Facility Inside Kaplan Hall Named in Honor of M. William Lahey, Former Chair of Orange County Legislature

PHOTO: Joan Wolfe, Judith Lahey and Dr. William RichardsNEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Nearly 70 family members, friends, county legislators, local elected officials and College employees turned out Wednesday to help SUNY Orange officially dedicate the M. William Lahey Library inside Kaplan Hall on the Newburgh campus.

Dr. William Richards, SUNY Orange president, and Joan Wolfe, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, oversaw the brief and informal event that featured remarks from Judith Lahey, wife of the late Bill Lahey who passed away in April 2011.

Wolfe presented Judith Lahey (center in photo, with Wolfe at left and Richards at right) with a framed copy of the resolution approving the Library’s new name, which passed unanimously at the Board’s April meeting, along with a bouquet of flowers and a lifetime pass to the new Library that bears her husband’s name.

Bill Lahey was chairman of the Orange County Legislature from 2006 to 2009, during which time the plans for the expansion of the SUNY Orange Newburgh campus, including construction of Kaplan Hall, were developed and implemented. In all, Lahey spent 12 years as a county legislator, including seven years in roles of leadership. He was also a member of the Newburgh School Board for 11 years, including a two-year term as president, and spent 12 years as a New Windsor town councilman.

By virtue of his ability to build consensus among his colleagues, Lahey shepherded the Legislature through an arduous, protracted and often contentious Newburgh campus site selection process, which ultimately led to the campus being developed at its current location. He also was instrumental in garnering overwhelming support from the Legislature to provide the necessary funding to make the expanded Newburgh campus a reality.

Additionally, Lahey held longstanding volunteer relationships with the New Windsor Little League and the YMCA.

More than 1,500 students are enrolled at the Newburgh campus, and the Lahey Library serves as a critical component in their academic preparation and success. The Lahey Library houses an array of collections, books and periodicals, along with computer workstations and research tools. It is also part of the Newburgh Library Collaborative, a five-facility consortium that includes the College’s libraries at both campuses along with the Newburgh Free Library, Curtin Library at Mount Saint Mary College and the Newburgh Free Academy Library.

The five libraries provide in‐person loans of library materials, reference services, and onsite use of collections for any eligible member of each participating library.

PHOTO: Dignitaries take part in Lahey Library dedication

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940