“Joe Burke’s passion for the Miner legacy, together with his wife, Joan, has ensured that William and Alice’s vision for the region will endure,” said Dr. Richard Grant, president of Miner Institute. Dr. Burke passed away at his home in Albany on Aug. 3, 2018.
Dr. Burke’s ties to the North Country include 12 years as president of SUNY Plattsburgh and 30 years serving on the board of the Alice T. Miner Colonial Collection in addition to his work with the Miner Institute. “Except for the Miners themselves, no one has done more. Joe was a monumental leader of both Miner Institute and SUNY Plattsburgh, and by creating the Applied Environmental Science Program, he was able to strengthen both,” Dr. Grant said.
Dr. Burke would count strategic planning as his proudest accomplishment for Miner Institute. “He was so passionate about understanding and ensuring that William Miner’s vision for the Institute endured. He constantly pushed us to consider our mission – research, education, and demonstration – and how we could achieve the next milestone. He was never satisfied with the status quo – no matter how successful it might be. He would ask: ‘What’s next? How can we do a better job of pushing forward Miner’s legacy?’ He constantly encouraged us to keep moving forward,” Dr. Grant said.
Dr. Burke was an unusually involved and engaged chair of the board, spending countless hours walking around the Miner grounds interacting with employees and visitors and was genuinely interested in getting to know the staff and students who were helping to carry out William Miner’s vision. His leadership and insight will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
For more information about the Celebration of Life, please contact Rachel Dutil at 518-846-7121, ext. 115 or [email protected].