A magazine for alumni, parents and friends of SUNY Geneseo
Legacy of Freedom
geneseo Fall 2010
Legacy of Freedom In the final days of World War II, American servicemen saved a train full of concentration camp prisoners. An alumnus’ mission to preserve the history of such humble acts of heroism has changed the lives of students and veterans and reunited survivors all over the world.
Geneseo Voices: World War II The GI Bill brought great minds to Geneseo, but countless servicemen never made it back. Robert Yull ’49 and other veterans share their experiences.
Get Connected Who says you can’t go home again? The U-Knight online community allows alumni to connect with each other and their alma mater anywhere, anytime.
20 Icons of Geneseo: The Bear You won’t find it as a must-see in Frommer’s Travel Guides, but anyone who has ever been to campus remembers the town’s most famous resident.
DEPARTMENTS 3 25 30
One College Circle Alumni News Class Notes
COLUMNS 2 7 22 23 24
President’s Message Letters to the Editor Athletics Mission Driven Random Profile: One Cup
Cover photography: Kris Dreessen Robert McDonald ’50 looks at an image of himself and other Geneseo alumni who served in World War II and of concentration camp prisoners at the time of their liberation by American servicemen near Magdeburg, Germany.
Table of contents photography: Kris Dreessen AT RIGHT: Students step in unison across the Sturges Quad.
Postmaster: Please address changes to the Collins Alumni Center, McClellan House, SUNY Geneseo, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454-1484. Third-class postage paid at Rochester, NY 14606
Vol. 36, No. 1; Fall 2010
“Only connect ...”
The Geneseo Scene is published by SUNY Geneseo, Division of College Advancement, Office of College Communications.
Christopher C. Dahl, President Michael J. Catillaz, Vice President for College Advancement Anthony T. Hoppa, Assistant Vice President for College Communications Kris Dreessen, Editor Carole Smith Volpe ’91, Art Director Contributing writers: Lisa M. Feinstein David Irwin Laura R. Kenyon Jim Memmott Peter B. Wayner ’11
Alumni Relations Office Rose G. Anderson, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations Michelle Walton Worden ’92, Associate Director of Alumni Relations Tracy Young Gagnier ’93, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Francis E. Zablocki, Online Community Manager Alumni Relations Office at Collins Alumni Center McClellan House SUNY Geneseo 1 College Circle Geneseo, NY 14454-1484 Phone: (585) 245-5506 Fax: (585) 245-5505 firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Relations Office Tammy Ingram ’88, Director of Parent Relations Erwin 202 Phone: (585) 245-5570 Contact the Scene at email@example.com. Visit the website at www.geneseo.edu/geneseo_scene
— E. M. Forster
love the history of words. Take connection, for example. Our English word can be traced back to the Latin connectere (“to join together”), used by Vergil and Cicero. The British spelling (connexion) recalls nexus or linkage. Since Roman times, the idea of connection has evolved in ways no one could have imagined as we navigate the brave new world of technology. As you are reading this, the Office of College Communications has already posted a “tweet” on Twitter and a message on Facebook directing readers to the online version of the Scene with its electronic, pageturning format (visit geneseo.edu/geneseo_scene). Leveraging the power of the Internet, Geneseo is committed to enhancing our connection with alumni in a wired society. We are excited to take another step forward with our newest initiative: U-Knight, Geneseo’s online alumni community. As you’ll read on page 16, Geneseo graduates can now connect to each other and to the college more easily — anytime, anywhere. U-Knight brings alumni together in a virtual meeting place — the online equivalent, if you will, of Sturges Quad, MacVittie College Union or Main Street. Connect with classmates by major, graduation year, athletic team, Greek organization, occupation, location and more. Catch up with old friends, reminisce about good times, or network to find a new job or hire an alum. Better still, stay informed of college events and reunite in person at alumni gatherings here and around the country. there is always a connection In doing so, you will rekindle warm memories and discover a profound truth: your connection to Geneseo.” Geneseo never ends. Your collective college experience — in and out of the classroom, among faculty and friends — has shaped your life in ways that perhaps you may not recognize, but others do. Consider Matthew Rozell ’83/MS ’88. He shows his connection to Geneseo through his passion for history and teaching. He has achieved worldwide recognition for his Living History Project, which connects high school students to World War II veterans, who, like our own Geneseo alumni of that era, embody the greatest generation. In turn, these servicemen have established connections with the very people whose lives they saved during the war. Connectere. Closer to home, Geneseo’s Philanthropic Chefs connect students and local community members to each other and to those in need here and elsewhere. For years, these culinary aficionados have bonded over food and friendship to raise money to make a difference in the lives of others. Connectere. In our hearts and minds, through our action and example, there is always a connection to Geneseo. Our goal is to keep it strong: “U-Knighted” and united, we will continue to advance Geneseo into the 21st century.
“In our hearts and minds, through our action and example,
Christopher C. Dahl
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
One College Circle Nicholas Pesce ’12 has recreated notable landmarks in a mural that stretches across an entire wall in the MacVittie College Union. It's a gift for everyone who works, lives and studies at Geneseo. “The idea is based on Geneseo — community, campus and the people who make it up,” says Pesce, who spent six months on the creation. “I want to show the spirit of Geneseo in a timeless way.” The landscape features Sturges Hall, nearby Fall Brook Gorge, the bear fountain on Main Street and an oak tree in the center, with silhouettes of a farm house and silo in the distance. Long after he's graduated, the images will symbolize Geneseo. A business administration and sociology major, Pesce wants to pursue a career in international corporate law. He also created a large mural of celebrity portraits in Onondaga Hall. He painted in himself after Walt Disney and Dumbledore for good measure.
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Eyes on the stars Ant bullies Living green Outstanding educators News in brief Fall 2010
ONE COLLEGE CIRCLE
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
Student research assistants Michelle Gregor ’11 and Evan Losh ’13 stand beside the college’s telescope in the new observatory atop the Integrated Science Center. More students can do more sophisticated research because of the observatory, says physics and astronomy Assistant Professor Aaron Steinhauer, right.
College opens new window to the universe Students are now exploring the universe from atop the Integrated Science Center in the college’s new observatory. Geneseo recently mounted its 20-inch reflector telescope inside a shiny new fiberglass dome and equipped it with state-of-the-art instrumentation, including a spectrograph and an imaging camera. When the college bought the telescope two years ago, it had to be mounted onto a temporary wooden palette and covered with a tarp during inclement weather. In winter, it was stored inside. “This permanent placement of the telescope brings a new and exciting dimension to our astronomy program,” says Aaron Steinhauer, assistant professor of physics and astronomy. 4
“In the past, it was not available for most of the academic year because of the weather.” In the introductory astronomy course, Steinhauer says stu-
independent study projects,” says Steinhauer. “In the past, students had to use data published by someone else on the star clusters they were studying because we weren’t able to make year-round observations. The new observatory now allows them to collect all of their own data, adding an element of confidence to the information PHOTO PROVIDED they collect.” The new observatory. The permanent use of the telescope and new dents will benefit greatly from the ability to see many concepts instrumentation has allowed Steinhauer to involve more covered in class brought to life. students on research projects “It also will provide a wealth and equipment management, of interesting experiments for our upper-level physics labs and such as calibration.
“It’s very exciting to have this sophisticated telescope in our astronomy program,” says Evan Losh ’13, a physics major who worked as a paid researcher under Steinhauer’s tutelage last summer measuring star brightness. “It will give students more hands-on experience and opportunities for exploration.” The work of Losh and other students is reinforcing Steinhauer’s research on stellar evolution in open clusters, large groups of stars formed at roughly the same time. “A vital component of these studies is accurately measuring the brightness of all stars in the cluster, which provides key parameters such as cluster age and distance, and also surface temperature and mass of the stars,” says Steinhauer. Steinhauer is complementing his research by making periodic visits to Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona to use the large telescopes in gathering data. He has made eight trips to Kitt Peak since 1997 with Geneseo students, including Losh. “It was an amazing experience being around such large, powerful telescopes,” says Losh. “I never really appreciated observational astronomy until I was there.” Geneseo’s Meade telescope has a 20-inch primary mirror and the optics are specially designed to provide a high level of image quality over a very wide field of view. The observatory dome has almost as much precision as the scope itself, thanks to designer Colin Blumson, a master woodcarver from Australia who for many years made a living carving religious figures. — David Irwin
The scouts first searched for their victims, then sent the army. During the attack on Colony 9, they shot a chemical spray from their bodies and sent residents into a full panic. A winged queen grabbed a pupa still neatly wrapped in a gummy cocoon, and clung to a raspberry plant. Workers dashed to pull pupae to safety even as the raiders hefted them up in their jaws and carried them back to their own nest. When the young black ants emerged from their cocoons in the raiders’ colony, they assumed the smell of the red and black Formica subintegra was their own and started their life’s work — maintaining the nest and foraging for food to feed their captors. Such epic battles on a tiny scale play out daily in the college’s Spencer J. Roemer Arboretum, as slavemaker ant colonies raid dozens of their less fortunate Formica glacialis neighbors.
“People would be surprised about the drama that’s going on throughout the summer on campus,” says biology Assistant Professor Jennifer Apple. Apple and her undergraduate research assistants have studied ant colonies in the 20acre preA host ant holds a pupa. serve since 2008. “Ants are a significant component of most terrestrial ecosystems. It’s important to understand what impacts them,” says Apple. The Roemer ants are in rare company. Out of more than 12,000 ant species worldwide, there are only about 50 known
PHOTO BY SARA LEWANDOWSKI ’11
The real ant bully: Epic battles in the arboretum active slavemaking ant species. Apple’s studies focus on nest location, behavior and molecular genetics to gain insight into such questions as why both ant species — host and slavemaker — build their nests where they do and why some host colonies are targeted. Apple’s crew collects ants to extract DNA and uses molecular markers to examine the genetic make-up of each colony. Apple and students like Dan Kane ’12 and Sarah Dzara ’12 monitor nests daily during prime raiding season. “Research is such a great opportunity to apply the various theories and skills learned in class to answer novel questions about various aspects of life,” says student ant researcher Sara Lewandowski ’11 — on both grand and insect-size scales. — Kris Dreessen
See the ants in action at http://go.geneseo.edu/ants
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
EcoHouse residents and founders Arielle Aronoff ’12, left, Yael Massen ’13, Hayeley Fuchs ’13 and Tamar Massen ’12.
EcoHouse is sowing sustainability If Geneseo students’ passion could be measured, it would be off the charts. Nowhere is that more evident than in the college’s three residential houses. Here, students’ academic, social and civic engagement experiences are enhanced by living with others who share a common interest. Geneseo’s third residential house, EcoHouse at Putnam Hall, opened this fall for students devoted to sustainability and social justice. Twice as many returning students applied to live at EcoHouse than the 85 spaces would allow, and the community includes many freshmen interested in sustainability. Celia Easton, dean of residential living, views EcoHouse as a student-run, sustainability think tank for the college. “Education and knowledge are keys to our success,” says Yael Massen, a junior psychology major. “It’s not just a living community but a tool to help us send a message about the critical importance of sustainable living.” — David Irwin
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
Ants raid other colonies all summer in the Spencer J. Roemer Arboretum. Dan Kane ’12, left, Sarah Dzara ’12 and biology Assistant Professor Jennifer Apple lift a board on top of the largest slavemaking ant colony to see how many pupae are being raised.
ONE COLLEGE CIRCLE
NEWS IN BRIEF College earns top ranking for community service The Washington Monthly has placed Geneseo among its top 10 colleges for community service among those that grant master’s degrees. The magazine rates higher-education schools on how much social mobility, research and public service they foster.
Geneseo is a “best buy” Students should look to Geneseo for a great education for a good deal, according to The Fiske Guide to Colleges. Fiske named Geneseo as one of the 45 Best Buy Schools in its 2011 edition, based on the quality of academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance. Geneseo was also on the list in 2010.
Chemistry chair named distinguished professor Professor David Geiger, chair of the chemistry department, has been named a distinguished teaching professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The rank is the highest tribute conferred upon instructional faculty. GEIGER Trustees noted his ability to spark students’ excitement about chemistry and to build their self-confidence as learners and scientists. Geiger is the 40th Geneseo faculty member to earn the rank.
