Class of 1959 Scholarship
It started in the fall of 1955 for most of us. We were students fresh out of high school wondering what was in store for us and not completely sure of our abilities to face a rigorous four years of college. We quickly learned that we were either from upstate or downstate but in many ways we were very much alike. Most came from working middle class families that had little ability to send sons and daughters to private colleges and universities. We were average to high ability students academically and athletically. There were few fat scholarships available to us yet we were determined to obtain a college education. Above all, our greatest similarity was a desire to teach. Earning sky high salaries wasn’t a goal.
Tuition free Cortland State Teachers College was a place that offered the opportunities we sought. “Let each become all he is capable of becoming.” What we wanted most was a chance and our Dear Old Cortland College offered it to us.
For many of us it was a struggle just to buy books, pay $50 student fees, find a room and eat. Maybe it was because we were so similar that we bonded so well. All were either Health and Physical Education, Recreation or Elementary Education Majors. Our school population was small enough so that you knew almost everyone on campus either through classes, sports, clubs, Hellenic organizations or music and arts activities.
Throughout the four years as our numbers congealed we became closer and closer. We were indeed fortunate to have shared the values of Cortland College which became ingrained in us all. Some of us have been known to say “We owe everything we have to Cortland.”
Soon after graduation we began to make our marks as Americans and we had some exceptional standouts like Distinguished Alumnus Commander John Clark U.S.N., John Galipault, Travis Jackson and Dr. Anne Russ. Our class can be proud not only of those esteemed leaders but of our seven C Club Hall of Fame members who were outstanding athletes and coaches: Beth Burr Carey; Mary Tompkins Chappell; Joseph Cuozzo; Nancy Langham; Thomas Major; Stanley Nevins and James Sellars. Amongst us these role models inspired us all to achieve and to appreciate Cortland.
In the end we all strove to make Cortland proud of us and in some way repay our undeniable debt.
Class of 1959 Biography Written December, 2013