Lowengard, DeCrow to speak at December graduation

Daniel G. Lowengard.SUNY Oswego’s December Commencement on Dec. 19 will feature pioneers in educational achievement and women’s activism as special presenters.

Daniel G. Lowengard, superintendent of the Syracuse City School District, will be the featured speaker at the ceremony. Author, attorney and activist Karen DeCrow will accept a SUNY Oswego Presidential Medal.

Educational leader

Lowengard’s nearly four decades in education include numerous innovations that have brought classroom success, cultural empowerment and community engagement. As the superintendent of the Utica City School District for eight years, he led dramatic improvement in graduation rates, oversaw $66 million in construction projects completed under budget, secured additional educational aid and built long-range community partnerships.

Appointed the Syracuse schools’ superintendent in 2006, he leads with a stated goal “to work with the community to transform the district into a place where all children will be successful, regardless of race or poverty.” Lowengard has made his district a state and national demonstration for economic development and educational reform through the district’s partnerships with SUNY Oswego and its Possibility Scholarship Program and with the Say Yes to Education Foundation and Syracuse University. The latter initiative promises free college tuition for district graduates accepted to one of nearly 100 colleges and universities. Students in the program receive added support before college with after-school programs, summer camps and increased access to social workers.

Lowengard also oversees an ambitious district-wide transformation and renovation with $140 million allocated for the first phase, rising standardized test scores and smaller-learning-community initiatives. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees through Syracuse University.

Hall of Fame inductee

Karen DeCrow.Her induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in October recognized DeCrow’s more than four decades at the forefront of women’s issues. She joined the then-fledgling National Organization for Women in 1967 and guided the organization as president from 1974 to 1977. Her successful legal and lobbying efforts in that post included gaining access for women to institutions ranging from NASA to the national television news networks to Ivy League universities.

DeCrow authored “The Young Women’s Guide to Liberation” and “Sexist Justice,” and co-authored “Women Who Marry Houses: Panic and Protest in Agoraphobia” with Robert Seidenberg, with whom she co-founded World Women Watch in 1988 to ask world leaders not to mask gender discrimination behind religion or culture. Her articles and columns have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and USA Today.

DeCrow received an honorary degree from SUNY Oswego in 1994, earned her law degree from Syracuse University in 1972 and her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1959. Her most recent honors include receiving Syracuse University’s Arents Award for Excellency in Advocacy of Civil Liberties and Women’s Rights earlier this year.

Commencement details

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 in the Campus Center arena. For more information about December graduation and a link to its live Webcast, visit http://www.oswego.edu/academics/commencement.

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(Posted: Dec 09, 2009)

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