SUNY Canton to inaugurate Hall of Fame at alumni dinner Friday
CANTON -- SUNY Canton’s alumni weekend also marks the induction of the first 25 members to the college’s new Hall of Fame, to honor those who have made significant contributions to the college.
The ceremony will be at a special dinner on Friday, June 10 in Chaney Dining Center.Alumni games in SUNY Canton’s new Roos House athletic center are set for Saturday, June 11.
SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy says the inductees are being honored “for their involvement with our community, their personal successes, and the impact they’ve made on SUNY Canton. These are the people our students will look up to, appreciate and aspire to be.”
Inaugural Hall of Fame inductees include:
• Leon E. Bagley, class of 1948, graduated with an engineering technology degree and worked at GE for 35 years. He was a World War II veteran and enrolled at Canton ATI under the GI Bill. He was passionate about education and the North Country. The Bagleys have had three generations attend the college: his son Timothy graduated in 1985 and his grandson Alexander graduated in 2005. Bagley was instrumental in creating his sister-in-law Alice Bagley’s scholarship in 1997. At the time, it was the largest scholarship in the history of the college. He and his wife established the Leon and Rachael Bagley Endowed Scholarship in 2002. General Electric matched the funds in excess of $220,000 with an additional $150,000 given at the time of his death.
• William Brown, class of 1961, who was one of the finest basketball players in the history of the college. Following his career at Canton ATC, he played Division I basketball at Texas Western and has enjoyed an extremely successful business career. He currently works as a director at UBS Financial Services in Weehawken, N.J. Brown’s Northmen had a record of 34-5 in his two years in Canton.
• Barbara A. Burnham, class of 1946, who is a long time generous donor and has supported scholarships for students at SUNY Canton. She was a teacher for many years and also enjoyed a successful real estate career. She made the college a priority in her philanthropic efforts, establishing an endowed scholarship in her name. She gave a large gift during the troubled economic times because of her commitment to making higher education possible for SUNY Canton students. She has been an active member of the Alumni Association since graduation and published a poem about the college titled, ‘Dear Aggie.’
• Alden C. Chadwick, who devoted 28 years of service to the College Association as a member of the Board of Directors. He served as the assistant dean of students and was the college’s first director of financial aid. One of his most prominent roles was serving as director of athletics, where he helped expand women’s sport offerings. A scholarship was established in his name in 1993 that honors a senior student who has demonstrated academic success while participating in an intercollegiate athletic program. He was also a Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame inductee (1988) and high school and college basketball referee.
• Elaine Claxton Pidgeon, class of 1939, who ultimately became director of home economics and food services in the North Syracuse Central School District and served as president of the New York State School Food Service Association. She donated one of the largest gifts to the college to help support outstanding students pursue their scholarly goals. During her years at Canton, Pidgeon was one of the winners of Payson Lecture, a highly competitive speech competition dating back to that time period. After leaving Canton, she became very well known for her extraordinary philanthropic efforts throughout central and northern New York.
• Stanley W. Cohen, who worked at the college for 39 years and eventually became SUNY Canton’s Athletic Director and served in that capacity until 1972. He began his Canton career as basketball coach and as an accounting instructor. He led some of the most successful basketball teams in the history of the college and coached fellow Hall of Famers William Brown and Robert C. Rogers. During his tenure, he expanded the sport offerings by adding hockey, wrestling, cross country, and baseball. Under his leadership, the Canton Aggies became the Northmen. He was an integral part of the athletic department over a span of five decades until his departure in 1996.
• Evan M. Dana, class of 1931, who contributed 40 years of service to SUNY Canton. He was a faculty member and chairman of the Division of Agriculture, coach of several athletic teams and was instrumental in the early history of the Alumni Association, serving as president from 1935 to 1939. He was named the college’s Distinguished Citizen in 1977 and the college’s former athletic facility, Dana Hall, was named in honor of his many contributions.
• John L. Halford, Sr., class of 1949 and World War II veteran, who is one of SUNY Canton’s biggest supporters. He established two scholarships and his gifts have led to several naming opportunities around campus, including the Halford Lobby in the Faculty Office Building and the John L. Halford Alumni Suite in the college’s new Roos House athletic center. In 1999, he became the college’s first member of the Legacy Society by establishing a $50,000 charitable remainder trust and in 2010 he received the college’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. He serves on the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors.
