From The Archives
Journalist, media critic for The New Yorker and award-winning writer Ken Auletta ’63 delivered the keynote address during the inauguration of SUNY Oswego’s 10th President, Deborah F. Stanley, on Sept. 9, 1998.
In his now prophetic remarks, he predicted some of the ways in which President Stanley would change this campus.
After his initial meeting with President Stanley, Auletta recalled: “I met an educator who understands that while the State University must strive for excellence and to attract students with outstanding grades, it must also attract the kind of diverse student body that provided people like me with such a rich education.”
He also described some qualities that leads a person to success.
“I learned that intelligent people are not just those who retain the most facts, but those who can discriminate among those facts.
“I learned that an attitude can be at least as important as perfect grades. The person who is hopeful, an optimist, will tend to take more risks than a pessimist.
“The person who has faith in themselves will tend to be steadier.
“The person who is passionate will tend to be a better persuader. That’s what you want in a college president—an optimist, who believes in students.
“A self-confident leader, who is unafraid to delegate and include faculty and students in her decisions.
“A person of passion.
“That’s what you are fortunate to have at Oswego, I believe, in Deborah Stanley. A reformer, who nourishes a sense of community…I believe Deborah Stanley will make Oswego a better place.”
During the Founder’s Weekend Luncheon on Oct. 1, 2021, Auletta shared a recorded message as a bookend to his introductory remarks at the beginning of her presidency. He congratulated and thanked her for her leadership, saying: “She’s done more than I could have imagined when I gave that speech in 1998.”