For Immediate Release—Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

John Moore Sawyer Hospitality Room Officially Dedicated at SUNY Geneseo

GENESEO, N.Y.—The department of intercollegiate athletics at the State University of New York at Geneseo recently dedicated the John Moore Sawyer Hospitality Room in honor of the contributions John Moore Sawyer Jr. of Geneseo has made to the college's athletic program.

Located in front of Kuhl Gymnasium near the Dr. Myrtle A. Merritt Athletic Center, the hospitality room will serve as a formal location where parents, students, community members and alumni who are involved in athletics at SUNY Geneseo can gather. The room also will serve as a reception area during hockey games and as a meeting area between coaches and potential student-athletes.

"Serving cookies and coffee on a folding table in a dark hallway between the ice rink and the gym, or having the athletic department office suite double as a hospitality room, did not quite meet the standards for excellence that this college has aspired to," says Robert A. Bonfiglio, vice president for student and campus life for the college.

"The future of intercollegiate athletics will be served when coaches use this room to discuss our institutional approach to intercollegiate athletics with the next generation of student-athletes," says Bonfiglio.

The establishment of the hospitality room was made possible by a generous gift of $30,000 from Sawyer.

Sawyer's son, Stephen J. Sawyer, played hockey for the Geneseo Ice Knights. Stephen Sawyer received his bachelor's degree in special education in 2000 and his master's degree in education in 2004 from Geneseo. He lives in Geneseo with his wife, Elizabeth (Folts) Sawyer '00.

 "John Sawyer was one of the community members who helped get the youth ice hockey program started at Geneseo," says Marilyn Moore, director of athletics for the college. 

Sawyer also was involved in the formation of the Genesee Valley Youth Hockey Program and served as the Rochester youth hockey travel coordinator. The development of Geneseo's travel house league also can be attributed in large part to Sawyer.

"Sawyer spent a great deal of time at the ice rink. Having five sons, he was sensitive to some of the needs of the varsity program," says Moore. "It is truly fitting that we recognize and honor John for his contributions to the SUNY Geneseo athletic department."

Throughout the years, Sawyer has provided the athletic department with items such as carpeting in the locker room and coaches' offices and worked to secure a youth hockey changing room, which college teams also use.

The room was dedicated on Oct. 21 as part of Family Weekend events at Geneseo.


Written by Joe Mignano, public relations intern in the Office of Communications and Publications.