Sentimentally speaking of SUNY

This month marks the 53rd year of my journey with the State University of New York at Fredonia. I have chosen to express my sentiments in the words of this poem which I have written. I hope our readers will enjoy this attempt to poetically express my sentiments.


It was 53 years ago, and still counting

Over one-half century, Fredonia State’s history we glean.

When “your’s truly” first entered the halls of this College

When Old Main was still a part of the scene.

Fredonia State stands most highly regarded

As a major part of the University of this State

It stands for the best of all settings

“Excellence in quality” as is its distinguishing trait.

Today, Fredonia State maintains its luster even more so

Meeting the needs of all students, as its goal

For excellence in teaching, research, and distinguished service

It stands so proudly as the culture of its soul.

Fifty-three years ago, I first came to these hallways

A variety of programs were rated “the very best”

There was teacher education, the arts, and liberal studies

And New programs were being added with zest.

As Old Main still stands proudly on its legacy

And the campus saw amazing transformations

The Institution itself moved steadily forward

Continuing to receive academically notable accreditations.

The Student body grew in numbers, and in majors

As undergraduate and graduate programs emerged

A responsive State University took to heart its historic mission:

“To teach, to research, and to serve.

Ah yes, SUNY Fredonia is a special University

Its place in our heart it just grew.

For even back then, we were aware, Fredonia was so special

For you see …. somehow, 53 years ago we already knew:

That its culture would have favored recognition

Within it, excellence would firmly reside;

For there would be profound commitment for all of humanity

And Fredonia State would stand with remarkable pride!

— Poem by Robert L. Heichberger

Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is an award winning author. All past columns can be viewed on Send comments to: