Mary C. Toale

Mary Toale

The State University of New York (SUNY) has appointed Dr. Mary C. Toale officer-in-charge at SUNY Oswego, effective January 1, 2022. Dr. Toale will provide continuing leadership to the college upon the retirement of long serving President Deborah F. Stanley who was recently appointed interim chancellor of the State University of New York. Toale will serve as officer-in-charge at SUNY Oswego while the college searches for a permanent president.



Our Presidents


Deborah F. Stanley

Deborah F. Stanley's tenure was driven by bold and inclusive leadership and a broad vision resulting in increased academic excellence, hundreds of millions of dollars in campus renewal, successful fundraising, and the creation of a learner-centered environment. She pioneered the Oswego Guarantee; led the creation of the School of Communication, Media, and the Arts; and established Oswego’s branch campus in Syracuse, N.Y. During her presidency, new programs such as electrical and computer engineering, human-computer interaction, biomedical and health informatics, and the online MBA programs were established. View Tribute to President Stanley video.

Stephen L. Weber

Dr. Stephen L. Weber worked to enhance faculty development, foster diversity and intercultural competence, make the campus more self-sufficient, improve service to the community, and enrich the natural and cultural environment of the campus. Weber saw the continued expansion of student numbers and academic offerings -- spearheading the creation the School of Business and the current version of the School of Education in 1992 from the Division of Professional Studies.

Virginia Radley

Dr. Virginia Radley, the first woman president of a state-operated campus in the SUNY system, led the way to bolstering Oswego’s strong commitment to academic quality. She shepherded the establishment of the college’s Honors Program, Quest day of scholarly and creative activity and other endeavors that continue to provide depth and diversity to the Oswego experience.

James E. Perdue

Dr. James E. Perdue oversaw the ongoing physical transformation of the campus landscape and growth in its student and faculty ranks. He spearheaded the opening of the academic quad that includes Hewitt, Penfield Library and Lanigan, Mahar and Tyler Halls; several residence halls including what is known as “New Campus”; dining halls; the Culkin administration building and other spaces still of great use.

Foster S. Brown

Under Foster Brown's leadership, the number of students and the physical campus greatly expanded. Brown’s administration saw the opening of Lakeside residence and dining halls, notable academic buildings and Lee Hall’s physical plant (to power the expanding campus) that all lay the foundation for even more growth to come. Brown led the way to the addition of robust liberal arts programs at Oswego to broaden beyond the initial (but still important) teacher preparation focus.

Harvey M. Rice

In the postwar years, the administration of Harvey M. Rice kickstarted a period of ambitious yet sustained growth that also began to turn Oswego into a residential campus. Buildings opened during the Rice administration included our first residence halls (Lonis and Moreland) and student union (in what is now Mackin). Among other noteworthy accomplishments, under Rice’s presidency, Oswego became a founding member of the SUNY system in 1948.

Ralph W. Swetman

With the wartime draft depleting the availability of male students, Ralph W. Swetman and his faculty went to extraordinary lengths in recruiting and new initiatives to keep the school viable. He was also in the vanguard of a statewide effort to allow Oswego and peer institutions (later SUNY members) to award degrees instead of diplomas, leading to state legislation in April 1942 that greatly upgraded the outlook for the college, which became the Oswego State Teachers’ College.

James G. Riggs

James G. Riggs welcomed the expansion of the highly regarded industrial arts program, including the opening of a state-of-the-art building (now known as Park Hall) in 1932. Through challenges such as the First World War, the outbreak of Spanish Influenza and the onset of the Great Depression, Riggs and his administration added more land to the current college location and persevered to keep Oswego moving forward.

Isaac B. Poucher

Isaac B. Poucher, Sheldon's longtime lieutenant, carried on the founder's revolutionary direction during his presidency at Oswego Normal School from 1897 to 1913. Poucher’s vision led to the construction of what is now Sheldon Hall and buying the land that brought us to the college’s current lakeside location. Graduates continued to carry the Oswego Method into the world and expanded the institution’s reputation and legacy.

Edward Austin Sheldon 

Drawn to the positive impact education can make in the lives of others, Sheldon adopted the then-revolutionary object teaching method that brought learning alive and blended it with in-class teacher training: "No such school existed in America, and the methods of instruction were quite as new as the design of the school,” he wrote. The first classes of the Oswego Primary Teachers’ Training School began in 1861, and the institution incorporated as the Oswego State Normal and Training School in 1865. Many other institutions -- from future SUNY colleges to schools as far away as Brazil and the Phillippines -- organized or reorganized under Sheldon’s Oswego Method.