New college campus opens in Port Jervis
Benefactor Steve Sarfatti quotes his dad: 'Education is the key that unlocks the door to the treasure of fulfilling life'

SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young, with scissors, cuts the ribbon on the Sarfatti Education Center. Looking on are (from left): Steven Sarfatti, building owner; Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive; Annie Rabbitt, Orange County Clerk; Kelly Decker, Port Jervis Mayor; John Bonacic, New York State Senator; Flo Hannes; newly appointed SUNY Orange Trustee; Helen Ullrich, SUNY Orange Board of Trustees chair; and Tom Faggione, Orange County Legislator representing Port Jervis. (Photo provided)

PORT JERVIS — The State University of New York opened its new Sarfatti Education Center at 150 Pike St. in Port Jervis on June 27, during a ceremonial ribbon cutting that drew a crowd of more than 50 elected officials, community leaders, educational administrators, and area residents.
The college welcomed the first students to the 5,000-square-foot facility on July 2. SUNY Orange is offering a series of transfer-oriented first-year college courses over the summer with an array of additional classes planned for the fall semester, which begins on Aug. 27.
“Nothing pleases me more than to see this educational center opened in my hometown," said Steve Sarfatti in his address to the crowd. "My late uncle and father acquired 150 Pike Street in 1947 to start a business here after my father completed his World War II service. If they were with us to today, they’d be immensely satisfied to learn that the space we’re gathered in that once was their company’s lowly ‘shipping department’ has been put to a higher and better use — higher education.
“My father used to say, and if he said it once he said it 100 times, ‘Education is the key that unlocks the door to the treasure of fulfilling life.’ Mom was more pragmatic. She said education was the ‘key to earning a decent living.’”
The center was a collaborative partnership of the county, the city, and the college to transform a portion of the building, owned by Sarfatti, into a facility to make higher education geographically accessible to students in Port Jervis and communities, Sarfatti also announced the creation of the Sarfatti Family Scholarship Fund to make college coursework financially accessible. Sarfatti has agreed to match community donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000, in order to offer modest scholarships to students attending the center.
The ribbon-cutting also featured remarks from Steve Neuhaus, Orange County Executive; Kelly Decker, Port Jervis mayor; John Bonacic, New York State Senator; Tom Faggione, Orange County legislator representing Port Jervis; Annie Rabbit, Orange County clerk; and Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president.
Neuhaus said the education center "is such a transformative thing for this side of the county. I see so many exciting, good things coming out of this. You are going to change men and women’s lives who are going to better themselves and get a better education.”
'We need the right courses'Fall courses include:
Marketing — Monday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.
United States History 1 — Monday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.
Industrial and Private Security — Monday, 7 to 9:45 p.m.
Substance Abuse and Health — Tuesday, 5 to 7:50 p.m.
Freshman English 1 — Tuesday/Thursday, 4 to 6:50 p.m.
Introduction to Business — Wednesday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.
Fundamentals of Algebra — Wednesday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.
Elementary Algebra — Wednesday, 6 to 8:45 p.m.
Mandated Training for Educators — Thursday, 6 to 7:50 p.m.; 7 weeks only
"We need your help in planning the right courses for Port Jervis," said Young. "We have 68 years of history in Middletown, and 30-plus years in Newburgh. We know those communities. You know this community. Help us become a part of this community like we have in Middletown and Newburgh.
“We couldn’t be happier to be in Port Jervis, and we appreciate the work of the County and the City to make it happen. And we deeply appreciate Mr. Sarfatti’s generosity."