Invasion of Privacy: Professor, alumnus Al Sciarrino remembers Geneseo glory days

Business law professor Al Sciarrino proudly donned a "Geneseo Alumni" baseball cap as he sat down with The Lamron.

"I'm one of the only professors here that can wear this," he said.

Sciarrino has the unusual experience of being both a student and teacher at Geneseo. Today, he teaches business law as well as a music and the law class at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.

Sciarrino first enrolled as a freshman in 1964 before failing out his second semester. He was then drafted for the Vietnam War, in which he served as a signal communications officer in the Army for three years. He noted that his experience with the military was more important to him than college and he highly values his service.

Sciarrino voiced his support for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and mentioned that he supports the draft as well.

"I also believe in conscientious objection," he said. "In that, if one is morally opposed to war, they should be exempt from the draft."

After his service in the war, Sciarrino eventually returned to Geneseo and graduated in 1971 with a degree to teach English in high schools.

"Geneseo was primarily a teachers' college back then," he said. He still believes that the school of education at the college should remain at the forefront of the school.

"Geneseo's glory years have passed," he said. "There is no better mission than educating people how to teach."

Sciarrino has also received degrees from the Yale University divinity school and the University of Wisconsin law school. He later went on to teach law in Alabama for several years before returning to Livingston County to practice law, a profession from which he recently retired. He began teaching at Geneseo in 1990.

"It never ceases to amaze how much you can learn from day to day," he said.

Though he hadn't originally planned to return to Geneseo as a professor, to Sciarrino, teaching at the college that he attended as a student is "fulfilling the American dream." He noted, however, that he was disappointed by the lack of class participation from students.

During his classes, Sciarinno enjoys telling stories about his experience as a student and member of the Delta Kappa Tau fraternity.

"I made many lasting, long-term friendships here," he said.

"Geneseo used to have a big homecoming with huge floats that students would work on all week," he recalled. "We used to have song fests where students would come out of their dorms and houses and make small groups to sing." Faculty and music students would then judge the students on their singing ability.

His interests and talents are very versatile.

"I enjoy reading and writing, and I can play all of the Beatles songs on the piano," he said.

He recently wrote a novel set to come out this April about "a boy, a girl, and a motorcycle," based on the bluegrass hit "Vincent Black Lightning 1952" by Del McCoury.

During his free time, he can often be found playing ping pong in South Hall with students and faculty of the business department.