Love of Oswego Sparks Loyal Giving

Oswego has been a family tradition for Barbara Brown McCormack ’44, going back to the turn of the last century. That’s why she has been a loyal supporter of The Fund for Oswego for more than 30 years and is a member of the 1861 Society of The President’s Circle.


“I feel it’s important to give what you can to an organization that’s important to you,” said McCormack, who has been giving to Oswego regularly since 1978.

“I loved Oswego when I went there, and think very highly of it.”

The love comes naturally. McCormack’s father, Leon N. Brown, went to the Campus School as a child in the early 1900s. Her mother, Helen Picken Brown ’18 took the train from Yonkers to enroll at Oswego Normal School.

McCormack herself attended the Campus School, literally following in her father’s footsteps as she walked from the family home several blocks away on West Mohawk Street. “In the winter snow, we sure were glad to see that pergola,” she said with a laugh.

McCormack met her first husband, John Murphy ’49, when both were undergraduates at Oswego. After his death, she married the late Robert “Rod” McCormack.

Her life is full of memories of the college, especially as a young bride working as a library assistant under legendary librarian Helen Hagger.

Even now, she loves to attend plays and musical performances on campus.

She supports Oswego with unrestricted gifts, giving to where the need is greatest, because of her high esteem for the college.

“I admire the school – they’ve done a wonderful job. It has a great reputation. Even people from afar know of Oswego. I know because I’ve lived afar,” said McCormack, who spent many years living in Montana and New Jersey.

Thanks to her loyal support and generosity, students today can benefit from the same great education McCormack enjoyed . . . and come to love Oswego as much as she does.

—Michele Reed

One thought on “Love of Oswego Sparks Loyal Giving

  1. Jack Murphy and I were room mates in his house during our days at Oswego after WWII. Jack and Barbara invited Kay Schmidt and I to stand up for them at their wedding. After graduation Kay and I were living in Alexandria, VA when Jack and Barbara were in vacationing in nearby Maryland. They phoned and we gave them directions (before the Beltway.) One hour later they called that they wound up back in Maryland. We tried different directions and they tried again. They gave up and returned home to New York State. Years later, we read Jack’s obituary. It was a pleasure to see Barb’s photo in the Oswego alumni journal.

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