Part of SUNY Oswego alumni’s bragging rights resides in having conquered the (sometimes) inclement weather, particularly the snowy, cold winters, on campus. But the dramatic weather and lakefront campus also make the college the perfect place for students to learn in a world-class meteorology program. Plus, nothing brings a campus together like being snowed in
Everyone talks about the weather, but when the comments and complaints become watches and warnings, Judith Levan ’81 hopes everyone’s listening. “We’re the ones that set off the tones on the radio. We’re the ones who send out those crawlers when you’re watching your favorite TV show,” says Levan, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather
When Oswego County BOCES transportation supervisor Kathy Jamerson thinks there might be a bad winter storm ahead, she turns to students at SUNY Oswego for help.
“They’re local, so their forecasts are a little more accurate, a little more specific,“ Jamerson said. “They are really good at pinpointing the very time a storm will go through. Like we’ll be thinking of dismissing at noon, but they’ll say, ‘No. It will be worse at noon than at your regular dismissal time.’”
With its location on Lake Ontario, Oswego is known for its legendary lake effect snow. And while every year has the potential for mountains of the white stuff, certain years saw blizzards of historic proportions.
Alumni who were on campus in the years 1958, 1966, 1978 and 1993 will never forget how Oswego made headlines around the country and across the globe for the feet of snow that piled up in a matter of hours.
Judy Driscoll Skillen ’61 recalled the snowstorm that greeted students returning from the 1958 Thanksgiving Break. “I was living in Johnson at the time,” she said. “We never went to school that whole week. They airlifted in food.” Other grads tell stories of climbing out second story windows and walking on the tops of cars.
Have you ever applauded a sunset? Many Oswegonians have.
The sight of the sun dropping just below the shimmering horizon has captivated most who cast their eyes upon it. Sunsets are perhaps Oswego’s most universally loved features.
“I will never forget it until the day I die,” Deb Roe ’73 told the late historian and Professor Emerita Dorothy Rogers. “We were all on the west campus on the bluff watching this particularly beautiful sunset.