They say a teacher’s reach extends into eternity, due to the many lives she touches.
For the late Carol Adams Nelson ’59 that adage holds true, not only because of the lives she impacted in her classroom career, but also the current and future SUNY Oswego students who will benefit from her generous bequest to the college.
When Carol announced in early 2000 that she was naming Oswego in her will, she told Oswego alumni magazine that one of her greatest delights was to meet her former third grade pupils and hear about their successes in life and contributions to their communities. Retired after 35 years of teaching at Blue Point Elementary School on Long Island, she said, “Time and again, I turned down other opportunities because I never wanted to leave the classroom. I felt that what I was doing was significant, that I was making a difference every day.”
“She enjoyed life and she certainly enjoyed being a school marm,” said her husband of 30 years, Jim Nelson. “That was her first love.”
Her Legacy Lives On
Although she passed away several years ago, through her gift to the college in her will, Carol is still making a difference every day in the lives of Oswego students.
“Something that was always in her mind was that she would leave something to her college, such was her love for Oswego,” said Jim. He said his wife, who sang in Symphonic Choir and Swing Sixteen, had “a voice like an angel” and “the most beautiful smile in the world.”
Carol had a deep affection for Oswego and wanted to express it through her philanthropy. She recalled her “wonderful Oswego professors” and the impact they made on her life and career. The Alpha Sigma Chi sister remembered the Class of 1959 as a “close class.”
“I want to continue to have an interest in and influence upon the future of my alma mater,” Carol told Oswego magazine in 2000. Through her gift, this generous and loyal alumna will continue to influence and strengthen the college’s future, while benefiting the lives of Oswego students for generations to come.
— Michele Reed
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