day of the General Assembly was 9/11.

Put simply, September 11th was a day of peace that turned into a day of terror that became a day of remembrance.  Some may take part in small, quiet public tributes like the one held this morning outside the Student Union. Others will participate in a walk, rally or memorial service, like the run/walk set to begin outside the Clark Center this afternoon. Most will find a personal way to mark this occasion. No matter the form, such remembrances are vital so we can ensure that we learn from our shared history and that the future for the living will be brighter than the past. 

Let us each, in our own ways, remember 9/11 and perhaps turn the power of those memories into a force for the peace that fateful day was originally meant to represent.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

Appointments within the College Administration

September 6, 2018

Good afternoon to all,

I am pleased to announce today key additions and updates to the campus administrative team as we move forward with the 2018-19 academic year.

Academic Affairs

  • Dr. Duncan Quarless, who had been serving as interim assistant vice president for academic affairs, has been promoted to the position of interim associate provost. In addition to his prior responsibilities, Dr. Quarless will now serve as the deputy to the provost, taking an active role in the ongoing implementation of programs and activities to support the College’s academic enterprise and offer ongoing enhancements and opportunities for both students and faculty.
  • Dr. Jacob Heller was appointed this summer as the assistant vice president for institutional research and assessment. Dr. Heller will coordinate strategies for expediting data collection, performing in depth data analysis for a wide range of constituents, consulting on survey research, and developing data used for decision-making and a broad number of institutional and academic assessments. Dr. Heller moves to this position after serving most recently as an associate professor in the College’s Sociology Department. Dr. Heller joined Old Westbury in 2001 and has dedicated himself through both his teaching and service, including serving as department chair, chair of the Faculty Senate and as a key member of our Middle States accreditation team.

Student Affairs

  • Mr. Usama Shaikh has been awarded the role as vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer on a regular basis. He had been serving on an interim basis.
  • Ms. Claudia Marin Andrade is the College’s new dean of students. Dean Marin Andrade comes to us with more than 16 years of experience in higher education, most recently from Hofstra University where she was the assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Student Advocacy and Prevention Awareness. While at Hofstra she managed the behavioral intervention team, and provided strategic planning, assessment and management for high risk areas such as substance use, abuse and Title IX educational initiatives. Her career also includes service at Fordham University and Manhattanville College. Dean Marin Andrade is currently pursuing a doctorate in education leadership and has earned an M.S.W. from Fordham University and a B.A. from Manhattanville College.

Institutional Advancement

  • Dr. Wayne Edwards has been named vice president for institutional advancement on a regular basis. He had been serving on an interim basis.
  • Mr. Rossano Rovello is the College’s new director of advancement initiatives. Reporting to the vice president for institutional advancement, Mr. Rovello will work to advance the mission of the College by planning, organizing, and implementing strategies to increase the level of personal engagement and financial commitment from alumni and friends of our institution. Mr. Rovello brings a wealth of experience in the areas of major gifts and planned giving, most recently having served as associate director of individual giving at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, N.Y. He has also held roles at Teacher’s College of Columbia University, Hofstra University, St. Joseph’s College and Beth Israel Medical Center. Mr. Rovello earned his A.A. at Nassau Community College, B.A. at SUNY Albany, and M.A. at St. John’s University.

Public & Media Relations

  • Mr. Michael Kinane has been named vice president for communications and chief communications officer on a regular basis. He had been serving on an interim basis.

Each of the members of the SUNY Old Westbury team discussed here play important roles on our campus as it continues to progress and improve. Please be certain to congratulate them when you see them on campus.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

 

Welcome to the Students of Old Westbury

September 4, 2018

As the summer of 2018 ends, I want to welcome all students to a new year at SUNY Old Westbury.

I am proud to say that today we welcome to Old Westbury a class of first-year undergraduates numbering more than 740 students, the largest freshman class in College history. Also among the new students joining us this year are the first graduate students to enroll in the Master of Science in Forensic Accounting program.

For those students new to the College, I welcome you to a wealth of new experiences that await you as you interact with our faculty as each of you work to “own your future.” Please take the time, and opportunity, to immerse yourself in the activities and programs made available to you as a member of the dynamic, culturally aware student body our College is proud to serve. For those students who have been with us before and are returning from a summer away, I extend to you a hearty hello and hope you too will stay active in your campus as you move closer to your graduation day.

This year, we are happy to welcome 20 new members to the full-time faculty who will serve in departments across our four academic schools. I am very pleased to be adding their skill and expertise to the already deep well of intellectual capacity of our faculty.

While you move around on campus this week, you will not be able to miss some of the improvements completed and changes underway on campus, including the availability of new classroom and study spaces in our renovated Campus Library and the expansion of the Student Union parking lot.