• Herman W. Kalberer, who was a professor in chemistry for 37 years and played a critical role in establishing the Honors Convocation Luncheon. He was a favorite among students because he challenged them in the classroom so they could be successful in their careers. The chemistry labs in Cook Hall are dedicated to him and his many efforts, including his generous gifts to the college that have assisted non-traditional students complete their studies. He was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry in 2003.
• Harry E. King, class of 1940, who worked at the college for 37 years and started the heating, ventilation and air conditioning program in 1946. One of the most profound ways King influenced SUNY Canton was teaching, developing a wonderfully crafted air conditioning program that prepared students for successful careers in the field. He was the recipient of several awards and is a former Alumni Association president. In 2008, more than 200 alumni, family and friends of King came together early in the year and raised $150,000 to name the new air conditioning laboratory after him to honor the impact he had on their lives.
• Earl W. and Joyce A. MacArthur, who have positively influenced the college for more than 35 years. The SUNY Canton Foundation was created through their vision and foresight. It continues to thrive with their continuing input and guidance. MacArthur served as the college’s president from 1972 to 1993 and ensured a brighter future for SUNY Canton despite the difficult challenges it faced. The college honored him for his leadership in 2005 by naming him the recipient of the annual Distinguished Citizen award.
• Terry L. Martin, who served as the college’s head men’s ice hockey coach from 1974-1999, compiling a record of 527-211-29, including a 102-11-8 mark in his final four seasons. His team won 12 national championship titles throughout his career. Martin also served as men’s athletic director, women’s soccer coach, men’s lacrosse coach and taught in the physical education department. He was the 2009 recipient of the American Hockey Coaches Association’s prestigious John “Snooks” Kelley Founders Award, recognizing the effect Martin had on the collegiate sport.
• Virginia M. McAllister, who was the first director of the college’s nursing program. She spent 42 years in the nursing profession, including her last 14 years with the college. Today, the nursing program is one of the most popular and successful programs at SUNY Canton. The Virginia McAllister Award for Excellence in Nursing was established in 1979.
• Richard W. Miller, who dedicated 65 years to SUNY Canton and was a distinguished professor of electrical engineering technology for 37 years. In 1976, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. The prior year, he was named an Outstanding Educator in America. In 1982, he received the SUNY Canton College Council’s Distinguished Faculty Award. Miller is an esteemed advisor to the Alpha chapter of the Theta Gamma Fraternity, a post he has held since 1948. He remains an active member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The Richard W. Miller Campus Center is named in honor of his generous gifts to the college.
• Peter Nevaldine, who introduced the industrial chemistry and technical electricity programs to the college in 1937. In 1946, he developed and introduced the mechanical, air conditioning, and production supervision curricula. His guidance direction ushered in the automotive technology, construction and civil technology, engineering science, and industrial technology programs. Under Nevaldine’s leadership, the engineering technology division became the first publicly supported school among AAS-granting institutions to receive accreditation from the Engineering Council for Professional Development. In 1988, the SUNY Board of Trustees resolved that the college’s engineering technology building be renamed Peter Nevaldine Hall on the 15th anniversary of his retirement. His students are among the most successful to graduate from the college.
• Ronald J. O’Brien, who was the first hockey coach at the college. His efforts and determination were critical in the success of the program, as O’Brien captured the college’s first two national junior college championships. He also won seven regional titles and compiled an impressive record of 133-27 in his tenure.
• Jean M. Parker, who began her 15-year career at SUNY Canton as associate dean of students and dean of women. She became the college’s first female vice president when she took the role of vice president of student affairs and dean of students on July 1, 1976. She nurtured the development of the student affairs division during the college’s rapidly growing student enrollment period of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Parker established an endowment that provides students the opportunity to further their leadership potential.
• Robert C. Rogers, class of 1960, who was a member of one of the most successful basketball teams in the college’s history both years he attended the college. He enjoyed a successful career for 41 years in the elevator industry and recently made a gift to the college honoring Coach Stanley Cohen that will provide SUNY Canton students with scholarships to help them achieve their educational goals. Rogers’ Northmen had a record of 34-6 in his two years at Canton. He went on to play Division I basketball at New Mexico State.
