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May 13, 2015

Mario Cuomo's Inspirational Commencement Speech to UAlbany Class of 1986

In the spring of 1986, Governor Mario Cuomo made an impassioned speech to the graduates of SUNY Albany as part of the university's 142nd Commencement. He talked about ambition and success and the importance of having a strong demand for personal achievement and personal excellence. "You've done well," he said, "but before you move on to the next phase of your lives you have to face one last grueling hurdle at SUNY Albany: the commencement address!"

Cuomo celebrated the achievements of the graduates, taking the example of their success as a reflection of the success of New Yorkers of all types, both privileged and unprivileged. He called upon his audience to reject the argument that there is not enough to go around, that it is not always the matter of the lucky and the left-out. He decried the successful who never look back to where they came from and encouraged graduates to remember, and lend a hand to the people still struggling to make it up.

Cuomo was the Governor of New York State for three terms from 1983 to 1994. He passed away on January 1st of this year due to heart failure at the age of 82. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of his commencement address.

"I want to be honest with you about my experience with commencement addresses," Cuomo offered. "I've been through several of my own since my graduation from High School [and] sat though about 12 credits worth of others, and I cannot recall a single word or phrase from any of those impassioned [speeches]!"

While few of the attendees may remember his speech, the footage has been digitized from the original video and preserved as part of the University Archives on the third floor of the Science Library. The University Archives contains the official records of the University at Albany, SUNY, and its predecessor institutions dating to the founding of the New York State Normal School in 1844.

May 11, 2015

2015 Patricia Stocking Brown Research Award Recipients Named

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 11, 2015) - The University Libraries at the University at Albany, SUNY today presented the 2015 Patricia Stocking Brown Fund for Feminist Social Justice Research Awards to University at Albany graduate students Brittany Frederick and Justin Holzer.brittany.jpg

Ms. Frederick, who expects to receive a Master of Arts degree in Public History in December 2015, was awarded $500 for her research on Helen Quirini. The project, created as part of a graduate research seminar in American History, examines the life and work of labor activist, feminist, and Schenectady, New York resident Quirini, specifically during the era of the Second Red Scare. Professor Barry Trachtenberg of the Department of History serves as faculty advisor to this project. stockin_pic copy.jpg

Working with Professor Gerald Zahavi of the Department of History, Mr. Holzer received $500 to prepare a digital exhibit and produce a 15-minute audio documentary exploring feminist social justice during the early years of the Department of Women's Studies at the University at Albany. These two projects will serve as the foundation for his planned fall 2015 graduate seminar research paper on feminist social justice on university campuses. Currently a first year Master of Arts candidate in History, Mr. Holzer expects to receive his degree and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Public History in May 2016.justin.jpg

The annual Award honors Professor Patricia Stocking Brown, who taught Biology and Women's and Minorities' Studies for 35 years at nearby Siena College. Trained at the University of Michigan in comparative endocrinology, and a self-described feminist, Patricia Stocking Brown was the first female faculty member in the sciences at Siena. There she established an extraordinary career as a caring and rigorous teacher and researcher who promoted student research, feminist analytical thinking and evidence-based medicine. Brown was the wife of University at Albany Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biology Emeritus Stephen C. Brown.

Professor Patricia Stocking Brown died in 2004 from metastatic breast cancer. The University at Albany Libraries' Department of Special Collections & Archives holds Brown's papers along with those of the grassroots nonprofit Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!), which she co-founded in 1997, and the New York State Breast Cancer Network, a coalition of grassroots breast cancer groups around the state, she co-founded soon after.

Donors from the University at Albany's Women's Studies and Biology Departments, including Professor of Women's Studies Emerita Bonnie Spanier, established The Patricia Stocking Brown Fund for Feminist Social Justice Research in University Libraries to support and promote students' interest in and use of primary materials related to the study of social justice, housed in the Department of Special Collections & Archives. Award applicants must be a registered University at Albany graduate or undergraduate student and currently engaged in or planning a research project/class paper related to feminist social justice. Awardees must utilize at least one manuscript or archival collection at the University as part of his or her research.

May 7, 2015

Marcia Brown, Class of '40, (1918-2015)

Marcia Brown, New York State College for Teachers Class of 1940, was an internationally renowned illustrator and author of children's books. She was a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association's highest award for excellence in children's'picture-book illustrations, for three of her books: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper (1954); Once a Mouse (1961); and Shadow (1982), and six more of her books are Caldecott Honor Books.

Brown produced over 30 children's books during her career and many titles have been reprinted in other languages, including Afrikaans, German, Japanese, Spanish and Xhosa-Bantu. Critics marveled at Brown's use of spare texts, strong images and the vitality reflected in the use of a variety of media ranging from her trademark woodcuts to pen and ink and gouache. Her characters -- lively, humorous and full of magic and enchantment -- included handsome princes, sly cats, evil sorcerers, flying elephants and snow queens. Ms Brown died on April 28th 2015 in her home in Laguna Hill, California.

Marcia Brown's collection of original illustrations and artwork are available in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. For more information, see digital exhibit and a video of Marcia Brown accepting an honorary doctorate from the University at Albany.

May 6th, 2015 New York Times Obituary