The family of Kathleen Manley Peterson ’54 has ensured that her dedicated career in teaching and her impressive record of volunteer work will be remembered. A scholarship in her name will be awarded to an Oswego junior or senior majoring in education who maintains honor grades, has demonstrated volunteer activity and can, in an essay, articulate the reasons he or she will become a teacher.
“Education was important to Kathy,” says Edwin Peterson ’54. “When she passed away in 1999, we set up a family foundation in her name. Last year, the children and I decided to turn the funds over to SUNY Oswego so that each year a student will receive a financial award in my first wife’s name.”
Kathleen earned a degree in elementary education at Oswego and a master’s from SUNY at Stony Brook; she taught 25 years. She and Edwin met at Oswego, where she was active in Alpha Delta Sorority, student council and women’s choir; Edwin was a member of Delta Kappa Kappa and student council and was editor of The Ontarian. Their children are: Jeffrey, retired vice president, Monsanto; Karen, a chemical engineer who became a teacher; Margaret, a physician; and Nancy, vice president of a Long Island hospital. Fourteen grandchildren are either college graduates, students or future students.
Commitments kept Edwin away from Oswego until he returned in 2004 for his golden anniversary reunion. He was pleased to see a photo in the next issue of OSWEGO Alumni Magazine showing him gazing into a sunset with a female classmate on each arm.
One of those women was Betsy Griswold Sweeting ’54, widow of Charles Sweeting, who taught industrial arts. She and Edwin began exchanging photos and news.
“After a while we decided that Oswego sunsets had worked their magic again,” Edwin says. A wedding followed, and the Petersons now divide their time between Betsy’s Minetto, N.Y., residence and the Long Island home Edwin and his family shared.
“I know that Kathy would be happy we have created a suitable memorial,” Edwin says. “Knowing her regard for education and her love of teaching, the family is confident that establishing the Kathleen A. Peterson ’54 Scholarship was the best thing we could do.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M’97
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