Catherine Raddatz, December 10, 2021 (video)


Catherine Raddatz, December 10, 2021 (video)
Cooperstown, NY
Sophia Hall
Cooperstown Graduate Program
Cooperstown Graduate Association
Higher Education
Lake & Valley Club
Catherine Raddatz has been an important part of the Cooperstown community and a beloved staff member at GGP for several decades. Catherine Raddatz, called Cathy by many, was born Catherine Morell on March 2, 1950 in New Rochelle, NY. Cathy moved to Cooperstown with her husband and children in 1981. She worked several jobs in town before beginning to work at CGP in 1995, where she has been ever since.

Cathy has lived and worked in Cooperstown over a time of great change. She has seen both Cooperstown and the Cooperstown Graduate Program grow larger and transform. The village of Cooperstown has expanded in size, but it has also seen many businesses leave. During her tenure, the Cooperstown Graduate Program renovated its facility and added a Science Track option.

In her interview, Cathy talks about family, education, and jobs, as well as her experiences living in Cooperstown. It is most interesting to hear Cathy talk about the various students and alumni that she has worked with over the years.

I interviewed Cathy at her home in Cooperstown, NY, on the eve of her retirement from the Cooperstown Graduate Program. I enjoy a relaxed familiarity with Cathy as I have been working for her under a Cooperstown Graduate Association Alumni Office Support assistantship.

Cathy often takes time to gather her thoughts. I have eliminated any false starts for clarity and flow. Cathy also uses fillers I have eliminated many filler phrases, such as "you know," only keeping those that were necessary to convey the meaning of the sentence.
CR = Catherine Raddatz
SH = Sophia Hall

[START OF TRACK 1, 0:00]

This is Sophia Hall interviewing Cathy Raddatz for the Cooperstown Graduate Program. This is the video interview on December 10th, 2021 at Cathy’s house. Alright, so Cathy what is your position at the Cooperstown Graduate Program?

I am the Coordinator of Alumni Affairs.

What were your impressions of the Cooperstown Graduate Program when you first arrived?

My impression was that I thought everybody was friendly and very collegial. I thought the physical plant was a little dowdy. That was my first impression.

What has been some of your experiences with alumni?

Oh, I have had some wonderful experiences. I even have some favorite classes, like the Class of 1967. I don’t know why I connected with them, but I did. I’ve just made these wonderful friendships. I intend to keep them up because I really enjoy these wonderful people.

Can you speak a little bit more on what your day-to-day tasks are as coordinator?

During the day, I try and maybe touch base with one or two alums on the phone. I spoke to one last night and she lives in Colorado and she’s in New York City for a classmate’s wedding. I do have a financial part of my job and that’s because the Alumni Association is it’s independent 501(c)(3), so I keep track of that. You know, always trying to procure money for the student body. I’m privileged to do several special events, which I think I really enjoy special events. The Bruce Buckley lecture has been one of the high points. Also in the fall, we always have our alumni annual get-together where we invite four students to come, four former students to come and tell the students about their jobs and share pearls of wisdom.

What has been some of the changes in CGP since you’ve arrived?

Well, we have a wonderful new facility. I’m thinking it happened in 2010, I hope it happened a little later. Some of the changes? The class size has increased which in one sense I preferred the smaller classes because I was able to really get to know everyone. Now, I get to know my assistants and then if have some introduction, if people come and visit me, then we respond to each other. I feel like I’ve been a little bit more distant in forming relationships with the students.

How long have you lived in Cooperstown?

We moved here in 1981. I was pregnant and we came across the country in a little Volkswagen, and I think I cried the entire way. We sort of fell out of the car and arrived here. This year we’ve lived in Cooperstown forty years. I have never lived anywhere that long.

[TRACK 1 4:34]

What were your impressions of Cooperstown, as the town, when you first arrived?

I was like, oh my gosh, we are here? It was extremely small, and it was learning how to live a private life when it seemed like a lot of people knew your business. Now it’s grown, so I don’t feel that intimacy. It was an awakening. But I lived in Minnesota, and I wanted to come back to the East Coast so I could see my family, I’m from a large family, so that worked out. But I often think I was pretty selfish because my husband’s an only child, and his parents didn’t get to see him that much. I’ve enjoyed this village and I’ve met some wonderful people here.

What are some of the ways Cooperstown has changed?

Thank goodness that Francesca Zambello came into the opera’s life. The first director was very dynamic, but she has brought it to another level. I think we’re all quite sad that she’s going to be retiring. She’ll stay in Cooperstown, but she’s going on to new adventures. I think she brought back some vibrancy to the town because there was a period that we just sort of [makes declining gesture]. The baseball stores seemed to pop up and there didn’t seem to be much diversity or a reason to shop in the village. But other ways. During my time, having the new gym here has just been a gift to the community. They serve the elderly, they serve the young, and they serve us and that’s been a real gift. The Baseball Hall of Fame, since my move here the Baseball Hall of Fame has expanded, and they’ve had a new facility too. Those are the things that come quickly to mind.

Can you speak about some of the ways you’re involved in the community outside of CGP?

Well, I’ve been in Rotary for almost thirty years. I was a president of Rotary. I’ve really enjoyed, I’ve met so many people from all walks of life. It’s a fabulous organization to join if you move to another area because then you get plugged in right away. Prior to CGP, I was active in the arts quite a bit. I was associate director of the Gallery 53 and then The Iroquois Indian Museum. My day-to-day life, I join a book club, a stamp club and I try to be active in my church.

And last question, what are you looking forward to in retiring?

Well, I’m looking forward to meeting my new grandchild and I’m looking forward to reading. I just want to read some books. I want to work on my stamp collection and my coin collection and then take some art lessons.

Thank you for your time.

Thank you!
Cooperstown, NY
Sophia Hall
Cooperstown Graduate Program, State University of New York-College at Oneonta
Cooperstown Graduate Association, Cooperstown, NY
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