Dr Drumm Retirement Party -Speaking at the Podium

By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

Friends, family, and colleagues arrived in droves to SUNY Broome’s Culinary & Event Center on June 24, 2023 to celebrate Dr. Kevin E. Drumm and his abundant accomplishments throughout his nearly 14 years of service as the College’s 7th president. In addition to highlighting his many professional achievements, the evening was spent fondly sharing memories and collectively extending heartfelt well wishes to President Drumm as he embarks on his next adventure.

Dr Drumm Retirement Party - view the crowd

Over one hundred and fifty attendees mingled on the first floor of the CEC, while grazing on passed and stationed hors d’oeuvres. Guests were then invited upstairs to sample a selection of Dr. Drumm’s favorite desserts, including Boston Cream Pie, served in homage to his Massachusetts roots. With sweet treats in tow, the group found their seats for the celebration, leaving the first several rows reserved for Dr. Drumm’s large, extended family who traveled from Maine and Massachusetts to celebrate his retirement.

Kathy Connerton, Esq., Chair of SUNY Broome’s Board of Trustees, served as the emcee for the event, and introduced a series of surprise speakers ranging from public officials, to colleagues from within higher education, to family members. Special presenters included:

  • Lea Webb, New York State Senator for District 52
  • Joseph Angelino, New York State Assemblyman for District 121
  • Donna Lupardo, New York State Assemblywoman for District 123
  • Representatives from NYS Senator Lea Webb’s 52nd District office
  • Jason Garnar, Broome County Executive
  • Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University
  • Michael Sullivan, Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs at SUNY Broome
  • Cameron Drumm, son of President Kevin E. Drumm
  • Cathy Williams and Art Smith, SUNY Broome Foundation

Each speakers’ remarks left the room alternating between roars of laughter and heartfelt emotional pauses. The most unique speech was a haiku poem entitled “A Baker’s Dozen,”  written and delivered by Michael Sullivan, Vice President for Administrative and Financial Affairs, with musical accompaniment by Michael Kinney, retired Dean of the Liberal Arts division. Harvey Stenger, longtime friend and President of Binghamton University encouraged Kevin and Bonnie Drumm to enjoy their post-retirement time together before joking that “she married you for life, not for lunch, so let’s get together soon!” Undoubtedly, the most beloved remarks came from Cameron Drumm. His admiration and appreciation for his father beautifully brought most attendees to tears.

Throughout the evening, President Drumm was presented with several honors. During Broome County Executive Jason Garnar’s remarks, he announced that June 24, 2023 was officially deemed, “Dr. Kevin E. Drumm” day! New York State Assemblywoman, Donna Lupardo, announced that the first beer crafted by SUNY Broome students, which can officially be served at the CEC, would be named “the Drummroll.” Cathy Williams and Art Smith, of the SUNY Broome Foundation, announced the creation of a foundation scholarship named in President Drumm’s honor, which prompted all in attendance to rise for a standing ovation.

After watching a video montage of Dr. Drumm’s nearly 14 years of service to the College, Board of Trustees Chair Kathy Connerton unveiled Dr. Drumm’s official presidential portrait, which will hang in the Library’s gallery alongside the College’s previous presidents.

“‘When Kevin was asked how he would like to be remembered, he shared that “I would just like to be remembered as a man who cared passionately about the mission of community colleges and the students that they serve.’ I am confident that you will be remembered as just that. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, and all here tonight, we thank you and are thrilled to celebrate with you,” shared Connerton.
Dr Drumm Retirement Party - Receiving a new bike.
The final surprise of the evening came via Stinger. On behalf of the campus community, SUNY Broome’s beloved mascot presented Dr. Drumm with a state of the art electric bicycle to enjoy throughout his retirement. Dr. Drumm was overwhelmed with appreciation.

“This evening was extraordinary and I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being part of this night. You have no idea how much Bonnie, Cameron, and I appreciate it.”

At Dr. Drumm’s final Board of Trustees meeting he was officially granted President Emeritus status.

Dr Drumm Retirement PartyDr Drumm Retirement Party