Ever-Changing Campus Landscape
When Rosemary Ryan Truesdell ’52 flips through her OSWEGO Alumni Magazine, she can hardly believe she is reading about and seeing images of the same campus she attended in the post-World War II era.
“Incredible!” she said. “How could this be the Oswego campus that my husband and I both loved in the years 1949- 1952? What a contrast to only two stone/mortar buildings: the impressive building with the circular colonnade [Sheldon Hall] and the Industrial Arts Building.”
Rosemary said the only other buildings on campus were temporary quonset huts, in what was affectionately known as Splinter Village. These were the temporary structures erected to house the numerous veterans (and their families) who came to Oswego to take advantage of the GI Bill.
Besides those structures, there were no other on-campus housing options so students lived in off-campus houses or rooms they rented from community members.
Rosemary lived in the Alpha Delta sorority house, and recalled painting the interior rooms for her sorority sister, Priscilla Hawkins Rathbun ‘51, who, soon after, was to move into Splinter Village with her husband, Robert Rathbun ‘51.
During her time at Oswego, Rosemary was also active in the Symphonic and Women’s choirs, and the Newman Club. After graduating, she taught for 13 years on Long Island.
She recalled that there were no parking lots for cars, and “walking was our mode of transportation in all sorts of weather.”
Rosemary said the college was just beginning construction on their first on-campus student residence halls when she and her now late husband, Richard “Dick” Truesdell ’52, were graduating. That construction was the first of many changes that would occur on campus after they graduated.
Dick came to Oswego after serving in the U.S. Army. He was a page editor with The Oswegonian, participated on the Debate Team and was president of the Rifle Club, a passion he continued to pursue throughout his life—even setting a record in his most memorable rifle match after achieving a perfect score, 400 out of 400.
Although he majored in industrial arts, Dick had a fulfilling 34-year career in public relations with Union Carbide and then Hill & Knowlton Inc. The couple raised three sons, and retired to Florida, where he died in 2011.
Today, Rosemary said she is “happy and living in heaven (Florida).”