Celebrating Marist Retirees
Marist recently honored the legacy of retiring long-time employees who have made their mark on the College during incredible careers. To celebrate the contributions and impact of 10 employees who have served for 20 years or longer, a special farewell reception took place in The Cabaret. The honorees included the most decorated women’s basketball coach in Marist’s history, a professor and administrator with more than half a century of service, and a number of well-respected members of staff and faculty.
Meet the Honorees:
- Robert Balogh-Robinson, Physics Lecturer, 26 years
- Leslie Bates, Editor for College Advancement, 30 years
- Sarah English, Director of Housing and Residential Life, 26 years
- Brian Giorgis, Head Women's Basketball Coach, 21 years
- Richard Grinnell, Professor of English, 31 years
- Daniel McCormack, Senior Professional Lecturer of Art, Head of the Film Photography Lab, 32 years
- Dr. John Ritschdorff, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Academic Programs, 53 years
- Subir Sengutpa, Associate Professor of Advertising, 24 years
- Sharon Smith, Office Assistant for Housing & Residential Life, 20 years
- Joseph Zeppetello, Senior Professional Lecturer, 26 years
President Kevin Weinman presided over the ceremony, speaking about the College’s deep level of appreciation and respect for the retirees and how their time at Marist will leave a lasting impact.
“With a mix of sadness and immense gratitude, we are here to say farewell and wish [our retirees] the very best on their forthcoming adventures,” he said. "As you leave here, carry with you the confidence that your work has been meaningful and that you are appreciated and respected by so many, including those surrounding you today."
From the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics, Balogh-Robinson began working at Marist in 1997 and, as chair, helped shape what the department is today.
“I truly enjoyed spending time with my inspirational and hardworking colleagues who always worked for the common good, collaborating with dedicated students on projects and problem-solving, and walking across the graduation stage with my wife and daughter as they earned their Marist bachelor’s degrees in the same year,” he said. “Marist is an institution with deep roots and strong branches, and I am happy to leave knowing that these branches of people will stay strong and supported.”
Dr. Ritschdorff ’68, who served Marist for more than 50 years, expressed appreciation for his family and a rewarding career at Marist.
“There have been many famous farewells in history over the years,” he said, “but the one I most identify with today is that of New York Yankee Lou Gehrig who in 1939 said, ‘Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,’ and I do.”
Dr. Ritschdorff joined the faculty in 1970 as a member of the Mathematics Department and served as department chair and acting dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics before being promoted to associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of Academic Programs. He also served on multiple steering committees and working groups for strategic planning and middle states accreditations.
Dr. Ritschdorff serving as Grand Marshal at 2023 Commencement in May.
Brian Giorgis ended his historic run as Marist Women’s Basketball Head Coach in March. His career will stand as one of the most unique and accomplished coaching careers in history, with 11 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances — including the conference’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2007.
Brian Giorgis at retirement celebration.
“I want to say how blessed I feel today,” Coach Giorgis said. “I feel honored to have had the opportunity to coach for so many years at Marist and to be part of such an incredible community.” He was also honored at a retirement celebration in March.
All retirees were presented with a custom Marist captain’s chair engraved with the college seal and the honoree’s name. In good fun and humor, a few retirees chose to sit in the styled chair at the reception while President Weinman gave his remarks about them.