Events will Honor Alumni, Faculty

GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo has invited graduates of Geneseo’s Classes of 1954 and 1979-80 to join their classmates for their 50th and 25th anniversary reunions, each to be held in Geneseo. The 50th Reunion of the Class of 1954 will run from the evening of Thursday, June 10 through Friday, June 11. The 25th Reunion of the Classes of 1979 and 1980 will take place on Saturday, July 10. Program highlights will include award presentations to the following Geneseo graduates and faculty: Ronald Hilton ’54 of North Chili, N.Y.; S. Mbua Ngale (Simon) Efange ’79 of Buea, Cameroon; Teresa Mensing ’80 of Marysville, Ohio; Weston Kennison ’79 of Geneseo; Professor James Kimball of Geneseo; and Professor Carl Shanahan of Hemlock, N.Y.

Additional details follow below, and advance registration is required for both reunions. For more information or to register, contact the SUNY Geneseo Alumni and Parent Relations Office, by phone at (585) 245-5506, or by e-mail at

50th Reunion Highlights and Award

The 50th Reunion of the SUNY Geneseo Class of 1954 will begin on the afternoon of Thursday, June 10, with a tour of Roemer Arboretum at 3:30 p.m., led by Assistant Professor of Biology Gregg Hartvigsen. A cocktail hour and gourmet dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Big Tree Inn, followed by a dessert reception at McClellan House, which houses the Irma Hamer Collins ’42 Alumni Center and the Lockhart Gallery. Music will be provided by the Geneseo String Band. The celebration will continue on the college campus on Friday, June 11, and will include a champagne reception and 50-Year Club luncheon in the newly renovated Mall at Mary Jemison.

Highlights of the luncheon will include the presentation of the Geneseo Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award to 1954 Geneseo graduate Ron Hilton of North Chili, N.Y.

Hilton’s professional and volunteer accomplishments have been recognized with various local and regional awards for his contributions in the fields of mental health services and adult education. In 2001 he received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Compeer of Rochester, an organization that matches community volunteers with children and adults receiving mental health treatment. Hilton remains involved in East House, a not-for-profit agency which provides alternative housing and rehabilitative services to people recovering from mental illness or substance abuse. He has also served as a member of the vestries of Christ (Episcopal) Church and St. Stephen’s Church in Rochester.

Hilton’s 30 years of service to Rochester Institute of Technology, much of that time as department chair, encompassed various disciplines, including public speaking, speech therapy, English, public relations communications and adult learning. Extensively experienced in these fields as a college-level teacher, researcher, writer, public speaker and administrator, he is the author or co-author of more than 25 publications.

He previously taught speech, speech therapy and English in public schools and, since retiring from RIT in 1994, has continued writing, speaking and coaching in these areas, as well as volunteering for community-based service organizations.

After graduating from SUNY Geneseo with a B.S. in elementary education, Hilton earned an M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in adult education from Syracuse University.

25th Reunion Highlights and Award

The 25th Reunion of the SUNY Geneseo Classes of 1979 and 1980 will take place on Saturday, July 10, beginning in mid-morning and continuing into the late evening. Highlights will include:

• a party at the newly-renovated Mall at Mary Jemison, with live music by Reporter;

• an informal "Reunion Chat," featuring members of the 25th reunion classes;

• an informal dinner and cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and culinary delights presented at stations, with music provided by members of the Geneseo String Band;

• a dessert buffet on the patio at the Robert W. MacVittie College Union;

• an exhibit of artwork by members of the 25th reunion classes in the Lockhart Gallery on Main Street;

• tours of campus, the Roemer Arboretum and McClellan House, home to the ground-floor Lockhart Gallery and second-floor Irma Hamer Collins ’42 Alumni Center;

• and, throughout the village, the option to enjoy the delights of the Geneseo Rotary Summer Festival.

