#belikeanita awarded to Tim & Laurel Sweeney - BlueStone Press
October 3, 2022

#belikeanita awarded to Tim & Laurel Sweeney

Ulster Community College Foundation to recognize Tim & Laurel Sweeney as inaugural recipients of the #belikeanita award


SUNY Ulster will host a Virtual Gala on Oct. 15 to recognize several Visionaries in Action in the community. The college president, Dr. Alan Roberts, will also present the inaugural #belikeanita Award, in honor and in memory of Anita Williams Peck.

The recipient of the #belikeanita Award is selected by the president of SUNY Ulster annually to recognize a member of the community who works tirelessly on behalf of others, leads by example, dedicates personal time to make the world a better place, and lives in a manner worthy of notice. 

The inaugural recipients of the #belikeanita award are Tim and Laurel Sweeney. Roberts shared, "I am pleased to recognize Tim and Laurel Sweeney with the inaugural #belikeanita award for their commitment to our community, our students, and to championing SUNY Ulster’s President’s Challenge Scholarship.” Donations to the Foundation are being accepted in their honor and in memory of Anita Williams Peck at www.sunyulster.edu/gala, where videos will also be available.

Tim Sweeney, a community college graduate, serves as vice chairman of the Foundation board of directors, and has been fundraising to support our students on the Foundation Board since 2015. Laurel has been a key player in the development and launch of the Foundation’s most recent strategic plan.

The name Anita Williams Peck has always been synonymous with caring for our community and lifting up others.  Anita, the daughter of the late Walter G. and Marianne K. Williams was a successful businesswoman, passionate about her family and community, and someone who was known to extend kindness and hospitality to everyone she met. 

Beginning in 1965, Anita operated the Williams Lake Hotel, founded in 1929 by her grandfather, Gustave Williams, a Finnish immigrant. Anita took over the management of the hotel in 1987 and worked tirelessly in support of plans to redevelop Williams Lake Hotel into a world-class sustainable resort community. A strong environmental steward, in 1994 she contributed over 400 acres of environmentally sensitive land to the Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy Inc., to be preserved as "forever-wild" to benefit the community and protect wildlife habitat.  Anita was known throughout Ulster County and the Hudson Valley for her countless hours of volunteerism for not-for-profits.

In 2007, Anita was recognized with the "Heart of Ulster County Award" for her significant contributions to Ulster County's economy. In 2013, she was the recipient of the "Sister Mary Charles Award" from the Benedictine Health Foundation in recognition of her service on the Foundation Board, and her support of the Rosemary D. Gruner Memorial Cancer Fund, the Bike for Cancer Care and the Fern Feldman Anolick Center for Breast Health. In 2016, she was honored by the Stone Ridge Library for her board service and support.

Anita was also a board member of the Ulster Community College Foundation, where she completed her third term as Chair just prior to her death in early 2019. Anita endowed three scholarships and the Anita Williams Peck Public Speaking Competition, which celebrated its 10th-year at SUNY Ulster just after Anita passed.  Anita was an inaugural donor for The SUNY Ulster President's Challenge Scholarship, a program that helps 8th-grade students to be the first in their family to graduate from college, which expanded under her leadership from 6 students to some 150 students today.   

For information on the virtual gala contact the Foundation Office at 845-687-5283.



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