Professor of Biology Dr. Mary Allen received the 2020 Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching from Hartwick College.
Because of a reporter’s error, the wrong person was credited with the award in the May 27 edition of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.
ONEONTA – Hartwick College celebrated the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 on Saturday, May 29, in a virtual commencement ceremony.
As the college acknowledged the unusual circumstances surrounding the graduation of the ’20 and ’21 classes, speakers highlighted some of the important lessons that the students would take with them in life.
Elizabeth LeTendre, a digital marketing entrepreneur who graduated Hartwick College in 1990, encouraged the graduating classes to step outside of their comfort zones in order to be successful.
“To be successful, you need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” LeTendre said. “Struggling is an important part of the growth experience … Fear is good. Don’t be afraid to take risks and don’t be afraid to fail.”
College President Margaret Drugovich rang the ceremonial bell at 11:30 a.m. to kick off the graduating ceremony followed shortly by a harmonizing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by the Hartwick College Choir.
Matipa Mutoti, the 2020 student government president, was the first to acknowledge some of the circumstances the graduates had to deal with during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Graduation is a big achievement under any circumstance, but especially for us,” Mutoti said, listing off the need for students to adapt to social distancing, virtual classes and a volatile job market. “I believe this may have made us stronger. The fact that we are here today shows that we are able to face adversity. …
“Whatever our next steps may be, I believe that our experience at Hartwick College has provided us the tools to be the medicine that our world desperately needs right now.”
Lydia Marteney, the 2021 student government president, also acknowledged the difficulty that the COVID pandemic had placed upon the school while speaking from her home in Auburn.
“Although this day might not look like how we had imagined it, today is a day to be proud of our many accomplishments and remember the glory days of our life as Hartwick students,” Marteney said. “For me, it’s strange and somewhat scary to think that we won’t all be up at Oyaron hill next year, but if we think back to the beginning and the many steps, both literal and otherwise, of our journey here at Hartwick we will realize that we are truly ready for the next step in our lives.”
David Long, chair of the Hartwick College board of trustees, also spoke during the graduation ceremony, talking about his own “abbey road” from England to Oneonta and the strangers who made him feel at home.
“Today you’re journey is uniquely yours, well underway and yet still to be created,” Long said. “You’ve already overcome some tough obstacles in life, demonstrating resiliency even at your young age.”
He spoke about the “unprecedented disruptions” of lives but how the graduates had to make their way through the college with “a unique determination.”
“You found your way,” Long said. “Well done.”
Presentations of awards were given to Madison Germuska and Kiara Biroo, who were awarded the Abraham Kellogg Oratorical Prize for 2020 and 2021 respectively.
Dr. Mary Allen, Professor of Biology, was awarded the Margaret B. Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching. In addition, former state Sen. James L. Seward, who graduated Hartwick College in 1973, was awarded the President’s Award for Liberal Arts in Practice, and Richard Clapp, 1962 graduate, received the President’s Medal.
David Damon Jeffres died peacefully at home on May 2, 2021, at the age of 91 following a 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was surrounded by his family and canine companion Rocky.
He was also a loving husband, father and devoted college professor.
He was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on November 2, 1929, the son of Edgar Perry Jeffres and Sibyl Irene Jeffres.
He graduated early from Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, IA, at the age of 17, so he could enlist in the Navy.
After graduating from the U.S Navy School of Music he served honorably for four and a half years during which time he played trumpet in the Navy band, achieving the position of musician first class.
Following his discharge from the Navy, he earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Education and French, respectively, from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and completed PhD coursework in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas and SUNY Albany.
Oneonta will be closing Main Street from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 15, in celebration of SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College graduates.
The street will be closed between Elm Street and Chestnut Street for the purpose of outdoor shopping and dining.
Council to revisit mask ordinance
The Oneonta legislative council discussed the city’s mask ordinance Monday, May 10, and the matter is expected to be brought up at the next Common Council meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 18. Questions with the ordinance included whether to have different criteria depending on whether an individual was vaccinated.
