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Professor Fama Named Honorary Cayuga Alumnus

DATE: 08-04-2004

When Donald F. Fama, professor of mathematics and computer science, departs from Cayuga Community College this month for retirement, he will be remembered for his 39-year stint on the faculty, his illustrious awards, and the rare achievement of being named an honorary alumnus.

Fama was given this special recognition by the Auburn/Cayuga Community College Alumni Association at the college's 2004 commencement in May. During the ceremony he received a plaque from Dennis Golladay, the college president, honoring his excellence as an educator and his support of the alumni association. His retirement became official as of the end of June, but he has stayed on to teach during the college's summer session.

Fama began instructing Cayuga students in 1965, when computers were a futuristic concept and the institution was known as Auburn Community College. He has updated his curricula to incorporate computer hardware and software design, allowing the College to add an extensive slate of degree and certificate programs in computer technology in recent years. During the 2004?5 school year, he began hosting a monthly seminar program at the College for high school and middle school math teachers in Cayuga County, to help coordinate pre-college curricula with college expectations.

Known for his perfect recall of students from past years, he keeps in touch with many and follows their careers. Waving at the crowd from the college's float in the Cayuga County Bicentennial Parade in 1999, he was cheered from the sidelines by former students whose graduations spanned nearly four decades. Fama is also a regular attendee at the alumni association's December reception honoring students who have completed their degree programs during the fall semester. In 1973, Fama became the first Cayuga instructor honored with the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award program established by the State University of New York in 1972. In honor of his exceptional contributions as a teacher and mentor, he also received the 1983?84 Cayuga Community College Award for Excellence.