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.

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