Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cannioto '36, First Masters Degree Recipient!

   Alexander Cannioto '36, pictured here, was the first person to be awarded a Masters degree at Brockport, receiving the Masters in Education in January 1950. He was a 1936 graduate of the old Brockport Normal School, which then was a three year program giving a license to teach, but not a bachelors degree. He finished the work for a bachelors and received that in 1945. At the time he received his masters degree, he was teaching in the East Rochester school district. This is a great example of the rapid changes happening in Brockport in that era, when within a few years the school had gone from being a Normal school to a Teachers College granting the bachelors to giving masters degrees starting in 1950.

   In his Normal school years Alexander had been very active. He was in the Phi Alpha Zeta fraternity, Magpies (the drama group,) Blanket Tax Committee (forerunner to the student government of today,) he was on the baseball team, managed the basketball team and was class president.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

William Lennon

William Lennon, pictured here about 1875, was a science teacher at Brockport, and later the vice-principal (i.e. vice-president) from 1869-1911. A native of Rensselaerville in Albany County, he was born in 1838, went to high school in Binghamton, and attended Genesee College in Lima NY (which later became a part of Syracuse University.)
   He was a keen meteorologist and maintained a weather station at the school for many years; thus the meteorology program of today has a long history at Brockport! He had many other scientific interests, and was mentioned in the local paper in 1901 as demonstrating "wireless telegraphy equipment." Lennon was a member of several scientific associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Today's Lennon Hall is named after him.
   He was close to the students; in his obituary from 1913 it noted that "No interested student, no matter how backward, was refused assistance, and no teacher more thoroughly enjoyed the innocent pranks of pupils than did Professor Lennon." He maintained close ties with alumni as well. The beginnings of today's Alumni Association go back to several different groups, for example one that met in the New York City area, and another which was for those in western New York. Lennon was a regular and sought after visitor to the annual meetings of both groups.
   Just today a brief history Professor Lennon wrote of the school in 1907 was placed in our Digital Commons.