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By Gerianne Wright
Forty years ago, entrepreneurship wasn’t even part of the lexicon.
Today, SUNY Plattsburgh’s Distinguished Service Professor Nancy Church personifies the word, so much so that she was instrumental in launching SUNY’s first and only entrepreneurship bachelor’s degree.
It’s easy to see why, being an entrepreneur herself from a young age when she worked in her family’s antique and second-hand furniture store in Middletown, N.Y. In the nearly 40 years since joining the faculty of what was then called the Department of Business and Economics, it has been a program near and dear to her heart.
And now, on the eve of her retirement June 30, Church looks back and … just can’t quite let go.
“It’s kind of retiring,” she said, laughing. Church, who has served as chair of the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, will continue in her role as president of the national entrepreneurship honor society she founded six years ago, Sigma Nu Tau. “There’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done. It’s like a baby for me — I want to watch it grow to maturity.”
Her other “child” at SUNY Plattsburgh is the Marketing Club, which she started not long after arriving at SUNY Plattsburgh in 1977.
“Whoever takes over for me will have to shepherd that group,” Church said. “You have to give some things ups when you retire.”
She will keep her office in Au Sable Hall, and she’ll continue her work on the Mark Rabin Memorial Golf Tournament, held every summer to support the Plattsburgh College Foundation and the Mark Rabin Memorial Scholarship in Marketing.
It’s been her affinity for the job at SUNY Plattsburgh that has kept her from retiring earlier.
“I love it,” she said. “I’ve loved coming here to work. It’s as simple as that. I love the college, the students, the people I work with in the SBE. I love the businesspeople I get to meet as a result of working here.”
Excerpted from Spring 2016 Plattsburgh Magazine.
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