Former Campus School teacher Ruth Sayer and her late husband, Frank, an Oswego businessman, wanted to do something to give back to the institution that enriched their lives and that of their community.
“Frank and I both felt all along that we are fortunate to have the college as an important part of Oswego,” Ruth said. That appreciation, along with their satisfaction with President Deborah F. Stanley’s leadership, led Ruth to endow the Frank and Ruth Sayer Education Scholarship.
Her gift of $25,000 will fund an annual award to a student in the School of Education, who is committed to pursuing a career in teaching and shows signs of good citizenship, and who will be a positive role model for children.
Beginning in 1947, Ruth taught in the Campus School alongside such legends as her friend Hazel Hewitt. During those years she touched the lives of hundreds of Oswego children. “I remember some of my students and occasionally see them in Oswego,” said Ruth. Just last summer, she got together with a group of them for lunch.
The Sayers’ own children attended the Campus School and their son, Steve, was active in a recent reunion of students. So their appreciation of the Campus School is many-faceted.
“We had a faculty that was quite interested. Professors from the college worked closely with us. I was doing a unit on astronomy and [Professor] George Pitluga knew I didn’t know much about astronomy, so he did much of the unit for me,” Ruth recalled.
“And I had wonderful, supportive parents [of students], which many teachers don’t have in this day and age.”
The couple was always impressed with the college’s range of cultural and athletic opportunities, which many people in Oswego enjoy.
“We enjoyed the sports, especially hockey,” said Ruth, who holds season’s tickets for the women’s hockey team.
Both Sayers appreciated the strong programs available through Oswego’s School of Education, so they wanted to support a student in the school.
“We felt the scholarship might be helpful to somebody who someday might be a great teacher,” Ruth said. “It’s important to have well-educated teachers.”
Most of all, the couple had a deep and abiding affection for SUNY Oswego. “We just had a lot of love for the college and all the admiration in the world for what the professors do to be part of the community,” Ruth said.
“I don’t know what Oswego would be like without the college.”