June 2012 Knightline Masthead
In This Issue
Alumnus Wins Top Teacher Award
Geneseo Announces National Alumni Council
Pettinella, Ackroyd Honored
Don't Miss Out on Summer Reunion!
Commencement Welcomes Newest Alumni
A Record-Breaking Run
Join Us for Homecoming
A Call for Photos
1,000 Donors in 30 Days
From Our Readers
An Inside View of Life on Campus
Events Calendar

Look for upcoming alumni events in your area! 

July 13-15:


July 23:

Buffalo Region - Buffalo Bisons Baseball Game


August 8:
Saratoga Day at the Races, Saratoga, NY


August 18:

Long Island Region -

Alumni Picnic


August 23:

Rochester Region -

Rochester Red Wings Baseball Game


September 21-23:

Homecoming Weekend 


Visit our events page 

to see what exciting events and gatherings are scheduled for your area and to register to attend.


For more information, visit our website, e-mail alumni@geneseo.edu
or call (585) 245-5506.

Are you interested in sponsoring an event in your area? Let us know

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Shaping Lives of Purpose

2002 Alumnus Wins Top Teacher Award on National TV 

"Passionate." "Energetic." "Dedicated." "An inspiration." This is how  Bryan Sawyer '02, a special education teacher at Karigon Elementary School in Clifton Park, N.Y., is described by colleagues and parents of his students.    


For his commitment and innovation and the positive impact he has had on so many young lives, Sawyer was awarded Live! With Kelly's "Top Teacher" award on May 22.


"We want (our students) to do as much as they can," said Sawyer on the show. "They are part of our school and community and if we set the bar high for them, there is no limit to what they can do."


Viewers across the country voted for Sawyer after reading a nomination letter submitted by a student's parent and a video featuring Sawyer and his work. As the winner, Sawyer received $25,000 for his Shenendehowa School, laptops for his classroom and a new Ford Fusion for himself, which he received live on the air. Standing in the front of his school, Sawyer accepted the car amidst a crowd of cheering colleagues.


Sawyer's experience as a young boy inspired his decision to become a teacher. He said his fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Woronowich, challenged him and managed to make learning fun.


"I realized in junior high that there weren't enough teachers like Mrs. Woronowich and made my decision to follow in her footsteps."


Winning Top Teacher shines a positive spotlight on the abilities of students with special needs, he said. Every day in classroom, they prove each child is capable of performing to or exceeding expectations.

"The greatest reward in teaching special education is the ability to make an impact on not only a child, but his or her entire family," he said. "The role of a special education teacher is more than just 'educator.' It's our responsibility to assume whatever role the families need in order to help their child achieve success."


Learn more about Bryan and the Top Teacher award by visiting the Live! With Kelly site. 


Geneseo Announces National Alumni Council 


President Christopher C. Dahl has announced the formation of the Geneseo National Alumni Council, which will consolidate the college's 18 regional alumni organizations into a single structure.

Linked to the Geneseo Foundation Board and the college's other alumni and community organizations, the council will "significantly extend the footprint of Geneseo throughout the nation," said Dahl.

John Gleason '87, a 25-year veteran of the global financial services industry, will chair the council, and Tracie Lopardi Brown '95 (Buffalo region); Gary Grose '87 (Chicago region); and Bob Muller '83 (Los Angeles region) will serve as vice chairs. Co-chairs of each of the alumni regional committees will comprise the remainder of the council.

The council evolved from an alumni engagement initiative that began two years ago to develop a national audience of Geneseo alumni in connection with the college's current capital campaign, Shaping Lives of Purpose: The Campaign for Geneseo. Since that time, 18 regional committees have formed with 155 volunteers creating events enabling alumni to initiate and develop relationships with each other and the college. More than 150 events have been held, attracting more than 11,000 alumni.  


"With continued national recognition of Geneseo as a top-tier public liberal arts college, it is imperative that we build a corresponding national alumni organization to help the college in reinforcing Geneseo's mission," said Gleason. "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to work with Tracie, Gary and Bob in building a well coordinated national alumni organization focused on helping the college, alumni and current students."


