On the second floor of Sheldon Hall sits a marvelous tribute from one of Oswego’s graduates who went a long way, literally. A towering grandfather clock made of Hawaiian koa wood represents the handiwork of Uldrick Thompson Sr. 1879. A plaque on the clock noted it took Thompson, then 80, around a year to construct, and he donated it to the institution in October 1928. “It is made of Koa wood from Hawaii, where Uldrick Thompson Sr. spent much of his life,” the plaque reads. “His friend, D.H. McConnell, donated the Oxford-Whittington-Westminster chimes and works.”
If ever there was a young man whose prospects for doing great things with his life were dim, it was Woodbridge Ferris. He was born to Stella and John Ferris Jr. on January 6, 1853, near Spencer, N.Y. In the mid-19th century, Spencer was considered part of the frontier and Ferris was literally born in a log cabin, the first of seven children. His great grandfather, Richard Ferris, was a veteran of the Revolutionary War who lived in Scarsdale, and spent the entire War for Independence as part of the New York militia patrolling Westchester County. Pvt. Ferris saw no action during the war, but as a veteran, he was entitled to land in western New York state as payment for his war-time service.
Who better to feature in this special Sesquicentennial issue’s Faculty Hall of Fame than cover subject Oswego Founder Edward Austin Sheldon? Certainly he was among the most esteemed faculty members at the college, leaving a legacy that has touched generations (see excerpts from Sheldon’s autobiography starting on p. 18).