150 Years: Oswego's Story

Honoring 150 Years of Education and Innovation

In 1861, Edward Austin Sheldon had a modest idea that would later transform the world of education. His well-trained Oswego schoolteachers were being poached, and demand far exceeded supply. He created a little school to train new teachers. The first class of nine met in a cloakroom to learn the Oswego Method: using the object learning method (replacing rote memorization) combined with hands-on, in-classroom experience. This method spread through the growing United States and abroad — Brazil, Japan, the Philippines. And the school became what we now know as SUNY Oswego. In the 21st century, our college continues this tradition of innovation, and our programs span the globe.

Explore the selection of historic photos, above, which travel through time from the days of founder Edward Austin Sheldon to the 1960s when our college grew to encompass a wide range arts and sciences. Click and use the navigation symbols to scroll through the gallery and return here. Most of these photos appeared throughout 2011 in our weekly "Then and Now" series.

The six chapters of our sesquicentennial documentary video project, above, recount "The Story of SUNY Oswego" across 15 decades. Notable Oswego alumni such as Al Roker ("Laker Lore") and Steve Levy ("Athletic Spirit") fill in details of the college's past in about an hour's viewing time in all. Find the complete series after April 2012 here.

Tour the interactive timeline below for more photos and historical insights, using the Timeline, Flipbook or List options.