Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09
At their spring meeting, the Board of Trustees elected Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09 as their next chair, making her the first William Smith alumna to hold the position. The owner of a financial planning firm based in Syracuse, N.Y., she has been a trustee of the Colleges for 18 years, serving as vice chair of the board for 14 years. She begins her duties as chair on July 1 following David Deming’s ’75 six year tenure. Katherine D. Elliott ’66, L.H.D. ’08 was re-elected as vice chair, Andrew G. McMaster was re-elected treasurer, and Beth Yingling ’76 was re-elected secretary.
“The past two decades have been ones of great accomplishment for the Colleges,” says Zupan. “It is my intention to maintain that forward momentum by building upon the legacy of our former chairs. Through the leadership of David, Charlie Salisbury [‘63, P’94, L.H.D.’08] and Tom Melly [‘52, L.H.D. ’02], among others, the Colleges are well-positioned to tackle the challenges we face, and we have a strong Board of Trustees ready to lead the way.”
Zupan served as one of the tri-chairs of Campaign for the Colleges, Hobart and William Smith’s largest and most successful campaign in its history which raised more than $200 million to support the endowment and capital projects. Named to the board in 1994, Zupan has served on the audit, compensation, financial affairs, institutional advancement, and trustee committees. Her leadership was instrumental during the celebration of William Smith College’s Centennial when she served on the Centennial Steering and Fund Committees. In 2008, she was presented with the President’s Medal by President Mark D. Gearan in recognition of her deep and multifaceted contributions to her alma mater.
“Maureen’s dedication to the Colleges is unquestionable,” says Deming. “During her time on the board, she has seen firsthand the challenges that the Colleges face. I’m confident that she will provide the leadership and vision to move Hobart and William Smith to a new level of excellence.”
Chief among Zupan’s priorities is the board’s recent undertaking in futures thinking. “The board has a fiduciary responsibility to think about the long term future of the institution,” Zupan explains. “We are thinking now about how the Colleges can adapt to a changing educational landscape affected by, for example, technology, globalization, demographics and rising costs. The goal is to be at the forefront of advances in higher education.”
The oldest of 20 cousins, she was the first person in her extended family to attend college; she majored in mathematics, graduated magna cum laude and was named to Phi Beta Kappa. Three of her sisters followed her to William Smith: Jean Collins Van Etten ’74, Joan Collins Dosky ’84 and Frances Collins Rogers ’90. Zupan is married to William Zupan ’72 and they have two children including Cathleen who graduated from William Smith in 2009. In addition, two of Zupan’s brothers-in-law are Hobart graduates – John Van Etten ’73 and John Rogers ’92. Her niece Caroline Dosky graduated from William Smith this spring.
“Hobart and William Smith Colleges have literally changed my life and changed the lives of my family members,” says Zupan. “I feel I have a responsibility to give back to the place that did so much for us.”
In 1992, Zupan founded the Collins Family Scholarship with her sisters and their father John F. Collins P’72, P’74, P’84, P’90, GP’09, GP’12, HON ’12. That scholarship has helped deserving students attain a Hobart and William Smith education.
In addition to working to ensure that students have access to the same quality education she experienced, Zupan has hosted and spoken at numerous HWS events and has sponsored several student externships. She has been a significant member of the William Smith Alumnae Association, helping to coordinate seven class reunions and taking an active role in inspiring other alumni and alumnae to make the Colleges a philanthropic priority.
Zupan is an emeritus trustee of the Upstate University Foundation and a member of the Foundation Board for SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). In the past, she was president of the Cazenovia Children’s House, secretary of the Cazenovia Area Community Development Association, member of the Steering Committee for the Syracuse Children’s Hospital and Chair of Community Fundraising for the Crouse Hospital Foundation’s annual gala.