Al Sterling ’71 is one of the first 30 male undergraduates to graduate from Saint Rose after the College went coeducational in 1969 – but that’s not the only remarkable thing about him. He already had much more life experience than most students, having enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve while in high school, served several years in the regular Navy as a qualified nuclear submarine specialist, and sustained a life-threatening injury serving aboard the ballistic missile submarine U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, resulting in him being designated “permanently disabled.”
After his honorable discharge, he earned an associate degree at Hudson Valley Community College, then completed his bachelor’s in business administration at Saint Rose (and went on to earn a master’s from Sage). Starting in the early 1970s, he served on local community boards, as well as many not-for-profit healthcare boards in the Capital Region. After the death of Mary Lou, his wife of 45 years, in 2011, he returned to community service.
In 2016, he was elected to his current post of Green Island town justice. Mary Lou appears in Sterling’s Saint Rose yearbook photo, along with the first two of their eventual five children. Sterling’s department chair, Sister Marguerite Donovan, CSJ, remarked that Matt Sterling ’90 (whose class included about 120 male undergrads) may be the only Saint Rose alum to appear in two yearbooks nearly 20 years apart.