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New Majors for Fall 2019
12/6/2018


Three New Majors

There will be three new options for SUNY Oneonta students when the next academic year rolls around: Exercise Science, Art and Design, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

The Exercise Science BS program will focus on nutrition and kinesiology and their applications to health, wellness, fitness, and sport. Graduates will be prepared health fields like corporate, community, or hospital programs as well as exercise physiology and cardiac rehab. They will also be eligible to take certification exams, like those offered by the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Students with an interest in the visual arts will be able to earn a BFA in five Art and Design concentrations: Digital and Studio Art, Animation and Illustration, Graphic, Web, and UI/UX Design, Photography and Visual Culture. This program will prepare graduates for a career in the arts or a Master of Fine Arts program.

The new Women’s and Gender Studies major looks at gender and sexuality as defining categories of human experience. Course work includes core classes in feminist theories and research methodologies in addition to examining ideas about femininity and masculinity across diverse historical periods and cultural contexts. In addition, the curriculum highlights the lenses offered by gay, lesbian, queer, and transgender perspectives.

You can find out more information at the SUNY Oneonta College website.

Fifty Years Strong
12/6/2018


Photo of anniversary cake cutting
Former EOP Directors Stanley Morris (left) and Lynda Bassette-Farone (right) cut the EOP 50th Anniversary cake with current EOP Director, Glenn Pichardo '02 (center).

The SUNY Oneonta Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) celebrated its 50th anniversary in November.

EOP is a SUNY-wide organization that serves thousands of students, all of whom may not meet the traditional standards for admission but possess the desire, potential, and talent to earn a college degree. On our campus, these students receive individual attention from professionals in the office.

Keynote speaker, Yvonne Cummings ’72
Yvonne Cummings ’72 gives her keynote
speech about being a part of the first EOP Class
in Oneonta’s history in 1968.

“Oneonta is a special place,” said keynote speaker Yvonne Cummings ’72, who was a member of the first EOP class in 1968. “I meet a lot of current students and alumni, both recent and ancient like me. What I find uncanny is – our experiences – our interactions with faculty and staff has been so similar in nature. Because the school is so student focused, they always seem to select folks who are a good fit – including directors of EOP. What I received here – the unofficial help and the structured support allowed me the advantage to obtain a great education; an opportunity to travel abroad; freedom to learn and grow in an unfamiliar environment.”

Current EOP students attending the 50th anniversary celebration
EOP Freshman Francheska Hernandez,
EOP Senior Sha-Niyah Ortiz and ACE Freshman
Tatiana Thervil enjoy the festivities.

During this celebration, which was largest EOP alumni event to date, Stanley Morris, Lynda Bassette-Farrone, Cheryl Peeters, Carole Rooney, Edward “Bo” Whaley ’75, Jacqueline Hesse ’78, and Yvonne Cummings ’72 were inducted into the group’s Hall of Fame.

Debra Kawaller ’77 pictured with Jill  Mirabito
Debra Kawaller ’77 (left) and Jill Sherwood
Mirabito (right), Senior Advancement Officer.
Debra is a proud graduate of EOP and made a
significant bequest to fund EOP Scholarships.

Why I’m a Loyal Red Dragon
12/6/2018



Alumni Brett Wellman '01, '03G outside of Matteson Hall with friends

“I'm a Loyal Red Dragon because my time at SUNY Oneonta was so valuable to informing who I am today. Through my education and my involvement at Oneonta, I found my passion in higher education. My relationships with peers and colleagues from Oneonta continue today. Despite being away from campus and upstate New York, I've been able to connect with new and old Red Dragons here in Boston and always look forward to alumni events here in Beantown.” - Brett Wellman ’01 ’03G

 

Become a Loyal Red Dragon today!

 

Science One Building Renamed for Philanthropic Alumna
11/9/2018


President Morris and Janet Perna '70 pose during the dedication of the Perna Science building.

On October 19, 2018, the SUNY Oneonta community celebrated the renaming of the Science One Building to the “Janet R. Perna Science Building,” recognizing the philanthropy of Janet Perna ’70. The building is home to the biology and Earth and atmospheric science departments, as well as classrooms, labs, and the planetarium.

During the past decade, Perna donated more than half a million dollars to the College, most of which went to supporting women in STEM disciplines. In spring 2018, she pledged $5 million, half of which will be allocated to unrestricted endowment, which funds many campus programs, including student-faculty research and creative activities, internship support, faculty development and board-designated scholarships. The other half will be restricted to the “Janet Perna ’70 Women in Technology Scholarship.”

Perna graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a bachelor’s degree in math, which she taught in Middletown, New York until 1974. She left teaching to work for IBM in San Jose, California, and was responsible for the company’s billion dollar Informational Management division. In 2001, she was inducted into the Women in Technology Hall of Fame. Currently, she serves on the Solace Systems Board of Directors and is technology advisor to BridgeGrowth Partners, Georgian Partners, and Centana Management.

“Perna’s gift is a powerful testament to her belief in the SUNY Oneonta Foundation’s sound fiscal policies and her trust that we will be thoughtful and prudent while advancing the mission of our great college,” SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris said.

Tracy Allen, the interim dean of the school of sciences, agrees that this gift will have a lasting impact on SUNY Oneonta students.

“Janet R Perna is leaving an indelible mark on this building, but, more importantly, on the bright futures of students who will discover and explore the wonders of science within these walls,” Allen said.

“My belief in the importance of education was instilled in me by my parents who did not have the benefit of a college education,” Perna said. “They expected that I would go to college and saved and sacrificed for me to attend. That was the greatest gift they could have given me for it transformed my life and has made it possible for me to help others transform theirs.” One of Perna’s first scholarship recipients Michele Daly ’10 spoke about how receiving that support transformed her life. She has earned her doctorate and now works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doing HIV research.

Celebrate Young Alumni
11/9/2018


SUNY Oneonta 30 under 30

SUNY Oneonta turns 130 years old in fall 2019. In honor of this milestone birthday, the Alumni Association will recognize 30 of our most notable recent graduates who are under the age of 30. Award winners will show exceptional achievement and significant contributions to their profession, their community, or the College.

Nomination Guidelines:

  • Nominees must be a graduate of SUNY Oneonta.
  • Nominations must include the nominee’s full name, class year, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Please also include your contact information in case the committee has any questions.
  • Nominations should be no longer than 750 words.
  • Include a description of the nominee's leadership qualities, honors, accomplishments, and other supporting information which you believe show exceptional achievement and significant contributions to their profession, community, or the College.
  • Nominees must be under 30 years of age on March 15, 2019.

Please submit letters of nomination to the Office of Alumni Engagement at alumni@oneonta.edu by March 15, 2019.

Honorees will be announced notified and announced in Summer 2019.

For more information, check out https://oneontaalumni.com/30under30

Let Your Red Dragon Roar
11/9/2018

Alumni Association Board Members and Loyal Red Dragons Remi Farnan '15 and Stephanie Peguillan '15

Alumni Association Board Members and Loyal Red Dragons Remi Farnan '15 and Stephanie Peguillan '15

You're already a loyal member of the Red Dragon family. Make it official and get special perks!

As a Loyal Red Dragon, you will be recognized for your deeper involvement in the college community. Plus, we will help you stay connected to your alma mater, informed of the latest college news and activities, and keep in touch with your fellow alumni.

Many are already receiving these benefits:

"Why am I a Loyal Red Dragon? Nothing beats giving back to the place I love! There’s no feeling in the world that’s better than spending time with others who feel the same, whether it’s volunteering or meeting fellow alumni, it’s great to spend time with fellow red dragons! — Remi Farnan '15

"I am a Loyal Red Dragon because it keeps me up to date on all things happening through the Alumni Association at SUNY Oneonta. From living in North Carolina and Florida, I always knew what events were happening and was able to provide support from afar. During graduate school, I volunteered on committees and it was a great way to stay connected and give back to the place that gave me so much! I have attended many events sponsored by the Alumni Association and connected with old and new Red Dragon friends! I would highly recommend signing up!" — Stephanie Peguillan '15

To learn more about bocoming a Loyal Red Dragon and to get started go to https://oneontaalumni.com/LRDOneonta

 

 

Go Bills! (And save some $!)
11/9/2018


Buffalo Bills Ticket Offer

Football-loving Red Dragons can see the Buffalo Bills in action in December at a discount. You can choose either December 16’s game against the Detroit Lions or the December 30 game against the Miami Dolphins. While we can’t promise that ticket-holders will see one of Kyle Williams’ pre-game speeches or that Josh Allen will be back on the field, we can promise a fun time in Orchard Park. Click the links below to find out more.

 

Date

Opponent

Tickets

12/16

Detroit Lions*

Buy Tickets

12/30

Miami Dolphins*

Buy Tickets

 

 

Alumni of Distinction Class of 2018 Honored
10/15/2018


Alumni reunite at the Alumni of Distinction Presentation of Honors.
From left: Seth Crystall ’80 and his wife, Leigh, Erikka Misrahi ‘08 and her mom, JoLee 
Olszewski, Jay Winuk ’80 and his wife, Carolyn, Greg Floyd ’80, Victoria ’80 
and Roy Freiman ’81. 
 

The SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association hosted the 2018 Alumni of Distinction Presentation of Honors on September 28 in the Hunt College Union Ballroom.

