FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Laura Chodos Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From New York State Archives Partnership Trust
The New York State Archives Partnership Trust today awarded Laura Chodos – a former member of the Board of Regents, education advocate and Saratoga Springs-area philanthropist – the Lifetime Achievement Award. Chodos received the award at a ceremony on October 1 in Saratoga Springs, NY.
“We are proud to honor Laura Chodos with this lifetime achievement award,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “As a Regent, Laura always put children first and advocated for funding and programs to improve students’ lives across the state. Her dedication to making New York’s historical records more accessible has made a lasting impact on schools throughout the state. She is truly deserving of this award.”
State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, “Laura Chodos has supported and advocated for New York’s children and students throughout her career. Laura’s tireless support and championing of the value of primary sources in education is an inspiration to all educators. Throughout her career she has advocated for archives and records management so that we can preserve history for future generations to study and learn from. We are honored to celebrate her service to New Yorkers with this lifetime achievement award.”
“We are so pleased to be able to honor Regent Emerita Laura Chodos with this special award,” said State Archivist Tom Ruller. “Her support and advocacy for archives and her tireless efforts to connect students to historical materials has had a tremendous impact across New York State and has helped to ensure that the documentary record of our great state is both preserved and accessible for research and learning.”
“Laura Chodos exemplifies the idea of engaged citizenship. Her willingness to devote her time and energy to worthy causes is an inspiration to me and, I’m sure, to many others in our community. She richly deserves this lifetime achievement award,” said Philip A. Glotzbach, President of Skidmore College.
In 1976, the New York State Legislature appointed Chodos to represent the 4th Judicial District on the New York State Board of Regents, representing Saratoga County and eleven other counties north to the Canadian border. During her 17 years of service on the Board, she was the first woman in over two centuries to head its Committee on Higher Education and the Professions. She represented New York State at two White House Conferences on Libraries and Technology and chaired an international task force to follow progress on conference resolutions. Throughout her career, she advocated for funding to strengthen services for the state’s libraries, archives and museums. As regent emerita, Chodos and her husband established an endowment for the annual New York State Archives Student Research Awards for student research using primary source materials.
Always a believer in life-long learning, Chodos graduated from Girls’ Latin School in Boston and Tufts University with degrees in economics and urban sociology and she continued doctoral studies in education at the State University at Albany. Her commitment to education included many programs in the Saratoga area, including Skidmore College, as well as international education initiatives. Chodos spent over 25 years developing educational and cultural exchanges with Russia, following its struggles to join the global economy in the late 1980s. In 2000, she founded the Chekhov, Russia-Saratoga Springs Sister City partnership. The group sponsored 13 visits by delegations from Russia to Saratoga Springs on topics that included development of a not-for-profit industry, health systems, education, small business development and arts exchanges.
In her unending dedication to her community, Chodos served as a trustee of the Saratoga Arts Council and fundraising chairwoman for Shelters of Saratoga. She also taught English for several summers to young immigrant workers at the Saratoga Race Course. She was appointed a member of a 15-member nonpartisan citizen Saratoga Springs Charter Review Commission in 2016.
The New York State Archives Partnership Trust is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to keep over 350 years of New York’s rich documentary heritage within the New York State Archives accessible and alive though education, preservation, and outreach programs. The New York State Archives is the largest repository of state government records in the nation, holding over 250 million records of state and colonial governments dating back to the Dutch colonial period in 1630. The New York State Archives is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education.
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