By Elisabeth Costanzo Stewart

Past and present faculty, staff, administration gathered on campus on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. to attend the dedication ceremony of the Dr. Battisti Student Reflection Area. This tranquil, outdoor space, which was designed for members of the campus community to use as a spot to rest, converse, and reflect, is situated between the Natural Science Center and the Calice Advanced Manufacturing Center. The pergola and surrounding area are named in honor of Dr. Francis L. Battisti and his unfailing devotion to SUNY Broome, which lovingly spanned over 50 years. 

Dr. Francis L. Battisti retired from his position as the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of SUNY Broome in October of 2019. In honor of his decades of service to the College, fellow colleagues, family, and friends collaborated with SUNY Broome’s Foundation to create a space for students bearing his name.  The College’s facilities staff spent months designing and constructing the Reflection Area to craft the ideal outdoor spot for students. 

Dr. Kevin E. Drumm, President of SUNY Broome, served as the emcee for the event and introduced his longtime friend and esteemed colleague, Dr. Battisti. 

Dr. Francis Battisti addressing the crowd.
Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

As Dr. Battisti addressed the crowd, he held up a program from the 13th Annual Science Congress that was hosted at SUNY Broome (then Broome Technical Community College) on April 7, 1962. 

“As you all know, it took me quite a while to clean out my office. But as I did, I found this. This is a program from the science fair that I was invited to attend as a young student. I was fourteen years old when I first came to this campus and I was in awe. I spent the next five decades still feeling that awe,” shared Dr. Battisti. 

Dr. Battisti came to Broome Technical Community College as a first generation college student. Self-admittedly average in the classroom, Battisti graduated with a degree in Business Administration: A.S.  in 1968. Thanks to the foundation that he received at Broome Tech, he continued his business studies at The State University of New York at Albany. He remained at the University at Albany for graduate school, but refocused his studies to counseling and personal services. He earned an additional master’s degree in social work from Syracuse University and earned his doctorate from Marywood University in human development. 

Dr. Battisti returned to SUNY Broome in 1971 as a counselor in the Counseling and Student Development Center. He went on to become the Director of the center before transitioning to a faculty member. A beloved and distinguished professor, Dr. Battisti joined the administration  as the Dean of Academic Services and eventually the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.

For Dr. Battisti, every speaking engagement is a class and his audience is a room full of students. In this case, Dr. Battisti didn’t hesitate to call on an attendee to participate in his remarks. After teasingly telling his ten year old grandson, Lorenzo Battisti, to put his phone away during his grandfather’s dedication ceremony, he invited Lorenzo up to the podium and reminded the group in attendance to never forget the main mission of the College – to educate and support the students of our community, because they are the future of our region. 

Dr. Francis Battisti with his grandson, Lorenzo. Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

After a ribbon cutting ceremony, friends and colleagues immediately put the Dr. Battisti Student Reflection Area to use by visiting and celebrating in the space.

While Dr. Battisti certainly would love for current students to regularly visit the Reflection Area throughout the semester, he also hopes that students will not hesitate to stop by another very important spot on campus. “My first job on campus was as a counselor. If the pandemic taught us anything, it is the value of prioritizing our mental and physical health. If you are ever feeling lonely, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious, please visit our Counseling Services office. You can make an appointment to talk to a wonderful counselor who is there to support you and help make your time at SUNY Broome personally and academically successful.”

Photo Credit: Matt Ebbers

Dr. Francis Batisti Pergola Ribbon Cutting

View photos from the ceremony.