Over 100 individuals, including former and current faculty and staff, fellow alumni, friends and family joined the celebration. The event featured music from Blues Maneuver, a popular local area band, Tim Newton, Associate Professor of Music and Choral Director, and the English Choral Experience singers who had just returned from a trip abroad, as well as a welcoming performance from Hooked on Tonics, the college’s acapella group. The spirit of the event was festive, glamorous, and filled with laughter and excitement. Alumni of Distinction honoree Greg Floyd ’80 was the evening’s host while several members of the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association board of directors returned to campus to participate in the presentation.

It was an evening full of Red Dragon pride, as you can see from the pictures. (Click the link to view all photos.)

Stephanie Brenner '81 with Alumni of Distinction  honoree Susan Weiner '81
Stephanie Brenner '81 with Alumni of Distinction 
honoree
Susan Weiner '81

SUNY Oneonta President, Dr. Barbara Jean Morris  greets alumni at the reception.
SUNY Oneonta President, Dr. Barbara Jean Morris
greets alumni at the reception.

Acapella group Hooked on Tonics performed at the 2018 Alumni of Distinction presentation of Honors

Acapella group Hooked on Tonics performed at the 2018
Alumni of Distinction presentation of Honors.

Alumni of Distinction Honoree (AOD) Greg Floyd '80 played emcee for the event.
Alumni of Distinction Honoree (AOD) Greg Floyd '80
played emcee for the event.

Know a Red Dragon who Deserves Recognition
10/15/2018

Nominate someone for a 2019 Alumni Association Award!
The Alumni Association awards committee is actively seeking nominations of alumni who deserve recognition through our annual awards. We encourage you to nominate outstanding individuals for the 2019 Alumni Association Awards in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Alumni Service
  • Current Faculty/Staff Outstanding Service
  • Emeritus Faculty/Staff Outstanding Service
  • Friend of the College
  • Honorary Alumna/Alumnus
  • Outstanding Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Alumna/Alumnus
  • Emerging Leader
  • Red Dragon Spirit: Group and Individual 
  • Student Leadership
  • Humanitarian
  • International Alumni Achievement
  • Military Service

For complete descriptions of each award visit our website at oneontaalumni.com/alumni-association-awards. Please submit letters of nomination to the Office of Alumni Engagement via email at alumni@oneonta.edu no later than October 31, 2018.

Nominations should be no longer than 750 words and should include:

  • a description of the leadership qualities, honors, accomplishments, and other supporting information that qualify the nominee for the award.
  • The nominee’s full name, class year, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

The Annual Alumni Association Awardees will be honored during Reunion Weekend, June 7-9, 2019.

There is a separate nomination process for our Alumni of Distinction program. The Alumni of Distinction recipients are honored at a celebration held every fall. Please visit www.oneontaalumni.com/alumniofdistinction for more information about the criteria for the award and to nominate an individual for this honor.

From Dr. Morris: Family Weekend Captures the Red Dragon Spirit
10/15/2018


President Morris
SUNY Oneonta President, Dr. Barbara Jean Morris

A sea of red covered the city of the hills during Family Weekend in September, when a record number of families participated in the celebration’s events.

A stand-out for me was the legacy breakfast on Saturday morning hosted by our Alumni Association. Generations of SUNY Oneonta graduates gathered together, shared stories new and old, and snapped pictures with their extended families. As I listened to the stories, I was struck by how thankful the alumni are to be a part of SUNY Oneonta. They discussed how their experiences here changed their lives. They shared a strong sense of pride for their alma mater. Everyone I spoke with related how happy they were that their children, nieces, and nephews were able to share in that experience.

That joy was captured by the long lines in the Red Dragon Outfitter as families bought matching SUNY Oneonta gear. Sharing that connectedness of being part of SUNY Oneonta by wearing red brings us together. Whether you are a newcomer like me or a member of a generational family, SUNY Oneonta is a source of pride and joy. We care about its past and future. That ethic of care is what binds us a family and makes us proud to wear Oneonta red.

Craft Brews and Beautiful Views
9/21/2018


Matt Conroe ’13, state manager for Northway Brewing Company chats with alumni at Alumni on Tap
Matt Conroe ’13state manager for Northway Brewing Company chats with alumni at Alumni on Tap

SUNY Oneonta alumni celebrated their alma mater with specialty brews and snacks at the new Welcome Center on Friday, Sept. 7. Britney Liddell ’08, beer coordinator & brewery ambassador for Brewery Ommegang, Lauren Ward ’16, manager of Cooperstown Brewing Company, Matt Conroe ’13, state manager for Northway Brewing Company, and Patti Wilcox `12, co-founder Gravity Ciders, poured for the more than 65 alumni and friends.

“The view from the visitor’s center truly is stunning and the weather could not have been better,” Diana Moller ’12 said. “The tone of the event was convivial and became more relaxed as the evening -- and tastings -- continued.”

Kathy Meeker ’78 enjoyed learning about her fellow Red Dragons.

“One thing that I really liked was learning that there were alumni working in the craft beverage industry. It was great to know that our graduates are securing jobs in this burgeoning field,” she said. “The venue (and the weather) allowed us to be outdoors and indoors. Everybody was in a really good mood.”

View photos from our Alumni on Tap event.

Letters and Pillars and Dragons, Oh My
9/18/2018


Students return to campusStudents gather in the quad to wish SUNY Oneonta a Happy Birthday

The new school year kicked off with our traditional Pass through the Pillars and Red Day, the college’s birthday celebration. This year, however, we added a little extra excitement to move-in day. Some first year students had a surprise waiting in their home-away-from-home: a letter from a past resident.

We put out the call for letters from alumni to new students back at the start of August. More than 70 letters hit our mailbox. The oldest was from an alumna who lived in Littell in 1965. Many letters contained advice on what to do during your four years on campus, like “Visit College Camp” and “Go to Class.” The local news ran a story on this new program.

For a complete overview of the start of the 2018-19 year, check out this story. Click here to check out all the photos from Pass Through the Pillars, and Red Day 2018.

A New Semester Begins
9/18/2018


President Morris shares some birthday cake with Red the Dragon

I have spent my first couple of months here getting to know people, figuring out how to navigate campus, and just getting the lay of the land. My initial impressions of the college and community have been confirmed: this is a friendly and welcoming place. There truly is a dedication and a community of care. I am pleased to report that the college is fiscally sound. Enrollment is strong. Diversity, especially among students, continues to increase. Investment in sustainability is substantial. The campus’s relationship with the City of Oneonta remains healthy. The College at Oneonta Foundation’s endowment of $60 million stands as the largest among SUNY comprehensive colleges.

The campus community welcomed our newest class of first-year students. The Class of 2022 has an impressive academic profile. From an applicant pool of over 13,000, we have drawn a group that has an average overall high school grade of 90.6 and average SAT score of 1130. Nearly 30 percent of this year’s freshmen are students of color and almost 34 percent are first-generation students.

Additionally, the culture of philanthropy at our college has never been stronger. Last year, we raised a record $4.2 million in gifts and grants, and charitable giving funded scholarship awards totaling over $2 million for the first time. Additionally, we raised new funds for student research, internships, global experiences, and the Student Emergency Fund. I am grateful to have come to an institution that is both capable and stable. To me, this demonstrates that the entire campus community shares a genuine commitment to the college and its well-being.

Largely because of the timing of my arrival, my first year as president will be one of transition at SUNY Oneonta. The college’s current strategic plan was initiated in 2015 and envisioned as a three-year undertaking. Dr. Kleniewski, who had announced her retirement in April 2017, deferred further strategic planning to her successor. I have started a listening tour and to get acquainted with the culture, people, and community. This first year will provide context for a future strategic plan.

As a prelude, I have identified, with advice from my Cabinet, several priority activities for 2018-2019 to bring closure to the 2015 strategic plan. In addition, we will finalize an audit of the institutional results produced under the 2015 plan. The campus will reflect on the accomplishments of the last three years, build upon successes, and ensure that our efforts are consistent with the chancellor’s vision for SUNY.

As one strategic plan ends and we begin to think about another, our challenge continues to be finding the best way to future-proof the college. We are grateful to all of you for your past support. We look forward to having your future investments of time and financial resources as we continue to strengthen the SUNY Oneonta.

Sincerely,

SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris

Barbara Jean Morris, Ph.D.
President
SUNY Oneonta

Nominations for 2019 Alumni Awards Being Accepted
9/18/2018


Nominate someone for a 2019 Alumni Association Award!

Are you, or do you know, an alumna/us who deserves recognition? The Alumni Association Board of Directors is actively seeking nominations of alumni for the 2019 Alumni Association Awards. We encourage you to nominate outstanding individuals for the 2019 Alumni Association Awards in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Alumni Service
  • Current Faculty/Staff Outstanding Service
  • Emeritus Faculty/Staff Outstanding Service
  • Friend of the College
  • Honorary Alumna/Alumnus
  • Outstanding Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion Alumna/Alumnus
  • Emerging Leader
  • Red Dragon Spirit
  • Student Leadership
  • Humanitarian
  • International Alumni Achievement
  • Military Service

For complete descriptions of each award as well as lists of past winners, visit our website at oneontaalumni.com/alumni-association-awards. Please submit letters of nomination to the Office of Alumni Engagement via email at alumni@oneonta.edu no later than October 21, 2018. Nominations should be no longer than 750 words and should include a description of the leadership qualities, honors, accomplishments, and other supporting information which qualify the nominee for the award. In addition, please include the nominee’s full name, class year, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

The Annual Alumni Association Awardees will be honored during Reunion Weekend, June 7-9, 2019.

There is a separate nomination process for our Alumni of Distinction program. The Alumni of Distinction recipients are honored at a celebration held annually in the fall. Please visit www.oneontaalumni.com/alumniofdistinction for more information about the criteria for the award and to nominate an individual for this honor.

