Capitol College announced that after 34 years of service to the college, John G. Puente, longtime member of the Board of Trustees, is retiring from his post as chairman this summer, effective July 1.
“I thank John Puente for his extensive service to the college community over the years,” said Dr. Michael T. Wood, president. “Capitol owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to John for his invaluable contributions and support. On a personal note, I would like to express my deep appreciation for John’s friendship and counsel during my time as president. He will be greatly missed.”
Of the 34 years he spent on the Board of Trustees, Puente served as chairman for 30. He oversaw the college’s move from Kensington, Md. to the current Laurel, Md. campus, and contributed to and provided leadership for many major campaigns for Capitol, including the creation of both the Puente Library and the McGowan Academic Center. John contributes generously through the annual and scholarship funds, including the Scholarship Golf Tournament.
During his career, Puente led the team that launched the first private telecommunications satellite into space through the company he founded, Orion Network Systems, Inc., and formed several satellite telecommunications companies. He was featured in an event in Washington, D.C. in 1997 called “The Stars of Telecom,” at which time he said, “You can never give up. Become creative and you can win. There is no barrier too high for a good idea.”
Currently, Puente also serves as the chairman of the board at Votara, and previously served at Orion Network Systems, Inc. as chairman and chief executive officer. He is the former vice chairman of the board and executive officer at M/A-COM Development Corporation, which was responsible for the corporate strategic planning and management of strategic investments for M/A-COM, Inc. Puente received his BS in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute and his MS in electrical engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology.
Capitol welcomes Gabriel A. Battista, current vice chairman of the board, as the new chairman at the board meeting in September 2010. Battista is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Talk America. Before joining Talk America, he was CEO of Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) and president and CEO of Cable & Wireless, Inc. (CWI), with overall responsibility for the operations of Cable & Wireless in North America. Battista received his BS in electrical engineering from Villanova University, an MS in electrical engineering from Drexel University, and his MBA from Temple University.
Capitol College is the only independent college in Maryland dedicated to engineering, computer science, information technology and business. Founded in 1927, Capitol is an accredited institution offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctorate in information assurance, as well as professional development training and certificates, and partnerships with government and industry. Capitol is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The college is located in Laurel, Md., a suburban setting midway between Washington, DC and Baltimore. Capitol is committed to providing a quality education that is technology-driven, accessible, affordable and practical.