Peter D. Koryzno, director of public relations, will officially retire from SUNY Cortland on Dec. 31, after 29 years of service to the College. He will earn the designation of public relations director emeritus.
The Muskegon, Mich., native earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marquette University, studied at the Loyola (Ill.) Rome Center in Italy, and did graduate work in journalism at Louisiana State University as the recipient of the Walter Hitesman Scholarship and the John F. Kierzkowski Scholarship.
He began his career in 1979 as editor of the Ticonderoga (N.Y.) Sentinel, the then-largest weekly newspaper in northern New York, and covered the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Koryzno joined SUNY Cortland in 1981 as sports information director in charge of publicizing its 28 men’s and women’s intercollegiate teams. He helped to organize a number of NCAA Division III Championships on campus, including the first offered in women’s soccer in 1986.
In 1983, he created and coordinated the Upstate New York Weekly Div. III Football Poll and Statistical Report that continued for two decades. In 1990, he helped to design a comprehensive NCAA Div. III Football All-America Team selection format and then served as the East Region chair on the national selection committee for many years.
The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) publicist from 1987-89, Koryzno was a 29-year member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), serving on its inaugural Computer Committee in the 1980s and on its Special Awards Committee for more than a decade.
He worked in the Empire State Games media center from 1985-94 and was on the organizing committee for the New York State Senior Games in 1983.
Koryzno became the news services director at SUNY Cortland in 1992 before assuming the duties of the public relations director in 1998, while continuing to supervise the sports information operation. He concurrently handled the duties of the College’s records access officer and government relations liaison, while also serving on the College’s crisis management, marketing and Web advisory teams. Over the years, he served on more than 30 College and community committees and various boards, including the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce.
As a C-Club Committee member, he produced all 30 Hall of Fame Banquet programs and wrote the nearly 200 C-Club Hall of Fame biographies since 1981. He created the C-Club Hall of Fame Room timeline and assisted in planning the C-Club 25th Anniversary in 1993.
Koryzno has played a part in all 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 wrote a history of Cortland football for its centennial celebration in 1993. Since 1996, he has served on the College-Community Appreciation Award Committee and has coordinated the annual banquet for the honorees. He was part of the SUNY Cortland Stadium Complex Organizing Committee and assisted in the press box design planning.
Koryzno chaired the SUNY Cortland Organizing Committee for the 25th Empire State Games, co-hosted in 2002 by Cortland and Syracuse. The successful town-gown event led to the formation of the Cortland Regional Sports Council, which he helped to create and then served as its vice chair. The council has brought millions of sports-related and tourism dollars into Cortland County since its inception.
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 boys' and girls' basketball teams and their fans into Corey Gymnasium every Thanksgiving weekend between 2000-09. The popular event raised nearly $20,000 for a scholarship in Rev. Edward J. O’Heron’s name that is presented annually to a SUNY Cortland English major active in the community.
Since 1988, Koryzno has provided the institutional voice to the College’s 60,000 graduates living worldwide as editor of Columns, the College’s alumni publication. He also edited Moments, the SUNY Cortland alumni electronic newsletter launched in 2009. Since the mid-1990s, he has edited both the Annual Report of the President and the Annual Report of the College Foundation. In 2009, he assumed oversight of the Bulletin, the College’s internal communications vehicle, when the publication changed to an online format.
Koryzno oversaw the production of several SUNY Cortland films, including the 1998 admissions video, the 2001 capital campaign video and a 2002 video that celebrated the life of legendary coach Carl “Chugger” Davis.
He 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, during which 50 inaugural inductees were recognized at a gala event in Saratoga Springs attended by the SUNY chancellor.
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.
He will reside in Muskegon, Mich.