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Submitted on behalf of President Tom Rochon

When Carl Sgrecci transferred to Ithaca College in 1967 as a junior accounting major, Howard Dillingham was serving as the fourth president and the campus was still completing its move to South Hill. He recalls watching the silver sculpture atop Textor Hall—its official name is “Disc”—being installed as part of the College’s 75th anniversary celebration. Enrollment stood at about 3,400, there were approximately 440 faculty and staff, and the endowment was $322,000.

In 2012, as Sgrecci announces his plans to retire next year as vice president for finance and administration, Tom Rochon is serving as the eighth president and the South Hill campus comprises nearly 80 buildings totaling 2.3 million square feet of floor space. With the College now 120 years old, “Disc” remains a topic of campus lore while enrollment stands at 6,760, there are some 1,740 faculty and staff, and the endowment is a healthy $209 million.

During his 45 years at Ithaca as a student, teacher and administrator, Sgrecci has become as much of an institution as the College itself. Though a boundless optimist—he says that he’s holding onto his comb long after it’s really needed—he never fails to provide a pragmatic analysis of the College’s fiscal situation. His steady hand has helped the College weather the storms of several national economic recessions to come out even stronger.

“Carl has been a most unusual chief financial officer,” noted Rochon. “He began his IC career as a member of the faculty, and his campus presentations on our finances always bear the marks of a true educator. We have been fortunate to have a CFO for whom the College is so much more than a balance sheet: Carl’s love for the college means that he always places people first.”

Raised on the family dairy farm in Watkins Glen, Sgrecci earned an associate’s degree in business from Corning Community College, his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ithaca, and an MBA in finance from Syracuse University. He joined the School of Business faculty in 1969, while also working at Price Waterhouse and a local accounting firm at various intervals to obtain the necessary experience to qualify for the Certified Public Accountant exam.

He taught nearly all of the courses offered in the accounting curriculum, with primary emphasis on principles, intermediate and advanced accounting. In 1973 he received the College’s Outstanding Teaching Award. One of Sgrecci’s students was Steve McCluski ’74, who would go on to become senior vice president and chief financial officer for Bausch & Lomb and a member of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees.

“I have known Carl for almost the entire time he has been associated with Ithaca College,” said McCluski. “As a student, member of the faculty and executive administrator, Carl has seen and done it all. He has been an outstanding leader of the finance function, resulting in the College being in excellent financial health. Carl will be missed, but I know he will be looking forward to a well earned retirement.”

In 1975 Sgrecci moved to the administration, serving as the College’s comptroller and then as treasurer and controller. He was promoted to vice president and treasurer in 1984, then to vice president for finance and administration in 2003.

Sgrecci oversees the Offices of Business and Finance, Facilities, Human Resources and Information Technology Services, all areas that have seen significant growth and transformation over the years. His leadership has ensured that these offices remain at the forefront of industry “best practices.” The breadth and depth of his knowledge also means that he has played a key role in nearly every major College planning and policy endeavor of the past three decades, ranging from the establishment of multi-year budget outlooks to the adoption of a Climate Action Plan to achieve carbon neutrality. His fiscal savvy has helped the College finance both the construction of new buildings and the upgrading and renovation of existing facilities.

“Carl is well known for his extraordinary talents in financial affairs,” said President Emeritus Peggy R. Williams, who worked with him from 1997 to 2008. “He is much more than that, however. Carl is an avid learner and a gifted teacher—invaluable traits that have served Ithaca College so well over the years.”

Sgrecci has put his green eyeshade to good use serving the wider Ithaca community as well, particularly in the areas of health and human services. He has been president of the board of directors of the Special Children’s Center and Cornell Fingerlakes Credit Union, president and treasurer of the board of directors of Longview, and member of the board of directors of the United Way of Tompkins County, Home Health Care, Inc., and Tompkins County Area Development, Inc.

