Future SUNY Canton students will benefit from the generosity of an alumnus who wanted to recognize the accomplishments of his former basketball coach, mentor and friend.
Robert C. Rogers, class of 1960, recently made a $100,000 gift to honor Stanley Cohen, who served as an instructor, a coach, and an athletic director throughout his 39-year tenure with the College.
“Student-athletes spend just as much time practicing as they do in the classroom, so it’s no surprise when they reflect on their collegiate careers and realize their coaches are the ones who encouraged them to go on to do great things,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “Stan Cohen is a great example of this as he served as a mentor to his athletes, colleagues and community members. We thank Bob for his gift to the College, which illustrates Stan’s influence on SUNY Canton.”
The Stanley Cohen Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to scholar-athletes who demonstrate exemplary academic achievement and financial need and are United States citizens.
Cohen, a graduate of Hobart College and a dual-sport athlete for the Statesmen, came to SUNY Canton in 1957 and started out as the basketball coach and an accounting instructor. He eventually became the College’s athletic director and served in that capacity until 1972. He expanded the sport offerings by adding hockey, wrestling, cross country, 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 retired in 1996 from the physical education department.
“Stan not only had a profound impact on his players, but on the College as well,” said Vice President for Advancement David M. Gerlach. “He was able to garner support and build the foundation for SUNY Canton athletics. The growth of our athletic program over the last several decades is because of the work Stan put in to creating it.”
For Rogers, honoring Cohen through an endowed scholarship was the perfect tribute to his coach, who emphasized the importance of students achieving both their athletic and educational goals.
“Stan instilled a work ethic in each of us that we knew we needed to be successful,” he said. “He had a steadying effect on the squad and was a dynamic and energetic coach who helped us grow and develop as players and people.”
Rogers majored in electrical technology and was an integral part of the basketball squad’s success thanks to his impressive rebounding and defensive skills. He helped guide the team to a 34-6 overall record in his two years on the squad.
Following his career with the Northmen, the Watertown native played basketball for New Mexico State. Rogers worked in the elevator industry for 41 years, which included an 11-year stint with Otis Elevator Company before he joined the Miami Elevator Company, where he worked for 30 years. He now resides in Cape Coral, Fla., with his wife, Margaret.