Questions? Email or call the Office of Alumni Engagement at 607-436-2526.

Wanted: Alumni Letters to New Students
8/17/2018


90's yearbook photo

Was your freshman room in Tobey, Golding, Littell, Wilber, Hulbert or Hays Hall? If so, we want you to write a letter to the new students moving into your old room! Students whose room corresponds with an alumni letter will be surprised with a warm message when they arrive on campus next week.

Your letter should include:

1) The building name and room number in which you lived
2) A favorite memory of yours from your room
3) A piece of advice for the room's new residents

If you lived in one of the halls listed above but don’t remember your room number, no worries! We will randomly select a room number in the hall where you lived to receive your message. You can email your letter to the Office of Alumni Engagement or send it via private message to the SUNY Oneonta or Oneonta Alumni Facebook page. Please respond by Monday, August 20!

President Morris Is Off to a Fantastic Start
8/10/2018


President Morris

SUNY Oneonta’s eighth president has collected some of her thoughts about her first month in Netzer 301:

It is hard to believe that my first month in office is ending. My initial impressions of the college and community have been confirmed. This is a friendly and welcoming place. There truly is a dedication and a community of care.

My days have been filled with meeting many people on and off campus. I have really enjoyed visiting offices across campus and in the community. I look forward to continuing this in the weeks and months ahead as I continue my listening and learning tour.

One early highlight for me was greeting the EOP, ACE, and CAMP students and their families and meeting with the staff who support these important groups. Another highlight was SUNY Chancellor Johnson’s visit to campus. I appreciate the wonderful turnout and the warm welcome she received. We packed the Welcome Center and had a great dialogue about how our work on the chancellor’s four themes—Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Individualized Education, and Partnerships—will help advance SUNY.

Alumni To Celebrate Local Food, Drink, and Music
8/10/2018

Join us for Alumni on Tap!

Britney Liddell ’08 jokes that the best part of her job as the Beer Coordinator at Brewery Ommegang is the free beer. “We get so much beer,” she says, “it’s impossible to drink it all!”

What she really enjoys the most about her role is the problem solving. Liddell is the one who makes sure the beer gets from the brewery to wherever it needs to go, whether that is a bar down the street in Cooperstown or across the country for a special event. Her first job after graduation with a business economics degree was at NBT bank, where she got the customer service experience to land the job at Ommegang.

Right now, she’s working on the logistics of helping thirsty drinkers coming to a series of Phish shows near Watkins Glen this summer.

“The reward of solving any issues that come up in production and distribution is that I’ll go on social media in a few weeks and see happy people with our Nirvana beer in their hands,” she says.

Lauren Ward ’16 is working just down the road from Liddell. She’s running Cooperstown Brewing Company’s Milford Tap Room, which means her day includes everything from being a general bartender to ordering beer and merchandise to managing staff and schedules.

Her communications degree, she says, “allows me to work better with the public.”

Matt Conroe ’13, state manager for Lake George Brew House, and Patti Wilcox `12, co-founder Gravity Ciders, will also pour their ciders, ales, lagers, and porters at the Alumni on Tap event. Come and taste what these alumni have been brewing up.

Visit our webpage for more information..

Art Show Will Spotlight Scholarship Recipients
8/10/2018


Poster for Student Scholarship Recipients Art Show

Starting on September 10, the work of Anna Vanderpool ’18, Danielle Thomas ’18, Tyler Burke ’17, Henry Feist ’18, Xiaoyi Zeng ’18, Sara Lapell ’18, Christian Liranzo ’18, and Teresa Memole ’18 will be featured on campus in the Project Space Gallery. While the art mediums vary from photography to drawing to computer art, all of the artists were recipients of the Jean Parish Scholarship, which is awarded by the art department via a competitive process. Parish, who was a professor emerita of art before her death in 2013, was also an artist herself. Her work, both visual and philanthropical, has enriched the SUNY Oneonta campus. For more information about the art show and the opening reception on September 13, visit suny.oneonta.edu/art-department/art-galleries/exhibitions

Welcome Class of 2018!
8/10/2018


The Alumni of Distinction Program

Judges, dieticians, professors, meteorologists, museum directors, and more will be inducted into this year’s Alumni of Distinction class in September. Join us for the Presentation of Honors on September 28 in the Hunt Union Ballroom. Alumni of Distinction honoree and Emmy Award winner Greg Floyd '80, Co-anchor/News Broadcaster at CBS 6, Albany, NY will serve as Master of Ceremonies. For more information and a complete list of this year’s class, visit oneontaalumni.com/2018-alumni-of-distinction

Welcome to SUNY Oneonta’s New President!
7/11/2018


President Morris
Dr. Barbara Jean Morris

Fellow Red Dragons! On July 1, 2018, Dr. Barbara Jean Morris officially became the president of SUNY Oneonta. Please join me in welcoming her to our alma mater.

I was one of the team who served on the search committee to find a replacement for the retiring Dr. Kleniewski. What impressed me most about Dr. Morris was her focus on nurturing a collaborative learning environment that supports faculty and student development, academic excellence, and community involvement. Her focus and SUNY Oneonta’s core values of excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship are well aligned.

Like me, Dr. Morris was a political science major. Dr. Morris comes to us from Fort Lewis College in Colorado, where she was the provost. Before that, she was a dean at The University of Redlands, where she also served as Government Department Chair. Dr. Morris chose to drive from Colorado to Oneonta this summer and was able to retrace her roots on the Bell Route of the Trail of Tears.

Dr. Morris shared with me that she is looking forward to working with the Alumni Association. The feeling is mutual. I am happy we are off to an encouraging start. There will be opportunities for alumni to meet Dr. Morris at future events.

Celebrate Outstanding Alumni
7/11/2018

Nominate someone for a 2019 Alumni Association Award!

Do you know a Red Dragon who excels in their field or always shows their Red Dragon pride? Tell us about them when you nominate them for an Alumni Association award.

The SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association has established awards in several categories to honor those alumni who bring distinction to themselves and to our alma mater through their outstanding personal and professional achievements. These awards are presented annually at a ceremony held during Reunion Weekend.

View a list of 2018 Alumni Association Annual Award Recipients.

View a listing of past winners .

Find out more information about how to nominate someone for an Alumni Association Annual Award.

Alumni Share Knowledge: Introducing the ASK blog
7/11/2018


Alumni Sharing Knowledge-ASK Blog

Our alumni have a wealth of knowledge about a wide variety of topics, and we want to hear from you! We’ve started a blog so that your hard-earned insights can be shared. The latest post is from Kevin Sutton ’16, the coordinator of the Making Cent$ Financial Literacy and Wellness program on campus. Let Kevin walk you through how to make a budget in five easy steps. If you think you have some useful information to share, please fill out this form and our blog coordinator will reach out to you.

What a Weekend It Was!
6/15/2018


Friends pose by the Hunt Union Pond during Reunion Weekend 2018
Alumni and friends gathered in Oneonta to celebrate Reunion Weekend 2018, June 8-10.

View Friday's Photos | View Saturday's Photos | View Sunday's Photos

More than 600 alumni, family, and friends came back to campus June 8-10, 2018, to celebrate Reunion Weekend in the place where so many stories began. Thank you for coming back!

Red Dragons spent the weekend enjoying many (many!) meals, tours of the campus, hikes from College Camp, and golf and tennis tournaments. They went Back to the Rat and had SOURS at the Fox. Even with all of the fun things to do, the best part might have been the time spent just hanging out with each other.

“Meeting up with long ago friends is more than enough, but the college provided the format and the events to make it even more relevant and special,” wrote Jerry D’Anneo ’74.

There were affinity reunions, too. The Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th reunion. According to Barbara Terry Charnews ’68, they had plenty to do.

“We enjoyed the meals, cocktail hour, planetarium, walking campus, the bar-b-que, brunch near the art gallery, talking with classmates. The campus looked terrific and we enjoyed the friendly workers,” she wrote. “We truly enjoyed the reunion!”

Our thanks go to Bill Bogatz ’74 who took on the tennis tournament and to Paul van der Sommen ’76 who has offered the Oneonta Tennis Center to us for a decade.

“We had 8 alumni take part and another 8 who played last year but could not make it this year. I have been able to "grow" this event from year to year,” he said. “The planning and number of events offered for Alumni Weekend is fantastic and unmatched by anybody else... I could see the work, effort, and planning that took place to put such a wonderful weekend together.”

Without all of the volunteers – from class chairs to check-in helpers -- who helped make the weekend happen, we could not have had such a great time. We’d like to give special thanks to the following:

Reunion Weekend Committee:

  • Christine Warnquist ’71
  • Fran Brennan ’85
  • Phyllis MacBeth ’66
  • Terri Berzin ‘79

Class Chairs:

  • Barbara Holzkamp '63
  • Barbara Martinage '63
  • Granville Thompson '68
  • Carl Carbonaro '68
  • David Bullock '68
  • Ken Packer '68
  • Linda Cobb '73
  • Donna Nidds '73
  • Kathy Meeker '78
  • Lorraine Yanosik '78
  • Mary Bonderoff '88
  • Karen Brown '88
  • Monica Grau '88
  • Elizabeth Shea-Baskin '88
  • Andrew Rosenberg '98
  • Kyle Beckley '08
  • James McAteer '08
  • Erikka L. Misrahi '08
  • Andrew Tejada '13
  • Alpha Sigma Beta '68; Gwen Latendorf Schuster '68, '73G
  • Delta Phi Kappa; Frank Anthony '70
  • Natural Disaster Service Trip Alumni: Linda Drake '91, Wendy Lascell '97
  • Oneonta Student Emergency Squad: Jon Derschowitz '11, Dominic DiNapoli '97
  • Orientation Leaders: Brad Menard '04, Tyler Itzkowitz '15
  • Phi Delta Rho: Ed Corcoran '68
  • Women's Glee Club (1957-1972): Gwen Latendorf Schuster '68, '73G

We’d also like to thank Donglei Li ’18, Roland Holstead ’67, Maureen Artale ’98, Ryan Harrington ’04, Deb Sperano ’95, Diane Williams ’84, Ed Lorenz ’81, Kevin Sutton ’15, Wayne ’91 and Rebecca ’90 Carrington, Robert Shelton ’71, Julie Beers ’98, George Moussa ’89, Tim Sheesley ’77, Doug Reilly, Dave Ring, Josh Nollenberg, and Heather Beach.

