Inaugural Class - Alumni Weekend 2011
Inducted June 10, 2011
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.
The Bagley Family has also made SUNY Canton a priority in their philanthropic efforts, establishing the Leon and Rachel Bagley Endowed Scholarship in 2002. General Electric matched the Bagleys’ gifts of more than $220,000 with an additional $150,000 given at the time of Mr. Bagley’s passing. He was also instrumental in creating his sister-in-law’s scholarship in 1997 – the Alice Westaway Bagley Scholarship.
William Brown, Class of 1961, was one of the finest basketball players in the history of the College and in his two years, led the Northmen to a 34 and 5 overall record. Following his career at Canton ATC, he played Division I basketball at Texas Western and went on to become a professional basketball player as a member of the most famous basketball team in history. After graduating from Texas Western, Willy became a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, and one year after his graduation, his former teammates at Texas Western went on to become the first all-African-American team to win the NCAA national championship by defeating Kentucky in the title game. Mr. Brown has also enjoyed a very successful business career and currently works as a director at UBS Financial Services.
Barbara A. Burnham, Class of 1946, also known as “Bobbi,” is a longtime generous donor and has supported many students at SUNY Canton. She was a teacher for many years and also enjoyed a successful real estate career. She established an endowed scholarship in her name and gave a large gift during the most recent economic downturn because she wanted to continue her commitment to making higher education possible for SUNY Canton students at any given time, despite the tough economy. She has been an active member of the Alumni Association since her graduation and published a poem about the College titled, “Dear Aggie.” She has served as a wonderful role model for students and alumni, and her influence on the College as an advisor and friend has been both constructive and fulfilling.
Alden C. Chadwick, 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 Mr. Chadwick’s most prominent roles was serving as Director of Athletics, where he helped expand women’s sports on this campus following the passing of Title IX. A scholarship was established in his name in 1993 that assists a senior student who has demonstrated academic success while participating in an intercollegiate athletic program. Al was inducted to the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. He also served the community for numerous years as both a high school and college referee.
Stanley W. Cohen began his career at the College in 1957 when he joined the staff as a basketball coach and accounting instructor. He eventually became the Athletic Director and added several sports, including hockey, wrestling, cross country, soccer, and baseball. Under his leadership, the Canton Aggies became the Northmen as a way of differentiating themselves from the other agricultural and technical schools. He worked at the College for 39 years and retired in 1996 from the physical education department. He led some of the most successful basketball teams in the history of the College and coached fellow Hall of Fame inductees William Brown and Robert C. Rogers, both of whom went on to play Division I college basketball. Stan was an integral member of the athletic department over the span of five decades until 1996.
Evan M. Dana, Class of 1931, contributed 36 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 to our students, faculty, staff, and the campus. His contributions were amazing and his positive influence is still felt to this day.
John L. Halford, Sr., Class of 1949 and World War II veteran, is one of SUNY Canton’s biggest supporters. He and his wife Nelta established two scholarships and his gifts have led to several naming opportunities around campus, including the Halford Lobby in the MacArthur Hall 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 and his influence on the College and the North Country have been profound.
Herman W. Kalberer was a professor in chemistry for 36 years and played a critical role in establishing the Honors Convocation Luncheon. He was a favorite among students because he challenged them to be the best they could be and didn’t take any excuses. His goal was to help students identify their own strengths so they could be successful in their careers. The chemistry laboratories in Cook Hall are dedicated to him and his many efforts, including his extraordinarily generous gifts to the College that have assisted an incredible number of non-traditional students in completing their studies. The first named Honors Convocation in 2002 was named in his honor and began a tradition of naming this event.
Harry E. King, Class of 1940, worked at the College for 37 years and started the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning program in 1946. One of the most profound ways Harry influenced SUNY Canton was teaching and 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 Harry and his family came together early in the year and raised $150,000 to name the new air conditioning laboratory in his honor to recognize the dramatic impact he had on their lives.
