Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood. Hop a flight to Port City along Lake Ontario or take a Greyhound on the Oswego River line…I’m in an Oswego State of Mind…
More than 1,200 alumni and friends headed for the shores of Lake Ontario and their beloved lakeside campus to celebrate Reunion 2017, June 8-11. Graced by beautiful weather all weekend, the near record-level attendees participated in more than 60 events on and off campus throughout the four-day festivities, ranging from a golf tournament and a 5K fun run to an estate planning seminar and a Greek life presentation.
President Deborah F. Stanley welcomed the alumni, provided an update on the latest happenings and developments on campus and helped Oswego Alumni Association President Lisa Marceau Schnorr ’87 present the Alumni Service Award to two exceptional alumni: Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77 and Jennifer Shropshire ’86.
Of course, a highlight for many were the social gatherings, including Friday night’s “Come As You Were BBQ” at Fallbrook that brought together more than 700 attendees and Saturday afternoon’s “Picnic on the Lake” that attracted nearly 400 people. As a nod to this year’s theme, Rick Zuccaro and his All-Star Billy Joel Tribute Band headlined the “Oswego State of Mind” concert Saturday night in Hewitt Union Ballroom and had people singing along to the familiar tunes.
Alumni traveled from 27 states and as far away as Binfield Berks, United Kingdom, and Cali, Columbia. The participants represented 64 different class years, ranging from 1947 through 2020. The celebration included 18 mini-reunion groups—including more than 150 Sigma Gamma brothers—and 11 milestone anniversary classes, including the Class of 1977, which brought back the largest number of attendees ever for a 40th reunion. Sam Lupo ’77, owner of Sam A. Lupo & Sons Inc. in Endicott, N.Y., gave each classmate a customized Class of 1977 bottle of his famous spiedie marinade.
Delta Kappa Kappa became the first active Greek organization to establish an endowed scholarship at the college. Also, during Reunion 2017, Beta Tau Epsilon, a fraternity no longer active on campus, reached its goal of raising $100,000 for its scholarship.
A total of $400,123 was raised from all reunion classes this year, including $230,514 raised by the 30th Reunion Cluster (1986-1988). This year’s Reunion Giving Participation Cup was presented to the Class of 1967 with a total class participation of 24 percent.
“Reunion is such a successful event for the college community, and it is largely thanks to the engaged and enthusiastic volunteers who help to make it the celebration of the year,” said Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Laura Pavlus Kelly ’09. “The planning committee works hard all year coming up with a range of events so that there is truly something for everyone. I hope that anyone who wasn’t able to return for reunion this year will make it a point to attend Homecoming on Oct. 14 or Reunion 2018, June 7-10. Your alma mater stands ready to welcome you home!”
OAA Recognizes Two Alumni
With Service Award
Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77 and Jennifer Shropshire ’86 received the Oswego Alumni Association Alumni Service Award in recognition of their exemplary service to the college, our students, the Alumni Association and their professions. OAA President Lisa Marceau Schnorr ’87 and College President Deborah F. Stanley presented the awards during the College Update on Saturday, June 10.
Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77
Alumni Service Award Citation
With more than 85,000 SUNY Oswego alumni in the world, alumnus Lou Borrelli ’77 likely ranks near the top of the list as the one who has interacted with, provided advice to and supported the most students and alumni, across the broadest time period in a meaningful manner. He certainly has a top spot among broadcasting/mass communication graduates.
As the founder of the annual Media Summit in 2005, he not only provided an opportunity for hands-on learning to create “Professionals with a GPA,” he also leveraged his professional relationships to attract notable panelists to the Summit, including Ben Bradlee, legendary editor of the Washington Post; George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks; Charlie Rose, the world-renowned journalist; and, of course, his friend and fellow alumnus, Al Roker ’76.
“Lou did not just add his money and name to this event … for more than 10 years, Lou has served on the Media Summit planning board, heading to navigate the issues, developing relationships with named personalities who have participated in the summit and working to develop topical issues related to all fields of communication … He is a constant supporter and his work on behalf of Communication Studies, SCMA and the college deserves recognition,” said Fritz Messere ’71 M’76, founding dean of the School of Communication, Media and the Arts.
In addition to establishing the Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit, he has served as a March Matcher for our Graduates Of the Last Decade (GOLD) giving campaign and supports WTOP-10 TV with major gifts and professional guidance. Former general managers and broadcasters at the student-run TV station share stories of Lou reaching out to them with a critique on their broadcasts and suggestions on how to improve. The feedback always comes with some helpful suggestions and often with his personal cell phone number or an introduction to a hiring manager at a professional organization.
As former general manager of WTOP-10 TV, 2017 graduate Justin Dobrow said: “Lou inspired me; he inspires so many at WTOP … He is the essence of what makes an Oswego alum so very special; that a 21 year old can be mentored, guided and taught by a retired CEO in the exact field he one day dreams to be in.”
Matthew Bishop, a 2014 graduate and former general manager of WTOP, is grateful for the help Lou provided in researching and financing the purchases of equipment that would improve the quality and performance of that station’s streaming capabilities. “Lou wasn’t telling me what to do or what to buy … he would challenge me to think big picture in my decision-making … the equipment we were ordering had to have more than just the capability of working in our studio. We had to be able to take WTOP and SUNY Oswego on the road.”
Through Lou’s support, the TV station has been able to increase viewership of their livestreams from approximately 1,000 to more than 6,500, and has the ability to do remote broadcasts of the athletic events and other major news happenings. He personally counsels and assists countless students in their career pursuits, often connecting them to paid internships or professional positions or using his clout in the field to benefit Oswego students. As a frequent Alumni-In-Residence visitor, he enriches classroom discussion by drawing on his extensive experience as a cable television and media pioneer, notably as the former chief executive officer of NEP Broadcasting and as a founding partner of Marcus Cable Company.
