An unforgettable Fredonia experience

From this perspective

My column this week looks a bit different. I have decided to put “My Perspective” in poetic form because of the nature of the subject. It was fifty-five years ago that I joined the faculty at SUNY Fredonia. Also, my wife, our daughter and son and his wife as well as several of our nieces and nephews enthusiastically attended Fredonia State

The following is a brief poetic expression of my Fredonia experience.


It was 55 years ago and still counting …

Over one-half century of SUNY Fredonia’s history to glean;

When “yours truly” first entered the halls of this College

At Old Main, which was then so much a part of the University scene.

Fredonia State has always been most highly regarded

As a major part of the University System of this State.

It stood for the best in all of its settings

Excellence in quality is its distinguishing trait.

Today, SUNY Fredonia maintains its luster even more so

Meeting the needs of students as its goal.

For the best in quality in teaching, research, and community service

Which stands so proudly, as the culture of its soul.

Fifty-five years ago, when I first came to these hallways

Its wide variety of programs were rated “the very best.”

There was teacher education, the arts, and liberal studies

And new programs being developed with creative zest!

As Old Main then stood proudly on its legacy

And the campus saw amazing transformations…

The institution moved with energetic creative initiatives

Achieving highly acclaimed academic accreditations.

The student body grew in numbers and in majors,

As undergraduate and graduate programs did emerge.

A responsive State University took to heart its vital mission:

“To teach, to research, and to serve.”

A side note … my wife Elaine achieved her masters from this campus

And our daughter Lisa, her bachelor’s in biology and pre-med was obtained.

And our son Mark, received the Administrative Advanced Certificate

Truly, high quality was their Fredonia experience delivered and attained.

In my memory, SUNY Fredonia remains so very special …

It has a place deep in my heart, that is for sure

For you see, 55 years ago, I just know instinctively …

That the fondest of memories would so truly and lastingly, endure.

Dr. Robert L. Heichberger is a resident of Gowanda and a distinguished service professor Emeritus at SUNY Fredonia.