The Mr. Louis Saiff, Jr. and Mrs. Clara D. Saiff Memorial Scholarship
Created in memory of a man and a woman who believed in helping individuals attain an education, this scholarship was established in 1990. A recipient must be a returning student who achieves academically, shows some financial need and is pursuing a business administration degree from Jefferson Community College.
A person of wit and words, Louis Saiff, Jr. found pleasure in creating his own language. However, it was the job of other people to discover what he meant. Friends enjoyed listening to him and were entertained by his creative talk.
Mr. Saiff was born in Watertown, New York, on April 8, 1906, a son of Louis and Hannah Khamar Saiff. His professional career began with the Watertown Daily Times as a teenager. Serving successively as a sub-carrier, newspaperboy selling papers and carrier, he was promoted to master carrier. As a master carrier, he no longer delivered papers along a predesignated paper route; instead, he delivered papers to all sections of the city as a substitute.
As a Watertown High School junior, he worked with the circulation department, dispensing papers to the carriers and sellers. While still in high school, he was eventually advanced to the head of the distribution department.
His success was not only evident at The Times, but also in high school as an athlete. A three-letter athlete, he won awards in football, basketball and baseball.
After graduating from high school in 1924, he joined the paper on a permanent basis. He moved from The Times' circulation department to the classified ad department and then to the display advertising department. He worked for years on the classified page before he became associated with the national advertising desk.
Acting as salesmanager and advertising manager, Mr. Saiff expanded his experience to the paper's other media branch, WWNY, a radio station.
In July 1945, the late Harold B. Johnson, then editor and publisher of The Times and owner of the radio station, appointed Mr. Saiff general manager of all radio properties of the Brockway Co., a company Mr. Johnson founded. As a result, Mr. Saiff's supervision was extended to include The Times' new station, WMSA, Massena. In 1949, he became general manager of all business activities of the Brockway Co. His responsibilities included managing the company's broadcast division. Shortly thereafter, the Brockway Co. entered into another broadcast field, television. Subsequently, Mr. Saiff oversaw the construction of the station, then known as WCNY, and its opening in October 1954.
An organizational realignment of the television and radio stations on January 1, 1961, caused a new broadcast division to be created. At this time, Mr. Saiff became chief administrative executive to the company president, John B. Johnson, in addition to his duties as general manager.
From 1959 to 1962, he played a major role in overseeing the construction of The Times building on Washington Street. After working in the newspaper and broadcasting field for more than 48 years, he retired in 1971.
Active in civic affairs, Mr. Saiff was a member of the boards of the Salvation Army and the Watertown Chamber of Commerce. He was a former chairman of the Salvation Army board of directors. He was appointed to the first all-citizen municipal board of assessment review.
He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hospital Service Corporation of Jefferson County (Blue Cross). He served on the board of directors of the Jefferson-Lewis Savings and Loan Association.
He was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, a former member and clerk of the church's vestry, and a former member of the church's Haas Fund. He was also a member of the Masonic Fraternity and the Rotary Club. He served as director of the New York State Association of Broadcasters.
Mr. Saiff married Clara D. Wescott of Watertown on March 25, 1938.
Louis Saiff, Jr. died on September 27, 1972.
Clara D. Saiff was born in Watertown on March 11, 1904, a daughter of Charles and Mary Helen Derby Wescott. She graduated from Watertown High School and worked at the Watertown Underwriters Insurance Co. in the Woolworth Building for many years.
'My aunt loved to write notes about anything. There were so many notes around the house that sometimes she would write notes about the notes. This always brought smiles to our faces,' said Mrs. Robert Saiff.
Mrs. Saiff was a member of Trinity Episcopal Church. She died August 14, 1987.
The Jefferson Community College Foundation is grateful to the Saiff family for creating this scholarship.