"MuhlenbergConnect", a Muhlenberg College Digital Alumni Publication, Shared a Portion of the SUNY Orange President's 2018 Commencement Remarks About her Mentor

PHOTO: Dr. Kristine Young and Dr. Donald ShiveMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Following is an excerpt from Dr. Kristine Young's remarks during SUNY Orange's 2018 Commencement, where she shared recollections of her mentor, the late Dr. Donald Shive, a longtime professor at Muhlenberg College. Muhlenberg recently shared Young's remarks with its alumni.

"...As I prepared for this evening’s event, I was reminded of my undergraduate days. It was there that I encountered an incredible professor and a trusted advisor in Dr. Donald Shive. He knew just how to take this young student’s interest in chemistry and shape it and help give it purpose. He opened doors to the possibilities of what a life in science and chemistry could mean.

I often tell the story that, later as I was pursuing my graduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I had a seminal moment where I realized I was less interested in “doing” chemistry and more inclined toward “teaching” chemistry. I believe, somewhere, very deep in my being, Dr. Shive’s presence in my academic life helped mold my interest in wanting to help more people understand and appreciate chemistry, and yes, experience the joy of learning. I am so glad that desire revealed itself to me at the appropriate time, allowing me to embark upon this wonderful journey in higher education. Clearly, Dr. Shive looms large in my life story. He passed away recently, so you can imagine how I will forever cherish that he attended my inauguration as president of this college two years ago and celebrated with me.

To bring my connection with Dr. Shive into contemporary times, he’s what you might call “an influencer.”

In my three years as president, I have spoken with countless SUNY Orange alumni who quite vividly recall one faculty or staff member who was their personal “influencer” here. That person who motivated, nurtured, cajoled, pushed, and most importantly, encouraged them. I’m confident that each of you today has a Dr. Shive. Each of you most likely can point to the left or the right of this very stage, and identify among our outstanding faculty and staff, that one person...

...This thing we call higher education is about people…it’s about relationships. The great power of education is that it can change people’s lives.

You, too, can be influencers. Many of you already are.

On this wonderful spring evening, more than 500 of you have traveled different paths only to arrive exactly at this time and place, on the Alumni Green of your soon-to-be-alma mater. You sit here, anxiously awaiting the end of my remarks and the beginning of the real reason you are here, which is to walk across this very stage. You sit here poised to tackle your next challenge. There are more than 500 of you, and more than 500 unique stories, dreams and circumstances.

Your presence has shaped our college community throughout your time here, and will continue to influence the student body in coming years. Your stories - those will be the ones I will share when I’m meeting prospective students and chatting with community leaders and elected officials...

...Your stories, yes, your stories will influence prospective students, elected officials and community leaders. Your stories will be the lens through which they view SUNY Orange. I challenge you to continue pursuing excellence and success in all that you do. I urge you to channel your inner Dr. Shive and serve as a positive influence on all those you encounter..."

Excerpts from remarks by Dr. Kristine Young '96
May 17, 2018

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940