State University of New York at Oswego

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego)
SUNY Oswego seal.svg
Former names
Oswego Primary Teachers Training School (1861–1942)
Oswego State Teachers College (1942–1948)
State University of New York College at Oswego (1948–2023)[1]
MottoTo Learn, To Search, To Serve
TypePublic university
Established1861; 162 years ago (1861)
Parent institution
State University of New York
Endowment$44.1 million (2020)[2]
PresidentMary C. Toale (Officer in Charge)
Academic staff
Students7,636 (fall 2020)[3]
Undergraduates6,673 (fall 2020)[3]
Postgraduates963 (fall 2020)[3]
CampusRural, 696 acres (282 ha) and 46 buildings on the shore of Lake Ontario
Colors   Hunter green and gold[4]
Sporting affiliations
SUNY Oswego logo.svg

State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego or Oswego State) is a public university in the City of Oswego and Town of Oswego, New York. It has two campuses: historic lakeside campus in Oswego and Metro Center in Syracuse, New York.[5][6]

SUNY Oswego currently has over 80,000 living alumni.[7] Oswego State offers more than 100 academic programs leading to bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and certificates of advanced study.[7] It consists of four colleges and schools: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Communications, Media and the Arts.


SUNY Oswego was founded in 1861 as the Oswego Primary Teachers Training School by Edward Austin Sheldon,[7] who introduced a revolutionary teaching methodology Oswego Movement in American education. In 1942 the New York Legislature elevated it from a normal school to a degree-granting teachers' college, Oswego State Teachers College, which was a founding and charter member of the State University of New York system in 1948. In 1962 the college broadened its scope to become a liberal arts college.[7]


Sheldon Hall was constructed in 1913.
Campus as viewed from Glimmerglass Lagoon

Founded in the city of Oswego by Sheldon to train teachers to meet pressing educational needs, the college moved to its current location on the shore of Lake Ontario in 1913 after Sheldon Hall was constructed.[1] The current campus is located on 690 acres (2.8 km2) along Lake Ontario. Development of the campus was planned by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who designed the major buildings.

The campus today consists of 46 buildings with classrooms, laboratories, residential and athletic facilities. Recent years[when?] have witnessed the launch of a $700 million campus-wide renovation and renewal program, with the new Campus Center acting as the social hub of campus.[citation needed]

Shineman Center for Science, Engineering, and Innovation.

In the fall of 2013 the outdated Science and Mathematics building, Snygg Hall, was closed, and the new Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation was opened to all STEM students: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The building, built onto the older Piez Hall, offers views of the college's Lakeside Community and Lake Ontario from the meteorology observation deck.

The college's social hub, known as the Marano Campus Center Complex, opened in the fall of 2007, and includes new construction and renovation of the existing Swetman/Poucher complex. The $25.5 million 111,492-square-foot (10,357.9 m2) Marano Campus Center portion, the new construction, includes the Deborah. F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall, food court, box office, fireplace lounge, breakfast nook and reservable spaces. The renovated portions of the building house The Compass (student services), The Point (student involvement), a student media center with WNYO, WTOP and The Oswegonian newspaper, Copy Center, and Freshëns Cafe. Academic departments in the Campus Center include English and creative writing, modern languages and literatures and philosophy, while the Office of Learning Services stands ready to assist students who need help outside the classroom. In addition, the College Honors Program is located in the Campus Center.

The Tyler Art Gallery[edit]

Tyler Art Gallery is located within the Tyler Hall.[8][9] The gallery showcases local and traveling exhibitions, exhibitions of faculty work and student exhibitions. Tyler Art Gallery has a mission as a teaching gallery. The gallery serves as the training base for the museum studies program and allows students to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the gallery. The Student Art Exhibition Committee curate and have sole responsibility for the annual exhibition of student work. The gallery's permanent collection comprises European, African and American drawings, prints, paintings, ceramics and sculpture that date from the 18th century to the present, including several works by artist Sacha Kolin. One subsection of the permanent collection, the Grant Arnold Collection of Fine Prints, contains over 500 prints by American printmakers from the first half of the twentieth century. Tyler Hall is in the process of significant renovations, with the first phase completed for a fall 2016 reopening.[10]

Other buildings[edit]

Approaching sunset over Lake Ontario from the SUNY Oswego campus.
The SUNY Oswego campus is located on the shore of Lake Ontario. This image was taken outside of Waterbury Hall.