• Emma D. Rose, who is considered by many as the biggest supporter of SUNY Canton Athletics in the history of the college. She was a favorite among coaches, players and other fans, traveling the world with the hockey team and housing a number of players until the late 1980s. She committed herself to the athletic programs for multiple generations. Her commitment to the hockey program earned her the right to drop the first puck at the junior college national tournament when it was held in Canton. Rose worked in a number of capacities at the college while supporting the Northmen. She worked as a stenographer in the Division of Arts and Sciences from 1966 until her retirement in 1979. She continued working at the college on a temporary basis until 1986, working in several departments on the campus, including the President’s office.
• Louis H. Saban, who helped launch the SUNY Canton football program in 1995 and coached the team for six years, the longest stint of his career. Saban spent 16 seasons coaching professional football with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and the Denver Broncos. He compiled a 34-16 record during his career at SUNY Canton, including a 7-0 high mark during his first season at the helm of the program. The college’s football field was proudly named in his honor in the late 90′s. He also spent time as president of the New York Yankees working closely with famed owner George Steinbrenner.
• Lottie E. Southworth, who joined the college’s staff after teaching at local public schools and served as an assistant to an instructor in domestic arts. She helped shape the college as one of the most influential early instructors. She worked primarily with the women and provided them with the experience needed to be successful in domestic professions. Southworth supervised the Practice House, located near campus, where students learned to cook, clean and entertain and host guests. She was a favorite among her students and commanded the respect of everyone on campus. Each year, she hosted a tea for everyone at the college at her home in the village. After retiring in 1945, the Southworth Library was named in her honor.
• Wesley J. Stitt, who has assisted countless North Country high school students in taking the next steps in their education. He chaired the College Council from 1996-2008 and has served in a variety of roles at SUNY Canton since 1964. He was the superintendent of the Ogdensburg City School District until his retirement in 1990. Stitt was the recipient of the President’s Meritorious Service Award in 2010 and was the college’s Distinguished Citizen in 2008. He was at the helm of the College Council during a period where SUNY Canton experienced dramatic growth both in enrollment numbers and four-year degree programs. Stitt was instrumental in securing funds for the Newell Veterinary Technology Center, the Richard W. Miller Campus Center, and the college’s new Roos House athletic center. He is a consistent proponent of SUNY Canton’s award-winning Steel Bridge Team and the University Police Department.
• Margaret P. Vining, who worked at the college for 28 years and retired in 1996 as associate dean of the school of health and medical technology. She began work at SUNY Canton in 1968 as an instructional support associate in the nursing lab and later was named director of the nursing program. Under her leadership, the nursing program thrived and the college was able to establish the bachelor’s degree in health services management. A favorite among students, she was one of only 407 nurses statewide to receive the Nurse of Distinction designation in 1991, which is based upon significant contributions to the field of nursing.
• Erich L. vonSchiller, who served the college for 32 years as an instructor and a coach for four sports teams and is professor emeritus of physical education. He came to the campus as a physical education instructor in 1967 and started the college’s soccer team, which became one of the top programs in the nation after only two years. He was the assistant basketball coach until 1973 when he took over the program. He also coached baseball and lacrosse for one year. VonSchiller’s teams were highly successful, competing in regional and national tournaments, while several of his players were named All-Americans. He retired with more than 1,000 total wins across his collegiate coaching career.
• John H. Wells, class of 1951, who established the college’s one-year heating and plumbing service program after owning his own heating and plumbing business for 17 years. He taught at the college for 23 years until his retirement in 1991. His wife Shirley established an endowment scholarship in his honor to recognize his wonderful teaching contributions; his students are among the college’s most successful alumni.
Hall of Fame candidates include but are not limited to alumni, founders, community members, and retired faculty and staff members. The first class also includes past presidents, athletes and coaches.
“So many people have impacted our college in significant ways, but we could not induct them all at once,” Kennedy said. “We wanted to make sure we took the time to honor each individual in the way they deserve to be honored and recognized. In the coming year and a half, we will induct the other members of the Century Club and from there, continue with annual inductions.”