If you’d like to help us make Reunion Weekend 2019 (June 7-9, 2019) the biggest party of the year, get in touch. We’re looking for class chairs and volunteers. Be sure to save the date! 

Current and Future Alumni Present Their Research in Detroit
6/15/2018


Several students and alumni presented research.

SUNY Oneonta was well represented at the annual meeting of the Society for Freshwater Science in Detroit. In this photo are (top row) Sarah Newtown ’15, Matthew Lundquist ’10, Heilveil, Jennifer Piacente ’15, Matthew Robinson ’16. (bottom row) Emily Berezowski ’15, Alyssa Rothfuss ’15, Nicole Pedisich ’15. Madeline Genco ’14, not pictured, was also present and now works at the environmental management bioassessment unit in Indianapolis. Shortly after this picture was taken, Rothfuss learned she’d be working for the New York State Forensics Lab in Albany. Missing from the picture, but present, is Madeline Genco, who just finished her MS in Entomology from Clemson and is starting a position with the department of environmental management bioassessment unit in Indianapolis on the 28th. At the conference, Lundquist, Berezowski, who received support from the D’Antonio Fund for travel, and Piacente presented posters. Rothfuss, Newtown, Genco, and Heilveil gave talks.

The 2018 Alumni Award Ceremony Was a Success
6/15/2018


Group photo following 2018 Alumni Awards
The 2018 Alumni Association Award Winners and representatives

The Alumni Association Awards committee is pleased to announce the 2018 Alumni Awards Recipients. The awards were celebrated on Saturday, June 9, at the Alumni Awards and Volunteer Recognition Celebration Breakfast during Reunion Weekend 2018. The ceremony was a moving one, according to 2018 award winner Mark Delligatti ’75. “What great group to be included in,” he wrote. “There was well over half-a-century of SUNY Oneonta's history represented with winners from government and military service, the arts, the fields of education, psychology, sociology, aviation, and the law -- all of who are united in service to our wonderful school.” This year, in honor of her retirement, Dr. Nancy Kleniewski and her husband William H. Davis were made honorary alumni. We thank them again for their decade of service to our college. This year’s winners were:

  • Jane Grastorf  — Emeritus Faculty Outstanding Service 
  • Ted Herrmann ’70— Military Service
  • Leah Baratz ’18— Student Leadership
  • Timothy Distler ’18— Student Leadership
  • William Vining ’81— Current Faculty Outstanding Service
  • Paul Perlman ’76— Excellence in Alumni Service
  • Kyle Beckley ’08— Emerging Leader
  • Ilyssa Boseski ’11— Outstanding Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
  • Mark Delligatti ’75— Red Dragon Spirit-Individual
  • Women’s Glee Club (1957-72)— Red Dragon Spirit-Group
  • Caroline D’Antonio ’67— Humanitarian
  • Dr. Nancy Kleniewski— Honorary Alumna
  • William H. Davis— Honorary Alumnus

We’re now accepting nominees for the 2019 class of Alumni Awards.

SUNY Oneonta Holds its 129th Commencement Ceremony
5/15/2018


Charles Bogosta '80
Commencement Speaker and Alumni of Distinction Honoree, Charles Bogosta '80

Nearly 1,700 candidates for bachelor's and master's degrees graduated on Saturday, May 12, at the Alumni Field House. This year’s speaker was Charles E. Bogosta ’80, who is a leader in global healthcare management. Over the course of two decades of service to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he has distinguished himself for exceptional work establishing hospitals, research centers, cancer institutes and laboratories. In his current role as the Medical Center’s executive vice president, Bogosta is responsible for the strategic, operational and financial activities of institutes and centers in 11 countries. An expert on global partnerships within the healthcare industry, he has served as a panelist for the World Hospital Congress.

Eleven members of the college community were recognized by the SUNY Chancellor for their work during the 2017-18 academic year. They are Susan Clemons, Rebecca Harrington, Sallie Han, April Harper, Keith Jones, Brian Lowe, Debra Schwartz, Kayla Belush ’18, Daniel Prince ’18, Jonelle Reyes ’18, and Anthony Vecere Jr. ’18.

Congratulations to all of our newest alumni! 

View photos of Commencement 2018.

 

Students Celebrated by the 13th Annual Academic Achievement Awards
5/11/2018

Books containing Book Award Plaques

On May 2, graduating students were honored at the Academic Achievement Awards Reception at the Milne Library. Both graduate and undergraduate students were chosen based on their academic excellence and their demonstrated leadership in their department, campus or community activities as well as their intellectual acumen and originality. Seven graduate students and 51 undergraduate students received accolades. Individual honorees will have their name placed on an Alumni Association bookplate, which will be placed in a new book related to the student’s major. Currently, those books are on display on the first floor of the library, where they can be perused during Reunion Weekend.

Three Short Weeks!
5/11/2018

The Mountain Biking Club at Reunion Weekend 2017

Reunion Weekend is just around the corner! The fun starts on June 8 in Oneonta. While the main draw is hanging out with your fellow Red Dragons, there are plenty of other interesting opportunities for those who come to the biggest party of the year.

Did you know we offer a Saturday night dinner option that comes with a sommelier who will guide you through a tasting and selecting the perfect wine? Did you know that our Red Dragon 101 series will offer seminars on financial planning, the college’s history, and volunteerism? Not only can you expand your mind and your palate, you can also get a little exercise at our golf or tennis tournaments or on guided walk through the woods. Now is the time to register! Visit our Reunion webpage for more information.

Day of Giving 2018
5/11/2018

The Day of Giving: April 25, 2018

SUNY Oneonta’s Day of Giving 2018 was an overwhelming success. More than 940 alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends made a gift. The success of the day was enhanced by generous challenge donors who pledged their support based on the number of individuals who stepped up during the 24-hour fundraising event.

The challenge began at midnight on Wednesday, April 25, when four members of the College at Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors issued the first challenge. By mid-afternoon, more than 425 donors had come forward to earn the $30,000 challenge pledge from Jan Ashley ’62, Andrea Casper ’75, Pat McCann ’75, and an anonymous donor.

A new challenge launched when this target was reached. An additional $15,000 was promised by Marc Millian ’85 and Dorothy Lawson ’57 if 200 more donations were received. That target was achieved by early evening, prompting two more donors to come forward with another $10,000 challenge to secure 100 additional donors before midnight. That goal was also met with time to spare, securing gifts from Allen Marx ’78 and Jim Meyer ’83.

We achieved great things during our 2018 Day of Giving. Donations totaled more than $155,000! SUNY Oneonta students and faculty are the grateful beneficiaries of this support. Thank you to all the alumni, students, employees, and friends who helped us to exceed our goal. We could not have done it without you!

Outgoing President Nancy Kleniewski Says Farewell in New York City
4/17/2018


Students, Alumni and Administrators celebrate Dr. Kleniewski
Cheyenne Pommelle '19, Janet Perna '70, SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson, Dr. Nancy Kleniewski, Taylor DeMarco '18

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson praised outgoing SUNY Oneonta president Nancy Kleniewski’s generous spirit and her focus on the undergraduate experience during her remarks at the New York City presidential farewell event. Johnson singled out Kleniewski’s emphasis on faculty diversity as well, saying that she has helped put role models in the classroom who can inspire students. The event, which was held at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan drew more than 70 alumni and friends who wanted to wish Dr. K a fond farewell. Including Neil Mazzella ’73, who cited Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in his remarks. “Attention,” he quoted, “must be paid” to the work Kleniewski has done for the students, the quality of life on campus, and the growth in scholarships. View photos from the NYC event

The next presidential farewell tour event takes place May 17 in Long Island (register here). The final presidential farewell will take place during Reunion Weekend, June 8 -10.

Two Community Members Honored for Their Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity
4/12/2018


photo of Emmanuel Woolard '18
Emmanuel Woolard ’18

The Tapestry of Diversity and Inclusion Award ceremony honored Emmanuel Woolard ’18 and Pathy Leiva, College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) advisor in Craven Lounge at the Morris Conference Center.

Leiva has been with the CAMP program at SUNY Oneonta since 2005 and has been a great support to students from marginalized populations on our campus. As noted by one of her nominators, “She is a successful professional today and a great contributor to the diversity of our campus because of her strong character and vision for social equity and inclusion. She has made the ‘American Dream’ possible for many immigrant families whose only purpose of immigrating to the United States was their children’s future.”

Woolard is the president of the Africana & Latino Studies Club, a resident advisor, and student coordinator of the college’s Gender & Sexuality Resource Center. As noted on one of his nominations, “Since his arrival at Oneonta, he has worked non-stop to provide a safe and equitable environment for students on the SUNY Oneonta campus.”

