Potsdam Normal School graduate celebrates 100th birthday June 10
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 6:13 am

POTSDAM -- A Potsdam woman who graduated from the former Potsdam Normal School will celebrate her 100th birthday June 10.

Mildred Hazen, who taught school for more than two decades after graduating from the Potsdam Normal School at age 20, moved to Potsdam about 20 years ago from her farmhouse near Nicholville, according to her daughter, Jane Dyke.

Family members are hoping Mrs. Hazen will receive about 100 cards show up in the mail to celebrate and family will quietly wish her a Happy 100th Birthday with a few at a time.

Mrs. Hazen was born in Lawrenceville on June 10, 1914 and went to high school in Brushton while a boarder during the week. She graduated after three years at the age of 20 from Potsdam Normal School, which is now the downtown Snell Hall.

She student taught at Congdon Hall. With a permanent teaching certificate, she began teaching in a one-room school house and continued for seven years, then married Harold Hazen and began a family.

While raising six children, she also taught 13 more years and substituted off and on. The double income helped to pay for all six children to get a college degree with no loans.

Two sons, Phil and Jack, graduated from Clarkson College, daughters Ruth and Jane graduated from Plattsburgh State, a daughter, Gina, graduated from Potsdam State, and one other son, David, from SUNY Canton.

Her grandson, Ian Hazen, is now employed as Clarkson 's Director of Facilities. Ian also has a masters degree in engineering from Clarkson.

Mrs. Hazen has a remarkable memory and recently told her daughter, Jane Dyke, about working in the cafeteria at Snell while in school and is pleased to know that the building will soon undergo a transformation.

Mildred has had many interests over her long life. She skied as a young girl, but not on the slopes like we have today. She played golf until she was in her late 80's and maybe even in her early 90's, said Dye. When she retired, she and her husband made maple syrup for many years and Mildred was the "boiler."

In the winter, they snowmobiled around Madawaska hunting camp near Blue Mountain and she also became a quilter. Her quilts have been given to family and people she knows in England and Spain and are cherished by many of her friends, children, grandchildren and babies.

She is still very much engaged in world events and politics, and has a wealth of information that she has shared with anyone who might want to know a little local history or what it was like to grow up during the depression, the prohibition era, and the two world wars, Dye said.