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May 17, 2013

Bassett's bucks back Cooperstown scholars


He noted Mary Imogene Bassett, a graduate of the Woman’s Medical College in Philadelphia, became a physician when she was 31 years old, at a time when it was very rare for women to obtain advanced professional degrees.

She got there, he pointed out, by hard work and determination, just as her grandparents — Elizabeth and Benjamin Bassett did — when they emigrated from England in the early 19th century and settled in the Otsego County community of Butternuts.

“It’s a two-way street,” said Bassett, 63. “Young people can empower others and influence others, and there is no better time to start than now.”

The new scholarships for local college-bound high school students are an extension of an existing scholarship program administered by the Charles H. Bassett Youth Foundation.

“These scholarships are forever, and they are now integrated through the Community Foundation of South Central New York,” Bassett said.

Then he talked about what he called life’s “hairpin turn,” noting the beginning of one’s life is marked by others being the providers for all needs, which is followed by a time when n individual can become not only self-sufficient but can share with others.

“When you get to the end of life, it’s what you’ve given to others that really matters,” Bassett said.

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