Barbara Ambuske Sadowski ’62, G’69 and Robert Sadowski G’69 met as graduate student resident advisors at Brewster/Boland Hall, the first co-ed residence hall on the Syracuse University campus. Men were housed in one tower, women in another–with strict rules about visiting hours.
Among their many shared interests was the goal of becoming teachers and that’s exactly what they did—she in mathematics and computers and he in broadcast journalism. They both earned doctorates—Robert from the University of Iowa and Barbara from the University of Maryland. Married in 1970, they taught in many schools and colleges throughout their careers, including the University of Scranton, Marywood University, the University of Houston, and Marist College.
Sharing a love of learning
The Sadowskis credit Syracuse University with playing a large part in their success. “I really liked teaching, especially teaching children,” says Barbara, the first person in her family to attend college. “I would never have known that if I hadn’t had the opportunity at Syracuse to work with children who had trouble learning arithmetic.”
Robert points to his Syracuse experience as being instrumental in giving him the tools needed to be effective in his chosen profession. “At Syracuse, I learned how to be an educator, different ways to integrate practicum along with theory, and how to get the love of learning across to students,” he says.
A gift that lasts forever
Now retired, they have looked to the future and made plans for giving tomorrow’s students the same educational opportunities they enjoyed. Barbara has funded a scholarship to benefit mathematics education majors, with preference for those whose parents did not attend college. Robert’s scholarship support is for Newhouse students studying radio-television-film and communication research. “Barbara and I wish we could give more—endow professorships, maybe even put our names on a building,” he says. “We can’t quite get to name a building. But we can certainly do our part and create some scholarships.”
“I decided to leave a scholarship to benefit somebody who needs it the same way I did,” Barbara says. “There are very few things you can do that have that long-lasting an effect.”