Former TC3 president passes away

Dr. Orinthia T. Montague, former president of Tompkins Cortland Community College. (Photo from Tompkins Cortland Community College Youtube)

Former Tompkins Cortland Community College president Dr. Orinthia T. Montague passed away on Friday (Sept. 22), The College System of Tennessee announced.

Montague served as TC3’s president from 2017 to 2021. Since then, she was president of Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee.

“Dr. Montague’s passing is a tremendous loss, not only to the Volunteer State Community but to the entire Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) system and higher education. She was a great leader who cared deeply about her students and their success,” TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said in a release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family and the campus community.”

Known to many as Dr. O, she was born on Jan. 5, 1967, in Kingston, Jamaica. Montague was the youngest of six siblings.

Montague earned her Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a masters of arts degree in counseling at Lindenwood College and a bachelor’s degree in interpersonal communication at Truman State University.

Prior to her time at TC3, Montague was vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer, and dean of students, at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. She was also an associate vice provost and dean of students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

While at the forefront at TC3, Montague was appointed by former New York state governor Andrew Cuomo to the New York Rebound Taskforce to stimulate the economy in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her last day with TC3 was on Aug. 23, 2021. She started at Volunteer State Community College shortly thereafter.

“This is a bittersweet announcement for me. Leaving is not an easy decision. I came to TC3 in 2017 as a new president and have grown both personally and professionally during my time at the college. TC3 is an exceptional institution with tremendous faculty, staff, and students and gems within the SUNY system,” Montague said in the past. “But when I was approached to apply for this opportunity, I explored the possibilities and it became clear that this was an opportunity I could not pass up. I will go to Volunteer State Community College as a better version of myself, thanks in large part to my time within the TC3 community.”

Montague’s obituary can be viewed by clicking here.