Highlights of the dinner program will include presentation of the following awards from the Geneseo Alumni Association:

• Distinguished Service Award to Wes Kennison ’79, Geneseo town supervisor and long-time adjunct in SUNY Geneseo’s English and humanities programs. Kennison majored in English and minored in medieval studies, and went on to earn a master’s degree at St. Bonaventure University. At SUNY Geneseo, he teaches courses in English, humanities and Latin, and has supervised directed studies in Italian and English. He played a major role in the development of the college’s Siena-based programs in Italy and is working on establishing connections between Siena and the Town of Geneseo. In 1997, he was awarded the college’s Joseph O’Brien Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching, and he is active in various aspects of campus life. These include serving at the local and state level of United University Professions, the union representing academic and professional staff throughout SUNY. Off campus, Kennison is part-owner and writer for McClure Productions, a musical recording, production and arts-in-education company based in Geneseo.

• Excellence in Education Award to Teresa Mensing of Marysville, Ohio, associate professor of geological sciences at Ohio State University (OSU), Marion, and a 1980 Geneseo geology graduate. Mensing’s research in the field of geochemistry has attracted significant funding, including grants from the National Science Foundation. She has conducted research in various geographic locations, including Antarctica. At OSU, where she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in geology, Mensing has become known for incorporating computer technology into her teaching. She has also been successful in securing grants to fund acquisition of technological equipment, and in training her colleagues in its use. In recognition of her service and accomplishments, she received the Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2003. Mensing has received a range of other honors, including the Antarctic Service Medal, 1983; Outstanding Young Women in American, 1991; and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 1996. She is a member of various academic and professional associations and serves on the Geneseo Department of Geological Sciences Alumni Advisory Council.

• Honorary Lifetime Membership to Professor of Music James Kimball of Geneseo, N.Y. Kimball came to Geneseo in 1976, and has devoted his time since then not only to the college, its students and its alumni, but also to the local and regional community. An accomplished researcher in music history, folk music and ethnomusicology, he is widely known as a talented musician and director of the Geneseo String Band, which performs dozens of concerts on and off campus each year. These include regular appearances at alumni reunions and other events, such as square and other calling dances, which have inspired community-wide interest in these traditional forms of entertainment. Throughout the community, Kimball also provides solo and small-group musical performances and educational presentations, sharing his knowledge and expertise on old-time music and culture. In his research, he has devoted considerable time and effort to visiting and recording old-time musicians throughout New York, and has contributed greatly to the state’s historical resources in this field. Kimball’s devotion to and skill in teaching was recognized with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1995.

• Honorary Lifetime Membership to Professor of Art Carl Shanahan of Hemlock, N.Y. Shanahan has served SUNY Geneseo and the surrounding community since 1968 as a teacher, artist, supporter of the arts and, until recently, as art department chair. As an artist, Shanahan primarily works in clay, and he teaches courses on ceramics, sculpture, and two- and three-dimensional design, as well as calligraphy and exhibition design. In the college and community, he has played a major role in the development of the Lockhart Gallery, which is owned by the Geneseo Foundation and located in McClellan House, Main Street. Like the Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery on campus, in which Shanahan has also been long involved, the Lockhart Gallery provides exhibit space for community members as well as students, faculty and alumni. Shanahan is a longtime member of the community-based Genesee Valley Council on the Arts (GVCA), and has served two terms on its board of directors and many years as an active volunteer.

Simon Efange, professor of chemistry at the University of Buea, Cameroon, and a 1979 Geneseo graduate, will be unable to attend the reunion, but will receive a Professional Achievement Award at a later date. Efange’s research into drugs for diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases has yielded numerous patents and publications. His reputation in this field has led to his serving on an international steering committee charged with reviewing drug discovery research funded by the United Nations Development Program, World Bank and World Health Organization. After receiving his B.A. in biology and chemistry from Geneseo and a Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo, Efange became a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota, where he concentrated on the development of radioactive drugs for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and for heroin and cocaine dependency. Throughout his years in the United States, Efange also conducted research in his native country, particularly into medicinal plant chemistry. He recently returned to Cameroon to pursue his longtime goal of expanding his efforts to develop plant-based drugs for poorer countries.

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