SUNY Canton

Kathy Wyckoff

Nontraditional Nurse

Kathy Wyckoff '77

The 2016 recipient of the College’s Distinguished Alumna Award started her college career reading her Nursing textbooks by a kerosene lamp and hitchhiking her way to college classes.

“When I first enrolled at Canton ATC [SUNY Canton] in 1975, I lived out in Russell in a log cabin, one of several ‘hippie communes’ in the area at that time,” said Katherine M. Wyckoff ’77.

“I was 25 years old and the mother of a two year old. Needing some direction in my life, I decided to become a nurse.”

She was chosen for her contributions to the quality of women’s healthcare in the North Country through her work with Planned Parenthood, in addition to many years of service to the community. Wyckoff and her husband, Peter, have been generous supporters and volunteer with many local nonprofit organizations, including Grasse River Heritage, Garden Share and the SUNY Canton College Foundation.

The Wyckoffs have donated funds to purchase laboratory equipment for the Nursing program and have endowed a scholarship for a nontraditional Nursing student. “What I appreciate most about my time here at SUNY Canton was the kindness and support I received from the nursing administration and faculty, including my now friend Linda L. Fay,” Wyckoff said. “Luckily, now, I find myself in a position to pay back a little of the generosity I received 40 years ago, and I’m very happy to do so.”

“What I appreciate most about my time here at SUNY Canton was the kindness and support I received from the nursing administration and faculty, including my now friend Linda L. Fay,” Wyckoff said.

She recalled being called into the Nursing Program Director’s office and being gently asked if she needed help buying a pair of nursing shoes after showing up for her first day of hospital clinical rotation in work boots.

“Kathy understands the hard work and determination required by so many SUNY Canton students to earn a degree, having followed that road herself to a successful career,” said Vice President for Advancement Anne M. Sibley.

Wyckoff is also a board member of the Northern New York Community Foundation, which assists local charitable organizations and provides scholarship funds for students in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.