Join us for SUNY Oneonta’s Day of Giving 2018!
4/12/2018


2018 Day of Giving Banner

On April 25, join the SUNY Oneonta community for our annual one-day giving challenge. This is an opportunity for Oneonta supporters to make an enormous difference in a short period of time, uniting around a common goal. If 425 alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents and friends make a gift within 24 hours, four members of our College at Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors will make a combined $30,000 gift to the college!

Jan Ashley ’62, Andrea Casper ’75, Pat McCann ’75, and an anonymous donor have pledged a combined $30,000 to the college if 425 alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends make a gift within 24 hours! 425 donors on 4/25 = $30,000!

Beginning at midnight, all gifts of any size will count toward the challenge. But remember, we only have 24 hours to make this happen, so visit oneontaalumni.com/challenge to learn more about our challenge donors, track our progress, and make your gift anytime on April 25.

#OneontaIncredible

Dr. K’s Farewell Tour Stops in Albany, Oneonta
3/20/2018

The Student Association with Dr. Nancy Kleniewski

The Student Association contributed $25,000 to the Dr. Nancy Kleniewski Scholarship at a farewell tour event in Oneonta.

SUNY Oneonta president Nancy Kleniewski visited the Capital-area and SUNY Oneonta in March as part of her farewell tour. Dr. K will retire in June 2018.

In Albany, Daren Rylewicz ’93, the incoming president of the Alumni Association, served as master of ceremonies and introduced Patrick Brown '78, Chair of the College Council, and Vicki Graffeo ’74, Alumni of Distinction honoree, who both spoke about their relationship with Dr. Kleniewski and the College.

The Oneonta event featured Coleen Lewis ’96 and students Taylor DeMarco ’18, Jesika Lento ’18, and Donglei Li ’18, each of whom spoke about the time they have spent working with Kleniewski. Bill Pietraface, the night’s master of ceremonies, presented the outgoing president with her own portable chair while Lewis presented commemorative tour t-shirts to Nancy and her husband Bill Davis. At the end of the formal proceedings, Li presented a check for $25,000 to the President Nancy Kleniewski Scholarship, which will support first generation college students who have financial need.

The last two events of Dr. K’s farewell tour will be in New York City on April 12 and on Long Island on May 17.

Credential Folders Make a Transition
3/16/2018

Career Cev Center logo
One service that the Career Development Center (CDC) offers for all alumni is a credential folder, which is a secure, online home for material that supports your application for jobs and admission to graduate school, and includes letters of recommendation. The CDC will forward your folder to potential employers or graduate schools when you request it.

The service will move from Dragon Link to Interfolio’s Dossier Deliver Service on April 15. Interfolio is the premier online dossier management service and can store any materials you may need for your applications. All credential letters that you have on file in the CDC will be uploaded to this service on your behalf, free of charge. To create your Interfolio account, please visit Interfolio.com

If you have questions about creating an Interfolio account, about credential folders, or about other services, please contact the Career Development Center at (607) 436-2534, or by email at career@oneonta.edu. If you want to learn more about Interfolio, visit www.interfolio.com or call their Help Desk at (877) 997-8807.

Three Alumni Honored by SUNY EOP
3/16/2018


Pictured:EOP Alumni Honored

Stan Hansen '75, Yvonne Cummings '72, Reginald Knight '74

The SUNY-wide Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) combines access, academic support and supplemental financial assistance to make higher education possible for students who have the potential to succeed, despite poor preparation and limited financial resources.

In honor of fifty years of service, EOP is recognizing accomplished alumni from Across the SUNY system. Three SUNY Oneonta EOP grads, and Alumni of Distinction honorees, made the list. Yvonne Cummings ’72 and Reginald Knight ’74 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Stan Hansen ’75 will receive the Gold Alumni Honoree Award.

The SUNY EOP graduates number more than 55,000 students. Most continue to live in New York, enriching its economic and social fabric. Among their numbers are physicians, teachers, scientists, engineers, attorneys, artists, entrepreneurs and public servants. And, many have returned to the State University as administrators and counselors who provide support to another generation of opportunity students.

Let Your Red Dragon Roar
3/16/2018


Become a Loyal Red Dragon

Register now to join the exclusive group of SUNY Oneonta Alumni: the Loyal Red Dragons!

As an official Loyal Red Dragon, you will

  • be recognized for your deeper involvement in the college community,
  • receive special perks like discounts, dragon swag, and other surprises,
  • stay connected to SUNY Oneonta and your peers.

Want in? Click here: www.oneontaalumni.com/LRDOneonta.

 

Alumnus Encourages Young, Activist Voices
2/1/2018


Karim Adeen-Hasan ’77 with student activists

On January 18, Alumni of Distinction honoree Karim Adeen-Hasan ’77, the Assistant Comptroller in the Division of Diversity Management at the Office of the State Comptroller, spoke to students during the College’s annual celebration of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Adeen-Hasam discussed the power that students have to make change in his speech “Millennials: The Voice of Activism.” In front of an engaged crowd, he also reflected about the activism on campus when he was a student in the mid-1970s.

“What stood out was the way he connected with and praised students for their accomplishments,” Faith Tiemann, the Director of Multicultural Student Initiatives, said. “He motivated them to stay active in social justice and put in the work.”

Student discussing activism

Students listening intently

Karim Adeen-Hasan ’77

All are Officially Welcomed
2/1/2018


President Nancy Kleniewski cuts the ribbon on the new Welcome Center

Almost 12 years ago, the idea for a Welcome Center was born. On the first day of classes in January 2018, the building was opened to the public. The 7,800 square-foot building sits just above the Fine Arts Building, which gives it a million-dollar view of the quad below and the mountains on the horizon. This space, whose tall glass windows take advantage of the campus’ beauty, houses the Admissions and Recruitment Office and will be the hub for prospective students and their parents. Additionally, the Welcome Center will be used for events. State Senator Jim Seward attended the ribbon cutting.

A view of the welcome center in the snow

The interior of the welcome center

 

Dr. Barbara Jean Morris Appointed SUNY Oneonta President
2/1/2018


A photo of Dr. Barbara Jean Morris

The State University of New York Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Barbara Jean Morris as president of SUNY Oneonta, effective on or about July 1, 2018. She will replace Dr. Nancy Kleniewski, who will be retiring in June 2018. Currently, Morris serves as the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colo. Prior to joining Fort Lewis College, she worked for 16 years at the University of Redlands in southern California. She held many leadership roles, leaving as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Morris received her bachelor of arts in political science from San Diego State University and a master of arts and a doctorate in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. “Over her career, Dr. Morris has focused on nurturing a collaborative learning environment, one which supports faculty and student development, academic excellence and community involvement,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “It is that focus that aligns with SUNY Oneonta’s core values of excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship. My congratulations to the SUNY Oneonta family.”

Oneonta Alumni and Faculty Take the Trip of a Lifetime
1/17/2018

A photo of Wayne Camp ’76, P. Jay Fleisher, and Mike Bradley ’75

From left to right: Wayne Camp ’76, P. Jay Fleisher, and Mike Bradley ’75.

In July 2017, P. Jay Fleisher, faculty emeritus, took alumni on a trip to the terminus of Gigjokull, a glacier on the southern coast of Iceland. Those in the group included Wayne Camp ’76, Mike Bradley ’75, Lynn Bradley ’75, and Flo Loomis ’69. While Fleisher had visited this part of the country several times before this trip, he wanted to share the experience with this group. They were able to see for themselves the site of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, which caused trans-Atlantic flight interruptions in 2010. Elsewhere in Iceland, the group visited spreading plate boundaries, volcanoes, geothermal regions, rugged coastal terrain, and, as Fleisher said, “experienced a very cordial culture.”

 

Spreading Red Dragon Pride Across the Globe!
1/16/2018

a photo of Mark Deligatti '75 with a Jillian Massey ’14.

 

a photo of Mark Deligatti '75 with Madeline Morrow '75     a photo of Mark Deligatti '75 with Dave Daly ’81

 

Mark Delligatti '75 mingled with Red Dragons during his trip to the U.K. this summer. He had dinner with Madeline Morrow '75 and her husband Bill '70 as well as with Dave Daly ’81. Delligatti also had lunch with Jillian Massey ’14. Massey says, “Mark and I met up today and had a really great chat about everything Oneonta related we could possibly think of. It's great to reminisce about times in SUNY Oneonta and I learned how awesome Oneonta was for Mark's class! Of course, it's still awesome now.”

 

Congratulations to our 2018 Alumni Association Award winners!
1/16/2018


awards banner

The Alumni Association Awards committee is pleased to announce the 2018 Alumni Awards Recipients! The awards will be celebrated on Saturday, June 9, at the Alumni Awards and Volunteer Recognition Celebration Breakfast during Reunion Weekend 2018. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination and congratulations to this year’s honorees:

  • Jane Grastorf  — Outstanding Service Emeritus Faculty
  • Ted Herrmann ’70 — Military Service
  • Leah Baratz ’18 — Student Leadership
  • Timothy Distler ’18 — Student Leadership
  • William Vining ’81 — Outstanding Service Current Faculty
  • Paul Perlman ’76 — Excellence in Alumni Leadership
  • Kyle Beckley ’08 — Emerging Leader
  • Ilyssa Boseski ’11 — Outstanding Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
  • Mark Delligatti ’75 — Red Dragon Spirit individual
  • Women’s Glee Club (1957-72) — Red Dragon Spirit Group
  • Caroline D’Antonio ’67 — Humanitarian
  • Dr. Nancy Kleniewski — Honorary Alumna
  • William H. Davis — Honorary Alumnus

 

Closing Out Her Last Year
12/19/2017

Photo of Former President Kleniewski posing with a group of alumni.
Dr. Kleniewski poses with several Red Dragons during a farewell reception
in New England on September 19, 2017.

SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski will retire at the end of the spring 2018 semester. She will hold seven farewell events in 2018, with stops in Florida, D.C., Albany, New York City, and Oneonta.


From SUNY Oneonta to The Shed
12/19/2017

Pictured: Alumna Remi Farnan '15 on the job

Assistant Project Manager at Sciame Construction Remi Farnan ’15 credits her time at SUNY Oneonta for helping her develop “both amazing friendships and life lessons” that she’ll hold forever. 

“From working with so many different students and people I was able to develop a lot of problem solving and people skills that help me navigate my work team and interact with others efficiently and productively,” she says.

Those problem solving and relationship building skills are coming in handy on Farnan’s current project as she plays her part in developing New York City’s The Shed, a multi-function arts center not far from the High Line. This building is designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. To see the building in action, visit theshed.org.

 

Furry Friends
12/15/2017

Not only do human Red Dragons love to wear their love for SUNY Oneonta on their sleeves (and fronts and backs), they also want their four-legged friends to show their love for this place.

Do you have a picture of your furry, four-legged friend wearing Oneonta gear? Send it to us at alumni@oneonta.edu.

Jill Mirabito

Photo: Jill Mirabito,  Senior Advancement Officer


Photo: Karyn ’09 & Ben Wendrow 08

Photo: Leah Baratz 18

  James Guarnera 16

Photo: Dawn Guarnera, Pictured:
James Guarnera 16

Photo: Laura Frink   12

Photo: Leah Baratz, owner unknown (spotted the dog on campus)

Congratulations to a Steadfast SUNY Oneonta Supporter!
12/15/2017

Pictured: William Pietraface
Bill Pietraface

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District 2 has awarded Bill Pietraface, Professor Emeritus, Biology, College Foundation board member, committee chair, officer and past co-chair of one of our campaigns, member of two presidential search committees, and more for SUNY Oneonta, the Robert L. Payton Award for Voluntary Service. The award is given annually to an individual who demonstrates leadership in advancement programs, furtherance of the philanthropic tradition, and public articulation of needs, goals, and issues in education. 

 

We Heard You!
11/14/2017

Photo: Red the Dragon

 

Thanks to your responses on our recent Alumni Attitudes survey, we are able to look more closely at what you need from your alumni association. Your voice has been heard!

The main things you most wanted us to know are:

  • You are interested in learning about how other alumni and your alumni association play an important role in improving the student experience.  

  • You are focused on how your degree helped you in your life and is an enhancement to your career.

  • You are encouraged that the value of your degree is greater today than when you graduated and that the college is constantly working to increase that value. 

  • You are invested in increasing your understanding of your alumnus/a benefits.

  • You are open to targeted communications that focus on successful event outcomes.

We’ve taken all of the results and are using them to formulate an active, strategic plan for the Alumni Association to make your alumni experience even stronger. Stay tuned!

 

 

 

A Funny Story....
11/14/2017

Photo: Circus performers
Beth performing (Center)

When Beth Walters ’16 graduated from SUNY Oneonta, all she wanted was to be a clown. She landed her dream job but fate had other plans for her future.

When I graduated from SUNY Oneonta, I started at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus as a clown and it was absolutely amazing! My dream came true -- but after only three days of being there, after my first three-show Saturday, we got the announcement that the circus would close. It was extremely heartbreaking and difficult for me to deal with because I was so crushed. I was able to cope through the support of all of my friends and family and my clown alley. So many people in the SUNY Oneonta theater department reached out to me and made sure I was okay.

Photo: Backstage at the circus
Beth (in Pink) from the Detroit News

The theater department at SUNY Oneonta was my rock throughout college and even after I graduated. Everyone was so encouraging. Mask and Hammer even organized a field trip to come see me perform in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania! That has to be my favorite show I performed in.

My education from SUNY Oneonta 100 percent helped me get to where I am today, which is as the Operations Office Manager at the Big Apple Circus! I've been here for almost three months and it has made me grow so much. I was able to visit Oneonta recently and it was extremely refreshing to see all of the people who shaped me into who I am today.

Alumni Come Together for Recent Reunions
11/14/2017

The Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Engagement love to bring Red Dragons together. We also know we have alumni everywhere and you can't always make it back to campus. To that end we've hosted several regional alumni events to bring alumni from different areas together in local settings. Recently, SUNY Oneonta gathered in Nashville with hosts Duke ’75 and Kathy ’75 Gallagher for a regional event pictured below. We have also hosted regional alumni events in NYC as well as events to celebrate the retirement of Dr. Nancy Kleniewski in Atlanta and Syracuse.

Alumni celebrate together

Recently we've also helped several athlectics alumni host team reunions and alumni games. Over 30 swimming and diving alumni gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Coach Chris Schuler. We were also honored to have alumni athletes from Women's Basketball, Softball, and Men’s Lacrosse return to campus for alumni games and reunions. Photos from those events are below:

Pic1 Swimming and diving reunion Pic2 Swimming and diving reunion
Swimming and Diving Reunion 2017

Pic1 Lacrosse reunion Pic2 Lacrosse reunion
Men's Lacrosse Reunion and Alumni Game 2017

Pic1 Softball reunion Pic2 Softball reunion
Softball Reunion and Alumni Game 2017

Pic1 women's basketball reunion Pic2 women's basketball reunion

Pic3 women's basketball reunion Women's Basketball Reunion and Alumni Game 2017

 

Recent Alumni Returns for Dialogue Series
10/11/2017

Photo: Adam Moulter with music industry students.

Adam Moulter ’10 spoke to about 35 Music Industry students on campus in September as part of the Recent Alumni Dialogue Series. Moulter gave a short presentation tracing his path to SUNY Oneonta as well as his experience with working and graduate school after Oneonta. He encouraged students to take advantage of experiences that the Music Industry faculty put together, like the annual trip to the National Association of Music Merchants show, internship guidance, and more. Students had the chance to ask Adam questions about his experience working with music festivals, at concert venues and his opinion on trends in the music industry.

The Recent Alumni Dialogue Series allows alumni who have graduated within the past ten years the opportunity to give back to the college by sharing practical advice with current students. Lectures can be tailored to the speaker’s interests and availability, and can include speaking about their career, navigating a graduate school search, strategies for success after leaving home, job searching, and planning for the future. Opportunities include: addressing a class, club or organization, participating in a group panel, and interacting with faculty.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about participating in the Recent Alumni Dialogue Series, please email Karyn Wendrow, Coordinator of Recent Alumni and Student Programs.

Party in a Box!
10/11/2017

photo: Red's Party Pack

Would you like to host a smaller event with a close group of your Oneonta friends? We can help with that! Red's Party Pack is a "party in a box" kit containing items to give your event a splash of SUNY Oneonta fun. Best of all -- it's all free! Consider it a thank you for showing pride in your alma mater and making the time to host an event that allows alumni to come together.

Red's Party Pack is full of items you'll need to host the perfect alumni social and will include small Oneonta giveaways for your guests, as well as a special gift for you! Types and quantities of giveaways will depend on our inventory and the size of your event.

All you need to do is tell us a little bit about your event by filling out this form and we will send a Party Pack right to your doorstep. Please have a date, time, location, and solid idea on the number of guests before filling out the form, and submit it a minimum of three weeks before your event. This will allow sufficient time for processing and shipment of your party pack.

After the party, all we ask is that you send us a list of alumni who attended and a picture or two of you and your guests with your swag so we can share the fun! If you have any questions please contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at alumni@oneonta.edu or 607-436-2526.

Thirty Years of Weathering the Storms
10/11/2017

Photo: Chris Burr

Alumni of Distinction honoree Christopher Burr ’83 has had a busy summer and fall. Given that he’s the executive officer at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, July through November is always busy – and have been since he started there in 1988. This year, however, his office was in the direct line of fire of one of the very storms that they track.

“I could see our operational models when Irma was way out in the Atlantic so I knew it was coming long before a lot of other people probabaly did. That was a whole week of anticipation hoping it was going to move north or west and not impact Florida,” Burr says.

Irma, however would not be moved. Once it became clear that Miami and the hurricane would intersect, Burr did the stuff everyone else was doing, he says. “I went to the supermarket, got water, supplies, gasoline, and cash.”

Burr stayed put in his condo, which is about 8 miles from the center itself. “During the storm, it was tough. It was 12-to-16 hours of non-stop wind,” he says. “It was a little scary and a little bit of a challenge.”

On Monday morning, after Irma’s Sunday landfall, Burr returned to the office. He started at the Center as a forecaster/meteorologist. In general, he doesn’t do any forecasting in his current role, unless another employee is out of the office and he needs to fill in to help provide basic weather forecasts for the tropics. Right now, his main concern is planning and budgeting. Soon, this part of his career will end when he retires at the end of the year.

“The best part is knowing that my work makes a difference for a very visible branch,” he says. “I think most people in the country are aware of the work that we do. We help people out so they can prepare for hurricanes and other tropical weather.”


We’re Searching For …
10/10/2017

This month, we have two requests for our Red Dragons.

  1. If alumni from the 1950s-70s have any videos or photos of Old Main and the upper campus, SUNY Oneonta IT Specialist and Facilities Planner Phil Bidwell ’87 would like a copy of them for a history project he is working on.

