Our Founders


Richard Shubert Shineman
(1924 - 2010)

Richard Shubert Shineman (“Dick”) was born in Albany, New York on May 21, 1924. The second son of Edward W. Shineman and Bertelle Shubert, Dick attended Canajoharie High School and Deerfield Academy. Memorable boyhood summers were spent at Camp Chenango on Otsego Lake and, following family tradition, Dick attended Cornell University for a bachelor's degree. At Cornell, he was active in Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and played clarinet with the Marching Band.

After graduating with a degree in chemistry in 1946, he served in the U.S. Army. He would later earn his master's degree at Syracuse University and doctorate at Ohio State, where he played clarinet in the orchestra. After beginning his teaching career at Purdue University, Dick was hired by President Foster Brown in 1962 as the first chair of the chemistry department at State University of New York at Oswego. He was actively involved for the next 26 years in the development of new programs, recruitment of new faculty and outstanding students, and attainment of American Chemical Society accreditation for the department. "Chemistry and Public Concern," a course developed by Dick in the late '60s and early '70s, is still being taught today.

Upon his retirement in 1988, Dick provided a legacy of four Freshman Chemistry Scholarships to be awarded to outstanding incoming students each year. Retirement also allowed Dick to pursue his interest in coin and stamp collecting; his award-winning stamp exhibit of the 109 chemical elements known at the time was acknowledged in Naples, Florida in 2004 where the Shinemans spent their winters.

Dick was a lifelong member of the Canajoharie Reformed Church, an associate member of the First Presbyterian Church in Naples, Florida, where he served as a seasonal elder for three years, and a member of Faith United Church in Oswego. Dick was also an active member of the Oswego Country Club, Oswego Stamp Club and the Rotary Club. A Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, Dick served as the chair of the Foundation Committee for several years. He was one of the first directors on the Oswego College Foundation Board.

Dick passed away on May 27, 2010 at the age of 86. In his will, he left a charitable bequest to found the Richard S. Shineman Foundation. It was his desire that the Foundation make charitable gifts which would make life better in Upstate New York and Oswego County, in particular.

Pictured at top (l to r): Dick Shineman, Barbara Palmer Shineman, Bob Palmer, Kevin Palmer
Pictured at left (l to r): Dick Shineman, Barbara Palmer Shineman, Kathy Palmer Barker

Barbara Palmer Shineman

Born in Albion, N.Y., in 1928, Dr. Barbara Shineman is an honored alumna of SUNY Oswego, having graduated as a non-traditional student with an undergraduate degree in childhood education in 1965 and a master's degree in reading education in 1971.

She is a professor emerita, having served in Oswego's School of Education from 1969 to 1989. Her teaching career at SUNY Oswego began in the Campus School. She later directed both the Sheldon Institute for Gifted and Talented Students and the Potential Teacher Program and coordinated Swetman Learning Center advisement while continuing her work as a professor of elementary education.

With deep engagement in and service to her cherished alma mater, she has been an active participant in the life of the college. Barbara is a member and former president of the Oswego Emeriti Association, who led the effort to establish a historical record within all named campus buildings. In addition, she served on a Presidential Search Committee and was the Annual Fund Volunteer Chairperson, and has received the Oswego Alumni Association's Lifetime Award of Merit.

Her work continued when she was a member of the Presidential Campaign Cabinet for the college's first capital campaign, Inspiring Horizons, and she served for more than a decade on the Oswego Alumni Association Scholarship Committee and the Oswego College Foundation Board. President Deborah F. Stanley presented her with a Presidential Medal at the 2007 Commencement Ceremony for her lifelong selfless support of SUNY Oswego.

Barbara's great generosity to SUNY Oswego includes her leadership role as a charter member of the Sheldon Legacy Society, the college's planned giving program, as well as establishing student awards and scholarships, supporting The Fund for Oswego and the Emeriti Association, and making most generous gifts to two capital campaigns.  Her more than five decades of loyal service to SUNY Oswego encompasses a combination of employment, volunteer service and generous philanthropy. She has devoted her professional and personal life experiences to advancing the mission of SUNY Oswego.


The Shineman Legacy:
The Founder Speaks

Dick and Barb. Two middle-aged teachers at an Upstate New York college, one a bachelor, the other a widow. Two lives lived generously, despite vastly different backgrounds. A meeting in a church parking lot. A romance. A marriage. From this intersection, their lives grew together, forming a combination that, ultimately, worked much as two elements in a chemical formula to create a potent Catalyst For Change in Oswego County.

Barbara, always resolute, wanted a book to keep alive Dick's story and capture the evolution and growing significance of the foundation and its benefit to the county and region in education, economic development and environment, parks and the arts, human services and historic preservation, and so much more.