Donald Mawhinney has been a member of Onondaga Community College’s Board of Trustees since before the College opened its doors to students. Mawhinney was appointed a founding trustee in 1961 one year prior to classes starting in the College’s Midtown Plaza location. Fifty-five years later, on June 21, 2016, Mawhinney attended his final meeting as a member of the Board of Trustees.
During the meeting a resolution was passed in Mawhinney’s honor saluting his extraordinary service to the College and its students. You can read the resolution at the bottom of this story. Mawhinney was awarded “Trustee Emeritus” status and received a standing ovation from his colleagues.
“We can’t thank you enough for what you have done. You’ve been a mentor to many of us for many years and we look forward to seeing you in the future when you come visit us,” said Board Chair Allen J. Naples.
“I want to thank so many of you in this room who have worked so hard for the College. It’s been a real community effort. It’s been a great privilege being with all of you people on the board and having the chance to serve students, faculty, the administration and the community,” said Mawhinney. He turns 90-years-old this week and was the longest serving college trustee in the United States.
You can read more about Mawhinney’s life here. Onondaga Community College thanks him for his remarkable service and dedication to all of Central New York.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE TRUSTEE EMERITUS STATUS FOR
DONALD M. MAWHINNEY, JR., ESQ.
WHEREAS, over the course of more than 55 years of distinguished service to Onondaga Community College as a founding trustee, Donald M. Mawhinney, Jr. has demonstrated unwavering and steadfast commitment to the success of the college and its students, generously contributing his time and expertise to advance key college initiatives; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Mawhinney, a graduate of Nottingham High School and Hamilton College, attended Syracuse & Wisconsin Universities. He graduated from Cornell Law School in 1952 where he was an active member of the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity. Mr. Mawhinney enlisted in the US Army in 1944 and served until his honorable discharge in 1946, and stayed active in the Army Reserves until 1950, where he completed his service with the rank of First Lieutenant. Mr. Mawhinney then began his law career at Beekman & Bogue Law Firm, at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets in New York City. He moved to Syracuse to start his affiliation with Hiscock & Barclay, where he has been a partner since 1958. Mr. Mawhinney also served on the Onondaga County Board of Supervisors from 1958-1965 and was instrumental in many initiatives including the creation of the executive branch of government headed by the County Executive and the construction of the Public Safety Building; and
WHEREAS, as a founding member of the OCC Board of Trustees, Mr. Mawhinney is the longest-serving trustee in the United States and Canada and has held numerous leadership roles, including chair, vice chair and secretary. He served as a member of the OCC Foundation board as attorney, president and secretary and as chairman of the new “on the hill” campus construction program, including the Whitney Applied Technology Center. In 2006, OCC named an academic building in honor of his extraordinary service to the college and its students. In support of community colleges, Mr. Mawhinney has served on the executive committee and as president of the Association of Boards of Trustees of Community Colleges in SUNY, and as director and chair of the New York Community College Trustees Foundation; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Mawhinney has received numerous awards for service to community colleges, including the Distinguished Service in Trusteeship Award from the national Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges; the Distinguished Service Award and the Anne M. Bushnell Award for Extraordinary Leadership and Special Achievement from the New York Community College Trustees Association; and the Trustee Trailblazer Award from the national Association of Community Colleges Trustees. Mr. Mawhinney has also received numerous awards for his legal work, including recognition by the Martindale-Hubbell “AV” Peer Review; and
WHEREAS, through these contributions to Onondaga Community College, the OCC Foundation, and the greater Syracuse community, Mr. Mawhinney has demonstrated an enduring commitment of commendable service to the success of Onondaga Community College that has benefited students, faculty, and staff;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of Onondaga Community College expresses its most sincere appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Mawhinney for his exemplary service to Onondaga Community College; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, in recognition of his longstanding commitment and outstanding service to Onondaga Community College and the Central New York community, the Board of Trustees hereby awards to Donald M. Mawhinney, Jr. Trustee Emeritus status with all the rights and privileges thereof.
Approved by the Board of Trustees at the regular meeting on June 21, 2016