Memorial Service Planned for Frank Burdick

Memorial Service Planned for Frank Burdick


The College will hold a memorial service for Frank A. Burdick, professor emeritus of history, on Sunday, March 24, at the Lynne Parks ’68 SUNY Cortland Alumni House.

Organized by the campus community and members of Burdick’s family, the event will begin at 1 p.m. when the family will receive friends at the house at 29 Tompkins St. in Cortland. The memorial service begins at 2 p.m. 
The gathering is open to members of the campus community, the local community and alumni.

Burdick, a noted expert in the Vietnam War era, died on Jan. 19. He had continued to teach part-time at SUNY Cortland for 15 years following his retirement in 1998 after a 34-year career.

Burdick served the College as acting associate dean of arts and sciences during 1985 and again from 1988 to 1990. He also chaired the History Department.

He was recalled as a popular teacher who held his students to the highest academic standards. His strong commitment to students was honored with the establishment of the Frank Burdick Scholarship in 2002, which was made possible by two former students, Margaret Palmer Young ’85 and Charles Young ’85.

Burdick developed the African American Studies concentration in Social Studies and designed one of the first college courses on the Vietnam War. He reviewed numerous books on the war and wrote several articles on the military’s role in the development of war strategies and tactics. He also won three National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships for further research on the war and spent one summer on a fellowship at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

A Brooklyn native and Korean War veteran, in August 1963 he attended the march on Washington and heard Martin Luther King Jr. give his “I Have a Dream” speech. Burdick joined the College that year but took a two-year sabbatical in 1964 to pursue his doctorate in history at University of Iowa. He also had B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from SUNY Albany. Burdick returned to the College in 1966 as an assistant professor, rising to the rank of professor in 1980.

He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer (Jack) Silas; granddaughters, Jordan and Cameron of Atlanta; and son, Chris, of Tampa, Fla.

Contributions in his name can be made to the Cortland College Foundation, directed to the Frank A. Burdick Scholarship Fund, at SUNY Cortland, PO Box 2000, Cortland, NY 13045.