SUNY Cortland praises graduate for heroism during Newtown school shooting

Bill and Mary Joy Greene Sherlach

The President of SUNY Cortland is praising a woman who graduated from there and died last week in the Connecticut elementary school massacre.

School psychologist Mary Joy Greene Sherlach graduated from SUNY Cortland in 1978.

There are reports she and the school principal lunged at the gunman.

SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum calls her a hero. "Mary's actions were heroic, and exemplified courage, compassion and dedication. We are proud to call her one of our own."

Sherlach graduated cum laude with a degree in psychology and was an active member of SUNY Cortland's alumni family. She met her husband Bill Sherlach at the college. He was a 1980 graduate.

The couple frequently returned to campus to attend games, most recently last month.

The Post-Standard reports Sherlach and her husband own a home on Burtis Point Road on Owasco Lake in Auburn.