He also shares his expertise as a member of the College Foundation Board of Directors and the School of Communication, Media and the Arts Advisory Board, helping to shape the future of the college so that SUNY Oswego students graduate with more hands-on skills and experience than their counterparts from other top-ranked colleges and universities.
For his unfaltering loyalty and steadfast dedication and service to his alma mater and the students who study here, the Oswego Alumni Association is proud to present Louis A. Borrelli Jr. with the 2017 Alumni Service Award.
Jennifer Shropshire ’86
Alumni Service Award Citation
According to Martin Luther King Jr., “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Those who know Jennifer Shropshire can easily answer this question when considering her philanthropic achievements.
A 1986 graduate of SUNY Oswego and a 1996 MBA graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, she has spent most of her personal and professional life doing for and serving others.
As owner and principal at Edward F. Swenson & Associates Inc., she uses her exceptional interpersonal skills and strategic thinking expertise to help nonprofit organizations reach their goals and fulfill their missions. She has an uncanny knack for keeping a meeting fun, yet productive; for helping boards be inclusive and encourage participation by all members while keeping everyone focused on the goal at hand; and for balancing long-term vision with the day-to-day work the organizations need to get done.
For more than two decades, Jennifer has served as a volunteer, including past president, at Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, a local, independent affiliate of Rebuilding Together, Inc., the nation’s leading nonprofit organization providing critical home repairs, modifications, and improvements for America’s low-income homeowners. In her leadership role there, Jennifer helped recruit and retain volunteers to rebuild, repair and refurbish dilapidated homes in low-income sections of the city—to make them “warm, safe, dry” for their owners.
But Jennifer’s service to her alma mater is second to none… her true passion. She has given back to the college in every way that a person can–by sharing her time, talent and treasure with her alma mater. Nominator Joy Westerberg Knopp ’92 describes Jennifer as “Oswego’s greatest ambassador”–“a proud alumna whose face lights up at every opportunity she gets to talk about Oswego.”
Jennifer has returned numerous times to campus as an Alumni-In-Residence visitor, a School of Business Symposium panelist, a keynote speaker at Honors Convocation and a Beta Gamma Sigma honoree. She served as a March Matcher for our 2016 Graduates Of the Last Decade giving campaign, the national chair of The Fund for Oswego during our most recent campaign, With Passion & Purpose, and a member of numerous Reunion Planning and Giving committees.
Perhaps her biggest impact at SUNY Oswego has been her two decades on the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors. Under her leadership, including as president, she led the board in developing a strategic plan, which outlined short- and long-term goals, established subcommittees to ensure progress was being made and created a structure for the board’s work to insure the relevancy of the association to Oswego’s 85,000 plus alumni.
Keith Chamberlain ’87, past president of the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors, said of Jennifer:
“In the years I have served on the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors, Jennifer has committed endless hours of her time to assist the organization in creating and executing the organization’s strategic plan. Her professional talent and expertise in guiding the group through the difficult process of setting priorities … have been invaluable … On a very personal note, I know that my role as a president of the board would not have been as successful without Jennifer by my side. She has been a reliable confidant, helpful and supportive beyond words.”
Today, after completing her terms as a member and president of the board, she remains active as an at-large member and has been a resource for the board and staff members alike. Laura Pavlus Kelly ’09, current director of alumni and parent relations, said: “From a personal standpoint, I’ve already learned so many invaluable lessons and skills from Jennifer in just the seven years I’ve worked with her. She is the type of alumna and volunteer you always wish to have on your team, and I look forward to learning so much more from her in years to come.”
Indeed, we are truly grateful for Jennifer’s unwavering dedication to SUNY Oswego and the entire college community, and the Oswego Alumni Association is proud to honor Jennifer Shropshire with the 2017 Alumni Service Award.
Golden Alumni Society Inductees: Class of 1967
In Celebration of their 50th Reunion
Front row (from left): Diane Larsen-Freeman, Katherine Kelly Klein, Barbara Keller, Mary Nash Keefe, Gretchen Schmuck Renders, Bonnie Currie Hoos, Robert Harrington, Danielle Pasquale Harrington, Sharon Gensler, John Forsberg, Rita June Feeney, Judy Kane Duhaime, John DelPiano, Karen Rosendale Dahle and Pamela Obrig Cunningham; Second row (from left): Mary Jean Satterlee Munger, Leslie Brown Paice, Nancy Davis Phostole, Ann Graziosa Pryputniewicz, Joseph Jondreau, Rose DeNonno Riel, Patricia Smith Robbins, Cheryl Roock, Shannon Rafferty Savage, Robert Schelin, JoAnne Walker Staffa, Sheri Swerdfeger, Bobbie Lischak Trotter, Kathleen Smith Valentine and Shirley Beagle Villone; Third row (from left): David DePan, Eleanor Puccia Caltabiano, Betty-Jane Cain, Susan Gilman Brint, Ronald Bort, Madeleine Maillot Bort, Robert Orobona, Judy Rymal Beck, Bernard Campbell, Diane Bove Blanco, Patricia Monsour Balcom, Suzanne Lehman Ashton, Susan Tuttle Martin, Joseph Colistra, Virginia “Ginny” Simonson Bushart, Michael Andolina, Mary Sallin Andolina, Jean Vogelsperger Worzbyt and Robert McCarthy.
Reunion 2017 Slideshow