Faculty members win Fulbright Awards Women’s studies and perceptions of well-being are topics three Geneseo faculty members are pursuing as Fulbright scholars in India and the Middle East. Fourteen Geneseo faculty 6
Geneseo honors outstanding alumni educators A physical education teacher in Fredonia, N.Y., At Summer Reunion, the college honored more Fitzgerald was recognized for often including than 70 alumni educators who were nominated difficult children as “helpers” and for giving up for The Geneseo Distinguished Educator planning periods to shoot hoops with students Awards. Three top nominees were recognized as a reward for their for the impact achievements in other they have had on classes. students in and “I’ve seen him outout of the classdoors on a noisy field room: Mary day … complete with Patricia Malet flying balls and rubber Fennell ’65, Mark chickens, holding each Fitzgerald ’95 and child’s attention with Carleen Sawicki just an ordinary Julian ’94. speaking voice,” says During her Amy Piper, interim 33-year career, principal at Fredonia Fennell taught Elementary School. nearly 900 priJulian, a resource mary students, PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN teacher at Irvington mostly in York, Geneseo Distinguished Educators Carleen Sawicki Julian ’94, High School in N.Y. Even after left, Mark Fitzgerald ’95 and Mary Patricia Malet Fennell ’65. Westchester County, retirement in N.Y., “treats her students as though they were 1998, she shared her insights with Geneseo her own kids,” says Principal Scott Mosenthal. education majors by supervising their student Julian established a college prep class for teaching. Fennell still volunteers in the York seniors that many parents credit as the drivschool district. ing force behind their children’s success. She “I still have things of Patty’s that I hang also transformed Irvington’s literary magazine every year,” says Gretchen Crane, York Central kindergarten chairperson. “The writing may be into a nationally recognized publication featuring the work of top writers and special a little faded, but they remind me of her and education students. the true professional from whom I learned.” — Lisa M. Feinstein members have received Fulbrights in the past 25 years. Denise Benoit Scott, associate professor of sociology, is teaching on the topic of women and empowerment at H.N.B. Garhwal University in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India, through December on a Fulbright-Nehru Award. Linda Steet, associate professor of social foundations of education and women’s studies, received a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach this year at the University of Jordan in Amman in the American Studies and Women’s Studies Center. Steve Derne, professor of sociology, received a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Program fel-
lowship to conduct research in Dehra Dun, the capital of Uttarakhand in the Himalayas. His project, “Well-Being in India,” will identify Indians’ conceptions of well-being through in-depth interviews for five months in 2011.
Geneseo is among best in nation Parade magazine, a Sunday supplement distributed by newspapers across the country, placed Geneseo on its “AList” of 20 small public schools in the nation. The Aug. 22 issue contains “A-List” schools based on recommendations from top high school counselors. The article notes that schools in Geneseo's category “combine the communal feel of a small liberal-arts college with the breadth of choice offered
by a big university,” and asserts that “this may be one of the very best public institutions for teaching and learning in the nation. Geneseo kids are plenty smart and want to learn.”
Geneseo leads public universities U.S. News & World Report has ranked Geneseo first among four North Region universities identified as having a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching. Geneseo is one of 86 schools in the country on the 2011 list. In the magazine’s general rankings, Geneseo was second among the “Top Public Universities” list for the North Region. It ranks 12th in the “Best Regional Universities” category for the same region, a category that combines public and private institutions.
Letters to the Editor The Scene welcomes feedback and encourages discussion of higher-education issues and content. Send letters, which may be edited for space, to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Scene editor, SUNY Geneseo, Roemer House, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454.
Student accomplishment impresses faculty I’ve received several copies of your excellent alumni publication and I wanted to say thank you. I taught in the Department of Geological Sciences during fall 2008. I enjoyed the experience very much; the students I encountered were excellent scholars and fine human beings. The faculty in the department mentored me. In the winter 2010 issue, I saw the “You Were Here” photograph on the inside front cover including the Geology Club. There also was a short piece on Deirdre Kelly ’11, who was one of my best students. I’ve moved on from Geneseo, but I have fond memories of the town and college. I’m now a post-doctoral temporary academic worker at Stockholm University in Sweden. I’m very pleased to get the Scene. Thanks for sharing such news. — Patrick Applegate Biloxi service is a reminder of passion Thank you for the story on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts in Biloxi, Miss., in the summer issue. I feel honored to have played a part and to be included in the “Mission: Possible” article. Even more, however, I am grateful for the reminder of all that Livingston CARES was and is, to me and
to others. I have felt somewhat aimless in the year since my AmeriCorps position ended, but I am beginning to feel that hunger again. I am in Colorado Springs now … and I feel new possibilities opening before me. It is too easy to be so daunted that you cease the forward struggle, but your article has been, again, a timely reminder that the struggle never ends. — Jennifer Delcourt ’08 Alumna remembers the “Shear Madness” I enjoyed the update on the “Shear Madness” career of Bruce Jordan. When I read of his theatrical success within the “hair salon” setting, I wondered if he recalls what was perhaps his first trip as a customer to a “beauty shop.” In 1966, a bit before the advent of the unisex salon, Bruce and I found ourselves in a local Geneseo beauty shop. As cast members of “The Lark,” director Bruce Klee decided we needed tonsorial make-overs. My long locks needed to be chopped off to play Joan of Arc and Bruce’s carrot-red hair required an auburn dye to lend credibility to his role as the English Duke of Warwick. If you think the 1976 photo of Bruce in a laundry detergent commercial (printed in the last issue) is humorous, you should have
seen him draped in the pink plastic cover-up, topped off with a matching pink plastic shower cap! Alas, for the lack of cell phone cameras back then. The image is only burned in my memory, but I chuckle, even today, to think about it. — Anne Bergstrom Gnagi ’69 Chamber Singers resonate As a relative of several alumni in the Rochester area, I enjoy reading the Scene. The article on the Chamber Singers was especially interesting, since at one time I was a member of the madrigal singers here in Albany. A number of years ago, the Chamber Singers came here and gave an impressive performance in the Episcopal cathedral — a wonderful space for singers, and they made the most of it. I still have a recording of the group from that time. — Linda Delfs Blast from the past I’ll admit that’s me on the back page of the Summer 2010 issue, in the 1979 commencement photo, smiling for the camera. My wife does not seem to believe me. Graduation day, week and month were sort of a blur. After the ceremony, we went to Conesus Lake where I was renting a house for the school
year with other miscreants. We continued the blur, had an artery-clogging meal at the Conesus Inn, slept it off, filled a ’67 Chevy Impala with all we owned, and headed off to Boston for a much-delayed rendezvous with responsibility. — Kevin J. Kiely ’79 Article brings back musical memories The wonderful “Musical Masterpiece” article about the Chamber Singers brought back memories of when I graduated from the college in 1947. Even then and years before, Geneseo was known for its choral music. A photo from my yearbook shows me as a member of the Carol Choristers. We numbered 55 members, which was a significant percentage of the student body then. Conducted by a favorite professor, Dr. Joseph Saetveit, I also loved the music appreciation course I took from him. — Carlie Naber McCallister ’47
Legacy OF FREEDOM An alumnus’ mission to preserve the experiences of veterans of World War II shines a spotlight on heroism that saved generations. His work and their courage changed hundreds of lives around the world.
By Kris Dreessen er first memories are snapshots — flashes in black and white. She is about 1 year old. She is watching people run. There is a big boom. Her mother is screaming as a soldier bursts in. In the next, she and her mother are on a train. When it finally stops, her mother carries her into a cold, cold shower. Afterward, her mother lays her on the floor. Then, her mother is gone. Over the years Lily Cohen has pieced together as much as she could after her father was shot and she and her mother were sent to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwestern Germany. She knows her name; she knows she was born in Warsaw. She knows that when her mother died, women in the camp she did not know cared for her. At age 4 or 5 she remembers being sent on another train in the final days of the war. The Germans abandoned the train near Magdeburg; it’s believed they planned to blow it up if the Americans or Russians approached. Lily hid under the cars from the shots and planes buzzing overhead. She saw the Germans run away, so when the Americans came in tanks and Jeeps, she knew they must be good. Even though they were about to fight a major battle with the enemy, the 30th Infantry Division of the U.S. 9th Army stopped to rescue Cohen and the other prisoners. They had farmers harvest through the night to bring the prisoners food and the soldiers moved them to shelter and services. It would be the last time Lily was alone.
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
Above, Hudson Falls students like Melanie McDonald, left, and Melissa McDonald, call teacher Matthew Rozell ’83/MS ’88 a hero in his own right for his achievements in preserving the history of World War II veterans. His Living History Project has gained international attention and has changed generations of lives.
S, GE C. GROS SGT. GEOR PHOTO BY BATTALION 743RD TANK
At left, survivors run toward the U.S. soldiers who rescued them from the Germans in 1945. The servicemen took the photos at the time of liberation. They are grateful to have met some of the survivors, thanks to Matthew Rozell ’83/MS ’88.
PHOTO BY MAJOR CLARENCE BENJAMIN, 743RD TANK BATTALION.
Carrol “Red” Walsh never thought he’d ever meet the people he helped liberate from the Germans in 1945, but has developed relationships with several after reunions.
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
So moved by what the Living History Project has accomplished, Lily Cohen flew from Israel to meet Matthew Rozell ’83/MS ’88 to say thank you last June.
A woman and her son asked Cohen to take their hands and come with them. She went with them to the town of Hilersleben, where the family gave her something called sheets, and she bathed in warm water for the first time. It is then that Cohen began to remember her life in color. ••• The 743rd Tank Battalion and 30th Infantry Division liberated Cohen and other surviving passengers on that train on April 13, 1945. Sixty-five years later, survivors have reunited with the men who saved their lives, thanks to a teacher’s history project. Matthew Rozell ’83/MS ’88 created the World War II Living History Project to preserve the oral history of veterans’ experiences. He and his history students at Hudson Falls High School have interviewed more than 150 veterans in their upstate New York area and are sharing the stories, photographs and videos online. Launched quietly in the early 1990s as a way to connect the teens to history in a more personal way, the Living History Project has changed hundreds of lives of veterans, students and generations of families. Rozell has organized two reunions between veterans and the survivors of the Magdeburg train, allowing thousands of students to be part of history. In so doing, Rozell and his students have made history, garnering international media attention for their efforts and teary gratitude from survivors like Cohen, from Israel, who have made the journey across the world to say thank you. ••• Rozell had no idea the Living History Project would have worldwide impact when he started it nearly two decades ago. His quest was to document as many accounts of veterans as possible. Of the 17 million young men who served in the U.S. military during World War II, fewer than 2 million are alive today. According to the National World War II Museum, they are dying at a rate of 900 a day. “It’s a race against time,” says Rozell. One of the first veterans Rozell interviewed on videotape is Hudson Falls resident Carrol “Red” Walsh, a retired New York State Supreme Court justice, who was a commander in the 743rd Tank Battalion. Just 24 at the time, he was one of the first soldiers to come upon
Films and news about the Living History Project and A Train Near Magdeburg: • The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum film on the 2009 reunion — go.geneseo.edu/liberationfilm • ABC Persons of the Week (2007 reunion — go.geneseo.edu/personofweek • Matthew Rozell’s Living History Blog — http://teachinghistorymatters.wordpress.com • On meeting Lily — go.geneseo.edu/lily
Cohen’s train. He saw the Germans run. He had no idea at first that the boxcars were jammed with people, or where they came from. It was not until 60 years later — because of Rozell’s project — that Walsh knew fate helped him rescue prisoners, who, in another hour, would have been dead. Like many veterans, Walsh doesn’t feel he did anything courageous or even noteworthy. In fact, he nearly didn’t mention the Magdeburg train incident during the interview with Rozell, until his daughter encouraged him to do so. Luckily, he did. “I thought, ‘By God, I didn’t do anything in particular,’” remembers Walsh. “It wasn’t anything heroic. It was part of every day for me at the time.” Rozell posted Walsh’s story on his website in 2001 with testimony and photos taken of the liberation by Walsh’s friend Sgt. George C. Gross. There it sat, seemingly unnoticed. Four years later, Rozell received an e-mail. It was from a grandmother in Australia. She found his site — and photos. After she screamed from emotion and burst into tears, she wrote Rozell and sparked what has become a legacy. “I was giving a test, when I read her message,” remembers Rozell. “I put my head in my hands and cried a little.” Since then, 160 survivors of the train have come forward or have been found,
many by survivors searching for their past or through the Bergen-Belsen Memorial. “I get so many calls,” says Rozell, “the district put a direct line to my classroom.” ••• In 2007, Rozell organized his first reunion of a handful of survivors of the train and Walsh at Hudson Falls High School. It drew the attention of national news agencies, television and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which chose him as one of just 14 teacher fellows for 2008-2009. As a fellow, Rozell received training and resource support for individual projects, and now serves as a resource for other teachers. “We look for teachers who have demonstrated leadership ability to inspire their students to take what they learn outside of the classroom,” says Peter Fredlake, director of the museum’s National Outreach for Teacher Initiatives. “Matt’s project was pretty phenomenal.” Rozell organized a second, three-day reunion in September 2009 for the 30th Division liberators and train survivors. Seven liberators and nine survivors — who grew up to become authors, educators, doctors and grandparents — came from as far as Canada, England and Israel. “I was awed, because never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would ever meet anyone who was on the train … How could I ever get to know them or see them again?” says Walsh. “It was never anything I ever thought could occur. It really is tremendous because we all have such affinity for each other. And of course it all came about because of Rozell.” Walsh still doesn’t feel worthy of the immense gratitude survivors have shown; his greatest reward is to see the doctors and authors and public speakers they have become. He keeps in close touch with a few of the survivors. The museum produced a short feature film about the reunion that is prominently displayed on its website (see box). In a story by ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, Rozell, the students, survivors and soldiers were all named “Persons of the Week” in September 2009. Rozell also has earned state and national teaching honors. Last spring, he was the only teacher invited to an official ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to pay tribute to World War II liberators in the national Days of Remembrance.