Ed Pettinella '73, Ted Ackroyd '67 Honored at President's Donor Recognition Dinner 


Ed Pettinella at podium
Ed Pettinella '73 speaks after he received the Geneseo Foundation Philanthropic Leadership Award at the President's Recognition Dinner on April 27. Members of the college community gathered in the Union Ballroom for the annual event to thank the many donors whose generous gifts provide outstanding experiences for students.

On April 27, two Geneseo alumni and one professor received high honors at Geneseo's annual donor recognition event.


Ed Pettinella '73 received the Geneseo Foundation Philanthropic Leadership Award in recognition of his selfless giving to the College - and for inspiring others by his own example of Geneseo's legacy in shaping lives of purpose.  Last September, Ed announced an historic gift of $1 million dollars to the College that will provide transformative support for Geneseo's School of Busines in the form of endowments that will fund a professorship; scholarships for deserving students; and an ambassadorship in The Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Leadership.   


Pettinella is CEO and president of Home Properties Inc., which owns, operates, develops, acquires and rehabilitates apartments in 12 states.


Ted Ackroyd '67 was awarded the Alumni Association's Professional Achievement Award for his entrepreneurial, management, academic and analytical expertise, and his commitment to education. His Healthcare Data Company contributes to the well-being of others through data and research services. Ackroyd has also been a successful professor, entrepreneur, CEO and project director for federal and state government data projects.


Distinguished Teaching Professor of History Bill Cook was praised for the tremendous impact he has had on generations of students and alumni and his service to the community. Cook is retiring from the college after 42 years on the Geneseo faculty. View Bill Cook's donor dinner comments here, in which he reflects on his memorable journey from graduate school to Geneseo and his decades of inspiring students. Cook will be profiled in the summer 2012 edition of The Geneseo Scene.


Shaping Lives of Purpose, which seeks to enrich student experiences, has raised more than $19 million of its $22 million goal. Learn more about the campaign at campaign.geneseo.edu. 



Don't Miss Out on Summer Reunion 2012! July 13-15 

Hug at ReunionGeneseo's Summer Reunion is the weekend to reunite with friends on campus and make new Geneseo memories. Special reunion events are planned for the 50 Year Club (Class of 1962 and earlier) and all alumni from classes ending with 2 and 7. Enjoy campus tours, an all-alumni picnic on the green, a beer tent, an evening barbecue, a champagne reception and much more.


New this year is the Jr. Knights Camp for guests traveling with their children. Special reunions, celebrating Musical Theater Club and ADE (1995-2012) will also take place.


Need a place to stay? On-campus housing for single and double occupancy is available for Friday and Saturday night. For more information, call Alumni Relations at 585-245-5506, or visit the Reunion webpage.


Scheduled during the village of Geneseo's Summer Festival and the Geneseo Airshow, Summer Reunion makes the perfect daytrip or weekend getaway. Don't delay, register now.


Commencement Welcomes Newest Alumni
Bill Cook at commencement
Bill Cook delivers the afternoon commencement address.


More than 1,300 students became the newest members of the Geneseo Alumni community on May 12 when the Class of 2012 participated in the college's commencement ceremonies.


Congresswoman Kathy Hochul of New York's 26th Congressional district, whose son Bill is a 2009 Geneseo graduate, urged students in the morning ceremony to use their time and talents wisely in our fast-paced world.


Following 42 years of teaching, Bill Cook, distinguished teaching professor of history at SUNY Geneseo, delivered the afternoon address, advising graduates "not to sell their humanities books just yet," as the issues some of the ancient philosophers and statesmen faced are the very issues they will face in an unpredictable 21st-century world.  


The college has conducted separate morning and afternoon ceremonies for the past several years to reduce expenses.


The college conferred an honorary doctor of science degree upon Richard Nisbett, the Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan.


Students were also recognized for their leadership and service. The Alumni Association Student Leadership Award went to Bennett Marano, a business administration major. The Student Association President's Cup Award went to music major Adam LaSalle.


