A Message of Gratitude to the Stanleys:
’Our Unity of Place’ Defines the Laker Family
“Our unity of place, even though not of time, still links us. We are both daughters of this lake, this school, this house and perhaps this room. This place sparked in you a desire for learning that you cultivated and carried out into the world. That same spark took root in me here. And from this place I carry it upward and outward in an effort to do that which you have done for me and countless others. Pass it on.”
— Paige Stanley, daughter of Michael and Deborah F. Stanley, in a letter in 2011 to Mary Sheldon Barnes, the daughter of college founder Edward Austin Sheldon
For 25 years, SUNY Oswego has been home to the Stanley Family. In 1998, Michael and Deborah moved into the president’s residence at Shady Shore with their two daughters Paige and Jacquelyn, then 12 and 10. Over the years, the family members have made memories together there, and shared milestones and celebrations from birthdays to holiday gatherings to births to weddings—all of the life events that many families celebrate together.
Unlike other families, however, the Stanleys opened their home to many by hosting annual Reunion receptions, college and alumni events, and dinners for distinguished college guests. In short, they extended their family to encompass the whole Laker family.
When care packages were inadvertently delivered to Shady Shore instead of a residence hall, Michael would take special care to protect the contents and make sure it was received by the intended recipient.
Michael and President Stanley attended nearly every college Reunion Weekend, oftentimes embracing that year’s theme by wearing coordinating attire or accessories to the Friday night “Come As You Were” Barbecue at Fallbrook. The couple recently presented on “Building Credibility, Caring, Character and Competence” at the American Association State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Spouse/Partner Program Annual Meeting to share what they have learned about being a couple in leadership on a college campus.
During the Founder’s Weekend celebration in October, President Stanley credited Michael for always being available to “take the watch” when she grew weary or needed to focus on another task. She announced during the annual Scholars Brunch that she created an endowed scholarship in her husband’s name to honor his commitment to her and the institution.
Alumni leadership also paid tribute to the Stanley Family during Founder’s Weekend celebrations. Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors President Dana Segall Murphy ’99 read a citation passed by the board, declaring both Michael and President Stanley honorary alumni of SUNY Oswego.
Murphy also thanked him for being “the resident expert on the history of Shady Shore and all of its occupants” and for his decades of generous service and commitment to the SUNY Oswego campus community. On behalf of all Oswego alumni, Murphy and Oswego College Foundation Board Chair Rose Cardamone Crane ’81 dedicated a bench and a tree to Michael J. Stanley.
On behalf of the college community, we thank the entire Stanley Family for being part of the Laker Family and welcoming us into yours. Although time moves on, we will always share a “unity of place” and the spark for learning that traces back to the shores of Lake Ontario.