If it weren’t for Professor Mahood ... Always a history buff, Matthew Rozell ’83/MS ’88 graduated with a bachelor’s degree but was unsure about a teaching career. “When I went into the education master’s program, that was a whole other world with some really important people who recognized my potential when maybe I didn’t have much confidence,” says Rozell. “Now, I think that was incredible preparation for life.” Rozell, a history and archaeology teacher at Hudson Falls(N.Y.) High School for 22 years, is the creator of the World War II Living History Project and was named the 2010 Organization of American Historians’ Tachau Teacher of the Year. Thirty years after his Geneseo graduation, Rozell reconnected with Distinguished Service Professor of Education Wayne Mahood to say thank you for inspiring his choice of a career, and inspiring how he teaches. Mahood is a SUNY distinguished service professor emeritus of education. “I’m not sure that he realized what he did for me,” says Rozell. “He pushed people to think about what they were doing. A lot of the things he did have resonated with me throughout my career ... If it hadn’t been for him and a few conversations I had with him, I’m not sure I’d be doing what I am doing.”
Walsh believes Rozell’s project will go down in history itself, as a great work in the remembrance of World War II. “I don’t think anyone has done anything greater or better or more organized or more informative than what Matt Rozell has done,” says Walsh. “He preserved that moment for all of history and posterity.” ••• Cohen was not aware of the organized reunions. She was frying schnitzel last March in her Tel Aviv home when the phone rang, forever changing her life. It was a woman named Varda from
Canada, whose father was 14 when he was liberated from the train in Magdeburg. Varda was in contact with Rozell and the 30th Division, and tracked down 70 or so survivors, including Cohen. “She found me. So here I am in the kitchen and she’s telling me this …,” says Cohen. “I had no idea this existed. I was completely shocked.” Cohen — who has called Rozell’s project holy work — knew she must meet the man who made it all happen. Cohen flew from the Middle East last June to meet Rozell just weeks after that first phone call. She thanked him over dinner and met students on an end-of-year cruise. Sitting in her hotel room, she teared up thinking about what the Living History Project means to her and so many others. “I think that if a person has so much compassion in him to understand people and to create something wonderful out of this — you don’t meet people like this every day,” says Cohen. “What Matt does really touches the hearts of people and that is something to be cherished.” Cohen herself only recently began talking about her experiences, when her granddaughters asked about their family tree. Now she speaks freely about her life after Hilersleben, when she was taken to a kibbutz, a community settlement in Israel. She grew up with a family there. She married and had children. She realized her dream of being a stage dancer and taught choreography in England. She even became close with Bronka, who cared for her at Bergen-Belsen and searched for her after the war. Despite her rescue from the train that allowed her to live, Cohen says she has always felt uprooted. “You are floating all the time. You don’t have parents. You don’t have anyone who has known your parents,” says Cohen. “It’s a void.” Over the years survivors have found out information about their own families from each other. Cohen did, too. On her visit to America, Cohen was able to find her birth date. She also has been writing other survivors, plus Frank Towers, a first lieutenant with the 30th division who led the freed prisoners to town. Upon her return to Israel she wrote Rozell: “Maybe it is a family after all.”
••• Just like Walsh, former Army field medic John Carney doesn’t consider himself a hero for his service in World War II. He was just doing a job. An 18-year-old newlywed, Carney got a crash course in dentistry and field first aid before being shipped off to the South Pacific. He was shot in the leg on his first day and received a Purple Heart. He rejoined his squad because he didn’t want to let them down. Carney can still feel the earth against his hands and the smell of spent shells that pressed against his lungs as he crawled between mortar rounds to reach a wounded soldier after battle. They were trapped in a valley following a fire fight, surrounded by Japanese. They had to wait until night to rescue the wounded soldier; every few seconds, the sky lit up with shells. As Rozell has found with many of the Living History Project participants, Carney and many veterans rarely spoke about their experiences in World War II. He opened up to Hudson Falls 2010 graduate Melanie McDonald for the project. “People get a different perspective on the war, and different views,” says Carney. “People get a different interpretation than Hollywood gives on wars.” ••• Over the years, Rozell has seen students and vets bond during interviews. “In many cases, they develop a relationship that continues after my class,” he says. “Both generations come to appreciate the other more. It’s a bridge.” Each walks away with a different perspective of the other generation, and some important life lessons. “It’s life-altering,” says Melissa McDonald, Melanie’s sister. “You are a part of history as well. Because we’ve heard these stories, it’s our job to make sure it won’t happen again.” The sisters say the reunions and the interviews changed their lives, too. As several students have, they each chose Mr. Rozell as their hero in the yearbook. “He’s made his dreams come true. He’s made them a reality,” says Melanie McDonald. “I want to do that in my life. He showed me that anything is possible. You just need to put your heart in it.” Another student, Morency Madison, had no idea how
much a single teacher could change her life. “He puts history right in front of your eyes,” she wrote in a tribute. “Never could I have gotten the experience of meeting such inspiring people who learned love after the ultimate form of prejudice was thrust upon them. A message of acceptance not only reached the little town of Hudson Falls, but the entire world.” ••• For his part, Rozell is uncomfortable with praise for what he’s done. Compared to the veterans and survivors, he believes he’s done little. He is a facilitator, on a mission, proud that he and his students have been able to recognize sacrifices made during World War II, and share the veterans’ impact. “It’s taken on a life of its own … There’s
no explanation for it but it’s happening for a reason,” says Rozell of the train incident. “This is a pin prick of World War II. One, however, that is responsible for how many lives now, and for generations afterward. “There are so many lessons here — lessons of self-sacrifice and duty. This war brought out the worst in people and it brought out the best of people,” says Rozell. “When you look at this mini snapshot of time, you see it all. In the end, good triumphs over evil. For my money, all of the World War II veterans not directly associated with those fateful days in April 1945 when the train was liberated were liberators, too. They are all liberators.”
Geneseo honors World War II veterans Thank you to all of our courageous alumni who served our country. Here are the veterans who responded to our request for information and who we know served. • Joseph Anzalone ’48, 1943-1946, U.S. Army Transportation Corps • Anthony Barraco ’49, 1943-1946, U.S. Army; 1946-1949, Reserves • Fred A. Barraco ’52, 1944-1946, U.S. Navy • Charles Battaglia ’49, 1944-1946, 114th Battalion, Navy Seabees • Richard Batzing ’52, 1946-1948, U.S. Army • Blaise P. Buffamante ’49, 1944-1946, U.S. Naval Reserve • Arthur Carbonaro ’52, 1942-1946, U.S. Coast Guard • Thomas Conners ’51, 1945-1946, U.S. Army, intelligence and reconnaissance • H. Hunter Fraser ’50, 1943-1946, U.S. Army Air Force • Robert D. Hall ’50, 1942-1945, Gen. Patton’s Third Army • Ralph Harris ’47, 1943-1946, U.S. Army 78th Infantry Division • Donald Lee ’49, 1942-1946, 13th Army Air Force in the Pacific • Robert T. McDonald ’50, 1943-1946, 14th Army Air Corps Flying Tigers • William McDonald ’43, U.S. Army Air Corps, killed in action in Austria, 1945 • Donald Carew Mills ’50/MS ’59, 1944-1946, U.S. Army • Harrison M. Phillips ’42, 1942-1946, U.S. Army Infantry 1st Division; U.S.
Army Intelligence career officer, 22 years • John Roach ’52, 1942-1946, U.S. Marine • John “Jack” Samter ’49/MS’58, 1943-1947, U.S. Navy, aviation midshipman • Ralph Wermuth ’52, 1946-1948, U.S. Army Air Force • Gerald Yaxley ’49, 1943-1946, U.S. Army Infantry. Purple Heart recipient. • Robert Yull ’49, 1943-1946, U.S. Navy Seabee
WORLD WAR II The GI Bill brought great minds to Geneseo, but countless servicemen never made it back. Robert Yull ’49 and other veterans share their experiences.
Robert Yull ’49 Navy Seabee, 1943-1946 obert turned 18 before his high school graduation and reported for duty one week after his commencement in East Aurora, N.Y. He spent nearly three years with the Seabees, the naval engineering corps.
When I was enlisting, I said I had worked on a farm and I’d worked on tractors since I was 8 years old. They asked if I could, therefore, run a bulldozer. I said, ‘Why not?’ So, they told me they were going to put me in the Seabees and away I went. I helped build airfields, docks, just about anything. If it needed building, we would build it. After boot camp, in 1943, just before Christmas, I reported to the Liberty Ship. I ended up on that thing for about six months; it felt like a long time. It was the worst Christmas I ever spent in my life. They had that song, “I’ll be home for Christmas, just you wait and see.” I tell you, I didn’t get home for that Christmas or the Christmas after or the Christmas after. It was nerve-wracking; we had a couple of machine guns on the ship and that was about it. There were Japanese all over the place. I felt like a sitting duck. We arrived in Pearl Harbor after it was bombed in 1941, but it was still in shambles. It was a wreck. You know the ships that were sunk in Pearl Harbor? We got them working again. I was support crew. There were 16 ships
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
that were sunk or badly damaged. I helped get 13 of them back into battle. I’m kind of proud of it. My final station was in Hilo, Hawaii, at a big air base. Fifty years after I left Hawaii, I went back to Hilo and Pearl Harbor with my wife, Doris Burrows Yull ’62/MS ’71. I tried to find the places where I worked in Pearl Harbor, but never did find them. It had changed so much in 50 years. The World War II Memorial at the Arizona choked me up. I felt a part of it. For years, America had the Korean and Vietnam memorials in the capital. People would ask me why we didn’t have one for World War II before 2004. I didn’t want one. All I wanted to do is
finish that thing up and start my life — just let me go. But now, 63 years later, when I heard about Honor Flight, I couldn’t wait to go. In 2009, I went with other veterans on Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. My son went with me. The memorial is for all of the people who were killed. I hope that we can avoid things like that in the future. I’m proud of my service. I wouldn’t change a thing. I was not bitter — not a bit. Everybody went. It wasn’t just me. I attended Geneseo on the GI Bill. I was the first one ever in my family to go to college. Without World War II and the bill, I’d never have been able to go to college.
Geneseo has created its own online World War II Remembrance site. If you served or know someone who did, add their names, photos and stories here. go.geneseo.edu/WWII Fall 2010
Geneseo Voices: WORLD WAR II
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
Robert T. McDonald ’50 holds the flag that a Japanese pilot gave him during his service in Tokyo.
