For Kay Benedict Sgarlata ’65, Oswego planted in her a seed that dropped from the pedagogical tree of its founder, Dr. Edward Austin Sheldon. Now, she and her husband, Anthony, have established a scholarship that she hopes will do the same for future generations of Oswego students.
A former elementary teacher, Kay Sgarlata says she was drawn to Oswego, like many educators before her, to gain the foundational knowledge and practical experience, which were integral to Dr. Sheldon’s vision when he founded the Oswego Primary Teachers’ Training School.
“His work isn’t trite or fanciful,” she says. “It is rock hard, concrete pedagogy that people flocked to Oswego to garner. I was just one of those 100 years later that took advantage of that.”
The 1973 West Genesee Central School District (Camillus, N.Y.) Teacher of the Year, Sgarlata credits Oswego for not only helping her achieve her goal of becoming a qualified teacher but also for providing her with a greater worldview and being part of a valued institution.
“When I think of Oswego, the term alma mater truly applies,” says Sgarlata, who has served the college as a former governor-appointed member of the College Council, former Oswego Alumni Association president and a current member of the Scholarship Committee—a role which makes her keenly aware of the impact a scholarship can make.
“I read students’ essays every year, learn about the hardships their families face and admire them for their courage to pursue college,” she says. “I am grateful that my husband and I are able to contribute to the college and establish a scholarship that will assist students in their college careers.”