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Letter from Kevin Collymore ’10

Dear Friends:

It is my pleasure to welcome you to this special issue of PURCHASE magazine as we introduce and celebrate Milagros “Milly” Peña, PhD as the sixth president of Purchase College.

After a nationwide search, we could not have found a candidate more perfectly suited to lead Purchase College into the future. President Peña truly represents what it means to be a native New Yorker and SUNY graduate. She is an accomplished academic and author with an ambitious vision for Purchase College.

President Peña will lead Purchase into its next phase by relying on her strengths as an intellect, healer, unifier, and visionary. Higher education, especially in the public sector, will be confronted with unprecedented challenges regarding internal and external funding, enrollment management, relevance, and value following the recovery from COVID-19. Such challenges will require tough short and long-term choices.

President Peña has a proven track record and the skill sets necessary to unite the campus community, alumni, and external stakeholders to ensure Purchase College lives up to the promises made in its mission and vision moving forward. She’s fully committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and has demonstrated ability as an adept fundraiser.

A public college education provides all students, regardless of their background, the tools to critically think in the global workforce. Since its founding by Nelson Rockefeller in the late 1960s, Purchase College seeks to make high-quality education in the liberal arts and the visual and performing arts accessible to all. The realities of 2020 have confirmed the value of those who can analyze, problem-solve, and adapt to ever-changing environments—the very definition of a liberal arts graduate. They have also demonstrated the unrelenting need for the arts and their ability to heal from a distance and connect us in hard times. Artists everywhere continually rise to the challenge and persist even as the paradigm shifts irrevocably. The power of creativity is unceasing and, fortunately, the foundation on which Purchase is built.

When the pandemic is behind us, we look forward to honoring President Peña in person for an inauguration ceremony deserving of the office she now holds. In the meantime, I’m thrilled to work with Milly and eager to see where she leads Purchase College in the future, near and afar.


Kevin Collymore '10 signature

Kevin Collymore ’10
President, Purchase College Alumni Association