John L. Halford Sr.
Award: Honoring Our Veterans
John L. Halford Sr. has never forgotten who helped him become a success.
At the age of 17, he entered the United States Marine Corps and served in the Raider Battalion, which was part of the daring raid on Makin Island, Japan. He later fought at Guadalcanal during World War II. After his discharge, Mr. Halford returned to Gouverneur, finished high school, and went on to the State University of New York (SUNY) Canton (then called the Agricultural and Technical Institute), where he earned his Associate’s Degree in air conditioning engineering technology.
After graduating, Mr. Halford moved to Long Island and worked for the Associated Universities in Research and Nuclear Reactor Development at Brookhaven National Laboratory. He later became Suffolk County maintenance supervisor of buildings and grounds.
Since retiring to Gouverneur, he and his wife, Nelta, have played an active role assisting a variety of organizations that work to improve the lives of people in the North Country. Mr. Halford is especially devoted to his work on behalf of his alma mater, where he serves as a member of the SUNY Canton Foundation Board of Directors.
Mr. Halford and his wife provide annual scholarships to nine students from the Gouverneur area, and created an equipment endowment for the air conditioning technology programs. The Halford Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies, the Halford Lobby at the Faculty Office Building and the Halford Classroom in the new Grass River Suites residence building each are named in his honor.