Institutional vigor

Undergirding our mission to serve the public with the best possible academic preparation, we keep an attentive eye on finances, infrastructure and revealing data. We guided our college forward in 2014-15 with improvements to our campus, achievements in our programs, and new luster for our reputation.

On campus, new signs grounded in native limestone and designed to safely guide motorists and pedestrians along college pathways were emblematic of advances and improvements at SUNY Oswego in 2014-15.

New front entrance sign

New front entrance sign

Online, we unveiled an award-winning presentation of our strategic plan — β€œTomorrow” — which provides an innovative platform for collecting and sharing data about our operations that will inform decision making well into the future.

And we helped secure that future by kicking off an ambitious fundraising campaign, renovating buildings, and continuing to win the endorsement of professionals and peers across the disciplines.

β€˜An unparalleled showcase of Oswego pride’

Philanthropic gifts from alumni and friends provide Oswego with a margin of excellence: scholarships for talented students, funding for lecture series, high-tech equipment for teaching and research. In one star-studded day in October 2014, we publicly launched our largest-ever fundraising drive, β€œWith Passion and Purpose: A Campaign for SUNY Oswego.”

Scenes from the campaign launch

In celebration of the $40 million initiative, alumnus Al Roker broadcast his live β€œToday” show and β€œWake Up with Al” segments from our campus. Media icon Charlie Rose accepted an honorary doctorate at our 10th annual O’Donnell Media Summit. And we mounted our own β€œTomorrow Show” featuring our own star students and faculty, hosted by alumnus Steve Levy of ESPN and President Stanley and produced by alumni and WTOP, our student-run television station.

Students, faculty and staff from all across campus along with alumni, donors and friends joined in what the president called β€œan unparalleled showcase of Oswego pride.”

Donors know their generous gifts to Oswego are in good hands. Our 4 percent return on investment in 2014-15 — in a challenging financial market — was nearly double that of our peer institutions. Our successful pursuit of philanthropic support and careful stewardship have grown our endowment 450 percent since 2004, ensuring support for our college and students for generations to come.

External support

grants and contracts received in 2014-15

β€œWith Passion and Purpose” total as of June 30, 2015

7,553 donors in 2014-15

$22 million endowment as of June 30, 2015

A building year

Two academic buildings, a residence hall and an athletic facility were busy scenes of renovation in 2014-15, as the college’s longstanding, comprehensive campus renewal program continued.

The art, music and theater departments dispersed around campus from their wonted home in Tyler Hall, as some $40 million in phased renovations there got seriously underway. The ballroom of Hewitt Union was outfitted to become a theater, and its former main lounge and food court and basement filled with temporary cubicles for faculty and staff offices, classrooms and studios. Tyler Art Gallery moved to an interim exhibition space in Penfield Library.

Wilber Hall closed for the final phase of rehabilitation work for the School of Education, which will bring the school’s six departments together in Park and Wilber halls for the first time by 2017.

Waterbury Hall undergoing reconstruction

Waterbury Hall undergoing reconstruction

Waterbury Hall, a residence hall situated on the campus lakeshore, closed to residents in December 2014 for an accelerated full-scale renovation. The $8.8 million project, self-funded by the college, was completed in just eight months. And as soon as the snow melted in spring 2015, work began in earnest on a $2.37 million synthetic turf field for the south athletic complex.

Go-to institution

Architect's rendering of renovated Waterman Theatre

Architect's rendering of renovated Waterman Theatre

Because Oswego’s academic and financial foundations are sound, the college is a magnet for all kinds of opportunities that enrich the experience of our students and our community.

In 2014-15, The Acting Company, a Tony Award-winning repertory theater, chose SUNY Oswego as the lead Northeast institution in a three-year national performance and education initiative. The Syracuse Crunch chose the Laker men’s ice hockey team for a hockey spectacular that set an NCAA Division III attendance record in a contest against Utica College. And Oswego became the new headquarters of the American Journal of Undergraduate Research.

Supplemental state funding came our way as well, from $150,000 to help develop the state’s workforce by growing our programs in engineering and health information technology to $1.5 million to upgrade our theater and build three high-tech classrooms for our School of Education.

Rankings sampler

No. 14 top public regional colleges in the North — U.S. News & World Report

Top 100 β€˜Best Values’ in public colleges for 2015 — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine

No. 22 among online MBA programs nationally — Princeton Review

No. 53 among public master’s-level colleges in the nation for contributing to the public good — Washington Monthly

Spotlight: A+ for School of Education

Education Dean Pam Michel speaks to international educators

Our School of Education received a flawless review from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education as it won accreditation for another seven years.

Oswego not only met all six of the association’s rigorous standards, the NCATE evaluators reported, but also excelled and performed beyond expectations in each.

Some of the many aspects of our teacher education program that came in for special praise were the commitment to diversity and social justice, faculty’s active engagement in inquiry and involving students in their research, effective use of assessment, and the $42 million in facilities renovations that will enhance programs in each of the school’s departments.

Oswego has an exceptional legacy in teacher preparation, dating to our founding in 1861, and our latest NCATE stamp of excellence honors that tradition.