  2. The alumni hockey game and reunion will April 7, 2018. Charles “Three” Bollinger is looking for any lost hockey players who’d like to lace up their skates again.

If you can help with either of these, please email the Office of the Alumni Engagement.

Alumni Honors will be Awarded
9/14/2017

Alumni of Distinction Banner pictured

Three years ago, the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association established the Alumni of Distinction program to honor our graduates who have excelled in their careers, their service to their communities, and their commitment to our college. The 2017 induction class includes educators, attorneys, museum directors, and a pilot, among many others. The list of this year's honorees can be viewed by clicking here. The honors will be presented on Friday, September 29, from 6-9 p.m. CBS 6 co-anchor and broadcaster Greg Floyd ’80 will be the master of ceremonies. The Rich Mollin Group, along with a selection of our talented students, will fill the Hunt Union Ballroom with music. 

Honoring Those We’ve Lost
9/14/2017

Photo: The SUNY Oneonta 9-11 Memorial

Jeffrey Nussbaum ’86, Kevin Owen Reilly ’95, Michael J. Mullin ’96, Martin Lizzul ’91, Lynne Irene Morris ’00, Glenn J. Winuk ’83, and Brian J. Terrenzi ’95 lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Every September, the campus community pauses to remember them. The university police color guard led the procession to the memorial near Fitzelle Hall. Konstantina Salales ’19 presented a wreath. Zerin Bay ’18, Timothy Distler ’18, Danielle Grieco ’18, Abdourahman Jallow ’20, Anastasia Klingel ’19, Taylor Ross ’19, and Tara Ruhle ’19, who are the recipients of the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association’s Annual 9/11 Memorial Scholarships, laid red roses at the base of the campus memorial. Robin Seletsky led the music.

Welcome to Our Newest Red Dragons
9/14/2017

Fall 2017 Pass Through the Pillars

SUNY Oneonta's newest students kicked the academic year off with a traditional pass through the pillars of Old Main. First-year and transfer students gathered on the hillside by Fitzelle Hall to pose for a group picture with 2000 of their closest friends. Then they passed through the pillars accompanied by the sounds of the Drag’n Rolls Drumline and the cheers of the college community.

Their welcome to campus continued just a few days later when the entire college community gathered on the quad to celebrate Red Day, our annual birthday party for SUNY Oneonta. This year, we turned 128. We don’t feel a day over 126.

The Fastest Squirrel Retires
9/14/2017

Photo:Eric Theiss ’09

Eric Theiss ’09, a sales and marketing executive for the Lake Elsinore Storm, a minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres, has hung up his cleats as Ace, the Fastest Squirrel in the World. Theiss, a six-time SUNYAC champ during his years at SUNY Oneonta, would give his on-field opponents a significant head start when they raced around the warning track but Ace almost always broke the ribbon first. This ball park show brought Theiss big league coverage, from running at a Padres game to an appearance on ESPN. Theiss decided it was time to move on after six years as Ace because he turned 30 and his wife was pregnant with their first child.

For a glimpse of Ace in action, go to YouTube for his highlight reel. 

Dr. Kleniewski Announces Her Retirement Tour
8/29/2017
SUNY Oneonta President, Nancy Kleniewski  

Earlier this summer, SUNY Oneonta president Nancy Kleniewski announced she would retire during the summer of 2018. Before she goes, she’ll be hosting receptions around the U.S. that will be the perfect time to share your thoughts with the president and to spend some time with your fellow Red Dragons. The tour will kick off on Red Day, September 1, on the SUNY Oneonta campus, and then travel to New England and Central New York before heading south to Atlanta.

More dates and places are on our farewell tour website. Join us as we wrap up Dr. K’s ten years leading SUNY Oneonta. If you can’t make it to a reception, please visit the website to share a personal memory or story that will be included in a commemorative gift or to give to the Alumni Association’s newly established Dr. Nancy Kleniewski Scholarship fund to support first generation students at SUNY Oneonta who have financial need.

Sometimes, the Red Dragon Family Shares More Than the College
8/29/2017

Pictured: Ellen (Nicholson) Cucci '80 and her daughter, AnneMarie Cucci '12
Ellen (Nicholson) Cucci '80 beside her daughter, AnneMarie Cucci '12 as pictured in their respective yearbooks

AnneMarie Cucci ’12, who is hosting the Legacy Family Reception, on September 23 during Family Weekend, took a moment to talk about what having a Red Dragon parent felt like for her.

“I chose Oneonta because it was not too far from home but far enough that I felt I could gain some independence and meet new people. My mom, Ellen Cucci ’80, would talk about Oneonta when I was growing up, not too frequently, but enough that I wanted to check it out as an option for college.

“I lived in Grant Hall my sophomore year — and Mom also lived there in 1979-80. On move-in day, we walked into my room, looked around, and Mom said, 'well, not much has changed in 30 years!'"

“Our best shared story is from our sororities. Mom is an alumna of Alpha Kappa Phi and I am an alumna of Sigma Gamma Phi. Both are local chapters with pretty similar histories and strong ties to Oneonta. I had a large group of friends in the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity who lives at 56 Maple Street. It turned that out mom's sorority lived in that house when she was a member! Mom would tell stories of singing out the windows of the cupola on the third floor of the house with her pledge sisters. It was always funny to know 30 years later I was hanging out in that same place with my friends.

“Technically, Mom and I had the same major. In her day it was called Home Economics education. For me it was Family and Consumer Sciences. She actually gave me a binder from her 1979 textile science class that included her final project. It turned out to be the same project I had to complete in 2010! You were given [a piece of] 'mystery fabric' at the beginning of the semester and [had to] conduct tests on the fabric to determine what [type] is was by the end of the semester. Though so much has changed on campus and in the curriculum, it was really cool to see some projects had stayed the same,” she said.

AnneMarie and Ellen came back to campus during Reunion Weekend this year and enjoyed their time at their shared alma mater.

“Now that I live in Rochester and Mom in Rome, we don't get many opportunities to spend time together with just the two of us. It was really nice to take a little road trip down to Oneonta and spend the weekend reminiscing. I am thankful that Oneonta gives us something to bond over and is a connection we will always share,” she says. 


Join Our Online Book Club
8/29/2017

photo: a selection of books from past Common Reads

The SUNY Oneonta Alumni Association in conjunction with the Office of Alumni Engagement is piloting an online book club hosted through Goodreads. We invite our alumni to read and discuss a book that is meaningful to the campus community. Book club members will have three weeks to read each book, followed by one week of online discussion. The online club for our first title will begin on August 28.

About the Book:

The book club's first title will be the College’s 2017 Common Read: Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. The book tracks the careers of three African American female mathematicians who worked behind the scenes at NASA and its predecessor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics doing complex mathematical calculations. As mechanical computers improved, these women became computer programmers and engineers as the space program moved forward toward human flight in the early 1960s.

Joining the Book Club:

  1. Please visit theGoodreads websiteand create an account.
  2. Once you have an account, request to join theSUNY Oneonta Alumni Book Club. You'll have access to the group once you are approved.
  3. All members are responsible for obtaining their own copy of the book.
  4. Participate in the online discussion. The first question will be posted on September 17, with additional questions to follow. Members will receive a notification from Goodreads when each discussion question has been posted.

Special Event:

Shetterly, a Sloan Foundation fellow, will give the 2017 Mills Distinguished Lecture on September 25, 2017, at 7 p.m. All book club members are invited to join us on campus for the lecture. Once you have registered for the book club, ticket information will follow.

The Mills Distinguished Lectureship is named to honor the memory of Professor Albert Mills and his wife Helena. Their bequest to the College at Oneonta Foundation led to the establishment in 1988 of a fund to bring prominent speakers to our campus.

Red Dragon Outfitters Re-Opens in New Space
8/29/2017

Photo: The Red Dragon Outfitters new store

During the last 18 months, campus visitors may have noticed the construction zone next to Hunt Union. That new building is now open. Red Dragon Outfitters, where students, parents, and alumni can find SUNY Oneonta gear like hats, shirts, and dog coats, has an airy new space on the first floor. Next time you make the trip to Oneonta, come see what treats the Outfitter has for you!

News From the Alumni Association
8/29/2017

Thanks to all of the alumni who took the time to respond to our recent survey. Your answers will help shape your alumni experience for years to come! We want to build an organization that meets the needs of all SUNY Oneonta graduates.

As part of that goal, a new website will be launched soon. Don’t worry! Most of the content will still be available. New features, however, will make the site more nimble and responsive.

Summer is a great time to launch our updated site – and a great time to find Class Chairs for Reunion Weekend 2018. If you are interested in rallying alumni from your class year for 2018’s biggest party, please email the Office of Alumni Engagement. 

 

2017 Reunion Weekend Recap
8/29/2017

Friends reminisce over old photos

Photo: An ITK memorial service
This year’s Reunion Weekend was full of frivolity! Minds were expanded with cooking classes, history lessons, and campus tours. Golfers and tennis players got to get their games on during the weekend. Calories from the Brooks’ BBQ lunch and the Red Dragon Welcome Party were burned off in a hike to College Camp, a mountain bike ride, or a lounge on Golding Hall’s lawn. Above all else, we celebrated how great it is to be a Red Dragon!

The brothers of Iota Tau Kappa  (ITK) came back to campus ready to revel in their fraternity’s 50 years of existence in Oneonta. They held a memorial service for those brothers who have passed at Nehawa Park in Oneonta as well as an anniversary ceremony at the Hunt Union.

