Faculty Hall of Fame: Edward Austin Sheldon

Who better to feature in this special Sesquicentennial issue’s Faculty Hall of Fame than cover subject Oswego Founder Edward Austin Sheldon? Certainly he was among the most esteemed faculty members at the college, leaving a legacy that has touched generations (see excerpts from Sheldon’s autobiography starting on p. 18).

The iconic Sheldon statue has been part of the Oswego experience for roughly a century and serves as a tie binding several decades of former students who recognize it as a common symbol.

Middle school French teacher and amateur photographer Samantha Decker ’09 became particularly enamored with the statue her senior year at Oswego. Her reflections below complement these images she captured on campus.

My interest in photography developed during my senior year at Oswego, I began trying to capture every memorable part of the campus and the city on “digital film” to look back at for years to come.

The statue of Edward Austin Sheldon was a favorite subject of mine, in part because it was easy to vary. I could get in close and blur the background, I could come from different angles, or I could zoom way out and get Sheldon Hall in the background. I also took to the Sheldon statue because it represented my pride as an Oswego student.

Every time I would return to campus after a school break, Professor Sheldon would welcome me home as I followed the windy road to the Hart Hall parking lot. As an education major (and now a teacher), I had several classes in Sheldon Hall. I was proud to attend an institution which started out as a teacher’s college and had such a fine education program.

I am so grateful that I left Oswego with all these visual memories.

Samantha Decker ’09 lives in Saratoga Springs, where she teaches French at a middle school, takes
photographs and develops websites.

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