Dear SUNY Brockport Community:
I wanted to start the first newsletter of the academic year with some wonderful news. On October 6, during Homecoming and Family Weekend festivities, we will be formally renaming the Liberal Arts Building in honor of esteemed alumna Fannie Barrier Williams. Many of you are aware of her connection to Brockport and her important place in the fight for civil rights, but please allow me to share a bit of her history.
Fannie Barrier Williams was born in Brockport, NY, and graduated from SUNY Brockport (then the Brockport Normal & Training School) in 1870, becoming the first African American to do so. She went on to become a respected public speaker, prolific writer, prominent reform and labor activist, and a recognized public intellectual.
She and her husband were closely associated with Booker T. Washington, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, Ida B Wells, and Frederick Douglass, and she played a part in the founding of the NAACP. According to her biographer, Dr. Wanda Hendricks, Williams wrote more than 50 articles and essays in major periodicals of the period, delivered many speeches, and was a major architect in shaping black life during the Progressive Era. She successfully sought a place for African Americans at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, and gave two speeches there herself.
While we have honored her memory in many meaningful ways in recent years, perhaps most fittingly with the creation of the Fannie Barrier Williams Scholars program last year, this latest honor will undoubtedly, and appropriately, cement her legacy at the College for generations to come. Please join your colleagues and the wider community outside of what is currently known as the Liberal Arts Building at 3:30 pm on Thursday, October 6, as we formally rename the building and celebrate the incredible legacy of Fannie Barrier Williams.
Other news of note:
- Two of our students participated in Camp Abilities Switzerland this past summer and their reflections on his experience were published by National Consortium on Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPEID).
- Our College Communications team won four Judges’ Citations at the SUNYCUAD Conference in June. Congratulations on the outstanding recognition in these categories:
- Excellence in Digital Media – TikTok Content Creator, Darcy Porter
- Excellence in Design, logo – Rebranding of SUNY Brockport, Office of College Communications
- Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion – QR codes and accessibility on posters & flyers, Office of College Communications,
- Student Accessibility Services, and Printing Services
- Excellence in Marketing, Individual Digital Film, or TV Ad – #Bporttogether, Zach Lyman and Meghan Finnerty
Did you know?
The very first application for college across the nation for the 2023-24 academic year, through the Common Application, was for SUNY Brockport!
I look forward to working with you all in the year to come as we continue our efforts to Build a Better Brockport.