Columnist Daniel Akst extolled the merits of SUNY Geneseo as an institution of higher learning that is attracting Long Islanders who might otherwise seek elite private liberal arts colleges ["Lessons in quality, and marketing, at Geneseo," Opinion, Feb. 20]

What we Long Islanders need to acknowledge is that the SUNY system has historically been respected for providing a quality education at reasonable prices. My wife and I are the proud recipients of SUNY educations, at undergraduate and graduate levels, who retired after successful careers -- she, an Oswego graduate, in network television, and I, a Potsdam graduate, in elementary education. My daughter is an undergraduate at SUNY's Fashion Institute of Technology.

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While providing diverse liberal arts programs, each SUNY school can tout its own specialty.

As a retiree, I am enjoying the benefits of continuing education through Stony Brook University's acclaimed Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. As Long Islanders, my family is grateful for the exceptional and affordable education and career opportunities that SUNY has always provided.

Fred Seiden, North Babylon