NEWBURGH, N.Y. — The Mount Saint Mary College community gathered on April 24 to bid farewell to beloved president, Kevin Mackin, OFM, who will step down from the leadership position at the end of the academic year.
“He has truly led by example,” said Mary Bocskocsky, president of the student government association, who spoke on behalf of the students during the ceremony. “He went above and beyond to make sure the students had a first-rate experience, no matter what.”
Creating that first-rate experience meant doing things like remembering students’ names and greeting them around campus and at sporting events with a smile, she said.
It also meant expanding the college in a big way. During his six-year presidency, the school acquired the Dominican Center — a five-story, 100,000-square-foot building that formerly housed a high school and the Dominican sisters’ motherhouse — and some 13 acres of land surrounding the building. Kevin led the capital campaign to raise $10 million to transform the structure into a state-of-the-art library, residence halls and educational space. The renovated building opened Jan. 28.
Kevin’s other achievements include hiring more full-time faculty to improve the faculty-student ratio, expanding the intercollegiate athletic program, and introducing an interdisciplinary major in technology and digital media.
“You believed in the promise of the Mount,” said Sr. Ann Sakac, O.P., his predecessor, during the celebration. “You pushed everyone to try harder, and they did.”
Kevin expressed his gratitude to all who participated in the reception in the Dominican Center, as well as the entire college community. In an email, Kevin wrote special thanks to the college’s advancement team for producing a tribute video, available on the MSMC website.
“Focusing on my core vocation as a Franciscan priest for 50 years,” Kevin noted. “I will paraphrase St. Paul: I thank God for you every time I think of you. And every time I pray for you, I will pray with joy. This reception, in this sacred space, reminds me of so many memories and accomplishments, and the blessings of colleagues and friends like yourselves along the way.”
As the Times Herald-Record reported in an April 25 story, “The Mount Saint Mary College community couldn’t wait until the last minute to say goodbye to the man many know fondly and simply as Fr. Kevin.”
The fifth president in the college’s 54-year history announced last fall his intention to step down. Kevin’s plans for the future include addressing health issues and a move to St. Petersburg, Fla.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province. The above image is courtesy of Mount Saint Mary College.