2017

Distinguished Alumni

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Courtney Hochul, Class of 1976 

NYS Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was elected in 2014. Prior to her role as a statewide official, she was elected at both the Federal and local level — she was a Member of Congress in New York’s 26th Congressional District, served as Erie County Clerk, and began her career in public office on the Hamburg Town Board in 1994 and proudly served her hometown for 14 years. In this capacity she fought for safety improvements on Legion Drive to protect students at Hamburg Middle and High School. She also worked to protect the character and the quality of life in the Village of Hamburg where she grew up. The Lieutenant Governor chairs Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils, which have reinvented economic development by empowering local leaders in business and academia. She is actively engaged in the rebirth of Western New York.  As the highest ranking female elected official in New York, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is committed to inspiring a new generation of women to enter public service or aspire to leadership within their chosen field through the #NYWomenLead initiative. The Lieutenant Governor is dedicated to her role as the Governor’s eyes and ears on the ground. She makes a point of traveling to all 62 counties every year she’s in office, traveling enough miles to circle the globe over 4 times. The Lieutenant Governor credits the Government Studies program she took as a junior as one of the inspirations for her passion for public service. She also says her teachers, Peter James and Jim Owen were strong influences in her decision to work in government. Kathy joined her mother and aunt in starting the Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for victims of domestic violence.