“Ithaca College has been, and always will be, a very special place for me,” said Sgrecci. “It is so because of all the wonderful people who work here. It has been a privilege for me to have been able to work with so many of them for so long, each of us contributing in our own way to deliver on the College’s mission. To paraphrase one of my favorite personalities from the early days of television, Jackie Gleason, ‘How sweet it has been!’ And I thank everyone for allowing me to be a part of it all.”

Sgrecci’s retirement will be effective August 31, 2013. The search for his successor will be launched during the coming year.

Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans | 12 Comments |
The following comments are the opinions of the individuals who posted them. They do not necessarily represent the position of Intercom or Ithaca College, and the editors reserve the right to monitor and delete comments that violate College policies.
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Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from jablard on 06/19/2012
Will you still be allowed to swim? Just joking. Congrats!
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from ddresser on 06/19/2012
Carl,

You are the best! We cannot imagine a fiscal officer who understands so well the purpose of a college or university. It was a privilege to serve with you, it is great to know you as a friend, and we look forward to seeing more of you in retirement as you and Marilyn get to spend more time at your lake home at Elm Beach.

Congratulations!

Dave and Judy Dresser
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from kwikoff on 06/20/2012
Those are shoes too big to ever be filled. Hope we find someone with as much integrity and talent for our future. Congratulations and enjoy your well-earned retirement -- you will be missed!
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from bterrell on 06/20/2012
Carl,

You will be missed in so many ways. The College will never be the same
without you at the helm. Selfishly, we'd love to ask you to stay - but
you more than deserve to retire. Enjoy it! Barb
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from sthurston on 06/20/2012
Carl,
It has been many years since we graduated from Watkins Glen High School! I am so thankful that our paths crossed again here at Ithaca College. All the best to you as you begin the countdown to your well-deserved retirement.
Sheryl
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from cmichael on 06/20/2012
Congratulations, and thanks for sailing us though the recent rough
waters of higher education finance. I'll miss your Powerpoint
presentations! Sincere Regards and Best Wishes, Cathy
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from mforrest on 06/20/2012
Oh, Carl, you will be so sorely missed. In my 20 years at IC, I've never met anyone more approachable, informative, and wickedly funny. Nor has there been anyone more responsible for the good position IC is in, financially. I am thrilled for you, but oh man, I'm going to miss seeing you walking around campus, and I'm going to miss the sense of comfort that comes from knowing that IC's financial course is being set by a brilliant and caring captain.
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from kmcgavin on 06/20/2012
Mr. Tudball,

What can I say, but that you are the best. It has been over 32 years since I began my journey as your secretary and it has certainly been an awesome time. I have been so fortunate and blessed to have worked with someone with such a great sense of humor, immeasurable dedication and vision for Ithaca College and appreciation for your staff. You truly are one of a kind and I will miss you as we both begin new chapters in our lives.

Mrs. Wiggins
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from pwilliams on 06/20/2012
Congratulations Carl!!! thanks for the wonderful work you have done for Ithaca College over the years. I enjoyed our work together.
Now, I am ready to offer you a one-on-one seminar entitled "Living a Full Life After Leaving IC". No tuition charge for you...

All the best.
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from sdurnfor on 06/20/2012
Carl….thank-you for your years of service here at Ithaca College,
especially your contributions to Longview. You will be missed! Do enjoy
this next stage in your life… - Susan
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from tempesta on 06/20/2012
Carl:
Joe and I send our best to you and Marilyn as you transition into retirement. Life was full before you retired; life will be full even after you retire. Thanks for all you have done to keep this college moving forward.

PS....retirement is great! You will have the gift of time to do what you want when you want. Enjoy!
Vice President Carl Sgrecci ’69 Announces Retirement Plans Comment from jhickey on 06/22/2012
While I worked at IC's Library, I had the pleasure of working with Carl (on
the first Library automation project in the 90s, and seeking his help on
other matters. He epitomizes the best of Ithaca College's culture,
always approachable and concerned with other's needs, able to explain
complex situations intelligently but also intelligibly, with humor and
patience.

Thank you Carl, for making Ithaca College an excellent place to work
and to learn!

John Hickey, IC Library/ Archives (retired)