Robert T. McDonald ’50 Sergeant, 14th Army Air Corps Flying Tigers, 1943-1946 trained as a tail gunner on a B24 heavy bomber. Our regular routine was to bomb at 30,000 feet. We had to wear oxygen masks and cold-weather gear at those altitudes. In 1944, we got word to train for a special mission and new type of fly-
ing in the jungle. The Japanese invaded northern China and we were going to bomb intelligence and smaller targets, from as close as 500 feet. The idea was right but the plane wasn’t maneuverable enough. In August 1945, we were sent to Okinawa to help with the impending invasion of Tokyo, but the war ended so we didn’t have to do it. Before America dropped the atom bombs, my squadron dropped leaflets, telling the Japanese that we had some new apparatus that we were going to use and we advised them to surrender. Just after the bombings, I flew an observation mission over Nagasaki. It was just wiped off the earth. It was the eeriest thing I’ve ever seen. After the war, Army Air Force personnel took over Japanese airports. I was in charge of a motor pool in Tokyo. The Japanese realized they had lost the war and part of their job was to cooperate, and they did. One Japanese soldier who cleaned our barracks had been a lieutenant pilot; every
pilot carried a Japanese flag with them. When I got my orders to ship out, he asked if I’d be interested in taking his flag as a gift because he appreciated the way my friends and I took care of him. He gave me a feeling that he felt it was too bad the war ever happened. I thought it was a natural thing to accept it. I have kept the flag. I had two brothers. We were all Army Air Force sergeants. I trained with my older brother, William, in Colorado. He was a junior at SUNY Geneseo when he enlisted. He was shot down in Austria about two weeks before the war ended. He was a nosegunner; that’s where his ship was hit. He, the co-pilot and the navigator went down. The others bailed out and lived. That was pretty hard for me. I was home on furlough when we got the telegram that he was missing in action. The American Red Cross didn’t want families to lose more than one member, so maybe I would not have had to go to China on those missions. But I went. I didn’t want to let my crew down. My parents still had great hopes that my brother would be found, but it never happened. For five years, we had to sweat it out before they finally found his remains in Austria. We were given his dog tags. He was 22. Residents in the small town of Annaberg had buried William and his crew in a common grave outside of a church. They took care of him. His remains are now buried in Arlington National Cemetery. One of my desires is to go to Annaberg before I get too much older. This is the most I’ve ever talked about my experiences in World War II. It’s hard to explain experiences to someone who wasn’t there. And, the real heroes are the ones who didn’t come back. The reason I am sharing now is that two years ago, I went on an Honor Flight to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., with other veterans. Some guys needed escorts. Many of those escorts were young, and lots of young students greeted us at the airport gates. I had never seen so many young people involved in a veteran activity. That got me thinking. I already told some of the veterans who have talked in schools that I will go with them next year. I think the young people deserve to know what we went through.
Geneseo Voices: WORLD WAR II
John “Jack” Samter ’49/MS ’58 U.S. Navy, aviation midshipman, 1943-1947
ack enlisted upon graduation from Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City. Selected to be a pilot, he spent three and a half years training and studying astronomy, navigation and communication in colleges and Naval Air Stations in California, Florida and Texas. I signed up as a mechanic or a rear-seat gunner but during 16 weeks of boot camp and tests, I qualified for flight training. As the rest of the group shipped out, I was assigned to report to college. The war was toning down, but the military wanted to prepare for the future. My military experience was really a wonderful learning time for an 18-yearold, with a great group of men. My class was the last class to solo in biwing Stearman planes. The first time I went up they took me through the paces of recognizing the horizon and the instruments on board and then gave me an introduction to the topsy-turvy world of space. I was strapped in the open cockpit and the instructor performed loops and spins. He was a very skillful pilot. Well, I hosed the plane down after landing. After that, I never lost sight of the horizon or the dashboard and my dials. My mind was so busy I never had an upset stomach again. It trained me to be cool under pressure in a strange situation. It becomes instinctive after a while. In Florida, we flew SNJ combat planes. The war ended after President Truman’s decision to use the A-bomb. The flight school program slowed to a standstill. Many of us wanted a discharge and to return to college using the GI Bill. I was discharged as an aviation midshipman in September 1947. I had bought this old coupe for a couple of hundred dollars with my discharge
pay and drove back to New York City to visit an aunt. There, I went to a church dance and met my wife, Germaine. I was so in love with her from the minute I saw her. We made a date to meet on her birthday, Dec. 4, in New York, at Macy’s. An automobile accident with Navy friends in Connecticut forced me to miss our date. I spent a year in the hospital. That’s when my life changed; my life changed for the good. Germaine came to see me in the hospital and forgave me for not showing up at Macy’s. She truly was my inspiration all through life. She’s the one who said, “Why don’t you consider teaching?” That’s why I went to Geneseo. My parents bought a house at 16 Main St. so we could all be together as we attended Geneseo — myself and two sisters, Joan Samter Young ’50 and Judy Samter Harkins ’54. I received a lot of encouragement from professors and friends while attending college, on crutches. I taught for 33 years. The last 21 years were in the Clarence Central School District. I enjoyed the work with fellow teachers and students. I think I am a lifetime learner. I am glad to have served in World War II. War is not a glorious thing in any way, but it was a last resort. We were fighting for humanity. We fought for democratic life — for freedom not to hurt the other person, but to live compatibly.
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
U-Knight brings alumni tog 16
gether anytime … anywhere
Geneseo’s U-Knight online community is a 24/7 link to the college and alumni. Pictured are Kristen Driskill ’99, left, Michael Volpe ’93, Stephanie Brown ’96, Mark Trawitz ’92, Marcia Keough ’81, George Gagnier ’88 and Laurel VanBuskirk ’65. PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
By Kris Dreessen Fall 2010
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
Helen LiFeber-Rosener ’60/MS ’66, with her friends Craig Mills ’60, left, and Dick Goldbuam ’60 at Summer Reunion. U-Knight will make it easy to stay in touch and find old classmates, she says.
elen LiFeber-Rosener last laughed at a house party with her Alpha Kappa Phi sisters and hugged her friends farewell at graduation in 1960. Fifty years later, those memories are gold. “I’ve never had such a good time in my life,” remembers LiFeber-Rosener ’60/MS ’66. Despite some visits to campus, until recently, she kept in touch with exactly two friends. The rest, she knows, are out there somewhere. “That’s the saddest thing. I haven’t been in touch with anyone else and I really hate that,” says LiFeber-Rosener. “I loved my AGO sisters and everyone else.” At her 50th reunion last July, she reconnected with buddies Craig Mills ’60 and Dick Goldbaum ’60, laughing over good times and looking up old friends. This time, they discovered an easy way to maintain their friendship and rekindle connections with classmates. And all it took was five minutes on a computer to register for U-Knight — the college’s new, comprehensive online community that opens opportunities for a lifetime. “The potential to keep in touch is unlimited,” says LiFeber-Rosener, who was one of the first alums to test the online community for fine-tuning. “ … You can very easily find all of the people you left behind or wish you know where they are.” •••
H is the online community for alumni to find and stay in touch with friends, network and receive all information Geneseo.
What is U-Knight?
U-Knight is the online community for alumni to find and stay in touch with friends, network 18
and receive all information Geneseo. “Think of this as meeting on the College Green — dive in and it’s at your disposal 24/7,” says Rose Anderson, assistant vice president for alumni relations. Membership is open to all alumni and to students in the graduating class. Similar to social media like Facebook and LinkedIn, alumni can create a personal profile and search for classmates worldwide in an online directory. It’s also a career tool: Members can post a resumé, post job openings and search for positions and network. Alums can include as much or as little information as they want — and control who sees it. On the broader level, U-Knight is a conduit for college reunions, events and news from One College Circle. Alums can register online and see who is attending events. The community also will boost Geneseo Alumni Regional Committees that are forming to organize and link alumni across the country. Even better, a U-Knight membership never expires. Alums have the option of acquiring a permanent Geneseo e-mail that can route information to Yahoo, Gmail or another e-mail account. “It’s an official Geneseo e-mail address for your entire life. It’s constant. You can switch everything else — e-mail addresses and phone numbers — but people can always find you here,” says Online Community Manager Francis Zablocki, who is responsible for developing and maintaining U-Knight. U-Knight also will introduce affinity groups, allowing alumni Zablocki to connect with those who shared common interests or organizations at Geneseo. LiFeber-Rosener says such a service will be beneficial as she gets older and possibly travels less. “If there comes a time when I can’t do as much,” she says, “I can be in touch on U-Knight and that’s very important.” ••• A Geneseo hub
Facebook and LinkedIn have a combined 460 million users — more than the 2009 populations of the United States, Canada and Australia combined. The largest group of users for both sites are 45- to 54-year-olds, followed by 35- to 44year-olds. Older and younger alumni are already connecting with each other based
on their friendships at Geneseo, says Zablocki. “We’re simply joining the conversation and facilitating — and it is an enormous conversation,” says Zablocki. “We are helping to link all of these people together.” Online, there are 3,000 SUNY Geneseo members on LinkedIn. On Facebook, Geneseo has an official college page with 7,600 fans, but there are no less than 77 unofficial Geneseo Facebook groups, created by individuals or groups of alums. In fact, six Facebook communities emerged for the Class of 2014 — ranging from finding roommates to asking upperclassmen for advice — before the freshmen ever attended a single class. U-Knight is harnessing all of these unofficial groups so alums can find them from the Geneseo community. If you want to find anything to do with Geneseo alumni, you can go to U-Knight, says Zablocki. “We are not replacing other social media sites,” he says. “We are combining the benefits of those sites and ours to help alumni.” •••
and analyzed providers to find the best fit for flexibility, longevity and easy use. Geneseo also hired Zablocki specifically to continually assess U-Knight to make it better. ••• The mentor network
In the near future, Geneseo will add a comprehensive mentorship network to U-Knight, where alums can work with talented undergraduate students who are seeking advice or first-hand experience in their field. An aspiring lawyer, Rebecca Cogan ’10 is a prime example of the power of networking. Before heading to law school, Cogan wanted real-life skills — and some insight into what type of practice she truly wants. During her last semester, she attended the Dan O’Brien’86 Legal Event in Rochester, N.Y., to meet working alums. She left with a summer internship at Volunteer Legal Services Project, thanks to Linda Jean Kostin ’85, pro bono coordinator for the 7th Judicial District. On the job, Cogan met New York’s chief justice, delved into family law and interviewed Geneseo alumni lawyers about
“Geneseo is here for you, 24/7. You may leave Geneseo but Geneseo never leaves you.” — Rose Anderson, assistant vice president for alumni relations. Homework to get it right
Alumni relations spent two years developing U-Knight, drawing on the expertise of Geneseo Foundation member Brian Saluzzo ’92 — a global leader in Web technology and successful social networking. Saluzzo is managing director of technology infrastructure for Goldman Sachs, the world’s largest investment banking and securities firm. He leads a team of 120 experts who are responsible for engineering, implementing and maintaining tech systems for employees worldwide, who zing half a billion e-mails through his systems every day. Saluzzo led Goldman Sachs in software choice and efficient implementation for the firm’s alumni social network, 30,000 members strong. He lent his expertise to his alma mater in the same way. Having Saluzzo’s expertise “was phenomenal,” says Anderson. “It was invaluable to have a seasoned veteran on board who knew the right questions to ask and who knows what works best.” Saluzzo helped research best practices and marquis communities at other colleges,
their careers. “It was amazing. I was able to learn about law from very receptive people and that’s helping me narrow my future plans,” says Cogan. Kostin looks forward to the mentor program, and helping other outstanding Geneseo students work their way up the career ladder. An online community makes it that much stronger, she says. “Especially in this economy, I think it’s impossible to overstate the importance of networking to help you get a job,” says Kostin. “Once you get that job, you need to build bridges for your career and help others on their way up.” This, says Anderson, is a shining example of what can happen when alumni get together, made easier by U-Knight’s mentor program. “That is the community,” says Anderson. “Geneseo is here for you, 24/7. You may leave Geneseo but Geneseo never leaves you.”
Register for U-Knight in three easy steps: 1. Know your Geneseo ID number. You can find it three ways: • Look at the label on the back of your magazine — ID number begins with G and next 8 numbers — see example in red at right. • Visit go.geneseo.edu/gidfinder • Request it at email@example.com
Go to the registration site —
Follow the on-screen directions to register and log in.
