When recipients of the annual Class of 1954 Scholarship sent letters of appreciation to Robert Allen ’54, he recognized the extent of their gratitude. He had worked with the Reunion 2004 committee to establish an anniversary class scholarship because he knows from personal experience what it means for students to work their way through college.
“I’ll always be grateful to Oswego,” Allen says, “for providing me with a solid education at almost no cost.” He recalls mid-20th-century days when he hitchhiked from his home in Fulton to SUNY Oswego, where he majored in education and worked at Rudy’s by the lake to earn money for food and books. “I had saved enough by my senior year that I could live in the Sigma Tau Chi house. What a wonderful feeling that was.”
Allen had a nine-year teaching career in Rome, N.Y., followed by 31 years as a director of field services for New York State United Teachers. His wife, Susan, is retired from a career as a music teacher.
In gratitude for his success, Allen made a gift to the Oswego College Foundation of appreciated stock to create the Robert Allen ’54 Presidential Scholarship, commemorating his commitment to learning and academic excellence. His gift supports the SUNY Oswego Presidential Scholars Program, which attracts the most accomplished high school graduates to the college. He gives regularly to The Fund For Oswego.
Allen recognizes that rising expenses and diminished state support over the years have increased the financial obligation of families of current students, and he says he is gratified knowing his gift relieves some of the burden.
“Despite my lack of funds, I had a wonderful experience at Oswego, where I was able to get a great and affordable college education,” Allen says.
—Linda Loomis ’90 M’97