Posts Tagged ‘Major General Fergal Foley’

SUNY Canton Graduates Nearly 900 Students at 111th Commencement

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

SUNY Canton celebrated the class of 2019 at the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 11, at the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.

SUNY Canton College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, class of 1963, opened the ceremony by asking the graduates to reflect on the memories and lifelong friendships they have made.

Dan Miller opens the 111th Commencement
Dan Miller ’83 opens the 111th Commencement Ceremony.

“I hope that as you move forward in your lives and careers, you will not only remember this day, but remember all those remarkable people who helped you along the way,” he said.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran noted this year’s class comprises nearly 900 graduates who range in age from 18 to 63 years old and represent 22 U.S. states and 6 foreign countries, including Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

President Szafran, Andrew Fitch, and Courtney Bish
Pictured are (l to r) SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, Outstanding Graduate Andrew P. Fitch and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish during the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony held May 11.

He then introduced two graduates who earned outstanding graduate awards: Andrew P. Fitch, a Mechanical Engineering Technology major from Australia, and Tia M. Tassava, a Management major from Chubbuck, Idaho. Ashley J. Livingston, a Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology major from Lisbon, was also recognized as the winner of the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award.

Student Government Association President Brayden S. White gave the senior class address, noting the college’s commitment to its motto “everyone is welcome here.”

Ashley Livingston stands up to be honored for her David R. Maynard Student Activities Award
SUNY Canton graduate Ashley Livingston of Lisbon was recognized as the college’s David R. Maynard Student Activities Award winner during the college’s 111th Commencement Ceremony.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are woven into the fabric of campus life, and because of that our education is holistically complete, which prepares us to go out and make a difference,” he said.

The keynote address was delivered by alumnus and retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980. 

Foley, who earned an associate degree in Business Management and was commissioned as a second lieutenant from the ROTC program, said he owed much of his success to the college.

“SUNY Canton was a solid foundation for me, and my degree has been instrumental throughout my career. My experience was certainly a factor in building my confidence to take risks.”

Retired Major General Fergal Foley applauds graduates at the 111th Commencement Ceremony
Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980, applauds graduates at SUNY Canton’s 111th Commencement Ceremony. Foley was the keynote speaker and received an honorary doctorate at the event.

He served in the New York Army National Guard from 1982 until 2006, during which time his assignments included deputy commander and chief of staff for Joint Task Force “Operation World Trade Center” after 9/11. He has returned to campus several times to talk to students about his experiences.

Foley told the audience that graduation should signify a new chapter in their relationship with the college.

“When you cross the stage, it’s not the end—it’s a transition. You are part of this SUNY Canton family for life. I recommend remaining connected with alumni affairs to take advantage of all the great services and keeping in touch with your classmates. And if I can ever be of service to help you, I will. We’re all family now, and that’s what families do—we take care of each other.”

Upon presenting Foley with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Szafran noted his “outstanding service to the nation, state and SUNY Canton.”

Fergal Foley awards a graduate with a medal.
Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley ’80 presents a graduate with a special medallion.

As the degrees were conferred, Foley and the President of the Alumni Board of Directors Kelly C. Obermayer, class of 1979, welcomed each graduate into the alumni family by presenting them with a special medallion.

The top five bachelor’s degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Health Care Management, Criminal Investigation, Management, Nursing and Homeland Security.

The top five associate degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Nursing, Criminal Justice, Veterinary Science Technology, Individual Studies and Liberal Arts.

Additionally, graduates from the college’s one and two-year Nursing programs were recognized at special pinning ceremonies held earlier in the week.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.

Accomplished Military Veteran to Address SUNY Canton Class of 2019

Friday, April 19th, 2019
Major General Fergal Foley

An alumnus and veteran who helped lead rescue and recovery efforts in New York City following the 9/11 attacks will be the keynote speaker at SUNY Canton’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony.

Retired Major General Fergal I. Foley, class of 1980, will address nearly 900 graduates at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 11, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition of his accomplishments.

“Major General Foley’s distinguished career epitomizes the level of excellence our graduates can achieve with the foundation that a SUNY Canton education provides, and we’re pleased to be able to present him with this honor,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. 

Foley earned an associate degree in Business Management from SUNY Canton and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Public Administration degree from Marist College, and a Master of Science degree from the U.S. Army War College.

He served in the New York Army National Guard from 1982 until 2006, during which time his assignments included Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff for Joint Task Force “Operation World Trade Center” after 9/11. He is currently the Senior Property Manager for the U.S. General Services Administration.

Foley not only has a history of service to his country, but also of giving back to SUNY Canton. He is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, a scholarship donor, and has visited campus on several occasions to discuss his experiences following 9/11. 

“I am truly honored to be invited to speak at this year’s ceremony,” Foley said. “SUNY Canton has always been a special place for me as a student and now as an alumnus. I look forward to addressing the graduates on this special occasion.” 

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. 

SUNY Canton’s Highest Ranking Military Alumnus Promoted

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

New York Guard commander Fergal Foley, a retired Army National Guard officer and 1980 SUNY Canton Alumnus, was recently promoted to the rank of Major General.

New York State Governor David A. Patterson recently presented General Foley with his second star, denoting his new rank. He is the highest-ranking military official known in SUNY Canton’s 101-year history.

 Fergal Foley, a 1980 SUNY Canton alumnus,  was recently promoted to Major General. Pictured is Rory Foley pinning the second star on his father’s uniform.

Fergal Foley, a 1980 SUNY Canton alumnus, was recently promoted to Major General. Pictured is Rory Foley pinning the second star on his father’s uniform.

“We take great pride in our students and alumni who serve in the armed forces,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “General Foley has achieved new heights in his military career and he is well deserving of this promotion. We are extremely pleased with his success and for his involvement with his alma mater.”

Earlier this year, General Foley returned to SUNY Canton and presented his first-hand account of the events surrounding the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He spoke to a full house at the College’s Kingston Theater and answered numerous questions following his presentation. General Foley served as the Department of Defense Chief of Staff and Acting Commander for the Joint Task Force “Operation World Trade Center” from Sept. 11 through Sept. 29, 2001, and was involved with coordinating response and relief efforts during the disaster.

“General Foley serves as a fantastic example of what our students can achieve by combining their military service with their SUNY Canton education,” said Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Robert L. Edwards, who is the founder of the college’s Veteran’s Association.

General Foley has served as a Director and Chief Operating Officer for American Defense Systems, Inc. He retired from the United States Army in October 2006 as a Brigadier General.

His key military assignments included serving as Executive Officer of the National Guard Regional Training Institute from 1996 to 1999.  He was later assigned as Deputy Brigade Commander from 1999 to 2003. In 2003, he was selected for Brigade Command in New York City and remained there until 2005. General Foley was later assigned as the Facility Manager for a National Guard Training Base until his retirement in October 2006.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Military Association of New York.  General Foley earned an Associate’s degree in Business Management from SUNY Canton, a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Public Administration degree from Marist College, and a Master of Science degree from the U.S. Army War College.

“We’re grateful that General Foley recently returned to campus to share his experiences with our students, faculty, staff, and community members,” said Vice President of Advancement David M. Gerlach. “His leadership and accomplishments are truly an inspiration.”

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 100 courses online each semester. The College’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years. Construction is now underway for the College’s new Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.