The Canajoharie Alumni Hall of Fame honored Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland as its first ever inductee during a ceremony at the high school Tuesday, Oct. 25.
A 1977 Canajoharie High School graduate, Lt. Gen. MacFarland is the Commanding General of III Armored Corps and Fort Hood, Texas. From September 2015 until August 2016, he was also the Commanding General of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. In April 2016, he was named among the “100 Most Influential People” by Time magazine.
The general was accompanied by family members at the induction ceremony, which was attended by high school students, teachers, staff and administrators.
Lt. Gen. MacFarland said he felt humbled by the honor of being inducted into the new Hall of Fame and credited his teachers for making his educational experience in Canajoharie exceptional.
“This is a great school, and it was when I came through. What made it so great was the teachers who provided us with the best possible education,” the general said.
Each year the school plans to induct a notable alumni into the Hall of Fame. The hall will honor graduates who have distinguished themselves in a specific field – whether it be civic or humanitarian affairs or in other activities that merit special recognition. Beginning this year, a committee will select an inductee from nominations submitted by members of the public.
During his remarks, Lt. Gen. MacFarland lauded the opportunities available to students in small districts like Canajoharie and encouraged students to take advantage of those opportunities and participate in extra-curricular activities.
“When I went to West Point from here, I was competing against kids from the biggest and some of the best schools across the country,” he said. “But, I never felt at all disadvantaged because of where I came from because the education here was just that good.”
Lt. Gen. MacFarland’s induction into the hall was first announced at the high school’s June commencement. The general was overseas in command of Operation Inherent Resolve at the time and unable to attend.
High School Principal Rebecca Gleason said she looks forward to continuing the Hall of Fame tradition.
“It is our hope that today’s students see in our inductees people worthy of emulation. We believe the Hall of Fame program will help develop a more positive school culture and bring our community together in sharing the successes of our native sons and daughters,” she said.