Earl W. and Joyce A. MacArthur 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. President Emeritus MacArthur served as the College’s President from 1972 to 1992, which at that time included record-setting enrollment numbers 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. Joyce MacArthur was dedicated to making SUNY Canton a strong and vibrant community and was instrumental in establishing such organizations as the CTC Women’s group. Together, they set the tone of SUNY Canton’s caring community.
Terry L. Martin served as the College’s head men’s ice hockey coach from 1974 to 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. Mr. 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 impact he had on the collegiate sport. Terry’s players are among the college’s most passionate alumni and they say it is because their coach dramatically affected their lives in incredible ways.
Virginia M. McAllister spent 42 years in the nursing profession, including her last 14 years that were spent with SUNY Canton. During her time at the College, she developed and became director of the College's nursing program. Today, nursing is one of the most popular and successful programs at SUNY Canton. Her colleagues wanted to recognize her accomplishments and did so by establishing the Virginia McAllister Award for Excellence in Nursing in 1979, an award given annually at Honors Convocation to a senior nursing student who has demonstrated academic and clinical excellence.
Richard W. Miller has 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. Mr. 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. In 2011, he attended his 65th SUNY Canton Commencement – he has not missed one since 1946.
Peter Nevaldine 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 ushered in the automotive technology, construction and civil technology, engineering science, and industrial technology programs. Under Mr. 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, also known as Obie, was the first hockey coach at the College. His efforts and determination were critical in the success of the program. Coach 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. His winning ways helped put the College’s athletic program on the map and a destination for high-caliber student-athletes for years to come. His players remain loyal to him today and tell stories of extraordinary efforts and results.
Jean M. Parker began her 15-year career at SUNY Canton as Associate Dean of Students and Dean of Women. Jean 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, nearly 35 years ago. 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. Ms. Parker established an endowment that provides today’s students with the opportunity to further their leadership potential.
Elaine Claxton Pidgeon, Class of 1939, 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 in pursuing their scholarly goals. During her years at Canton, Ms. Pidgeon was one of the winners of the James Payson Speaking Contest, 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.
Robert C. Rogers, Class of 1960, was a member of one of the most successful basketball teams in the College’s history when he attended Canton. He helped lead the Northmen to an overall 34-6 record in his two years at Canton. He went on to play Division I basketball at New Mexico State and has experienced a wonderfully successful career working in the elevator industry for 41 years. He recently made a very generous gift to the College honoring Hall of Fame Coach Stanley Cohen. Mr. Rogers’ gift established a scholarship that will provide generations of SUNY Canton students with the opportunity to achieve their educational goals.
Emma D. Rose 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 numerous players until the late 1980s. She committed herself to the athletic programs for multiple generations. Her dedication 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. Mrs. 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 helped launch the SUNY Canton football program in 1995 and coached the team for six years, the longest stint of his remarkable coaching career. Saban spent 16 seasons coaching professional football with the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and 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, enabling the program to flourish from the very start. Also in his remarkable career, he served as president of the New York Yankees.
Lottie E. Southworth 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. Ms. Southworth supervised the Practice House, located near campus, where students learned to cook, clean, 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 in1945, the Southworth Library was named in her honor and the library has continued to be a hub of academic growth and intellectual exploration.
Wesley L. Stitt has assisted countless North Country high school students in taking the next steps in their education. He chaired the College Council from 1996 to 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. Mr. 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. Mr. 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 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, Mrs. Vining 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. She has dramatically influenced not just the nursing program here at SUNY Canton, but nursing throughout the North Country and the state.
Erich L. vonSchiller 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. Mr. vonSchiller’s teams were highly successful, competing in regional and national tournaments, with several of his players being named All-Americans. He retired with more than 1,000 total wins across his collegiate coaching career. That is an amazing total of victories on behalf of the College.
John H. Wells, Class of 1951, 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 and was an influential and inspirational force to his students until his retirement in 1991. His wife Shirley established an endowed scholarship in his honor to recognize his wonderful teaching contributions and extraordinary dedication. His students are among the College’s most successful alumni.