In Memoriam

Thomas Nyquist, a former SUNY New Paltz faculty member and one of the longest-serving mayors in Village of New Paltz history, passed away on Dec. 2. He was 88.

Nyquist was born in Montana in 1931. He served in the Army during the Korean War and later began a career as a student of political science and international relations, earning his Ph.D. in African Studies from Northwestern University.

Nyquist and his wife, Corinne, came to New Paltz in 1968. Corinne began what would become a decades-long career at the Sojourner Truth Library, and Thomas assumed a faculty role teaching African Studies. He later transitioned to a position as an administrator in grants development at SUNY Central.

After years of engagement in local government on planning boards and in the Ulster County Legislature, Nyquist was elected Village of New Paltz mayor in 1987. He served four consecutive terms through 2003. Among his many achievements were the development and expansion of many of the parks and public walkways that continue to define the character of the Village.

The Nyquist family created the Tom and Corinne Nyquist Foundation in 2004 to provide small grants to grassroots initiatives and nonprofit programs in New Paltz and the Montana region of his birth.

Among the Nyquist Foundation’s most significant contributions to New Paltz was its purchase of a 56-acre plot of land just off Huguenot Street. Now renamed the Nyquist-Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary, the space is home to more than 140 species of birds, and offers hiking trails leading to gorgeous views of Wallkill River wetlands beneath the Shawangunk Mountain range.

Thomas Nyquist is survived by Corinne, his son Jonathan and daughter Lynn, and many loving grandchildren. 

Professor Emerita Betty McKnight passed away on Jan. 6, 2020.

McKnight was a former New York State Professor of the Year who served at SUNY New Paltz for many years, including as chair of the then-Department of Education. She was a 1974 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and an author or co-author of many elementary science school textbooks.

McKnight’s obituary describes her as “a lifelong naturalist and scientist,” who spent much of her time in the great outdoors, and dedicated herself to preservationist causes including the Sierra Club and the Cayuga Nature Center, where she served on the board of directors.

She is survived by her brother, Butch, sister-in-law, Mary, and many nieces, nephews and close friends.


1930 - 1939 
Sarah (Cuccia) Sperandei ’32
Elsie (Bell) Cancro ’37
Mary (Broderick) Holt ’37
Kathryn (Steen) Wager ’37
Mildred (Davis) Marks ’39

1940 - 1949
Beverly (St. Leger) Hurd ’40
Inez (Stoneman) Van Alst ’45
Marie (Lamoree) Conger ’46
Barbara (Mott) Lindemann ’46
John Ogden ’47
Rita (Lewis) Rudow ’48
Dorothy (Byrne) Ryan ’48
Mara (Giniger) Seddon ’48
Patricia (Barker) Coon ’49
Sidney Schaffer ’49
Mary Wohlscheid ’49

1950 - 1958 
Anne McAllister ’50
Evelyn Pierce ’50
Joan (Hanley) Kallman ’51
Joan (Barton) Kelety ’51
Walter Chaskel ’52
F. (Ackley) Cooper ’52
Joan Gibson ’52
Elizabeth Purdy ’52
Jane (Murtagh) Werner ’53
Audrey (Rose) Harlow ’54
Barbara (O'Connor) Liegey ’56
Helen (DeMaria) Millicker ’56
Elaine (Geyer) Power ’57
Walter Rubinstein ’57
John DeGilio ’58
Jacqueline (McDowell) Feeney ’58
Thomas Murphy ’58
Carolyn (Hannay) Long ’59
E. Ritz ’59

1960 - 1969 
Valerie (Wissler) Bartolacci ’60
Joel Reuben ’60
Philip Kirschner ’61
Denis Racine ’61
Patricia Leadbeater ’62
Marie Puttlitz ’62
Janet (Milner) Steeves ’62
William Chandler ’63
Barbara Kuhn ’63
Lillian Pipkin ’63
Linda Doherty ’65
Charles Olivea ’65
James Robbins ’65
Ernest Gamble ’66
Rosemary Reimer ’66
Jerrold Altman ’67
Anthony Franco ’67
Ralph Westfall ’67
Subhash Jhanji ’68
Christina Vertullo ’68
Richard Walker ’68
Mary (Doherty) Doyle ’69
Laura (Siracusano) Dudek ’69
Harold Grimm ’69
John Hummel ’69

1970 - 1979
Michael Flanagon ’70
David Gillman ’70
Frank Modica ’70
Carol Myers ’71
Ruth Arluck ’72
Rosemary Degeorge ’72

Helene Dixon ’72
Patricia Doyle ’72
Angela (Crescimano) Trucks ’72
Marion Baker ’74
Dennis Connors ’74
Allen Falber ’74
Dave Feigenbaum ’74
Charles Norton ’74
Ronald Plambeck ’74
Alan Knowles ’77
Mary Bendas ’78
Vivian Mucci ’78
Cornelius Best ’79
Kathie Halvey ’79
James Post ’79
Dolores Projansky ’79
Enid Storey ’79
Carolyn (Parker) Yohannes ’79

1980 - 1989
Joanne (Daly) McGilton ’80
Armond Watlington ’80
Lydia Cordier ’82
Patricia Kelly ’82
John Vett ’82
Douglas Goodemote ’83
Peter Jung ’83
Lauren (Waligurski) Lebhar ’83
Barbara Long ’83
David Shulman ’83
Hilari Connington ’85
Maria (Gonzalez) Witt ’86
Sheila Hodges ’87
Melvin Smith ’87
Patricia Barpoulis ’89
Maxine Chapin ’89
Gina McGinnis ’89

1990 - 1999
Janet (Ostmark) Horton ’90
Sharon Satterly ’90
Robert Schmitt ’90
Janet Smith ’91
Eleanor Pitcher ’92
Zbigniew Soltysiak ’92
David Pierce-Feith ’93
Nick Rizzo ’93
Jocelyn (Leclerc) Long ’94
Debbie Schnide ’94
Aaron Meadow ’95
Aaron Padwee ’97
Sandra Sherman ’97
Cynthia Schiller ’98
Patrick Piccirilli ’99

2000- 2019
Charles Daniels ’00
Melissa Hoffmann ’03
Richard Jennings ’04
Tuan Hoang ’05
Matthew Parks ’07
Jennifer Organtini-Judware ’09
Micheil Yohannes ’13

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Douglas Baker
Dr. Beth Baumert
Mr. Emil Dedek ’88
Dr. Roland Hess
Mr. Ray Jefferies
Mr. Lawrence Matson
Dr. Betty McKnight
Dr. Leatrice Mendelsohn
Dr. Thomas Nyquist
Prof. Conrad Suter