Excelsior College is pleased to announce the election of three new officers of its Board of Trustees. Retired Brigadier General Jerry Neff of Bradenton, Florida will serve as chair; Dr. Mary O’Connor of Arnold, Maryland, will serve as vice chair; and Mr. David W. Oliker of Charlton, New York will serve as treasurer. The Albany, NY based college is an accredited, nonprofit distance education institution serving working adults.
This is the first time in college history that alumni will serve as chair and vice chair of the Board of Trustees. Neff and O’Connor, both graduates of Excelsior, will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively. Oliker will serve as treasurer. All will begin their new roles in January 2014.
Mr. Neff earned his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from Excelsior in 1987. A graduate of the U.S. Army War College, he enlisted in the National Guard in 1960. He retired from military service in 1999 when, as a brigadier general, he was the Deputy Commanding General, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Orlando, Florida. A successful banker in his 47-year civilian career, he retired in 2010 as chairman of M & I Bank in the West Coast Florida Region. He has been a member of Excelsior’s Board of Trustees since 2011.
Dr. Mary O’Connor earned her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Excelsior College in 1994, a Master of Science in nursing from Northeastern University in 1997, and a PhD from George Mason University in 2005. Currently, Dr. O’Connor is an associate professor of nursing at Notre Dame of Maryland University and has published extensively on the subject of nursing leadership in journals such as Journal of Nursing Administration, Nursing Administration Quarterly, Nurse Leader, and Nursing Forum. She is also a former president of Excelsior’s alumni association. She has been a member of Excelsior’s Board of Trustees since 2009.
Mr. David Oliker, recently retired as CEO of MVP Health Care, headquartered in Schenectady, New York, led the company from its inception in 1982. Mr. Oliker is a nationally recognized leader in managed care and holds a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University, a master’s degree from The American University, Washington, D.C.; and a post-master’s graduate certificate in health care administration from George Washington University, Washington, DC. He has been an Excelsior trustee since 2010.
“We are most pleased that Mr. Neff, Dr. O’Connor and Mr. Oliker will be assuming these important roles,” stated Excelsior College President John Ebersole. “Their personal experiences represent the fields of banking, healthcare, nursing, and the military, each of which reflects the career paths many of our adult students pursue. Their collective knowledge of Excelsior and their respective areas of expertise will complement the diversity of our Board.”
Excelsior College has a student body of approximately 37,000 working adults from across the nation and at its 2013 commencement ceremony celebrated its 150,000th graduate. Nearly one-third of the college’s enrolled student body of approximately 37,000 is comprised of active duty or reserve military personnel. Excelsior College offers degree programs through its five schools: business and technology, health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, and public service.