OSWEGO — Local elected leaders, SUNY administrators and prominent community members gathered Friday at SUNY Oswego to recognize SUNY Oswego and President Deborah Stanley in a ceremony that included renaming one of the school’s most prominent facilities after the longtime SUNY leader.
Stanley, who was installed as the college’s 10th president in 1995, has overseen a series of dramatic improvements to the college both structurally and academically throughout her nearly three decades at the helm.Stanley in May announced plans to retire from her position in December, and SUNY officials Friday provided a grand tribute to her service in Oswego.
During this year’s Founder’s Weekend Luncheon, which celebrated SUNY Oswego’s 160th anniversary, SUNY officials announced the Marano Campus Center arena would be renamed the Deborah F. Stanley Arena and Convocation Hall and more than $2.4 million was raised for the effort. The SUNY Board of Trustees approved the naming at a board meeting earlier this week.
“Deborah deserves this,” SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said at the Marano Campus Center Friday. “She is a wonderful leader, a committed educator and mentor to many, including myself. What she has shown the entire SUNY family shows that you can build a world-class institution right in Oswego that is second to none. It’s a small but deserved token of the campus’ appreciation.”
The multi-million dollar raised by donors will establish an endowment fund to keep the ice arena and convocation hall equipped with the latest technology and amenities, according to college officials.
“This campus center, and in particular this arena and convocation hall, serve as the heart of the SUNY Oswego campus,” Oswego College Foundation Board Chair Rose Cardamone Crane said Friday. “It is the place where students launch their academic careers during the annual Welcoming Torchlight Ceremony and where they conclude their careers during the annual commencement ceremony.”
Over the course of her tenure, Stanley pursued a “campus-wide renewal plan” which encompasses just under $1 billion in renovations and construction, including $118 million for the environmentally designated LEED Gold Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation, revitalization and modernization of Tyler Hall, creating The Village – a townhouse residential complex on campus and the renovated Wilber Hall.
Stanley also spearheaded a massive upgrade of campus technology, internet and laboratory equipment and guided the college to its most culturally diverse student body in SUNY Oswego’s history, college officials said.
Stanley holds degrees from Syracuse University, including a law degree. She started teaching business classes at SUNY Oswego shortly after her law school graduation, which started her on a professional path that would eventually earn her the top job at Oswego County’s only four-year institution of higher learning.
“This building and arena, and what takes place in this wonderful facility, have always made me smile as they represent the vision and success an institution can achieve when we work together on behalf of the college and our students,” Stanley said. “Having my name attached to such a thriving college and community asset is an honor. I will treasure your collective recognition and generosity for the rest of my life.”