Once you’ve registered: You should try: • Creating an alumni profile • Finding friends and classmates • Getting a Geneseo forwarding e-mail address • Finding and registering for alumni events • Sharing a class note • Posting a resume and searching for jobs
ILLUSTRATION BY CAROLE VOLPE ’91
ICONS OF GENESEO
Geneseo’s Sentry By Jim Memmott Last May, Geneseo’s graduating seniors could not say goodbye to the bear that watched over their college years. The fountain was in the middle of Main Street, but the bronze bear that has sat upon the pedestal in its center for more than a century was nowhere to be seen. Referring to a legend that the bear would take flight if one specific event occurred, a Facebooker asked: “Did we finally have a virgin graduate?” Ducking that question, sociology Associate Professor Kurt Cylke responded: “Geneseo's beloved bear, Emmeline, is safe and secure, enjoying a two-week vacation from her century-plus vigil.” Actually, Emmeline — yes, the bear has a name — was in for a little rehab, getting a new lantern modeled on the one she was holding when the fountain was dedicated in 1888. The new lamp and other planned improvement efforts are driven by donations from community members and Geneseo alumni, who have successfully raised the needed funds to restore Emmeline to her original glory. Cylke has led the restoration project for the Association for the Preservation of Geneseo. When they heard about the project, Geneseo alumni from the class of 1944 to the class of 2008 rallied around the cause. “The fact that hundreds of Geneseo graduates stepped forward to help with the restoration of the bear demonstrates that for Geneseo alumni, there is no boundary between campus and Main Street. The village and campus are intertwined in our memories and shared experiences,” says James N. Leary ’75, vice chair of The Geneseo Foundation. 20
The bear has witnessed hundreds of parades, played host to countless student-induced bubble baths, outlived a variety of stores and restaurants and still serves as the 2 a.m. confidante to students as they make their way back down the hill. “The success of this collaboration between alums and community members is a result of the fondness that students, faculty and alumni have for this place we call Geneseo.” The bear and her new “old” lamp were unveiled May 22 during a ceremony that began with a high-spirited community parade featuring, among others, bathrobe-
: See photos
of the installation and unveiling parade at go.geneseo.edu/bearphotos
clad music-store proprietor Al “Buzzo” Bruno ’71. The festivities marked the first stage of a multiphase, $100,000 facelift project to keep the bear well maintained for another century. Sitting on a Main Street bench, Geneseo native Bobby Henchen ’11, contemplated why preserving Emmeline is so important. Here’s why: Need: The fountain and the bear have suffered from exposure to the elements over the years. Next in the restoration project is the replication of the sandstone pedestal. Things wrap up with repairs to the fountain’s granite base. History: Brothers Herbert and William Austin Wadsworth had the beartopped fountain erected 122 years ago as a memorial to their mother, Emmeline Austin Wadsworth. Since then, the bear has witnessed hundreds of parades, played host to countless student-induced bubble baths, outlived a variety of stores and restaurants and still serves as the 2 a.m. confidante to students as they make their way back down the hill. No wonder it’s an emblem of the village for residents and college students alike. Geneseo is one of only a handful of National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States. As such, “we deserve the best,” says Cylke of Emmeline’s restoration. “… The ‘bear in the square’ might possibly be the most photographed symbol of the community. As a symbol, the fountain helps define who we are and what we value.” “It’s really key for a village downtown to have a symbol to identify with,” says Louise Wadsworth of Geneseo, an expert on main streets and a member, through marriage, of the storied Wadsworth family. Symmetry: “Main Street is the center of
PHOTO BY BEN GAJEWSKI ’09
Associate Professor Kurt Cylke and Sally Wood, a member of the Association for the Preservation of Geneseo, unveil the bear’s new lamp May 22. More renovations are planned to preserve Geneseo’s iconic resident.
PHOTO BY AMANDA LINDLEY
Geneseo and the fountain is the center of Main Street,” says Leary. In that sense, the bear is a focal point much like larger monuments in a city like Washington, D.C. Cuddle appeal: Unlike fountains that feature warriors or stern leaders, Geneseo’s pedestal is a lovable, sitting bear. Kids honor her with an annual Teddy Bear parade; more than 1,200 adults are friends with her on Facebook.
As an entering freshman, Norma Holland ’96 wasn’t sure a bear was the best choice to hold the fountain’s lantern, but Emmeline became an integral part of her college experience. “The bear was a mascot of a town that grew on us, just like the smell of alfalfa and the sight of cows everywhere,” she recalls. “Now, it’s the first thing I look for when I drive by that familiar spot. That
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
little bear came to mean I was home. It will always be a symbol of my beloved past in Geneseo.” — The author, Jim Memmott is a Geneseo resident and a columnist and retired editor for the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester.
Competition and Culture in Spain “We are serious about athletic competition but we always remember that our team members are student-athletes and work hard to maintain that balance.” — Nate Wiley ’99 head coach
by David Irwin he gifts that 24 members of the Geneseo Blue Knights women’s soccer team exchanged with opposing team members in Spain were as memorable as the games themselves. The Geneseo women accepted pins; the Spanish players, bracelets. The post-game conversation and bonding: priceless. The Geneseo players flew to Spain last May to compete in exhibition games, but more importantly to experience the culture in a country most of them had never visited. Women’s head soccer coach Nate Wiley ’99 began the travel program for the team in 2007 with a similar trip to Brazil. The National Collegiate Athletic Association allows such excursions every three years and Wiley plans to continue the highly successful triennial trips, made possible by fundraising events and a substantial financial commitment from the college’s Roundtable Athletic Association. “We are serious about athletic competition but we always remember that our team members are student-athletes and work hard to maintain that balance,” says Wiley. “It is very important to maximize the educational experiences on these trips and our students did just that.” Joining Wiley and the players were assistant coach Walter Bachl, three parents and faculty member Lori Bernard, assistant professor of foreign languages, who served as a translator and cultural tutor to help acclimate the group to Spanish customs and conventions. “It was great being in Spain in a World
Co-captain Ashley Keogh, a senior biology major, was impressed with La Boqueria, a large public market in Barcelona. “It was filled with vendors selling fresh produce, fish, meats and even candy,” she says. “It’s something I had never experienced before and unlike anything I am used to at home.” Geneseo lost both games against skillful club teams in Valencia and Madrid, but Photo provided the experience trumped the outcome. Cup year, especially since Spain went on “Playing soccer there showed that we to win it all in South Africa,” says Wiley. could be from completely different places In addition to playing two exhibition and still have the same passion for the games — called “friendlies” in Europe — game,” says co-captain Jane Matejcik ’11, a the players immersed themselves in the childhood with special education major. culture of Valencia, Barcelona and Wiley says he was pleased how the team Madrid. competed against teams who play year“Seeing all of the amazingly beautiful round. Wiley is already pondering the buildings and experiencing the cultures 2013 adventure, maybe to Brazil or Italy. with my teammates really meant a lot to Preparing for the trip requires much me,” says co-captain Lauren Lorow, a junadvance planning and work, but Wiley ior business administration major. “The says the feedback makes it all worthwhile. complexity and history that so many “When the players returned to Geneseo, buildings and sculptures hold was amazing to me. The Palace of Madrid has more I received immediate and sincere expressions of appreciation from both students than 2,500 rooms, many designated for and parents,” says Wiley. “Geneseo is a very specific daily activities. We also went phenomenal school and doing things like to a convent where the nuns weren’t this makes us stronger. It’s very fulfilling.” allowed to leave but made cookies and traded them for money through a lazySusan apparatus, which was incredibly interesting.”
served from scratch
For more than 25 years, the Philanthropic Chefs have cooked tasty food for good causes. By Laura R. Kenyon eaps of fresh pasta kissed with red pepper sauce. Chickpeas spiced with sweet and hot curry. Lamb rubbed with garlic and rosemary and roasted until pink and tender. Such dishes are hallmarks of the Marco Polo dinner, a 14-course meal taking diners on a culinary adventure from Italy to China and back again. The annual event, which celebrated its 25th year last March, has raised about $100,000 over the years for Covenant House, an organization providing services for homeless and runaway teens in the United States and Central America. The dinner is the signature event of the Philanthropic Chefs, a convivial group of Geneseo faculty, staff, students, alumni and townspeople all dedicated to
supporting charitable organizations by planning, cooking, serving and celebrating gourmet meals. While the Chefs first started with the Marco Polo dinner, the group now prepares large-scale meals for various local and national organizations six to seven times a year. School of Education Adjunct Lecturer Glenn McClure ’81 lends his authentic gumbo recipe to an annual dinner to benefit Livingston County CARES, which sends volunteers to rebuild houses destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Miss. In total, the Chefs have raised about $200,000 for these and other charities. The dinners, and ultimately the group itself, are the brainchild of the aptly named Bill Cook, distinguished teaching professor
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
For more than 25 years, the Philanthropic Chefs have been cooking up tasty meals to raise about $200,000 for charities. Members include, from left to right, Distinguished Teaching Professor Ron Herzman, Lynn Melizzi Kennison ’81/MS ’91, Faculty Fellow for International Studies Wes Kennison ’79, Distinguished Teaching Professor Gary Towsley, DeeDee Casey Rutigliano ’90, School of Education Adjunct Lecturer Glenn McClure ’81 and Distinguished Teaching Professor Olympia Nicodemi.
of history, and a cadre of faculty founders. Cooking with each other for more than two decades and continuously welcoming more chefs, table setters, wine stewards, dishwashers, servers and helpers, the Chefs are a very close group — “like a bunch of Italian cousins, who work very well together” quips Faculty Fellow for International Studies Wes Kennison ’79. “People just jump into whatever job needs to be done at a moment’s notice,” says Cook, “from lifting a hot pan to ladling soup.” The Chefs also are very serious about giving to those in need by sharing the joy that comes from eating good food with good friends. It’s an ethic they bring to each dinner: food is a celebration that is meant to be savored with others. Says Distinguished Teaching Professor Olympia Nicodemi, “If you listen from the kitchen, you can hear the sense of community and well-being in the continuous ripples of laughter.” This joie de vivre not only attracts diners year after year but, like bees to honey, draws in undergraduate volunteers, too. If someone is interested in assisting, “we recruit on the spot,” says Cook. And, sometimes, students stick around long after graduation. McClure started out as a student helper, then became a Geneseo lecturer, resident and key Chef. Everyone who participates in a Chefs event is afforded an opportunity to give back to the community in which they live, work and play, while celebrating the flavor and festivities food can bring. “I think it’s a defining quality of being in this community,” says Kennison. “In a lot of ways, it captures what’s best about Geneseo.”
Visit go.geneseo.edu/pasta for a recipe and more information
One Cup PHOTO BY PETER B. WAYNER ’11
Class of 1968
By Peter B. Wayner ’11
ONE CUP Inspired by the idea that everyone has a story to share, we offer the “random profile.” Each issue, we don a blindfold and throw a dart at a map of the United States to choose our state, then take aim again to choose a lucky alum. We catch up, relive memories and share life insight, like we are talking over coffee. Up next ... Alaska. Could it be you?
erry Fling ’68 is careful to make it clear he is not a CEO or a poet laureate. He is not Agent 007, or at least he isn’t acknowledging it. During his time at Geneseo, he says he knew people who would become this remarkable, but it was certainly not him. “I was much more familiar with C’s than I was with A’s,” he says. “That’s where the college experience and the Geneseo experience were so important.” The students and professors he met made up the most diverse group Jerry had ever known. It taught him new ideas and social skills he still uses today. Broadening his perspective expanded his small-town mentality and compelled him to recognize new viewpoints. Going into college, Jerry wasn’t used to thinking outside the box. “Geneseo made that box a lot bigger,” he says. At Geneseo, he explored the field as a psychology major and sociology minor. And, he was around many people with dreams and aspirations. Jerry still appreciates regular, unassuming people because he does not see them as regular at all. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree, Jerry secured a position with Eastman Kodak Co., which helped put advanced technology into the hands of people across America. As an inventory and production control specialist in the copier division, Jerry was responsible for coordinating solutions to the glitches that arose in the company’s daily operation. “I was solving small problems on the professional level — the day-to-day nitty gritty,” he says. What his modesty leaves out is that making sure the nitty gritty is done right is the driving force for every Dow Jones titan, including Kodak. The knowledge Jerry gained at Geneseo about diverse people and situations proved invaluable during his time at Kodak. “I probably never had an original idea in my life,” he recalls, “but I could take a couple of semi-original ideas and make something happen with them.” After 30 years of making solutions at Kodak, Jerry retired to a house outside Rochester. In his case, “retirement” is used in a loose sense. In addition to weekly golf ventures, he and his wife, Betsy, are members of a hiking club and worked on the census this year. A ’66 Corvair is parked in the driveway — he just had to get a convertible from the year they were wed. They visit their two sons in Boulder, Colo., and San Diego and seek out the sun in Myrtle Beach, S.C., every year. Ever the learner, Jerry tries to read a new book every week. “Save a little time for a Sudoku puzzle, and it’s a good day,” he says. As he reflects on his life thus far, Jerry considers it fairly ordinary. “I wasn’t running anything (but) my mouth a little bit,” he jokes. Though he may always insist he’s a regular guy, this is deceptive. He has achieved what most pursue: the satisfaction of a life well-lived. “Am I happy?” Jerry ponders, “I don’t have time not to be.”
QUICK FACTS Home: North Chili, N.Y. Graduation year: 1968 Degree: Bachelor of arts, with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology. How you describe Geneseo: A friendly, interesting place. Favorite campus hangout: The Geneseo Hotel, our old hitching post. It was enjoyable, with a large back room and 10-cent drafts. Best Geneseo memory: Playing flag football games and a college quiz bowl show with my fraternity. Most important life lesson you learned at Geneseo: Geneseo reinforced principles I already had from home. It broadened my horizons. It sounds trite but it’s true. What you would tell graduating seniors: Experience as much as you can. Take a few interesting classes outside your major, get involved in activities, a frat or sorority, clubs, or work. All of the experiences are going to be important later on in life. Favorite saying: You’re only old once.
