David Plunkett’s life honored by college and community

David Plunkett, a beloved public safety officer, died Sunday, Feb. 2 at the age of 58.

Plunkett was the assistant director to the Department of Public Safety and was employed at Hudson Valley for 35 years.

In 2013, Plunkett received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service. This award recognizes professionals of the SUNY system who show dedication to their campus.

In Plunkett’s nomination letter sent by Nancy Cupolo, department chairperson of the Teacher Preparation Department, she said, “Dave has been an exemplary employee and role model for faculty, staff and students in his role as campus security officer. Dave has worn his uniform with pride and with the utmost of professionalism.”

“Dave Plunkett is a humble man who does not seek accolades yet performs his duties with ingenuity and creativity,” said Cupolo.

After receiving the Chancellor’s Award, Plunkett said in his speech, “I enjoyed seeing and dealing with the college community daily and I felt that the people here tried and did make a difference in peoples’ lives.”

“Dave was not only a successful man, but a man of value. We all should strive to live our lives like that,” said Cupolo.

Many members of the faculty and staff noted the positive impact Plunkett had all over campus. Also, many members noticed that Plunkett was always one of the first responders to a scene of an accident or injury.

“Dave is a prime example of the kind of people that are on this campus. 35 years at this institution is quite a commitment,” said President Drew Matonak.

Plunkett had many jobs on campus such as charging car batteries for students, unlocking keys from cars and comforting people at the scene of accidents.

“Dave wasn’t just a security officer. He cared about the students, faculty and staff. He went above and beyond, and people really saw him as a part of the campus. He is going to be missed,” said Matonak.

“Dave’s warm and welcoming presence will be missed. I always left his company with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart,” said Campus Minister Cylon George in a post on the Campus Chronicle, a daily employee newspaper.

Plunkett’s funeral procession came through campus on Friday, Feb. 7 around 9:00 a.m. The procession was led by two public safety cars. Including a hearse, the procession was made up of about 15 cars.

“Many people stood on the corner, which means a lot, especially on a cold morning. We’ll all miss him. Both the campus community and department of public safety,” said Fred Aliberti, director of Public Safety.

Plunkett loved playing his guitar and singing as well as golfing.

In his 2013 speech, Plunkett said,“I try to make Hudson Valley Community College a friendly place, a place people might remember fondly and maybe, in my own way, make a difference in some peoples’ lives.”


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