Photo courtesy of Penfield Library Special Collections, SUNY Oswego
Then: This Commencement ceremony on the steps of Sheldon Hall represents a momentous occasion: The 1942 graduates here were the first to receive college degrees, thanks to a state law passed and signed on April 13, 1942, declaring Oswego (and several siblings that would later become SUNY schools) a degree-granting teachers' college. Until that time, the institution could only grant diplomas which — in an increasingly competitive educational environment — put graduates at a competitive disadvantage versus those who received full degrees. With the upgrade in status, celebrations took place in Oswego, Albany and other campuses across the state.
Now: SUNY Oswego currently offers master's and bachelor's degrees in more than 100 programs, from accounting to zoology, and its graduates have shown the ability to match up with those from any schools anywhere. Saturday's Commencement marks another momentous event — the 150th spring graduation day. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts will participate in the 9 a.m. ceremony in the Campus Center, with those in the School of Business and School of Education taking part in the 1:30 p.m. graduation. Ceremonies will be viewable anywhere in the world, thanks to a live, interactive Web stream.