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