The Awards Committee unanimously selected Peter Koryzno to receive an Honorary Alumnus Award, recognizing him for the volume and quality of the articles his department produced and for “always highlighting SUNY Cortland alumni in the best light.”
Highly regarded as the College’s institutional voice during his tenure, Koryzno oversaw a transformative era of communication at SUNY Cortland.
The former director of public relations retired Dec. 31.
Since 1988, Koryzno edited Columns, the College’s award-winning alumni publication available to the more than 62,000 graduates living worldwide.
As public relations director, he guided four other publications: the Annual Report of the President and the Annual Report of the College Foundation since the mid-1990s; Moments, the SUNY Cortland alumni electronic newsletter launched in 2009; and the Bulletin, the College’s internal communications vehicle that switched to an online format in 2009.
Koryzno arrived at SUNY Cortland in 1981 as sports information director in charge of publicizing its 28 men’s and women’s intercollegiate teams. The 29-year member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) proved vital to the development of the C-Club Hall of Fame, producing all 30 banquet programs and writing nearly 200 biographies since 1981.
He became the news services director at SUNY Cortland in 1992 before taking over as public relations director in 1998, while continuing to oversee the Sports Information Office.
He concurrently handled the duties of the College’s records access officer and government relations liaison while serving on the College’s crisis management, marketing and Web advisory teams.
Over the years, Koryzno was on more than 30 College and community committees and various boards, including the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce.
Koryzno contributed to all of the significant campus events during his tenure, including the SUNY Cortland 125th Anniversary in 1993-94, the Outdoor Education Center 50th Anniversary in 1997-98 and every facility groundbreaking and dedication. He was part of the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex Organizing Committee and assisted in the press box design planning.
As a member of the O’Heron Newman Foundation, Koryzno created and coordinated the annual O’Heron Invitational Basketball Tournament, which brought local high school teams and their fans into Corey Gymnasium every Thanksgiving weekend between 2000-08. The popular event raised nearly $20,000 for a scholarship in Rev. Edward J. O’Heron’s name.
Koryzno served on the State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNYCUAD) Board of Directors and presided over its two largest-attended annual educational conferences. In 2002, he created and organized the SUNYCUAD Hall of Fame to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.
A recipient of the 2003 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, Koryzno was inducted into the Hall of Fame for both the SUNY Cortland C-Club in 1996 and SUNYCUAD in 2007.
He received the Irving T. Marsh Award for excellence in the field of sports information from the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Sports Information Directors Association (ECAC-SIDA) in 1996. Koryzno was the first recipient of the Fraser Stokes Award “for outstanding service to SUNY Cortland athletics” in 1988.