SUNY Canton Canino School Namesake Passes

Joel Canino

Joel Canino has been an active, supportive alumnus and friend for nearly 50 years.

SUNY Canton is saddened by the passing of one of its most dedicated alumni and greatest supporter.

Joel M. Canino of Glastonbury, Conn., a 1959 graduate, died this morning (Friday, March 13, 2009). He had been hospitalized since Monday.

“Although we are all deeply saddened by Joel’s passing, we celebrate his life and his legacy as we know he would like us to,” said President Joseph L. Kennedy. “Joel lived a successful and richly rewarding life both personally and professionally. He has been an active, supportive alumnus and friend for nearly 50 years and we are proud that he has been such an influential part of our success.”

Mr. Canino is the former chair of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors. He generously donated the largest gift in the College’s history in December of 2004 when he gave $2 million to the SUNY Canton Foundation in order to benefit students. The College commemorated his generosity by renaming the School of Engineering Technology the Canino School of Engineering Technology. Most students in the Engineering Technology curricula simply refer to it as the “Canino School.”

In 2007, Mr. Canino and his high school classmate George F. “Fred” Dennison donated an additional $1 million to create the Baldwinsville High School Class of 1957 Endowed Scholarship. Their contribution provides annual scholarships to incoming SUNY Canton students from Charles W. Baker High School near Syracuse, formerly known as Baldwinsville High School where Canino and Dennison attended.

The first recipient of that scholarship, Jacob M. Neely, will be graduating this May from the Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program. Two other recipients are currently in the same curriculum.

Mr. Canino graduated from the Air Conditioning Engineering Technology program under the tutelage of Professor Emeritus Harry E. King and alongside Ronald L. Woodcock, the college’s current Chair of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Centennial Campaign. Canino also shared professional expertise with the college as a member of the Air Conditioning Engineering Technology Advisory Committee.

According to David Wells, Dean of the Canino School of Engineering Technology, “Joel is a role model for the students in our school. He will be remembered for his generosity to the College, certainly, but also for his groundbreaking innovations within his field and his remarkable work ethic, wisdom, and success.”

After graduating from college, Mr. Canino worked as an industrial purchasing agent for Inland Supply Company in Syracuse. He was soon noticed and just a year later he was offered a position at the Syracuse construction contracting firm of H.H. and F.E. Bean, Inc., where he eventually became executive vice president. In 1973, he moved to Orlando, Florida to work for the Pittsburgh-based mechanical contracting firm of Sauer Industries, where he served as president of various subsidiaries. In 1984, he became president of C.N.F. Industries in Meriden, Connecticut.

Mr. Canino and a business partner began Gemma Power Systems in 1997. Gemma Power Systems is among the largest power plant builders in New England and one of the top in the nation. The firm manages the engineering, procurement, and construction of multi-million dollar power projects. Mr. Canino sold Gemma in 2006.

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.

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