Grateful Teachers Pass Along Oswego Education to Future Generations

For Donald ’62 and Linda Mykland Blauvelt ’61, Oswego is a special place. It’s where they met and fell in love, prepared for a fulfilling career in education and met professors and friends they still remember fondly half a century later.

That’s why the couple, this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of Linda’s graduation and of their marriage, decided to leave Oswego a bequest in their will to establish the Blauvelt Scholarship Fund.

Donald and Linda Blauvelt

Donald ’62 and Linda Mykland Blauvelt ’61 returned to campus for Reunion 2011 and made a Sesquicentennial bequest, naming Oswego in their will.

“We didn’t come from a wealthy background by any means,” says Don, who stressed how fortunate they felt to have attended Oswego at a time when there was no tuition. Both became teachers and after decades in the classroom, have now retired. With their legacy gift to Oswego, the Blauvelts can fulfill their wish to pass on their great Oswego experience to future generations of students.

“We tried to give back so that other people might have the same opportunity,” Don says.

The Blauvelts met during their freshman year at a Sigma Gamma fraternity party for Arethusa sorority sisters, setting the stage for half a century of marriage.

The couple has other fond memories of their time at Oswego, many revolving around the professors who nurtured them and set them on the path to a classroom career they loved.

For Don, it was the late Professor Richard Pfund, with whom he would go on to volunteer at Oswego’s Maritime Museum; George Radcliff, an industrial arts professor who supervised student teachers; and Earl Sparr, who would have students over to his house at holiday time.

Professor John Fisher taught Linda in freshman composition class and still remembers her when they attend Florida alumni events together.

“The teachers were always there for you,” recalls Linda, who has fond reminiscences of her first class in EEIA, elementary education industrial arts, with Professor Robert Babcock ’49.

Both remember classes in the “old wooden shacks” of Splinter Village, the city of Oswego and the many establishments students from the dry campus frequented — Nunzi’s, Buckland’s, McCarthy’s — as well as the curfews.

The couple was back on campus in June for Linda’s 50th Reunion, and remembered how “special” the class felt, as the 100th class to graduate from Oswego.

What better way to mark that special reunion — and Oswego’s Sesquicentennial — than as the newest members of the Sheldon Legacy Society, the group of loyal donors who carry on Founder Edward Austin Sheldon’s tradition by making an Oswego education possible for future generations through their estate gifts.

For more information on the Sheldon Legacy Society, contact Mark Slayton at 315-312-5560 or by email.

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