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New chair named to lead College Council

Kenneth Abt

Kenneth Abt has been appointed chair of the New Paltz College Council by Governor David Paterson.

He succeeds past chair Harry Scherr III, who died on Dec. 21, 2007.

Abt, who is chairman and chief executive officer of First Federal Savings of Middletown, first became a member of the College Council in 1995. The College Council consists of 10 members - nine appointed to seven-year terms by the governor and one elected by and from students on the campus - who develop and foster relationships between the institutions and local communities and promote campus Kenneth Abt and university interests.

Abt, a Middletown resident, was reappointed to the council in 2000. During his tenure, Abt has worked with three college presidents: Alice Chandler, Roger Bowen and the current president, Steven Poskanzer.

"For almost 14 years, our college and College Council have already benefited from Ken Abt's wisdom, thoughtful insights and deep belief in the importance of this college," said Poskanzer. "I couldn't be more delighted that he has been tapped as our council's chair. I look forward to working side by side with him to help New Paltz flourish."

Abt is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and completed further graduate study at the University of Connecticut and Indiana University.

He currently serves as a director of the New York Bankers' Association; was elected to three, 3-year terms on the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he served as chair of the Audit Committee; and has served as chair of the New York League of Savings Institutions; chair of First Monetary Mutual Limited; and director of America's Community Bankers.

His civic leadership roster includes serving as past president of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce; the Arts Council of Orange County; the Homemakers Service of Orange County; and the Orange County Citizens Foundation.

For more information about the council, visit collegecouncil.html.