 
ITK Brothers and families gather for a memorial and color guard at Nehawa Park

The oldest student organization on campus, Mask and Hammer, also celebrated with an all-alumni version of Midnight Madness, their annual comedy show. The next afternoon, the group gathered to offer a toast to Kyle “Cellophane” Burch ’08, who passed away this year after a battle with leukemia.

The Class of 1967, who marked their 50th reunion, had a chance to pass through the pillars, dine, and receive their 50th reunion medallion. And, as always, our volunteers and alumni award winners were thanked at a breakfast ceremony.

Photos of the weekend are available here.

Photos of the ITK 50th Reunion celebrations can be found here.

Next year's Reunion Weekend will be held June 8-10, 2018 and will celebrate the milestone reunions of classes ending in 8 and 3. If you are a member of a milestone class or affinity group and want to help plan your reunion you can volunteer to be a reunion class chair or help organize a reunion for your group.

Commencement 2017
8/29/2017

Pictured: 2017 Class President, Carly Salzman
2017 Class President, Carly Salzman

After their busy Senior Week, which included the traditional Pass through the Pillars and Champagne Toast, the Class of 2017 celebrated their commencement. More than 1,200 graduates received their hard-earned degrees in three separate ceremonies.

In addition to class president Carly Salzman ’17, Rosalind "Roz" M. Hewsenian ’75 spoke before receiving an honorary degree. (View full speech here.) Recognized as one of America’s top chief investment officers, she has used her deep knowledge and money management skills to help improve the human condition with organizations such as the More Than Shelter Fund and PLAN of California Special Needs. Since 2011, she has been chief investment officer at The Helmsley Trust, transitioning its high-net-worth capital into a grant-making charitable foundation supporting medical research, conservation and education initiatives.

Also recognized during the events were three faculty and two staff members who are SUNY Chancellor's Award winners for the 2016-2017 academic year. They were:

  • George Hovis, an associate professor in the Department of English
  • Sean Robinson, an assistant professor in the Department of Biology
  • Toke Knudsen, an associate professor in the Department of Math
  • Steven Eichler, electrician in the Maintenance Operations Center
  • Denise Straut, director of sponsored programs in the Office of Sponsored Programs 

Four student award winners were also recognized: Daniela Gutierrez ’17, Spriha Sanjay ’17, Rachel Shine ’17, and Jillian Young ’17.

Watch video of all 3 commencement ceremonies.

View the complete collection of photos..

See the college's Storify page with posts and photos here.

Pictured: Graduation speaker Rosalind
Rosalind "Roz" Hewsenian '75

Read the full text of Roz Hewsenian's commencement speech below or view the speech here:

SUNY Oneonta Commencement Address
May 13, 2017

President Kleniewski, Distinguished Guests, friends and family, including my own, and the members of the Graduating Class of 2017, I am humbled beyond words for this honor and offer my deepest gratitude.

No one was more surprised than I when I received a phone call telling me I had been nominated for this Doctorate. An obvious question to me was, “How did that happen?” How did I get from where you are sitting now, forty-three years later, to where I’m standing? After all, I never thought I was anyone special, and after thinking about it, it came down to some very “un-special” and simple things. But, clearly, they worked.

And it begins with the gown I’m wearing. You are all in black, and I’m in red. I graduated with the Class of 1975, which was, is and forever will be, the only class in Oneonta’s history to have worn red gowns. Why? Well, the four years we were in college were characterized by significant strife in the country: it was the height of the Vietnam war, the beginning of campus racial tensions across the country, the 1974 Arab Oil Embargo that exploded inflation, and with it, college tuition, and the ATT workers strike that affected one in four students on campus; finally, we were graduating into the worse recession since the Great Depression. And the Administration wanted us to wear BLACK! We didn't want that malaise to define us as we were leaving campus. Wearing red gowns was a way for all of us to change our mindsets and take strength from the strong color it is, while paying homage to the college that was launching us. By being a little different and setting ourselves apart, we believed, would help us secure our future. Did our red-gown gambit work? One need only to peruse the list of Oneonta Distinguished Alumni to see the Class of 1975 extremely well represented. Knowing when to be a little bit different, not so others notice you, but so that you take notice of yourself, could affect the rest of your life!

I came from a very small high school, Somers High in Somers NY. Competition in 1971, as it still is, to get into the less expensive NY State Schools was really tough. We were told after we got to Campus, by Dean Daley at the time, it was harder to get into Oneonta that year than it was Harvard! Fifteen percent of my senior class, 17 of us, applied to Oneonta, alone! While I was an excellent student and had great extracurricular activities, my grades were NOT the highest, so I was worried. I really, wanted to go to Oneonta after having been sold on the place, sight unseen, by a recent graduate. My guidance counselor in an effort to give me hope said to me, “Well, they have to take at least one of you!” And that gave me an idea. Back then it was unheard of to visit college campuses before you applied to school and even less common to have an interview. So, I wrote a letter to the Director of Admissions, Mr. Burr, giving him the reasons why I thought it would be in our mutual best interest to meet. A few weeks later the appointment had been granted. I convinced my mother to take a day off from work and off we went. It was October, the prettiest time of the year here, and I was so excited. It was the first time I had ever stepped on any campus! It was also my very first interview of any kind! I had no idea how to prepare, so I didn’t; After the interview was over, I went back home and waited for the results. And finally they came in, 16 rejections and only one acceptance! The moral of the story, never hesitate going the extra mile! It could affect the rest of your life!

After I arrived on campus as a Freshman I was standing on line waiting to get into dinner at Mills Hall when the manager of the dining hall came out and shouted, “Who wants to work?” Before the words were completely out of his mouth I was at his elbow. As a Freshman I was going to get assigned the worst job, and it came as advertised! I landed in the dish room, scraping other students’ uneaten food off plates! I was too poor to cop an attitude about it, I had to work. But I began to notice something. An esprit d’corps resonated in that dish room among the students. We all made up our minds to make the best of an unattractive situation, and it was important that we organize ourselves to fall into a rhythm so the dishes didn’t pile up on the conveyer belt, fall on the floor. Four years later when I was a senior, none the richer and still working at Mills, I could have any position I wanted, but often went back into the dish room because of that esprit d’ corps. All work is honorable, and even if you hate the job, stick with it for a while, you will learn important things about endurance, perseverance, team work and attitude. So don’t just cut and run, otherwise, it could affect the rest of your life.

I was never the most popular kid in my class, far from it. I always felt like the outsider to my peers, so the idea of running for class office usually never crossed my mind. But, that fear was limiting me. Finally, by my senior year at Oneonta, I decided to risk myself, if only just once! I ran for Student Senate to represent my dorm, McDuff Hall! I wanted to do this because my concern for what was going on, on campus exceeded my fear and I felt I had to do something. So I hand-wrote out flyers because laptop computers, powerpoint and email hadn’t been invented yet, and copied them for 5 cents a page at the Milne Library. How quaint. So, I went door to door doing something that was very hard for me, and still is, asking for something, of someone, for myself. I asked my fellow residents’ for their votes. Imagine my shock when I won! The year I served in the senate was a defining one for me on so many levels; I and the other senators together steered the student body toward a successful year. I might add, we didn’t always agree, but we could listen to each other and civilly discuss and debate our positions with mutual respect. If you are physically healthy and still have a brain in your head you have an obligation and responsibility to AMAZE YOURSELF. You do that by taking yourself out of your comfort zone and risking yourself! Doing so could affect the rest of your life!

We are often told to follow our passion, and you should follow yours provided it doesn’t lead you back to your parents’ sofa unemployed and unable to take care of yourself. Well, that happened to me. I really wanted to teach and majored in education. The problem was that there was a glut of teachers at the time and schools were being closed. It forced me to examine the real basis for my passion and to find another way to express it, because sitting on my parents’ sofa was not an option! I ended up spending the bulk of my career advising the Trustees of governmental pension funds, who themselves were not investment professionals, how to make multi-billion dollar investment decisions. It was teaching in a different form, and just as rewarding! Don’t be dogmatic about your passion, such that you back yourself into a corner. Seek to be creative if your first choice doesn’t work out. Lucky for you your Oneonta degree will be sufficiently flexible to allow you to do that. I’m living proof. Being flexible could affect the rest of your life.

I finally graduated in my red gown, got a job and began to work, paying off my student loans. The College found me as an alumnus, and did what colleges do, asked for money. In the early days I sent what I could, maybe $10, maybe $20, but I sent something because I was eternally grateful to the school, and it helped me financially back then to the extent it could. As a student, I pre-dated the Alumni foundation that funds most of the scholarships awarded to Oneonta students today. As I progressed in my career I gave more, and it wasn’t until a very successful alumnus, who I remembered, defaulted on a major, and I mean major, promised donation, that it became critical that I, along with many other alumni, got serious about giving. What I found was that I had the easy part, I wrote the check, but what I got back was so much more. I found that I was directly and tangibly able to touch lives and ease burdens so others could realize their college aspirations. The students’ thank you letters to me intimated their own struggles, and their relief for the help, in extending their appreciation. Those letters often lifted me on my own bad days. No other act has affected my life more significantly than giving back! However you do it, to whatever extent you can, give back. This REALLY will affect your life!

In closing, the seeds of your future success have been sown here, at Oneonta, while you’ve been a student. At some point, take the time to take stock of the simple life lessons you’ve learned here. But not this weekend. Enjoy this weekend, for soon the mantle of adult responsibility will be placed upon you and Monday will come soon enough! Congratulations, my fellow ALUMNI!!!