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OCC’s next leader says education “can change your life”

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

Hilton will start his new role this summer                                                                                                                              

Warren Hilton, the incoming president of Onondaga Community College (OCC), on May 10 visited the campus and addressed local reporters. He will succeed the retiring Casey Crabill and begins his new duties July 1. Hilton comes to OCC from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, where he currently serves as VP for enrollment management and student affairs. (Photo Credit: Onondaga Community College)

ONONDAGA, N.Y. — The incoming president of Onondaga Community College (OCC) believes that education is “one of the biggest factors that can change your life.”

Warren Hilton on May 10 visited the OCC campus, mingled with students and college officials, and spoke with local reporters. 

In his remarks to the media, Hilton, who described himself as a first-generation college student, believes education can take a person to places that one “could never imagine,” and that OCC “has that same belief.

“Putting students first; having just the most excellent faculty who provide a wonderful education for our students; staff who are very supportive of the institution and provide the necessary support for our students, for our faculty and staff to thrive,” Hilton said. “The wonderful work that is being done in this area is all attractive to me and I’m very pleased to be here … to stand on the work that has been done by the executive leadership team under [outgoing OCC President] Casey Crabill’s leadership.”

He went on to say that OCC is “going to change the trajectory of many people’s lives;” whether it’s a 15-year-old thinking about college or a 50-year-old thinking about a career change, “OCC is the education institution of choice.”  

The SUNY board of trustees on May 3 approved Hilton as OCC’s next president. Hilton begins his new duties July 1 and will become OCC’s 9th president and the school’s first Black president. 

He succeeds Crabill, who is retiring after nine years at OCC.

Hilton’s background

Hilton comes to OCC from Kutztown University in Southeastern Pennsylvania, where he currently serves as VP for enrollment management and student affairs. 

He has also held administrative roles at the Community College of Philadelphia; Drexel University in Philadelphia; Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland; Stevenson University in Stevenson, Maryland; and the University of Maryland at College Park. 

Hilton earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate at Drexel University.

“He comes with a wealth of experience in the [education] field,” John Sindoni, chairman of the OCC board of trustees, told reporters in introducing Hilton.

In his prior work, Hilton’s focus has been on enrollment management, student retention, and student success. Sindoni called student retention a “huge focus” at OCC.        

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