The only constant in life is change—as ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with saying approximately 2,500 years ago. There are times when we may feel we are experiencing more intense periods of change than at other times. Change is inevitable and how we face it tells a story.
SUNY Oswego is in the midst of historic changes as we search for a new university president for the first time in more than a quarter century (see related story). Recently granted a change in designation from college to university (see related story), SUNY Oswego continues to adapt to the changing landscape of higher education and proudly stands tall as an innovative, forward-thinking university community that is always focused on student success.
Higher education changed my life and changes our students’ lives through the exploration of academic offerings, extracurricular activities, engaging in dialogue with others who have different perspectives, and having faculty and staff who care deeply about their success. Higher education has also impacted my family and impacts generational change for many of our students. As a first-generation college student, I know the power of education to change the economic and social outcome for our graduates and their families.
In this issue, you will read about several alumni who seek to make changes in their own lives or in the world around them, including award-winning journalist Michelle Garcia ’06, who seeks to ignite change by sharing diverse perspectives and stories to better inform society (see related story); geologist William Precht ’79, a world-renowned expert on coral reef restoration (see related story); right-handed artist Mary Cottle Smeallie ’78, who now creates with her left hand after a Parkinson’s diagnosis (see related story); and accountant-turned entrepreneur Indie Lee ’93 (Lisa Swengros Agona ’93), who, diagnosed with a brain tumor and given six months to live in 2008, was inspired to reimagine her life and career, and launch a clean cosmetics company (see related story).
These alumni utilized moments of change in their lives and continued to push forward, fueled by their passions. We are proud they are Lakers!
Whether it is due to the cold, snowy winters or something in the Lake Ontario watershed, the SUNY Oswego community is known for our resilience and stamina to aptly respond to change and our ability to focus on and plan for the future (spring is right around the corner!).
As Cicely Tyson said, “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.” We are ready for the challenges and changes 2023 may bring. You are, too. Keep moving forward with your passion and purpose. We hope to see
Mary C. Toale, Ed.D.
Officer in Charge