ILLUSTRATION AMANDA LINDLEY
with Jerry Fling,
Alumni News ABOUT THE ARTIST: “We Waved,” by Alyssa D’Anna ’10, celebrates sputters and splashes of inspiration and the energy of the accident. D’Anna is invigorated by a lack of plan and her love of color. D’Anna looks for less traditional ways of creating paintings, “from dropping paint-laden strings from a chair, to sending super balls flying across the canvas. I believe experimentations and unusual motions like these capture both the energy of the artist and unpredictable world around me.” D’Anna is studying graphic design and art direction at The Creative Circus, a portfolio school in Atlanta. Visit her website at www.alyssadanna.com.
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Alumni event photos High-tech research International finance Class Notes Fall 2010
Albany Alumni Gathering Fran Johnson ’82, left, Lance Raffe ’79 and Kathy Gartner Raffe ’78.
Duxbury, Mass. — sponsored by Paul ’88 and Alison Furcinito Geneseo Alumni Regional Committee of New England, Jim Rogers ’04, left, Dave Nolan ’88, Beth Whipple ’92, Paul Furcinito ’88, Kathy Acierno Baron ’83, Glenn Teed ’88 and Steve Fiorella ’88.
Rochester Alumni Gathering John Klimek ’06, left, Jesse Pryor ’02 and Maryanne Heiman ’06.
Atlanta, Ga.— hosted by Neel Sengupta ’95 Back row: Patrick O’Connell ’96, left, Chuck Sorrento ’84 and Chris Noble ’85. Front row: Kellie Jones ’92, left, Michael Gerber ’87, Donna Town ’86, Amy Stalzer Sengupta ’95, Kim Morris Zarneke ’94, Jennifer Jones Gonyea ’94 and Neel Sengupta ’95.
GENESEO ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Alumni Events December 4, 2010
Philadelphia — go.geneseo.edu/philly120410 December 9, 2010
New York, N.Y. — go.geneseo.edu/nyc120910 January 20, 2011 Charlotte, N.C. — sponsored by Domenic (Pony) Polzella ’86
Boston — go.geneseo.edu/boston012011
Above, Tony De Sain ’86, left, Domenic (Pony) Polzella ’86, Brian Murray ’06, Dan Ward ’87, Joel Sovie ’08 and Devin Van Riper ’05.
January 27, 2011
New York City — New York Premier Event February 9, 2011
Washington, D.C. — go.geneseo.edu/dc020911 February 10, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — go.geneseo.edu/raleigh February 23, 2011
Buffalo, N.Y. — go.geneseo.edu/sabres2011 Buffalo Sabres hockey event Spring 2011
Albany, Syracuse, New Jersey, Long Island, NYC Externship, Charlotte Visit Chicago — sponsored by Jeff Burkard ’89 Above, Catherine McKenna ’83, left, Jeff Burkard ’89, College Advancement staff member Ronna Bosko, Beth Lacey ’86 and Dr. Susan Viselli ’86.
Be on the lookout for affinity events and reunions on campus and in your own backyard throughout the year. Check the website frequently for event details and to see what new things we have planned. http://go.geneseo.edu/alumni The Office of Alumni Relations is always looking for regional event ideas and event sponsors. Please contact the office if you would like to work with us on an event.
Save the Date!
Summer Reunion 2011 — July 8-9.
Long Island Alumni & Parent Dinner Kelly Donohue O’Rourke ’95, left, Jen Marek Brownyard ’93, Denine Anderson Regan ’98, Elizabeth Vaughn ’03, Alana Dwyer Kenedy ’01 and Jennifer Wemssen ’05 — all sisters from Alpha Delta Epsilon Sorority.
All graduation years ending in 1 or 6 will be honored. If you would like to get involved and serve as a reunion leader for your class, contact Tracy Young Gagnier ’93 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eye in the Sky for U.S. Troops “We want to get these images onto hand-held devices for those in the field for quicker decisionmaking so troops can stay out of harm’s way.”
Below, Brian Daniel ’03 develops surveillance and reconnaissance imaging systems for the military.
As 007, fictional British agent James Bond had the gadget wizard Q to provide him with vehicles containing tracking devices and firepower to fend off assailants. In real life, Brian Daniel ’03 would be the brains behind Q — and the high-tech equipment for the U.S. military. Daniel is part of a team at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C., with the weighty responsibility of developing surveillance and reconnaissance imaging systems used in military aircraft, including unmanned aerial vehicles. The powerful and highly sophisticated systems help protect ground troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere by scanning the territory from the air for suspicious or threatening objects or activities, such as roadside bombs by insurgents. “My individual piece of this puzzle is developing algo-
rithms that treat the imagery before it gets to the people in the field,” says Daniel. “My group builds the camera sensors for the aircraft and I work with the data in the development of software to make the images as useful as possible.” A native of Brockport, N.Y., Daniel was in the Honors Program at Geneseo and double majored in math and physics before earning a doctorate in imaging science at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2009. Daniel and his team spend much of their time perfecting aerial cameras capturing hyperspectral imagery. Normal commercial cameras capture only red, green and blue light bands to produce images for the human eye, but a hyperspectral instrument detects hundreds of light wavelengths to produce an image or multiple images, including invisible infrared radi-
class of’03 Brian Daniel
ation. By capturing such a large portion of the light spectrum, the sensors can accurately detect objects and movement on the ground, even in darkness. “Chemists use spectrometers to find out the physical makeup of their samples,” says Daniel. “We’re doing something similar on a larger spatial scale by using the unique signatures that objects reflect, such as a camouflaged truck, and then finding the targets in the image.” The team is also working on “persistent surveillance” systems, which provide imagery with real-time properties and the ability to replay the video to analyze patterns of movement on the ground. “We want to get these images onto hand-held devices for those in the field for quicker decisionmaking so troops can stay out of harm’s way or more confidently plan an offensive maneuver,” says Daniel. “It’s an extreme challenge because the sensors generate gigabytes of data per second. We are working on developing the math that describes image analysis so our computers can understand it.” Daniel’s scientific expertise has even proved helpful occasionally during his performances with improvisational comedy troupes. He and his compatriots once concocted the word “spagometer.” “It’s a word we came up with for a scientific instrument measuring ‘coolness,’” he says. “We brought it back many times to mean whatever we wanted. Great fun.” James Bond, no stranger to fun, would be impressed. — David W. Irwin
The financial expertise of Diane Willkens ’75 is sought by governments, nonprofit groups and companies on six continents.
Diane Willkens PHOTO PROVIDED
Global broker for good Each year, the tiny prick of a mosquito bite kills more than 1 million people — mostly children. How can a global chemical company use its science products and manufacturing to stop the spread of deadly mosquitoes carrying the malaria virus? The company calls Diane Willkens ’75. Willkens, founder and CEO of Development Finance International Inc. (DFI), is an international financial consultant. Corporations, governments and non-governmental agencies around the world seek her expertise. For nearly 10 years, Willkens has worked with BASF Germany on design and delivery of mosquito nets permeated with insecticide. The company is among a handful of mosquito net suppliers involved in the United Nations’ effort to eradicate malaria by 2015. Since creating DFI in 1992, Willkens and her staff have
leveraged more than $3 billion in emerging markets, predominantly in the developing world. DFI now works in 80 countries on six continents, tackling some of the world’s most challenging issues like clean water, education and health care. Willkens and her colleagues
with nonprofit organizations and governments. International aid agencies enlist DFI to help them streamline processes and work more effectively with the private sector. Willkens earned her juris doctorate from Georgetown University and began her
“What I’m most proud of and most passionate about is carrying on the training and mentoring for people with whom I work.” are part encyclopedias, part navigators and part matchmakers in the sea of global funding. In nuts and bolts, they are experts about the World Bank and other development institutions — what funding opportunities exist, how the institutions disperse funds and what projects will be successful. Corporate clients seek DFI for an edge in winning contracts, establishing partnerships and collaborating on social improvement projects
career focusing on corporate, international and maritime law. She then switched gears, traveling the world with Digital Equipment Corp., helping resellers and distributor partners sell the company’s computers using the right export license. Willkens saw how sharing her experience helped owners of local businesses succeed, and in turn, boosted development in their communities — all over the world. It inspired her.
At first, Willkens served clients of DFI from her basement turned home office. She hired her first intern at $5 an hour. That former intern is now co-owner of DFI and directs the firm’s Manila office. Willkens leads the Washington, D.C., headquarters, with 20 staff members between the two. They have an office in New Delhi, India, and a partnership with a firm in Brussels, Belgium, for European Unionrelated business. Willkens is involved in all aspects of the firm including mentoring co-workers. She volunteers significant time to collaborate with European trade associations to analyze institutions’ funding rules to ensure anti-corruption and transparency procedures are in place in developing countries. “It has been an intriguing journey,” says Willkens. “This has been the perfect combination for me.” — Kris Dreessen Fall 2010
2011: Alumni Association trip to Italy
Class Notes 1950s
Phyllis Parks Rathbun ’56 is a
Gordon Newman is teaching history courses for the Mohawk Valley Institute for Learning in Retirement at SUNYIT in Utica, N.Y. Dorothea Atwater Prine retired as a middle school librarian after 37 years of service in the Binghamton, N.Y., area.
teacher in the Atlanta and North Cohocoton, N.Y., area teaching 4-H and cooking classes. Thomas Sergiovanni ’58 is retired.
1961 Celebrating their 50th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Elizabeth Jansch retired last June after 49 years in school libraries.
1965 Douglas Brode is a regular on
“What’s Cookin’ with Eric and Jack,” a national and international radio show. He wrote the graphic novel, “Yellow Rose of Texas: The Myth of Emily Morgan,” that was published last June.
1966 Celebrating their 45th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Stephan Clarke was recently named an honorary member of the Dorothy L. Sayers Society in the United Kingdom in recognition of more than 30 years of research and publication regarding the mystery and detective novels of the late Miss Sayers. He and his wife, Mary E. Hawley Clarke ’66, retired from the Spencerport (N.Y.) Central School District in 1999.
1967 William Byrnes is a managing
partner of Grahall Executive Search Alliance LCC, Midlothian, Va. Linda Hurd Richter and Timothy Richter were featured in the March 2010 issue of Reader’s Digest for their sponsorship of a program that provides a book every month to children from birth to age 5 who live in their area. Since 2004, they have shipped more than 12,200 books to pre-school children.
The Geneseo Alumni Association is partnering with Study Abroad faculty member Wes Kennison ’79 to organize a trip to Siena, Italy, in August 2011! This opportunity will be open to all alumni, parents and friends of Geneseo. Look for details in the next Scene and Knightline; however, we would like to gauge interest in this exciting program, so please e-mail us at email@example.com with questions and comments.
1970 William Hall received the 2010
Distinguished Alumni Award from The Corning Community College Alumni Association.
1971 Celebrating their 40th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Thomas Hellems is the director of sales for Ecogate. Karen Kosty Stover retired after 35 years as a reference librarian. Barbara Feingersh Vinitz is a teacher for Public School 119 in the Bronx. Carol Musolino Welch retired from her job as a senior case worker for the Ontario County (N.Y.) Department of Social Services, after spending nearly 40 years finding foster and adoptive homes for children in the county.
1973 Carolyn Wander Daniel is a
licensed clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in Livermore, Calif.
1974 Barbara Larkin Babiarz is an incumbent candidate for the Penfield (N.Y.) School Board. Peter Fedorchuk retired as chair of the Department of English from Wayland-Cohocton (N.Y.) High School in 2007 after 33 years and is an adjunct faculty member of English composition literature, education and public speaking at Genesee Community College. Jeanne Forester-Briginshaw leads the secondary-level English as a
Here, Roni Lee Kennison ’98 peruses her summer issue in Siena’s piazza.
Second Language at Munich International School in Germany. Paula Tamburello Greene is a materials access and acquisitions librarian in the Eliot Pratt Library of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt.
1975 Darlene Lester Mengel retired
in 2009 from the New York State Education Department and lives in Rotonda, Fla. Ida Otten Pagano was recently featured at the Agroforestry Resource Center for regional photography.
1976 Celebrating their 35th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Edward Dunscombe is the director of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library in Endicott, N.Y. Luis Figueroa became a partner at Nicholas & Patrick, P.A. in Tampa, Fla., certified in civil litigation.
