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Photography scholarship honors Skaneateles native

During his lifetime, William H. Lagerway, of Skaneateles, was an Army veteran, photographer and photojournalist, and former inventor of the year as recognized by the New York State Senate. Since his passing in December 2009, his longtime friend, Faith Prather, Ph.D., was determined to fulfill Lagerway’s wish to inspire photography students and make it easier for them to complete their college degrees.

For the first time this fall, a photography student at Monroe Community College in Rochester will receive a full scholarship that honors Lagerway’s memory and reinforces the importance of photography and the visual arts.

The William H. Lagerway and Faith Prather Endowed Scholarship for Students in Photography was made possible by a $145,000 gift from Lagerway’s estate to the Monroe Community College Foundation.

Through the scholarship, Lagerway’s generosity and passion for photography and the visual arts will create a lasting legacy and remind people to notice the beauty that surrounds them. As Lagerway intended, the scholarship will also honor Prather’s 20-year career in higher education as an associate professor, Department of Public Administration, at The College at Brockport.

“Bill was a deeply sensitive person who took joy in life and captured it in his pictures,” said Prather, who first met Lagerway as a student at SUNY Fredonia and reconnected with him in 2007. “He had an intense love of nature and the arts. His gift was seeing things other people missed. You never saw him without a camera.”

An award-winning photographer and lens designer for major corporations such as Bausch & Lomb, American Optical and Welch Allyn, Lagerway served as a photojournalist during the Vietnam War.

In his later years, Lagerway planned to teach young people photography. He was developing a course prior to his passing. One of Lagerway’s favorite, original photographs will be displayed in MCC’s Visual and Performing Arts Department to honor Lagerway’s legacy and raise awareness of the scholarship.

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