Submitted on behalf of President Tom Rochon
After serving for nearly three decades in the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life at Ithaca College, vice president Brian McAree has announced that for health reasons he will be retiring on August 23. In a message to the staff of the division, McAree noted that in consultation with his doctors, he determined that it is in his best long-term interests to step away from his role at the college at this time.
“I can’t begin to tell you how much I have loved working with all of you and serving as your vice president over the past 12 years and being your colleague for 29 years,” he wrote. “We have accomplished so much together for the benefit of our wonderful students, and I will sincerely miss the camaraderie, collegiality and friendship that we have shared to help build this special community that is our ‘home away from home.’”
McAree joined the college in 1983 as director of residential life and was named assistant vice president for student affairs and campus life in 1989. He has served as vice president since 2000, overseeing a comprehensive student services division that includes over a dozen departments and programs, ranging from career services and athletics to public safety and the health center.
“Brian McAree exemplifies the student-centered ethos that is at the heart of the Ithaca College mission,” said President Tom Rochon. “Though he must step back at this time from the demanding job he has performed with distinction for the past dozen years, I know Brian’s heart will always be with IC and its students.”
Among his numerous contributions to the college, McAree has chaired the Commencement Committee, Diversity Strategic Planning Committee and Presidential Task Force on Diversity; served on the Middle States Accreditation Steering Committee, President’s Advisory Committee and Strategic Planning Committee; and initiated the Core Emergency Response Team (CERT) and IC-Community Workgroup. Locally, he has held leadership roles with Cayuga Medical Center, the Franziska Racker Centers and the United Way of Tompkins County. His honors include the Lifetime Service Award from the Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers.
“The focus of Brian’s commitment over the years has always been to assure that the quality of the student experience outside of the classroom matches the excellence of the experience inside the classroom,” said President Emeritus Peggy R. Williams, who appointed him to the vice president’s position. “During his tenure with the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, a number of graduates have gone on to enter the student affairs profession at colleges and universities across the country — a testament to the high caliber of leadership and mentorship provided by Brian and his team. He leaves big shoes to fill — in terms of his work ethic, his fine character and his engaging spirit and sense of humor.”
One recent graduate who cites McAree as his mentor — and a major reason why he switched his career choice to the field of student affairs — is Scott Nachlis ’12, who served as president of the Student Government Association.
“He never makes you feel that he is a vice president and you are just a student,” said Nachlis. “It’s always a matter of working together to accomplish something on behalf of the student body, the campus and the community as a whole. Brian doesn’t reject any idea out of hand by saying it is something that has been tried before; he is willing to let us learn from our experiences. If in 20 years I can be even half the person in this kind of job that he has been, I know I’ll be a success.”
Before coming to Ithaca, McAree held student services positions at Rider College, the University of Delaware and West Liberty State College. He earned a master of arts degree in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University, master of pastoral studies degree from Loyola University and bachelor of science degree in psychology from the State University of New York College at Cortland.
Stay tuned for an announcement in Intercom on the date, time and location of a reception to be held in his honor.