Obituary - Shirley E. Wurz

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shirley E. Wurz
1920 - 2010
Shirley Wurz died on June 16, 2010 at the Stuart Nursing and Restorative Care Center in Stuart, FL. Shirley was born in Utica, NY in 1920.
From 1943 until her retirement in 1977, Shirley was deeply involved in education as a graduate student, teacher and, in her later years, college administration. She received her Bachelors' degree in English from New York State Teachers College in 1943; Masters from Syracuse University in 1946; and Masters' in College Administration from the University of Colorado. She taught English at the high school level; the college level at Syracuse and State University Agriculture & Technical College at Alfred, NY before moving into college administration as Dean of Women at Alfred. Shirley moved steadily up the ranks culminating as Vice President of Student Affairs at Utica/Rome in the State University of New York system.
A strong proponent of women's rights, Shirley Wurz's elevation to VP at Utica/Rome marked the first time a woman had reached that level in the SUNY system.
Following retirement from SUNY in 1977, Shirley turned her attention to volunteering in a number of areas close to her heart. Her volunteer activities included Save the River (St. Lawrence) from her summer home on Murray Isle in the 1000 Islands area in upstate NY; at the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast in her summer home of Stuart, FL; and various organizations associated with Shetland Sheepdogs which she and her sister Jane cared for deeply.
In 1982, the Chapman School of Seamanship had need for someone versed in school accreditation to help it qualify for the Federal student loan program. An ad was placed in the local newspaper which was answered by Shirley Wurz who had worked in accreditation as part of one of her many assignments in the SUNY system. Through her dedication and close work with Chapman officials, the School received accreditation in 1983. Shirley continued her association with the Chapman School, mentoring its future President, Jennifer Castle Field and joining its Board of Trustees. Jennifer was Deputy Administrator to her husband Glen Castle. As fate would have it, Glen Castle developed terminal cancer and died in December 1983 and Jennifer was moved up to President of the Chapman School in January 1984.
Shirley Wurz maintained an active interest in the School and made many important suggestions relating to its operation as it grew in prominence in maritime education. We shall miss Shirley Wurz very much.