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AD Bisignano Named Recipient of 2016-17 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Athletic Director Chris Bisignano has been named the recipient of the 2016-17 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service.

Purchase, NY (May 19, 2017) Purchase College Athletic Director Chris Bisignano has always prescribed to an open door policy in an effort to help and support student-athletes in their academic and athletic pursuits.

That time commitment, dedication and availability to the campus community is now being honored. Bisignano learned Monday that he has been named the recipient of the 2016-17 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. He shares the honor with Lorraine Miller, the office manager and administrative assistant for the School of Film and Media Studies at Purchase.

Bisignano becomes only the third Panther administrator to earn that distinction, joining current budget manager Janet Shaughnessy and administrative assistant Donna Shaw. Shaughnessy won the professional service award in 1990, when she was the director of physical education, recreation and athletics. Shaw won the honor in 1998 for classified service to the college.    

“I am very humbled to have won this award,” Bisignano said. “It is very unexpected. I had no idea I was being considered. It is a tremendous honor.”

The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide systemwide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence, according to the State University of New York. These programs underscore the SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians, and professional and classified staff across its campuses.

Bisignano was hired as Director of Athletics in 2012. He is entering his 17th year as a member of the athletic staff.

Bisignano’s fundraising and revenue-boosting efforts have been instrumental in the department’s growth. Those efforts include raising funds to offset the costs of two turf field projects, among many other important facility upgrades. He is also credited in raising the total number of student-athletes through the addition of new sports, including both men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Currently, the number of student-athletes at Purchase College is the highest the program has seen in its history. Not only does Purchase have a record number of student-athletes, they also hold a higher GPA than the national average for members of the NCAA. The graduation rate is also the third highest among any cohort of students at the institution.

Through his dedication and commitment to giving student-athletes the best possible experience at Purchase, Bisignano has led the department to unprecedented heights. He has been a key role in the development of the athletic program at Purchase, including a transition to NCAA Division III status in 2006. The college formerly was a member of the Hudson Valley Athletic Conference and the North Eastern Athletic Conference.
Bisignano began his career at Purchase as the program’s first-ever softball coach, leading the Panthers to consistent playoff berths and a Hudson Valley Athletic Conference championship crown in 2003.

In addition to his coaching success, Bisignano served the department in many roles during his tenure, including Facilities Manager from 2000-06 and Associate Athletic Director from 2007-12. He now oversees the day-to-day operations of the department’s 17 intercollegiate athletic teams, and is also the primary contact for Purchase’s outside rentals and field usage, which provides a huge source of revenue for athletics.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Chris for the past four years, and I have always admired his dedication and willingness to go above and beyond in his position,” said Purchase Assistant Athletic Director Francesca Levine. “He consistently encourages our department staff and is a truly remarkable leader and motivator. I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to learn from someone like him.”

-Written by SID Bobby Ciafardini