SUNY Cobleskill will award distinguished alum and renowned baker Kathleen King an honorary SUNY Doctorate of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) at the College’s 104th Commencement on May 14. The honorary doctorate degree is the highest form of recognition offered by the State University of New York to persons of exceptional distinction, and in this case, an individual whose achievements serve as an example of SUNY Cobleskill’s aspirations for its diverse student body.
King, a 1979 graduate of SUNY Cobleskill, is the founder of Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton, N.Y., an internationally recognized brand, loved for Kathleen’s signature, irresistibly crisp and buttery chocolate chip cookies, and an ever-expanding line of desserts and gluten-free offerings.
In 1980, King opened Kathleen’s Cookie in Southampton, which evolved into Kathleen’s Bake Shop as she expanded her repertoire. She grew her company over the next 19 years, developing a full line of traditional American baked goods and perfecting every recipe herself. It was then that she took on a business partnership which unfortunately did not work out, causing her to have to rebuild her business again from scratch.
That new business was Tate’s Bake Shop, named for her father and set to become a well-known brand with cookies available in supermarkets nationwide. King sold the company in 2018, and it is now owned Oreo-maker Mondelez International.
“Kathleen exemplifies aspects of the SUNY Cobleskill mission by forging her own pathway for success, embracing and supporting her community, and promoting her own personal growth and the growth of others,” said Dr. Marion Terenzio, president of SUNY Cobleskill. “Every step of the way, she has overcome setbacks with fortitude, strength and a “can do” attitude. Her story is one of resilience and one that will undoubtedly resonate with the Class of 2022 who themselves have triumphed in the face of great trial in pursuit of their success.”
SUNY Cobleskill’s 104th Commencement on Saturday, May 14 in a ceremony slated to begin at 11 a.m., outdoors, adjacent to the Neal Robbins Field House.