Physically separate from the main campus, on the other side of New York State Route 104, is the south campus, consisting of Laker Hall (indoor sports, coaching classrooms, and athletic training rooms), Romney Fieldhouse (a Quonset hut that hosted the Laker hockey program until fall 2006) and several athletic fields. In addition, more than 400 acres (1.6 km2) of Rice Creek Field Station (for biological research and public programs) are on the South Campus.

West Campus, along with Laker Hall, Hewitt Hall (which hosted most of the student organizations until the Campus Center's opening in 2006), Tyler Hall, Culkin Hall (the administrative building), Penfield Library, Lanigan Hall (consisting of large lecture halls) and Mahar Hall are all built in the Brutalist style and date to the early 1970s.

On Campus residences[edit]

A variety of living options are available through 13 residences:[citation needed]

  • Lakeside Area: Scales, Waterbury, Riggs and Johnson Halls. Riggs, Scales, Waterbury and Johnson were recently renovated; the latter is the home to the First-Year Residential Experience.
  • West Campus, formerly called "New Campus": Cayuga, Seneca, Oneida and Onondaga Halls. Onondaga Hall was constructed in a suite style, allowing communal living of up to six students per suite.
  • Main Campus: Hart Hall Global Living and Learning Center, Funnelle Hall, Sheldon Hall
  • Mackin Complex: Lonis and Moreland Halls, located in the city of Oswego across the street from Sheldon Hall. Lonis consists of single occupancy rooms for upperclassmen, while Moreland is the traditional double occupancy dorm style for all class standings.
  • The Village: Due to a shortage in residential rooms in Fall 2008 caused by higher than expected enrollment and on-campus living requests than expected, several rooms were offered in renovated conference/hotel space in Sheldon Hall. The Village, a new townhouse village with apartment living was constructed south of Glimmerglass Lagoon, and opened in the fall 2010 semester.[11]

Fewer than 100 feet (30 m) from Johnson Hall is Shady Shore, the home of college founder Edward Austin Sheldon. It often has served as the residence for the college president throughout the years.


Middle States accredited with additional accreditations. The institution's MBA program has been internationally accredited by AACSB.[12] SUNY Oswego's School of Education is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. Oswego's School of Business has international accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. SUNY Oswego is one of the few colleges in New York state whose art, music, and theater departments are all nationally accredited.

Schools and colleges[edit]

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences houses the departments of Anthropology, Atmospheric and Geological Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, English and Creative Writing, History, Human Development, Mathematics, Modern Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Sociology[13]
  • School of Business offers programs in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Operations Management and Information Systems, Risk Management and Insurance.[14]
  • School of Communication, Media and the Arts houses the departments of Art, Communication Studies, Film Studies, Music, Theatre.[15]
  • School of Education offers courses in Counseling and Psychological Services, Curriculum and Instruction, Education Administration, Health Promotion and Wellness, Technology, Vocational Teacher Preparation.[16]


Penfield Library is the main academic library on campus.[17] It is named after Lida S. Penfield (1873–1956), once chair of the English department. The current 160,000-square-foot (15,000 m2) facility opened in 1968, replacing a library of the same name in what is now Rich Hall. The library is home to the Millard Fillmore and Marshall Family Papers and numerous digitized collections including the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter (Safe Haven) papers.[18][19]


The university offers 24 intercollegiate varsity sports. SUNY Oswego's athletic teams are known officially as the Great Lakers but often referred to simply as the Lakers. Oswego is a member of NCAA Division III and teams compete in the State University of New York Athletic Conference for most sports. Women's ice hockey plays in the ECAC West, as that sport is not offered by the SUNYAC.[citation needed]

Oswego is traditionally a rival of Plattsburgh State. The rivalry currently manifests mostly in ice hockey; in the 1990s and early 2000s, Oswego fans would regularly throw bagels onto the ice when the Lakers scored against Plattsburgh, responding to a tradition where Plattsburgh fans threw tennis balls on the rink after goals versus Oswego. The tradition ended in 2006, after Oswego was assessed a delay of game penalty for the bagel throw: Plattsburgh scored on the ensuing power-play to win the game, which cost the Lakers a national tournament berth. In addition, the Campus Center arena was opened that year which allowed the university to more closely monitor and shut down fans who brought in bagels.[20][21] The "Puck Flattsburgh" spoonerism is a common rallying cry.[22] Oswego and Plattsburgh also had a rivalry in football, but Oswego ceased sponsoring the sport in 1976, with Plattsburgh following in 1978.

