More than 1,000 people are expected to visit the SUNY Cobleskill campus Thursday through Saturday for Homecoming Weekend.
The family friendly weekend will feature a bit of something for everybody,” said Lois Goblet, Cobleskill’s Assistant Vice President for College Advancement. “It’s an great opportunity for people to see what’s new and improved on campus,” Goblet said.
Alumni Dr. Kirk Weicht (’77) and Dr. Judith St. Leger (’85) will be guest lecturers during the first day of activities Thursday from 2 p.m.to 4 p.m. in Bouck Auditorium.
Weicht, who will also present his endowed scholarship to a pre-vet student during his visit, will speak about his career as a small animal veterinarian. Weicht graduated from Cobleskill with an A.A.S in Laboratory Technology. He currently runs the Brown Trail Animal Hospital near Fort Worth, Texas.
Leger is the corporate veterinarian for pathology and research at Sea World Parks and Entertainment. Based in San Diego, Leger oversees research initiatives related to animal collections. She also promotes the animals and education programs at Sea World and Busch Gardens.
Friday’s events kick off with the Fighting Tigers Club golf tournament at Cobleskill Country Club and end with five alumni being inducted to Cobleskill’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame inductees include:
A decorated runner, Chad Bader (’00) earned three NJCAA outdoor track national titles, six All-American honors in outdoor track and two more All-American honors for cross country during his time at Cobleskill. Also named SUNY Cobleskill’s Athlete of the Year in 2000, Bader went on to run at Canisius College. Currently, Bader is preparing to relocate to Honduras in January to begin full-time mission work with his wife and family.
Dan Gillespie (’72) followed his athletic days at Cobleskill — where he competed in cross country, basketball and track and field
with an extremely successful coaching career at Maple Hill High School, where he’s served 37 years as a business teacher. Entering this season, Gillespie had a 559-150-24 record coaching boys soccer, which includes three New York State championships. In total, he’s coached more than 100 seasons of varsity sports, which include boys soccer, boys basketball and track and field.
Clifford Helme Jr. (’48) attended Cobleskill after serving in the United States Marines. He helped Cobleskill’s basketball team to two New York State Technical College Tournament championships as the team went 35-7 over that span. Following graduation, he managed his own dairy farm for 16 years before returning to Cobleskill, where he worked as a technical assistant on the college farm for 25 years.
A two-sport athlete at Cobleskill, Jennifer Kaido (’01) was named SUNY Cobleskill’s Distinguished Alumna in 2008. During her collegiate career, she played volleyball and competed for the track team. She was twice named to the second team of the All-Region III team in volleyball and competed in the 200 NJCAA national championship meet in track. She continued her education at Cornell University, where she took up rowing. That led to the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she placed fifth in the quadruple sculls. Kaido is the executive director of the Indianapolis Rowing Center.
The current president of the SUNY Cobleskill Foundation, Kevin O’Donnell (’73) played two years of lacrosse, earning Most Valuable Player honors in 1973 and being named to the North/South Lacrosse All-Star Game the same year. He played two more years for Cornell University. O’Donnell is the vice president of the New England Culinary Institute.
The highlight for Saturday is the Alumni, Emeriti, Faculty and Awards Dinner. Honorees will include Judith St. Leger, Distinguished Alumna for the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Mark Grimaldi (’83), Distinguished Alumnus for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Patricia Fowler (’83) will be awarded the Distinguished Alumna for the School of Business. A professional chef, Fowler works for Wegmans in Pittsford. There, she’s the bakery artisan and she works for the research and development team, creating new food items for distribution. She also writes the staff and store entry manuals and assists in training and opening new stores.
Also being honored during the award ceremony will be Timothy Purcell (’93) and Tracy Purcell of (’85) as the Outstanding Alumni; Jason Padden (’04) as the Young Alumnus Achievement Award recipient; Dr. Michael Murphy as the Emeritus Award recipient and David Thompson as the Honorary Alumnus.
Also Saturday, Cobleskill alum Dan Fisk (’99) will perform at the Draper-Dix-Pearson Quad from 1 p.m.to 2 p.m. Fisk, who released his second solo album in June, performs an acoustic, folk-based rock. For a complete listing of Homecoming Weekend events, go to: http://cobyconnection.cobleskill.edu/events/event_details.asp?id=196352