This fall marks the beginning of what will be my 20th year as President of our College. Throughout my time here, I have witnessed the power of an Old Westbury education through the stories and experiences of our alumni family. Therefore, as you begin this new academic year, I urge you to take advantage of all that Old Westbury has to offer, from its caring faculty and staff to its wide range of student organizations and activities, its ever-improving physical plant to the services in place to help you succeed.

I am deeply grateful for the students who bring so much life to our campus. I hope you will join with me on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. in the Clark Athletic Center for the 2018 President’s Fall Convocation, a chance for us to come together as we begin a new and exciting year for our College.

Lastly, as vital members of our community, please be certain to treat your fellow students with respect, and to be diligent in your studies as you prepare to own the futures you want for yourselves.

I look forward to seeing you on campus this fall.

Calvin O. Butts, III 
President
 

Welcome to the Faculty and Staff

September 4, 2018

As the summer of 2018 comes to an end, I want to welcome all members of the faculty and staff to a new academic year at SUNY Old Westbury.

This fall marks the beginning of what will be my 20th year as President of our College and I am proud to say that today we welcome a class of first-year undergraduates numbering more than 740 students, the largest freshman class in College history. Also among the new students joining us this year are the first graduate students to enroll in the Master of Science in Forensic Accounting program.

Throughout my time here, I have witnessed the power of what can be accomplished with an Old Westbury education. While I recognize many have worked through the summer preparing for this academic year, I wanted to take this opportunity to ask that we remember the goal we have when we come to work each day: to help each student prepare to own the future to which he or she aspires.

To members of the faculty, I urge you to continue to raise the bar for our students. As we continue efforts to retain more students and provide more resources for students and faculty alike, a chief component that we must constantly address are the standards applied to our students as they pursue their studies. I implore you to set and maintain high expectations for attendance and student comportment in the classroom.

While the quality of instruction that occurs in the classroom is vital, those who serve our students as members of the College staff play an equally important role. Whether it is providing a clean learning environment, protecting those who study and work on campus, processing registration, payment and financial aid requests efficiently and accurately, or any of the many other tasks we undertake each day, the impact of our efforts links directly to the success of our student body. We must, in service to our students, do our best to support and develop the positive learning environment that exists on our campus.

As the new year begins, there are, of course, some changes. This year, we are happy to welcome 20 new members to the full-time faculty who will serve in departments across our four academic schools. I am very pleased to be adding their skill and expertise to the already deep well of intellectual capacity of our faculty. While you move around on campus this week, you should also note some of the improvements completed and changes underway on campus, including the availability of new classroom and study spaces in our renovated Campus Library and the expansion of the Student Union parking lot.

I am deeply grateful to all who teach and work here. I hope you will join with me on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. in the Clark Athletic Center for the 2018 President’s Fall Convocation, a chance for us to come together as we begin a new and exciting year for our College.

With the new year underway, I ask that we each do what we can, both individually and collectively; to make the most positive impact on our students. In the long run, we, our College, and our students will be better for it.

I wish you the best for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Calvin O. Butts, III 
President
 

A Message Regarding Diversity and Inclusion

July 6, 2018

To the Campus Community,

I write today to assure you that I disagree with the actions this week of our nation’s President and his administrative team to dissolve policy guidelines from the Education Department and Justice Department regarding diversity and inclusion in college and educational environments.

Although the latest actions of the Trump Administration will pose challenges for some institutions, I expect there to be no change or impact on our College. SUNY Old Westbury is an institution that was founded more than 50 years ago to provide access to higher education for those might not traditionally attend, including students from poor families, older students, those with minority backgrounds, and women from all walks of life. This historic trait lives on today as both our legacy and our work recruiting across our region, state, country and world attracts for us a student body that is reflective of the multicultural community that America has become, is older in age on average than many of our nearby competitors, and represents all segments of the socioeconomic scale.

SUNY Old Westbury is among the most ethnically diverse campuses in America and the most diverse in the State University of New York. We seek out students who have a strong desire to grow and learn, are prepared for the course of rigorous study our faculty provides, and are committed to taking ownership of the development of themselves and the communities in which they live and work.

Our College’s mission statement demands that we as an institution provide an environment that cultivates critical thinking, empathy, creativity and intercultural understanding while at the same time stimulating a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world.

The great diversity of race, thought and experience that we enjoy on our campus is key in fulfilling that mission. We each bring differences to our campus and its classrooms. Celebrating those differences and using them to explore the greater place we can all have in our global society is something that has always been done at Old Westbury, is being done today, and will continue to be done in future days.

Thank you.

Calvin O. Butts, III
President

 

Archive of Past Statements