1977 Dale Hayes Klein is the
founder and owner of Profitable Speech, LLC. Stephen Robinson is a Dale Hayes Klein ’77 high school social studies teacher at Wayland-Cohocton (N.Y.) Central School and received the prestigious Singer Award from the University of Rochester for excellence in education.
1980 Tami Warner Johnson is a
kindergarten/first-grade teacher at Midland Christian School in Midland, Mich.
Elmira, N.Y. Donna Nye Nicholas is a teacher at Clark
Terrence Brown-Steiner is the
County School District in Las Vegas, Nev. Marion Provost Piciullo is the residential sales manager/director of administrative services for Elder Wood Senior Care. John Robert joined the sales team of Wide Properties, is manager of Clyde Hardware and vice president of the Clyde (N.Y.) Chamber of Commerce.
latest East Rochester Rotarian selected as a Paul Harris Fellow. Karen Dewitt, capitol bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, received the Media Person of the Year Award from The Women’s Press Club of New York State. She reports on state government for WXXI radio and public radio member stations. Terry Suozzi is the owner of Trinity Marketing in Medina, N.Y. James Teahan was promoted to section chief, development centers division, for the state of California.
1986 Celebrating their 25th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011.
1983 Margaret Schnurr Ansaldi is a bookstore manager at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, N.Y. Kathleen Acierno Baron is a consultant and career coach at CKS Career Edge in Newton, Mass. Kimberly Rapant Labelle is the new superintendent of Galway (N.Y.) Central Schools.
1984 Denise Reed Lamoreaux is the
winner of the Rochester Women’s Network’s Up and Coming Businesswoman Award and was named a Woman to Watch in Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. Molly Branch Mott was promoted to vice president of student affairs and dean of academic services and retention at the State University of New York at Canton. Susan Reif is the assistant vice president of human resources at Hudson Heritage Federal Credit Union. John White is the president of U.S. Xpress Inc., the nation’s third-largest, privately held truckload motor carrier, and recently returned to the Geneseo campus as the featured speaker for the School of Business spring lecture series.
1985 Lynn Becker Donohue teaches
second grade at the Albany (N.Y.) School of Humanities. Pamela Kauffman is an instructor at the Elmira Business Institute in
Sherry Campbell ’86
Sherry Campbell received a Buffalo Preservation Award for Restoration. Elaine Lomedico Damelio is the principal of Walt Disney Elementary School in Gates Chili, N.Y.
1987 Paul Briggs is a general sales
manager for WSOC-TV Cox Media Group in Charlotte, N.C.
1988 Laura Gates-Lupton is a psychotherapist for Family and Children’s Services in Ithaca, N.Y. Brendan O’Grady was promoted from senior director to vice president of Managed Markets, part of Teva Neuroscience & Teva North America Brand Pharmaceuticals. Corri Halpern Wilson is completing her master’s degree in sport management and is an adjunct faculty member in the Sport Management Department at Southern New Hampshire University.
1989 Julie Schultheiss Buehler is the
deputy chief information officer at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) and has recently been
selected by the American Council on Education as one of 46 fellows for its prestigious year-long program. Tracey Hodge Luellen is a recruiter for Telos Corp. in Ashburn, Va. Eric Sattler is vice president of finance and interim chief financial officer for The Penn Traffic Co. in Syracuse, N.Y.
1990 Sandra Kupprat is a clinical director/project director for New York University in New York City.
1991 Celebrating their 20th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Kathryn Bruns Baker is a revenue management consultant for Peak Hospitality Consulting in Westminster, Colo. Michael Garger is the head coach of track and field and cross-country at SUNY Fredonia. Mark Olcott is an emergency/critical care veterinarian at The Life Centre in Leesburg, Va. Kirt Zimmer is a marketing director for the Tahoe Donner Association in Ruckee, Calif.
1992 Julie Byrne is the director of
school counseling at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Va. Michael Cairo is an associate professor of political science at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. David John is the chief accounting officer for shared services for BNY Mellon in Pittsburgh. Lynn Krage is the senior associate director of the Wharton Graduate Leadership Program in Philadelphia. Dylan Bouchard Newton released her debut novel, “Despite the Ghosts.” Amy Sirocky-Meck won the 2010 Madison Award for Community Service and Volunteerism from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
1995 Lisa Rafkis Belodoff is the direc-
tor of marketing for Light Works Optics Inc. Leslie Brown is
pursuing a doctoral degree in art history at Boston University. Kevin Johnson is
vice presiBelodoff ’95 dent of operations for Health Diagnostics LLC in Lake Worth, Fla. Meghan Lorenz Routhorn and her husband, Michael, created the online boutique Bird & Muffin Ltd., selling jewelry imported from around the world from their United Kingdom home. Lisa Santelli is senior legal counsel for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in Rochester, N.Y. Michael Savage is a relationship manager at EPIC Advisors.
1996 Celebrating their 15th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Gregory Beehler is a clinical research psychologist for the VA Center for Integrated Healthcare in Buffalo, N.Y. Christie Cruse is the assistant freshman-year director at Dominican College in Blauvelt, N.Y. Susan Natoli is vice president of Susan and Veronica Inc.
1997 Erica Martin Bennett is a product
line analyst for the Dow Chemical Co. in Philadelphia. Jona Schneider Wright joined the Harter Secrest & Emery LLP law firm in Rochester, N.Y., as the manager of professional development.
1998 Daniel Calhoun completed his
1994 Karen Benson is a teacher at Duxbury (Mass.) Public Schools. Suzanne Hogan is a retired New York City Police Department detective.
doctorate in higher education/ educational studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. April Fontaine is assistant vice president/compensation
CLASS NOTES director for the TJX Companies Inc. of Framingham, Mass.
1999 Camille Thom Bell is employed with Edison Learning and serves as the principal of Montebello Elementary Junior Academy in Baltimore. Rosanne Colosi is a writer and actress in New York City. Kristen Palmer Driskill earned her doctor of educational leadership/curriculum and instruction degree from the University of Phoenix. Jon Pipas works in human resource services for ADP in Albany, N.Y. Julie Marie Sterling Smith is certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching.
2000 Erin Clarke is a librarian for the
Rochester Public Library System. Susan Ehrhard-Dietzel received
her doctorate in criminal justice. Julia Novelli Pericak is the senior
pharmaceutical sales representative for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Multiple Sclerosis Division. Jason Pericak recently completed his radiology fellowship training in breast imaging at the University Of Maryland Medical Center and is a diagnostic radiologist for WNY Radiology Associates LLC in Williamsville, N.Y., with Western NY Radiology Associates in Buffalo, N.Y. Marcus Pomilio is head bouncer at The Vital Spot in Geneseo, N.Y. Jocelyn Sessa received her doctorate in geological sciences from Penn State and is a post-doctoral researcher at Syracuse University.
2001 Celebrating their 10th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Shalan Thompson Fry obtained a master’s of education degree from Winthrop University in South Carolina. Steven Huntzinger graduated summa cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law in New York City and joined the Oneida Nation’s Legal Department. Edward Kemnitzer
Send your class note or notice to
firstname.lastname@example.org. is the associate principal for curriculum, instruction and assessment at Deer Park High School on Long Island. Kevin Moeller was promoted to partner, insights director at MediaCom, a global media agency. Regan RondinelliHaberek joined the firm Radley & Rheinhardt as an associate attorney. Stephanie Brzostek Williams is a senior auditor from the Defense Contract Audit Agency.
2002 Matthew Buffan earned a doctor
of chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College and received the Alumni Class President Award, the Frank E. Dean Memorial Award and the Depew Health Center Award. Certified in active release techniques, Buffan will specialize in sports performance in private
practice. Shaunastar Hyle is a controller at NBT Bank in Norwich, N.Y. Jill Webster Lenox is a career management teacher, FBLA advisor at East Gaston High School, Mount Holly, N.C.
2003 Catherine Crandall-Worley is a social worker. Ryan Irwin will tour Japan, Germany, Italy, Portugal and several U.S. cities for six months presenting his thesis paper. Amanda Jensen is a reading specialist at Marie Curie Institute within the Greater Amsterdam (N.Y.) School District. Katherine Olmstead is a senior attorney editor for Thomson Reuters in Rochester, N.Y. Aileen Steffens received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Columbia University in New
York. Sandra Stones is a service support manager for Sterling InfoSystems Inc. Deanna Trella obtained a Ph.D. in sociology from Bowling Green State University.
2004 Sarah Buzanowski works for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. Amanda Carr completed a master’s degree in business administration and works in the health care field. Erin Moss is an associate counsel for the New York State Assembly. Christopher Norman is a registered nurse in gerontology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and pursuing his graduate education at the Yale School of Nursing. Jonathan Rado is a chemistry doctoral student at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.
2005 Sean Amy received his doctor of pharmacy degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, N.Y. Peter Anderson is teaching his-
tory and serves as a manager at Hope House community center in Albany. Anna BorejszaWysocka completed a master’s degree in history at the College of William and Mary and is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in modern European history at Brown University. Jamie Humphrey Carli received her master’s degree in early childhood education. Deanne Day is a therapist at Liberty Resources Inc. in Syracuse, N.Y. Michael Hecker is an associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP in New York City. Daniel Hunter is an associate attorney with the law firm of Gross Shuman Brizdle and Gilfillan PC. Justin Levy is a staff attorney for the Fair Housing Justice Center in New York City and will start at the Latham and Watkins firm in the fall. Jillian Robinson Morris completed a master of science degree in information and library science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is an outreach librarian at North Carolina State University. Daniel Owczarczak is a police officer in Buffalo, N.Y.,
and was recently recognized by the General Pulaski Association as an outstanding veteran for his service in Iraq. Kate Pistey is the assistant director of development, parent programs, at Bard College in Red Hook, N.Y.
2006 Celebrating their 5th reunion July 8 and 9, 2011. Sian Allen passed the New York state bar exam after completing studies at New England Law in Boston. Jared DePass passed the Syracuse Police Exam and works in the legal order processing area for Bank of America. Cuyler Hettich is
an assistant account executive at Cuyler Hettich ’06 Crowley Webb in Buffalo, N.Y. Christopher Machanoff is an organizer with Service Employees International Union and is work-
ing on a campaign to organize bus drivers and monitors at the Birnie Bus Co. Katrina Merrill earned her master’s degree in education from Buffalo State College and is a special education teacher in the Depew Union Free (N.Y.) School District. Suzanne Perry is a school counselor at Geneseo Central (N.Y.) School District. Erin Rightmyer teaches sixth-grade social studies at Bethlehem Middle School in Delmar, N.Y. Robert Shoemaker is a senior program director for YMCA Camp Cory in Penn Yan, N.Y.
2007 Julianne DeLaurentiis is a com-
munications associate for United Way of Greater Rochester. Karen Garnish is a behavior therapist at Mary Cariola Children’s Center in Rochester, N.Y. Daniel Moran has spent two and a half years teaching English in China with a nonprofit organization. Kathleen O’Connell is pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology and Andean studies at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del
CLASS NOTES Peru in Lima, Peru. Justin Shelley graduated with honors from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, St. Augustine, Fla., where he earned a doctor of physical therapy degree. He is a physical therapist at Desert Orthopedic Center in Palm Springs, Calif. Brian Stiehler received a master’s degree in human development and family studies, a gerontology minor and a master’s degree in demography from Penn State University. Benjamin Stopka teaches seventh-grade English language arts at Nathaniel Rochester Community School (School #3) in Rochester, N.Y. Casey Vanepps is a seventh-grade ELA/special education teacher with the New York City Teaching Fellows in Brooklyn. Brian
Wight is a medical student at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y. Mary Caitlin Scanlan Wight is a Spanish teacher with the Binghamton City (N.Y.) School District.
2008 Shannon Brennan is an ESS
teacher at Belwood Elementary School in Calhoun, Ga. Stephanie Condello is an event manager for Chris Wayne & Associates. Pia Fleischmann is a freelance costume designer. Bradley Kujawski has taken an AmeriCorps/VISTA position organizing community gardens with Buffalo ReUse in Buffalo, N.Y. Lee Papasergi is a plant operator for Exelon Nuclear in Forked River, N.J. Joseph Zurro teaches art in the Mississippi delta through the Teach for America Program.