Garden Club to hold sale
The Oneonta Federated Garden Club will be holding their Spring plant sale 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday May, 29 at Huntington Park.
After years of planning, as part of a downtown revitalization initiative, community leaders broke ground at the site of the Dietz Street loft project Friday April 30, in Oneonta, with the hope of revitalizing and bringing “greater vibrancy” to the city’s downtown.
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, state Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, Hartwick College President Margaret Drugovich, Empire State Development Deputy Director Allison Nowack and other community and business leaders attended the ceremony and lifted ceremonial shovels for the groundbreaking.
These lofts, which began development in April, will bring more people to the downtown area, Herzig said.
The four story building would include artist lofts, 24 middle-income, two-bedroom apartments and units for people with disabilities.
WRITERS SALON – 7:30 p.m. Open mic followed by presentation by author April Ford whose debut novel ‘Carousel’ won an award in the category of LGBTQ+ fiction for the International Book Awards. Free, open to public. Presented by Community Arts Network of Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit www.canoneonta.org/event/writers-salon-april-ford/?instance_id=1195
ONEONTA HISTORY – 6:30 p.m. Online program from exhibit ‘Up from the Ashes: Oneonta Shaped by Fire’ featuring exhibit planners Carlene Bermann, Bob Brzozowski, others will discuss highlights. Presented by Greater Oneonta Historical Society. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/upcomingevents.htm
ART TALK – 2 p.m. Learn about women artists in the collection with Mary Alexander, Curator of Education. Free, registration required. Arkell Museum, Canajoharie. 518-673-2314 or visit www.arkellmuseum.org/events-calendar
FOOD WEBINAR – 2 – 3 p.m. Learn about food, recipes, and nutrition info you can use everyday. This week celebrate National Frozen Food Month. Free, registration for Zoom conference required. Presented by The Cornell Cooperative Extension. 518-234-4303 x120 or visit cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2021/01/05/tuesdays-2
ONEONTA – After a bump in COVID positives at Hartwick College, President Margaret Drugovich is reporting that testing of every on-campus student and employee this week yielded only two positives (both students) were detected.
In addition, three positive cases were found among students who were already in required quarantine off-campus, she added.
By MICHAEL FORSTER ROTHBART • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COVID-19 cases have continued to rise among students at Hartwick and SUNY Oneonta, despite best efforts by both colleges, even while the rate of infection has declined elsewhere in Otsego County.
The campuses have been the source of one third of all cases in the county in 2021, and rose to 47 percent of cases in one 10-day period, the county Health Department reported last week.
As of Tuesday, March 9, there were 77 active college student cases between the two schools, bringing the county total above 200 for the first time since late January.
Since students returned in January, there have been 262 confirmed COVID cases at the two colleges. This means 10.8 percent of people on campus at Hartwick and 5.5 percent at SUNY Oneonta have been infected with the virus this year. In comparison, 2.2 percent of all Otsego County residents became infected in the same period.
“My concern, as the city health officer, is that the majority of spread is off-campus in the community,” said Dr. Diane Georgeson. “We know the students are out and about. They’re in the bars or in the restaurants.”
She also worries that the rest of the population may have higher rates than are known. “We are not broadly testing the community. You know, the student populations are being tested, even the asymptomatic students,” she said. “…So what concerns me is that there’s probably more positivity – within the city of Oneonta and within Otsego county – than is being reflected in the number of cases that the county Health Department is reporting.”
VOICES OF THE GAME – 2 p.m. Celebrate Women’s History month. Join Jenny Dalton on Zoom to discuss her baseball career, and her experience in the Colorado Silver Bullets as well as her part in the 2010 USA Women’s Baseball team in Venezuela when they brought home the Bronze medal. Free, registration required. Presented by Baseball Hall of Fame. 607-547-7200 or visit baseballhall.org/events/virtual-curator-spotlight-starting-nine-al-west?date=0
VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Cooper, Cole, and the Hudson River School’ with manager of arts education Kevin Gray. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org