A case in point is George Wurtz ’78, who has used his degree in what we used to call industrial arts to develop a career in paper manufacturing that places him among the leading CEOs in that industry.
When I visited his Soundview Paper Company, George led me on a tour of the Elmwood Park, N.J., plant and explained the paper production process. Learning about his business plans, watching the giant machines in the factory, hearing how he applied the skills and concepts he learned as an undergraduate, I realized that for him, as for thousands of our alumni, the foundation for success was forged at SUNY Oswego. His remarkable career, his commitment to the increasingly urgent demand for environmental sustainability, and his loyalty to Oswego all stem from his experiences on campus in the 1970s, studying in a program founded in 1902.
George and his wife, Nancy, were among the nearly 1,000 alumni who came “home” to Reunion 2013 to connect with friends, classmates, professors and events from their past. As always, I was privileged to hear our graduates’ memories of their alma mater and their visions of what the college might become as new challenges and opportunities arise.
Reunion guests spoke of their pride in the campus: the beauty of the grounds, upkeep of buildings, and stunning new structures, including the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation. Many cited the importance of melding past, present and future as we develop and renew our campus.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the renovation of the original campus building, Sheldon Hall. We completed the exterior renovation just in time for the building’s centennial. Sheldon Hall represents the heart of everything we hold dear about SUNY Oswego. Its magic stirs me, as I know it does so many others. I remember myself as a young faculty member teaching there at the start of my Oswego journey. When we walk its halls, we feel the pulse of academic endeavors, hear the voices of professors and students in classes and see, in our mind’s eye, the performances of choruses, Blackfriars, and various ensembles through the years. Here, the legacy of our founder, Edward Austin Sheldon, has taken root and flourished, growing to become the comprehensive community of learning that is revered today.
We —members of a community with a rich heritage and a certain future — have ample cause to celebrate.
Deborah F. Stanley
FROM THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS to the bright lights of Broadway, from the pages of major magazines to the studios of ESPN and NBC, and from the art galleries of New York to the concert halls of major cities, graduates of Oswego’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts (SCMA) are making a name for themselves…and their alma mater.
We are so proud of all of their accomplishments. And we are especially pleased to feature in this issue stuntwoman Joanna Shelmidine ’89, Disney executive Janice Simcoe ’83 and movie producer Andrew Miano ’95.
Theses accomplished professionals, in the spotlight today, are among the thousands of graduates from the departments of art, music, theatre, communications and broadcasting, the fields that have long been studied at SUNY Oswego and now are combined in SCMA, our newest school. The inspiring successes of our graduates from these areas form a springboard for the future.
This year, we welcome the leadership of our inaugural volunteer Advisory Board to the school, as plans are under way for a renewal of the physical spaces that now house SCMA. It’s all in the future, so as they say in show business … “Stay tuned!”
Fifty years ago, our college had newly graduated from teachers college to comprehensive college of arts and sciences; we had just opened our new science building, Piez Hall; and President Foster Brown had recruited a young chemistry professor from Purdue University — Dr. Richard Shineman — to help expand Oswego’s science programs. Now, at another exciting time of growth and innovation for the sciences on our campus, the Shineman name is once again at the forefront.
As I write this, 10 faculty members from our School of Business have just departed for Turkey, where they plan to make new professional connections that will down the road benefit our students. This is just one example of the kinds of projects going on in this dynamic school, which we feature in this issue of the magazine with stories reviewing its 20-year development and profiling one of our most accomplished business alumni, Bob Moritz ’85.
Throughout our 150-year history, a hallmark of an Oswego education has always been an emphasis on learning by doing. As I travel around the country, alumni from every era share stories of Oswego professors who involved them as equals in important research and creative projects. The pages of this magazine are brimming with examples, like Peggy La Tulip Focarino ’77, whose love of physics was nurtured in Oswego’s labs and now inspires her as she leads the U. S. Patent Office. RIT Chemistry Professor Todd Pagano ’96 has become a national advocate for involving undergraduates in scientific inquiry and has personally opened the doors to meaningful research for hundreds of deaf students. Debra Schutt ’77 takes skills she learned alongside Jon Vermilye ’66 and Ken Stone ’68 in Waterman Theatre to adorn the sets of HBO productions.
Leave this world a better place than you found it: It’s a value that Edward Austin Sheldon ingrained in our college’s culture and has been maintained throughout our 150-year history.
Given the innovative, forward-looking college that we are, it is rare that we pause to look back and take stock of our achievements. Right now, we have so many irons in the fire: We’re awaiting state approval of a bachelor’s degree program in electrical and computer engineering and a combined five-year
You know something strange is going on when you read a headline like “SUNY students press for tuition increases.”