2009 Stephanie Aquilina has taken an
AmeriCorps/VISTA position running the Veggie Mobile program for the nonprofit organization Capital District Community Gardens. Rachel ColemanGridley is an executive assistant at ClickSpark LLC in Rochester, N.Y. Daniel Gaffney is a music teacher for the Say Yes to Education program in Syracuse, N.Y. Molly Kerker has taken an AmeriCorps/VISTA position with the Mount Morris Food Pantry (N.Y.) and is sitting in on a senior seminar in the Politics of Food. Amanda Massa is a tasting room employee at Ithaca Beer Co. in Ithaca, N.Y. Mark Schuber is enrolled at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland and works for a federal district court judge. Kimberly Skeggs is employed by Teach for
America in St. Louis. Ashley Wawro works at the Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center in East Aurora, N.Y., with AmeriCorps.
2010 Brian Hartle was honored by
Geneseo as a Presidential Scholar for 2009-10. He was also awarded the Promoting Awareness Toward Harmony Award. Ryne Kitzrow was honored by Geneseo as a Presidential Scholar for 2009-10 and was awarded the Jeremy Byrnes and Roland de Marco Scholarships. Jessica Resnick is a sales assistant for Time Warner Cable Media Sales.
Marriages Scott Perkins ’72 & Carol Iaia,
June 20, 2010. Kristin Stein Mullins ’94 &
Scene around the world Are you packing to cruise the Nile or adventure in the Amazon? Rediscovering America on a drive? Take a photo of yourself with the Scene on vacation, business or other trips and submit them for our new feature. Send your images to email@example.com with a subject line of “Scene Around the World.”
Above, Rosanne Vallone Johengen ’95 at Mesa Verde National Park, Colo.
Above, the many Geneseo graduates who work at Ginther Elementary School in Brockport, N.Y.: Kneeling: Chrissy Ewanow ’05, MaryPat Walsh Musselman ’76, Jane Silver Wood ’86, Kirstin Rockow Penders ’92, Michelle Dragone Dear ’98, Emily Stover ’07, Andrew Guignon ’06. Standing: Donna Ainsworth ’80, Amy Margolis ’04, Anne Kamienski Schrader ’83, Darlene Craft Biondililo ’86, Ellen Heaman Zinni ’75/MLS ’78, Lisa Burgin ’05.
See more Scene around the world submissions online visit http://go.geneseo.edu/goworld
Above, Professor Jeffrey Over, chair of the geology department at SUNY Geneseo, at Malga Promisio in Italy, where he was researching Upper Devonian limestone rocks, which are the same age as strata found near Geneseo.
Thomas Mullins, Oct. 3, 2008. Leslie Brown ’95 & Bruce Myren, June 19, 2010. Christie Cruse ’96 & Dave Cohen, June 6, 2009. Erica Martin ’97 & Chris Bennett, May 8, 2010. Edward Randazzo ’99 & Gertrude Pinto, April 24, 2010. Karen Seaman ’99 & James Marotta, Oct. 22, 2009. Julie Bruno ’01 & James Burton, Sept. 26, 2009. Sarah Hysert ’07 & Jacob Clements ’02, July 17, 2009. Jessica Exelbert ’02 & Elliot Weiss, April 25, 2010. Carey Daniels ’02 & David Gibbons, Oct. 17, 2009. Andrea Storie ’02 & Brian Lynch, July 10, 2010. John O’Hara ’02 & Daria Woronowicz, April 24, 2010. Erin Ednie Weaver ’02 & Michael Weaver ’02, July 19, 2008.
Leigh Weller-Kleinklaus ’08 & Rebecca Weller-Kleinklaus ’05,
Karin Knickerbocker Rehkopf ’95 & Dale, Alivia Emmalyn, June
Erica Howard ’04 & Michael Curasi ’03, June 26, 2010. Casey Klaus ’04 & Mark
Jan. 16, 2010.
Heather Brierley ’09 & Timothy Picciott ’08, July 9,
Patrick Kelly ’96 & Julie, Sophie
Malinoski Jr., Jan. 2, 2009. Erin Garlock ’04 & Paul Moss, Oct. 3, 2009. Kimberly Haas ’05 & Alexander McEneny, Dec. 12, 2009. Joanna Laker ’05 & Jason Kane ’04, June 5, 2010. Kate Pistey ’05 & Matthew Cruz ’05, Oct. 16, 2010. Erin Pautler ’05 & Jeffrey Rowley, Oct. 17, 2009. Courtney Westbrook ’05 & Kyle Foster, May 29, 2010. Kelly Trella ’06 & Paul Kanick, Feb. 15, 2010. Michelle Antonelli ’06 & Joshua Merritt, Oct. 12, 2008. Mary Caitlin Scanlan ’07 & Brian Wight ’07, June 27, 2009.
Cytina Betcher Rosenberg ’96
Alice Brunet ’09 & Evan A.
& Todd, Parker Harris, May 29, 2010. Edward Dempsey ’97 & Elizabeth, Caroline Cora, Feb. 13, 2009. Kristin Thelen Edwards ’97 & David, Cathleen (Cate) Maebh, May 12, 2010. Kristi Schwindt Ramos ’97 & Michael, Joseph Michael, Sept. 8, 2009. Christopher Schultz ’97 & Christy, William Christopher, May 4, 2010. Marla Velky-Reger ’97 & Kyle, Maxwell, May 15, 2009. Cristy Collins Carey ’98 & Aaron, Liam James, Feb. 28, 2010. Kathleen Ritzel ’98 & Timothy, Hannah Kate, April 7, 2010. Tanya Glaser Sadler ’98 & Jeff, Lorelei Grace, June 26, 2009.
Carrie Seal ’03 & Marc Sylor,
April 28, 2010.
Nelson, April 25, 2010.
Births Laura Freedell Lough ’91 & Michael, Michael Shayne Jr., May 10, 2010. Stephen Jakuc ’93 & Sara, Sophia Eloise, May 6, 2010. Kristin Stein Mullins ’94 & Thomas, Quinn Thomas, Jan. 27, 2010. Donna Smith Wells ’94 & Rick, Jameson Farrell, March 3, 2010. Marjorie Cooper-Nicols ’95 & Marc, Evan Anthony, Oct. 15, 2009.
Ashley McDonald Hopper ’08
Pamela Curatolo-Wagemann ’95 & Scott, Logan Fionn, Sept. 4,
& Russell Hopper, Aug. 29, 2010.
For years Tiffani Kaminski ’97 wanted to travel Europe. She finally went last summer, touring Germany, Austria, and Italy. She posed with her Scene at the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
At left, Adrienne Yerkes Perry ’78 at the Roman Colosseum in Italy.
Above, Jenny O’Meara ’07 has been teaching math and English at a middle school in Loumana, Burkina Faso, West Africa, since 2008.
Blake, Dec. 30, 2009.
At right, Earl DeLong ’96 took his alma mater along to explore the Galapagos Islands off the coast of South America.
Rachel Sharpe Tracy ’98 &
Paul, Julia Piper, April 6, 2010. Matthew Ebbecke ’99 & Amanda, Madelyn Christina, March, 13, 2010. Jeannette Ginther ’99 & Richard, Richard Michael, February 26, 2010. Jenny Lobsinger Martin ’99 & Matthew ’00, Katherine Faith,
October 19, 2009. Julie Marie Sterling Smith ’99 &
George, Claire Eliza, April 17, 2010. Scott Masters ’00 & Bridget, Lillian A., Aug. 22, 2009. Kelly Julian O’Brien ’00 & James ’00, Paul James, June 10, 2010. Julia Novelli Perica ’00 & Jason ’00, Mariella Grace, May 7, 2010. Anne Pope Stacy ’00 & John, John Leeman, Dec. 28, 2009.
Amy Suda ’01 & Jason, Jonas
William, December 16, 2009. Jessica White ’02 & Richard ’02, Mallory Ann, April 16, 2010. Jessica Sherrard Duryee ’03 & Chad, Zackary Chad, May 27, 2010. Donna Oakden Edick ’03 & Joel, Jacob Michael, Feb. 9, 2009. Tami Root Holihan ’03 & Michael ’02, Estella Florence, April 23, 2010. Sarah Rathbun Kransler ’03 & Kevin ’00, Jack, May 12, 2010. Carrie Sylor ’03 & Marc, Carter Donald, April 28, 2010. Deanna Trella ’03 & Scott, Genevieve Hana, April 12, 2010. Katherine Wesley ’03 & Chris, Matthew Jude, March 16, 2010. Jennifer Shaw Fischer ’04 & Robert ’04, Jeremiah Shaw, April 1, 2010.
In Memoriam ALUMNI
Ethel Gillespy Elstad ’40,
Jan. 26, 2010. Shirley Tanner Wilson ’62,
April 14, 2010. Ronald Saccucci ’63,
Education and Physical Activities from 1963 to 1985, died June 7, 2010. As coach of the women’s synchronized swimming team, she led Geneseo to many athletic titles and was inducted into Geneseo’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
March 25, 2009. William Taylor Lane ’67,
James M. Watson, professor emeritus of sociology and a former chair of the Sociology Department, died Aug. 18, 2010.
July 13, 2010. Florence Beatty Sweet ’71,
March 5, 2010. Mark Velky ’73, May 17, 2010. Nancy Clark Snyder ’83,
Allen Reid, professor emeritus, died July 30, 2010. He served as chair of the biology department for his entire tenure at Geneseo, from 1974 to 1982.
Jan. 14, 2009. Cheryl Wright Langdon ’88,
June 13, 2010. Laurie Koval Ward ’90,
May 19, 2010. STUDENTS
Mary Elizabeth Kavanaugh ’10,
April 6, 2010. FACULTY
Shirley Emmons Toler, a professor
who taught swimming and gymnastics in the Department of Health
Save the Date
Summer Reunion July 8-9, 2011 Summer Reunion 2010 brought back over 700 alumni and guests. Next year’s reunion promises to be even better, but we need your help. We’re looking for alumni volunteers from anniversary years 1961 (celebrating their 50th reunion), and every five years through 2006 (celebrating their fifth reunion) to serve on Summer Reunion 2011 Reunion Committees. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 585-245-5506 to volunteer, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a fun way to make a difference at your alma mater.
Reunion 2011 Treasure the Tradition
PHOTO BY KRIS DREESSEN
Alpha Kappa Phi Inc. alumni are helping their current AGO sisters realize their dreams by providing a scholarship. Recipient Rachel Laber ’10 is excited to join that effort when she completes her master’s studies.
AGOs celebrate 125 years of sisterhood Lisa M. Feinstein In 1885, students at the Geneseo Normal School formed the Chapter of the Agonian Society to provide a social outlet and an opportunity for young women to familiarize themselves with contemporary writers. In 1892, the Agonians joined with societies at Fredonia and Oneonta to form a fraternity. In 1928, they adopted the Greek letters Alpha Kappa Phi, and by 1969 they had moved into their house at 26 Wadsworth St. Since then, Alpha Kappa Phi (AGO) has produced Geneseo’s largest number of Greek organization graduates — 1,200. Many things have stayed the same despite the passage of time. “AGOs truly value the basic principles we came together under,” says Ann Wiedenbeck Galbraith ’89, an Agonian who became vice Galbraith president of Alpha Kappa Phi Inc. after graduation. “We take the Geneseo alma mater to heart, ‘with our life’s work we’ll repay.’” As they celebrate their 125th anniversary this year, the AGOs continue to build their scholarship fund as a testimony to that belief. In 1996-97, during the college’s 125th anniversary, Ann worked with other members of the corporation and The Geneseo Foundation to establish the scholarship endowment,
which benefits an active sister who demonstrates academic success, community involvement and financial need. “There is something special about being a sister in the truest sense of the word,” says Ann. “It’s really special to help a fellow sister. When I look at the accomplishments of the young women who apply for this scholarship, I am so impressed.” Scholarship recipient Rachel Laber ’10 echoes those sentiments: “The AGO scholarship is funded by our generous alumnae, and allowed me to gain a new appreciation of what it means to be an active alumna. The scholarship allowed me to feel an additional connection to the traditions we all share as sisters of AGO.” Ann is working to build upon To give to the AGO scholarship, those traditions visit http://go.geneseo.edu/AGOgive and continue to make an impact on more AGO sisters each year by expanding the scholarship. Ann believes that together, AGO alumnae can fulfill their motto by building their scholarship fund: “We strive to lead. One step at a time, but always forward.” Ann also encourages other Greek organizations to establish scholarships that benefit their members. “It’s important to give to something close to your heart. It makes it that much more important,” she says. “It just takes one or two people to say, ‘Hey… this is important!’”
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Encompassing a variety of voices, the Scene tells the Geneseo story in a compelling manner to engage readers and inspire alumni, parents and...
Published on Oct 22, 2010
Encompassing a variety of voices, the Scene tells the Geneseo story in a compelling manner to engage readers and inspire alumni, parents and...