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State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith to Speak at Morrisville State College Commencement May 16

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.–New York State Senate Democratic Majority Leader, Malcolm Smith, will be the keynote speaker at Morrisville State College’s 98th commencement ceremony on May 16.

Smith, the first African-American Majority Leader and President Pro Tempore in New York State history and the first Democratic leader in almost 40 years, is well-known for establishing key priorities for the Senate including stimulating local economies statewide through job creation and economic development.

Throughout his career, he has distinguished himself as an outspoken champion for economic development and is a strong advocate in several areas including community renewal and health, housing and education.

Smith helped to launch “Operation Protect Your Home,” a series of proactive foreclosure prevention forums held across the state and created and chaired the Tri-Level Legislative Task Force, which was instrumental in establishing the Municipal Police Training Council in the State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

He initiated a statewide program to address the growing problem of gun violence in cities throughout the state with the participation of community and media leaders and has consistently fought to protect and preserve the rights of children who have been victims of sexual assault.

A leader in the effort to bring economic activity to Upstate New York, Smith created a “One New York” campaign that has highlighted the critical importance of the Upstate economy to New York’s development and success.

Representing the 14th Senate District in Queens since 2000, his unique skills and diverse background in both the private and public sector have helped expand social and economic opportunities for constituents in his home district.

He has brought millions of dollars back into Queens to help build affordable housing, improve schools and create jobs.

Smith began his career in public service as a senior aide to former Congressman Floyd H. Flake, from 1986-1991. He also served as a chief aide to former City Councilman Archie Spigner, was a City Hall assistant to former Mayor Edward I. Koch and was a member of the national advance staff for Vice-Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.
Prior to his public career, Smith had a distinguished career in real estate development.

A graduate of Fordham University, Smith earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration with a concentration in economics. Additionally, he obtained a certificate in negotiations from Harvard Law School and a master’s degree with a concentration in finance and operations management from Adelphi University.

Smith is married to Michele Lisby-Smith. They have two children, Julian and Amanda.

As Senate Majority Leader, Smith is an ex officio member of all Senate standing committees.

Morrisville State College’s commencement ceremony will take place May 16 on Drake Field at 1 p.m., weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the John W. Stewart Center for Student Activities (STUAC).

For more information about the college’s commencement exercises, visit

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options including a new bachelor degree in business administration, a bachelor of technology degree in criminal justice and an associate degree in renewable energy technology.

Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.


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