I remember the moment vividly. Last June, sitting in the Princeton Club in Manhattan, listening as New York Times reporter and emcee Sam Roberts reflected on the exceptional quality of writers in the room, I was filled with pride to be representing SUNY Oswego, as one of our own—Alice McDermott ’75—was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. As president of such a wonderful institution, I am fortunate to be able to share in the accomplishments of our prestigious alumni and faculty. We celebrate these moments as one community, connected by our Oswego roots.
At Oswego, we strive to uphold our founder’s vision to raise the college “to its highest degree of usefulness.” We are equally committed to empowering our students, employees and alumni to pursue meaningful lives and to improve the quality of life for all people. In this issue, we pay tribute to our creative artists—to the writers, like Alice, to the filmmakers to the musicians who elevate their communities through their art form.
Art is said to be the language of the soul. As we have seen throughout history, art provides an outlet for people to communicate powerfully about conflict, love, friendship, sorrow, joy, the whole gamut of human experience. At Oswego, we offer a rich array of opportunities for students to participate in, view and engage with the arts. We believe this is a central component of our campus and what an Oswego education entails.
Oswego’s creative arts programs and events also build a natural bridge to the regional community. Our musical and theatrical performances, art exhibitions, living writers’ series and other events draw people to campus and improve their quality of life. We are seen as an important cultural and economic resource for the region.
In fact, I have some very exciting news to share regarding our community. SUNY Oswego has received the largest single gift in its 153-year history: a $7.5 million gift from the estate of Oswego County resident Lorraine E. Marano. The former school librarian believed in the value of education. She saw how an Oswego education had a transformative effect on our students and wanted to see those opportunities continue for students from all backgrounds. Her extraordinary generosity will help keep college affordable for future generations of Oswego students. (See page 14 to read more about this historic gift.)
These are exciting times at SUNY Oswego. Like the artists in this magazine, we continue to create, rework and push beyond the boundaries of past generations.