August 14, 2015
TO: The College Community
SUBJECT: Marking the Passing of Robert T. Kreiling, Suffolk County Community College’s Second President
I am deeply saddened to share with the college community, news of the passing of Suffolk County Community College’s second president, Robert T. Kreiling. Mr. Kreiling passed away on August 12th. Following Dr. Albert Ammerman’s retirement in 1983, Robert T. Kreiling, who had served as Executive Vice President under Dr. Ammerman, was appointed President. He proved to be an effective, hands-on leader and during his tenure as President from 1983-1991, opened our Riverhead and Brentwood campus locations, instituted the Honors Program, strengthened the College’s developmental studies curriculum, and established child care services on two campuses.
During the celebration of the College’s 50th Anniversary year in 2009-2010, President Kreiling shared the following remembrance of his career at Suffolk, “My life was enriched by encounters with fascinating individuals from both the professional staff and student body. I was especially fortunate to work closely with the founding president of the college, Dr. Albert Ammerman, who laid the foundation for its successful future.”
To serve effectively as President of this great institution requires vision, fortitude, and the ability to forge consensus. Robert Kreiling’s leadership was instrumental in helping to shape our College into the beacon of knowledge and excellence it is today.
Below, is a short biography provided by the Kreiling family.
Robert T. Kreiling
Robert T. Kreiling, a former resident of Westhampton Beach and former president of Suffolk County Community College, died at the Treasure Coast Hospice House in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on August 12, after a long illness; he was 85. Mr. Kreiling was a lifelong champion of public education, a devoted husband and father, a skilled amateur woodworker and photographer, and a determined golfer.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Mr. Kreiling grew up in Westhampton Beach. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Albany and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and spent most of his professional life in New York State public higher education.
Mr. Kreiling married the former Mary Lucas in 1951. In addition to raising four children together, the couple also shared a love of golf, gardening, and travel. Their spirit of adventure may best be exemplified by the family’s move to the Caribbean in 1964, when Mr. Kreiling accepted a position as Dean of the newly formed College of the Virgin Islands. While the adventure turned out to be short-lived, the family remembers it as an exciting and enriching interlude.
Mr. Kreiling also held faculty and administrative positions at Orange County Community College, Duchess County Community College (which he helped found in 1957), and Suffolk County Community College, where he served as president from 1983 through 1991. At Suffolk, he led several significant initiatives, including the opening of new campuses in Riverhead and Brentwood and the expansion of alumni outreach and fund-raising efforts. He worked tirelessly to secure adequate fiscal support from the County government; actively fostered a collegial campus climate among faculty, staff, and students; and often boasted of the achievements of Suffolk’s graduates.
In Westhampton Beach, Mr. Kreiling also took on civic responsibilities: he held positions on the Village Board of Trustees and the Board of Education for many years. In retirement, he took a leading role in his neighborhood owners’ association in Port St. Lucie, Florida. An avid golfer, he was a long-time member of the Westhampton Country Club, and later joined the Legacy Golf Club in Port St. Lucie.
Mr. Kreiling is survived by his wife, along with daughters Jean Kreiling of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Nancy Kreiling Kingston of Nyack, New York; son William Kreiling of Spotsylvania, Virginia, and his wife Ivy; and five grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter Susan Lawless and her husband Jack.
Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Treasure Coast Hospice, 1201 SE Indian St., Stuart, FL 34997.
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