OSWEGO — Friends of the late SUNY Oswego Emeritus Professor Julius Sherwood “Sherry” Dunham describe him as a gentle, firm and steady leader who pulled together people with a common goal to work toward a solution.
“He was just a class-act guy,” said Emeritus Professor Harry Nash, Ph.D., Dunham’s friend for 52 years. “In all the years that I’ve known him, I’ve never heard anyone say an unkind word about him. He was the kind of guy who was never too busy to have a conversation with a friend. He set a good example for anyone who wanted to become an educator.”
Dunham died Dec. 12, 2014, at Oswego Hospital, and a group of former colleagues decided to establish a scholarship to honor and pay tribute to their friend who made a positive impact on the college, the hospital, the community and everyone with whom he interacted.
“He was a very nurturing, a wonderful father,” said his daughter, Judy Botting. “He shared his love of horses with me and taught me to ride. He had a way of giving you his undivided attention and letting you know you were important to him. He always made time for you. That was his gift.”
Dunham earned a baccalaureate degree from Fredonia State College, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a doctorate from the University of Buffalo.
A naval aviator during World War II, he flew 82 combat missions in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters, and was awarded two air medals with a gold star and five battle stars.
Dunham began his career as an educator in Niagara Falls, where he was a teacher and principal.
In 1955, he was appointed principal of the Oswego Teachers College’s Campus School, and for the next 22 years he served in different administrative and academic positions at the college, including acting president.
He is credited with recruiting many faculty members to Oswego, including Nash.
After retiring in 1977, he volunteered on the Oswego Hospital board, the Rotary Club, the Salvation Army and the United Way.
“He was proud of having helped recruit many doctors to the Oswego Hospital,” Botting said. “He also worked with adults who couldn’t read after retiring to North Carolina. His work in adult literacy was very important to him, too.”
Because Dunham devoted so much of his time to helping others, his friends hope to raise at least $25,000 to endow a scholarship in his memory that can be awarded in perpetuity to a SUNY Oswego student who is committed to leadership, community service and volunteerism.
Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible contribution to the Dr. J. Sherwood Dunham Memorial Scholarship should contact the Oswego College Foundation at 315-312-3003, [email protected] or alumni.oswego.edu/givenow
Checks may be made payable to the Oswego College Foundation Inc. (memo line Dunham Scholarship) and mailed to: Oswego College Foundation Inc., 215 Sheldon Hall, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126.