The Richard Roark Award recipient was Elizabeth Barber. The award goes to a graduating senior whose excellence in scholarship and community service exemplify the qualities that were important to the late Geneseo anthropology professor. Barber majored in international relations with a concentration in the developing world and a second major in English with a concentration in English literature. She plans to attend graduate school at the Columbia University School of Journalism.


Senior orators were Kristina Licatese, a Spanish and adolescent education major, at the morning ceremony and Greg Roloff, a biology major, at the afternoon ceremony. Licatese will pursue a master's degree in adolescent education at Universidad Nacional de Cordoba in Argentina, the first Geneseo student to participate in a partnership Geneseo has with that university. Roloff plans to attend medical school after a year as a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute.


In addition to the baccalaureate commencement, approximately 70 graduate students celebrated their achievement in earning master's degrees on May 5.



A Record-Breaking Run


Jessica and Tim Chichester
Jessica and Tim Chichester '11

Tim Chichester '10 was already a standout athlete when he came to Geneseo, and helped lead the Blue Knights to the track and field team's sixth SUNYAC championship title.


In April, Tim burst onto the international running scene with a record-breaking performance at the Boston Marathon.


He finished the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2:21:10, just two minutes shy of qualifying for the Olympics. He finished 11th overall and was the second-highest ranking American-born runner among more than 15,500 male runners.


Running is a family affair for Tim. His sister, Jessica, finished the Boston Marathon 89th among female runners. Their mother, Sue Chichester, who serves as chief information officer and director of Computing and Information Technology at Geneseo, is an avid runner and leads the college's Corporate Challenge team, which runs or walks 3.5 miles each May for charity.


September 21-23, 2012 - HOMECOMING WEEKEND 

Homecoming photo booth image

Join us for a fund-filled Homecoming Weekend featuring: 5K Run, Sports Hall of Fame, Spring Sport Alumni Games, Alumni Swim Meet, Greek Hall of Fame and Greek Life Celebration, 140th Anniversary Celebration of Clio Sorority, Alpha Phi Omega Alumni Weekend and ALL Alumni Happy Hours.




Share Your Geneseo Photos!  

Alumni Relations is looking for photos of your time at Geneseo to supplement those featured in the college yearbooks. Sadly, the final yearbook was printed in 2000, so we are especially interested in photos from the classes of 2001 to 2012.


Your photos may be featured in reunion slide shows, emails, printed brochures, the alumni website and/or could one day be included in an electronic yearbook project, so peruse your scrapbook or computer, and submit your photos today.



1,000 Donors in 30 Days


There are thousands of reasons Geneseo is special to our alumni. Throughout the month of June, College Photographer Keith Walters '11 is capturing some interesting ways to say 1,000 in Geneseo.


Check out our June photo gallery and learn how you can be one in a thousand for Geneseo.



From Our Readers

Geneseo Puppy Love

Black lab with Geneseo teddy bearI graduated from Geneseo last year (May 2011) and just recently had the chance to come back and visit for a weekend. I've been living and working on the Outer Banks of North Carolina since graduation, and it was wonderful to be back on campus for the first time in a year!  My black lab, Irie, turned eight years old while I was away, so I grabbed him a Geneseo bear from the bookstore in the union to take back as a birthday present. It'll probably get torn to shreds eventually, but I got this great picture of him with it when I first brought it home - he loves it and carries it everywhere!


- Julianna R. Manning '11


Editor's Note:  Julianna's mother, Lynn Manning '79, currently serves as vice president for human resources at MVP Health Care.  

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Do you have a photograph or humorous anecdote about Geneseo that you would like to share in our next newsletter? Would you like to update us about events in your life or the accomplishments of fellow alumni?  
If so, please send the photograph (.jpeg format) or stories to alumni@geneseo.edu.
We will feature readers' photos and anecdotes in each newsletter.


Geneseo photo gallery - an inside view of life on campus
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Curious what's going on at Geneseo this semester? Our regularly updated photo gallery depicts lectures, performances, athletics, student activities and everyday life on campus.