Oswego Matters: Summer 2015

Betsy Oberst

Betsy Oberst, Oswego Alumni Association Executive Director

“Oswego Pride and Oswego Family … this memorial symbolizes both.” These words were part of my remarks as we gathered to dedicate the beautiful new Peace—Free and Easy Forever Memorial during Reunion Weekend 2015. (Pictured on page 29). In my 31 years here at SUNY Oswego, I can honestly say there has not been another occasion that was more moving or filled me with more pride.

The idea for this special memorial started in 2013 when a group of friends decided to raise funds in memory of deceased classmates Colleen Brunner ’90, Richard Caproni ’89, Michael Hannan ’89 and Lynn Hartunian ’89 who perished on 9/11 and Pan Am Flight 103. I have been honored to see these classmates included and remembered by their friends at every class Reunion.

Free and Easy is a reference to the song “Wooden Ships” by Crosby, Stills and Nash written in 1969, but still popular in the 1980s.

“Wooden ships on the water very free and easy
Easy, you know the way it’s supposed to be
Silver people on the shoreline let us be
Talkin’ ‘bout very free and easy…
And it’s a fair wind
Blowin’ warm out of the south over my shoulder
Guess I’ll set a course and go.”

The memorial serves not only as a tribute to friends lost too soon at the peak of their lives, but will also be a reminder to future generations of Oswego students of these four members of our Oswego Family and how they lived their lives—with joy, a zest for life and love of adventure. And how two events future generations will only know from history books deeply touched and forever changed our Oswego Family and our nation. And, finally, that a universal peace is our ultimate common goal.

As we gathered with family and friends on that picture-perfect, early June afternoon, we dedicated the memorial with these words:

“May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace and serenity to the families and friends of Colleen, Lynne, Mike and Rich.

“Let the spirit of their lives inspire you to live, laugh, love and enjoy each moment in life.”

Homecoming 2015 is the perfect time to return to campus and celebrate your Oswego Family and all the things that make up Oswego Pride … and to laugh and enjoy each moment in your life! We invite you back to campus for this daylong celebration of Oswego as we relaunch an annual Homecoming tradition on Saturday, Nov. 14.

Meet our students, reconnect with classmates, friends and former faculty and share your Oswego Pride in all that is new and exciting on our beloved lakeside campus.

We are truly blessed to have our common Oswego bond.

– Betsy

Leave a Reply