New Chair of the Board of Trustees

Vital Stats

Name: Tom Grape

Graduated from Ithaca College: 1980

First elected to the board: 2009

Day job: Grape is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Benchmark Senior Living, the largest provider of senior housing in the Northeast. The company was named one of the top 100 places to work by the Boston Globe.

Free time: Grape owns a farm in Vermont where he grows some vegetables and has an apple orchard. “It’s a great bit of respite and peace for me.”

Fondest memory as an IC student: Running around the campus with friends chanting “U‑S‑A, U‑S‑A, U‑S‑A,” after the United States beat the Soviet Union in hockey at the 1980 Olympics.

Plans for the future of IC: “We are very excited about the implementation of IC 20/20. This strategic initiative will keep us well positioned for the coming years.”

Top three challenges facing the College: (1) Declining demographics—there is a shrinking pool of college-age students. (2) The state of the economy—people worry more about affordability. (3) Technology—changes in technology are dramatically influencing higher education. Take Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs)—we’re trying to figure out how IC should handle that.