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Morrisville State College president announces resignation

MORRISVILLE, NY—Morrisville State College President Raymond Cross announced today that he will resign in February 2011, after 13 years as head of the college, to become chancellor of University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin Extension.

In an e-mail letter to the college community, Cross wrote poignantly about his memories, the people and his time at Morrisville.

"It has been a privilege, an honor really, to have been part of the Morrisville family," the letter said. "I still swell with pride when we sing the alma mater with students, graduates and the Morrisville family. The “noble maples” are gone but the heart and soul of this college, the people, the family that is Morrisville has grown in number and in stature and they are the true “noble maples” anyway."

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "It is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to President Ray Cross, who has been a steadfast supporter and advocate of Morrisville State College and the State University of New York. He will be greatly missed. At the same time, we could not be happier for President Cross as he moves to this next exciting stage in his career. He leaves Morrisville better than he found it, as it continues down a path of excellence and innovation in undergraduate education. In the next few weeks, we will undertake the appropriate steps with the Morrisville State College Council to begin a presidential search so as to insure a smooth transition."

Matthew Morgan, chairman of the College Council, said, “A true trailblazer; leading with passion, innovativeness and skill, Ray Cross's accomplishments are too numerous to list."

"We have been extremely fortunate to have had such a forward thinking president for 13 years. The University of Wisconsin system is lucky to have attracted such an idea-based leader," Morgan added.

Richard Carreno, assistant to the president, noted with admiration Cross’s entrepreneurial focus for the college and his vision for growth. “Always on the cutting edge of education and technology, Ray guided the college through unprecedented change from a two-year to a four-year institution, infused with an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Cross was president and CEO of Northwest Technical College in Minnesota when the SUNY Board of Trustees elected him the seventh president of Morrisville State College in 1998. He succeeded President Frederick W. Woodward, who resigned in 1997 after leading Morrisville for nine years.

During Cross's tenure, Morrisville State College significantly increased its bachelor degree offerings in specialized niche areas. The construction of several new facilities, which function as real-world learning laboratories, and competing in NCAA Division III athletics added to Morrisville's prominence as a premier baccalaureate college. Cross spearheaded several agriculture, energy, and technology initiatives, including the ThinkPad University partnership with IBM, and the Controlled Environmental Agriculture project - a unique algae greenhouse facility that is the first closed-loop system to address the future of energy supplies, food security, local food supply, and environmental quality with partner, O'Brien and Gere - making the college synonymous with technology and renewable energy.

Cross has leveraged the college's roots in agriculture and technical programs, making rural entrepreneurship a priority with the development of Nelson Farms, a state-of-the-art, one-stop processing facility for small-scale food processors, farmers, growers, and producers.

Construction has already begun on one of Cross's visions, an equine rehabilitation facility in the Town of Nelson on Route 20.

Despite the tremendous growth of the college, Cross said, "The true college is not the land or the buildings that we call Morrisville State College; it is the faculty, the staff, the students – our community of learners. That is the true college that I have grown to love and admire."

Raised on a dairy farm in Michigan, Cross has a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, an M.S. from Central Michigan University, and a B.S. from Ferris State University.

He and his wife, Miriam, live in Morrisville. They have four children and four grandchildren.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.

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