Oswego also has a running rivalry with Cortland State in Women's Field Hockey. The teams play annually for the "Dragon Sword" trophy, donated by Oswego alumni Michael and Kimberlee (Bennett) Champitto in 1999. As of 2021, Oswego has never won the sword.

National championships[edit]

On March 18, 2007, the Oswego State men's ice hockey team won the 2006–07 NCAA Division III ice hockey National Championship, the first NCAA championship ever for the school.[23]

Clubs and student organizations[edit]

Oswego has over 180 clubs and organizations, many funded by the Student Association. These include: the Division I Men's Rugby team, the student-run television station WTOP, the student-run newspaper The Oswegonian, the first-ever student-run volunteer ambulance corps (SAVAC),[24] a collegiate-level synchronized skating team, the student-run radio station WNYO-FM, nationally competitive cheerleading, community service clubs, political organizations, the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club Improv Comedy Troupe, club baseball, and Oswego Women's Rugby. There are also groups that appeal to those with specific interests or hobbies, such as ALANA which includes the Black Student Union, the Latino Student Union, the Asian Student Association, the Caribbean Student Association and the African Student Organization. Other groups include the Financial Management Association, the Investment Club, the Christian groups BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) and CCM (Christian Campus Ministries), the Oswego State Pagan Association, a Muslim Student Association, the Pride Alliance (formerly the Rainbow Alliance; SUNY Oswego's only LGBT organization), the theater group Blackfriars, the Story Tellers' Guild (anime, geek, and gamer club), Oswego State Esports Association (formally the League of Legends Club: featuring competitive teams in League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Overwatch, Hearthstone and Pokémon[25]), Chess Club, the Pro-Wrestling Club (PWC), College Republicans, and the local chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

Greek organizations[edit]

Oswego has an array of Greek organizations (fraternities, sororities, or mixed) from both national and locally recognized chapters. Each semester, eligible students can "rush" a Greek organization of their choice.



Other Greek organizations[edit]


  • Bridge Street Run – The Bridge Street Run[29] is a pub crawl that now takes place during the spring semester on the last Friday before finals week. Students put on white T-shirts, start at the Front Door Tavern on East 10th and Utica Streets, and make their way down Bridge Street (New York State Route 104) in Oswego. They stop at all participating bars along the way on or within a block of Bridge Street to have their shirts signed. The event has been a tradition in various forms at SUNY Oswego for over 30 years. The college officially discourages the practice.[30][dead link] It was finally banned by the city in 2014 following a students death caused by a heroin overdose on campus;[31] the following year, the college set up OzFest, a campus festival, to deter partiers from participating in the Bridge Street Run. However, students still continue the tradition each spring.[32]


  • Deborah F. Stanley (10th) 1995-2021
  • Stephen L. Weber (9th) 1988-1995
  • Virginia Radley 1977-1988
  • James E. Perdue 1965-1977
  • Foster S. Brown 1952-1963
  • Harvey M. Rice 1947-1952
  • Ralph W. Swetman 1933-1947
  • James C. Riggs 1913-1933
  • Isaac B. Poucher 1897-1913
  • Edward Austin Sheldon 1861-1897

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability References
Rob Cesternino 2000 Contestant on Survivor: The Amazon and host of Rob Has a Podcast [33]
Kendis Gibson 1994 Anchor
Sal Iacono 1993 Writer, TV personality
Christopher Maloney 1991 Bass guitarist for Dweezil Zappa, Hardline; Sunset Records recording artist
Julia DeVillers 1989 Author of books for children and teens
Steve Levy 1987 ESPN sportscaster
Yvonne M. Spicer 1984 First mayor of Framingham, Massachusetts and first African-American woman to be popularly elected mayor in Massachusetts
Scott Sullivan 1983 Former WorldCom CFO
Robert O'Connor 1982 Author of Buffalo Soldiers [34]
Linda Cohn 1981 ESPN sportscaster [35]
Robert Natoli 1980 Guinness record holder [36]
Robin Curtis 1978 Actress most well known as Lt. Savikk in Star Trek III and Star Trek IV [37]
Al Roker 1976 Weatherman for NBC's Today Show [38]
Alice McDermott 1975 Novelist and winner of the 1998 National Book Award
John McLoughlin 1975 One of two Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officers who survived after being trapped in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center [39]
Wayne Levi 1974 Professional golfer [34]
Heraldo Muñoz 1972 Former ambassador to the United Nations for Chile; former Chilean foreign minister [40]
Pete Sears 1971 Member of the 1972 United States Olympic hockey team (goalie) [37]
James W. Wright 1971 Former New York State Senator [41]
Ken Auletta 1963 Journalist for The New Yorker [42]
Charles E. King 1891 Composer of the "Hawaiian Wedding Song"; educator, legislator [43]
Hideo Takamine 1877 Educator in Meiji period Japan [44]
Woodbridge N. Ferris 1873 Governor of Michigan; U.S. Senator; founder of Ferris State University
Frederick R. Bieber Harvard University professor and DNA expert
Marianne M. Myles U.S. Ambassador to the nation of Cape Verde
Jerry Seinfeld Never Graduated Comedian
Sanford Miller 1975 Former CEO of Budget Rent A Car and current CEO of Carey International. [45]

