Because residence life meant so much to her, an alumna has established the Alice Nykaza ’65 Endowed Scholarship that will provide a scholarship, preferably for an Oswego County student who lives on campus. Alice Ericksen Nykaza ’65 says a significant portion of her education took place among other students in the “dorms” and snack bar.
“I graduated from a small high school,” Nykaza says. “I appreciated finding friends on campus who were different from everyone else I had known. I met wonderful people who ended up becoming lifelong friends. I established this scholarship to show my roommates how much they mean to me.”
She recalls long talks and card games with the late Cynthia Moulton Dean ’65, who went by Cam; Concetta Fazzi Castelluzzo ’65; Barbara Clausen ’65, a sophomore roommate, and Naomi Lane Ericksen, who married Nykaza’s brother after freshman year. After graduation, Dean and Nykaza gathered with Cathy Carroway Needham ’65 and Nancy Egerbrecht ’65 for long and boisterous hands of pinochle.
The “pinochle reunions” stopped briefly when Dean died, but the women found a mutual college friend, Arlene Guzicki Novak ’65, to be Nykaza’s partner, and games continued. “We used to play cards a lot more. Now we do a lot of talking,” Nykaza says.
Nykaza taught school for four years before taking time off for her children. For 35 years, she and her husband owned and operated Eddy’s Big M grocery store in Mexico, N.Y. After her husband died 24 years ago, she ran the store herself. She now lives in Baldwinsville, where she enjoys doing genealogical research. She had been thinking for a long time about providing a scholarship at her alma mater.
“I decided the way to do it,” Nykaza says, “was to give a young person from the area the opportunity to live on campus so he or she could enjoy the same positive benefits I had when I was a student at Oswego.”
—Linda Loomis ’90 M’97
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