The Auburn/Cayuga Community College Alumni Association recognized two distinguished individuals—Cheryl Foster ’77 and William Tenity ’65—with the 2011 Alumni Award during a breakfast celebration May 22 at Springside Inn in Auburn.
“This event provides an opportunity for us to recognize some distinguished alumni who have made an impact on our College community and the broader community,” said President Daniel Larson during his welcome. “I believe we have one of the best alumni associations in the country. And that is because of you—a very strong and active group of volunteers who serve on the Board of Directors. You are an important part of what this College is all about.”
Alumni Association President Anthony Gucciardi ’61 agreed with Dr. Larson’s assessment of the board, adding that it is “the best among all SUNY community colleges.” He attributed the board’s success to its cooperative relationship with the College administration and to the “wonderful group of people who are always interested in helping.”
Gucciardi praised the recipients of the 2011 Alumni Award winners for their selfless giving of their time, talents, and resources to the communities in which they live and work.
Foster, professor of nursing and coordinator of family and community nursing at Cayuga, serves as a registered nurse at Auburn Memorial Hospital and as the funeral director at Farrell’s Funeral Home. She earned an associate’s in nursing magna cum laude at Cayuga, then went on to earn a BSN from D’Youville College in Buffalo, and a master’s of nursing and a post-master’s certification at Syracuse University. She has received numerous awards, including the Volunteer of the Year Award from the American Heart Association, a Great Heroes Award from the American Red Cross, and a Mu Sigma Alpha (mortuary science honor society) Award for Outstanding Academic Proficiency.
She also organized Healing Field at Hoopes Park for Memorial Day weekend celebrations in 2010 and again this year. More than 1,000 American flags pay tribute to patriotism and commemorate lost loved ones at the Auburn park.
“Foster possesses an infectious enthusiasm that spreads to others,” Gucciardi said.
Tenity was recognized for devoting his life to “educating, developing, and molding the area’s youth into well-rounded, productive citizens,” according to alumni board member Gerard Guiney.
After retiring in 1998 from a 28-year career as a teacher in the Auburn School District, Tenity became an active member of the New York State Retired Teachers Association, serving as its vice president and president. He also served as the Central Zone’s vice president, and he is currently Central Zone president and president and member of the State Executive Committee. He has served on the board of directors for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, the Booker T. Washington Community Center, and the Cayuga County Arts Council. Tenity holds degrees from Cayuga Community College, SUNY Oneonta, and SUNY Oswego.
“I only did what I wanted to do,” Tenity said in receiving his award. “I enjoyed every minute of it. That’s the secret to life—you’ve got to enjoy what you do. I will always treasure this award.”
Tenity and Foster were also recognized during the 57th Annual Commencement Ceremony held on the College’s Auburn Campus later in the day.