Actor Al Lewis claimed that he attended the school from 1927 to 1931. Most of Lewis's claims about his early life are widely considered to be untrue.[46]


  1. ^ a b "SUNY Oswego changes name after being recognized as a university". syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c "US News: SUNY Oswego #54 in Regional Universities North (tie)". Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  4. ^ "SUNY Oswego Graphic Identity Guide for Print and Electronic Materials (September 2006)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 February 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  5. ^ "SUNY Oswego - Campus Map". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. ^ "SUNY Oswego - Metro Center". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-08-12.
  7. ^ a b c d "Section 1 - History and governance - Human Resources". Archived from the original on 2014-07-10. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Facilities - Art". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Tyler Art Gallery". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  10. ^ "First phase of Tyler Hall renovation completed, open houses scheduled".
  11. ^ "Residence Life and Housing: The Village Townhouses".
  12. ^ Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business[dead link]
  13. ^ "College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  14. ^ "School of Education - School of Education". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  15. ^ "School of Communication, Media and the Arts - School of Communication, Media and the Arts". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  16. ^ "School of Education - School of Education". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Penfield Library". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Rare Books & Manuscripts - Penfield Library". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Local History - Penfield Library". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  20. ^ "The Tradition Is Dead". Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
  21. ^ "Insider Fan Blog". Archived from the original on March 26, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
  22. ^ Petty, Steven. "Puck Flattsburgh: Oswego beats Plattsburgh 3-2". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  23. ^ "2006-07 Oswego State Men's Hockey Schedule & Results". College Hockey Stats. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
  24. ^ "SAVAC website". Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
  25. ^ "As online gaming trends upward, eSports Association provides community". 8 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Home". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Delta Phi Alpha". Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society". Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Bridge Street Run". Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  30. ^ Curtis, Aaron (May 8, 2009). "Police keep busy during annual Bridge Street Run". The Palladium-Times. Retrieved May 10, 2009.
  31. ^ "Oswego Common Council votes to ban Bridge Street Run, bill SUNY Oswego for city's costs". WSYR-TV. Archived 2014-05-14 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  32. ^ Sturtz, Ken (2015-05-10). "SUNY Oswego offers new event to tamp Bridge Street Run". syracuse. Retrieved 2023-01-09.
  33. ^ jefe, el. " - Survivometer 6". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  34. ^ a b "Oswego Alumni Magazine". Oswego Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  35. ^ "Oswego Alumni Association Past Inductees - 2006". State University of New York at Oswego. Retrieved 2010-03-08.[permanent dead link]
  36. ^ "He keeps his chin up, sets a Guinness Record; for Bob Natoli, of Oswego, it's about health and fitness lifestyle he's live for 30 years". Neighbors Oswego. The Post-Standard. Archived from the original on 11 January 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2012.(subscription required)
  37. ^ a b "SUNY Oswego - Alumni-in-Residence Program". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  38. ^ "SUNY Oswego - News & Events: Sunny Summit". Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  39. ^ "Heroes Reflect". 8 December 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  40. ^ "SUNY Oswego - Alumni Association -SUNY Oswego Alumni Association - Lake E-ffect - TORCHLIGHT CEREMONY, NEW YORK CITY BOOK SIGNING IN MAY". Archived from the original on 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  41. ^ "SUNY Oswego - News & Events: Community Center". Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  42. ^ "SUNY Oswego - 2005 Borrelli Media Summit - Ken Auletta Info". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  43. ^ "Charles E. King". Kamehameha Schools. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  44. ^ "The Contribution of the Oswego Normal School to Educational Progress in the United States by Andrew Phillip Hollis, 1898". D. C. Heath. 1898. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  45. ^ "Facts & Figures". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  46. ^ "Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis runs for governor". New Times. Archived from the original on 2006-02-18. Retrieved 2007-02-14.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°27′05″N 76°32′39″W / 43.451361°N 76.544044°W / 43.451361; -76.544044