Oswego meets $17 million goal; extends campaign to $23 million

imageSUNY Oswego has reached its $17 million goal for “Inspiring Horizons: The Campaign for Oswego” eight months ahead of schedule. This success has inspired the college to extend the campaign’s horizons.

The Oswego College Foundation board of directors has voted to extend the campaign by one year from the original end date, to June 30, 2008, and to increase the goal by $6 million to $23 million.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have reached this milestone so early,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley. “The success of this campaign illustrates the powerful support the college inspires in our alumni, friends and community members.”

The goal was reached Oct. 20, the day the convocation center/ice arena in the college’s Campus Center—a key component of the campaign—opened its doors to the public. At the close of business that day, campaign giving totaled $17,013,838.

The campaign was a three-pronged effort to raise $4 million in endowment funds, providing income every year for scholarships, department and school excellence funds, faculty positions, book funds and other program support; $8 million for the Fund for Oswego, providing dollars that go to work right away to fund such things as financial aid, faculty support and books for the library; and $5 million for facilities and equipment, of which $4 million was for the Campus Center and $1 million for the renovation of Rich Hall.

“Reaching our $17 million goal for ‘Inspiring Horizons’ with time to spare shows just how much Oswego’s alumni and friends love the college,” said Campaign Honorary Co-chair Al Roker, who graduated from the college in 1976. “Extending this campaign will allow even more alumni to connect with our alma mater in a meaningful way and show our support for the future of the college,” the Today Show correspondent said.

The Oswego College Foundation board met Saturday, Oct. 21, and approved the plan to extend the campaign. “We are excited that we have met our goal early,” said Catherine Richardson, chair of the foundation board of directors and a member of Oswego’s class of 1963. “The response has been so much more than we anticipated—and we were very optimistic. People have been extremely generous.” She added that extending the goal gives the college “the opportunity to stretch.”

The college has engaged so many alumni throughout the first four years of the campaign that extending it gives the opportunity to connect with many more, whether through events, in a volunteer capacity, or by their financial support, said Associate Vice President for Alumni and Development Kerry Casey Dorsey, a 1981 graduate of the college.

Three loyal members of the SUNY Oswego community co-chair the campaign, the college’s first: Mae Squier-Dow, a member of the class of 1983; Bernie Henderson, College Council member and former college vice president; and Harold Morse, a 1961 graduate of Oswego.

“One of the best things about this campaign,” said Squier-Dow, “has been the way it brought alumni, faculty and staff and community members together with one common goal—to help the college. It will be great to continue that outreach and include even more people into the fold of active participants in the life of the college.”

The campaign exceeded its goals for endowment and the Fund for Oswego, Dorsey reported. She pointed out that the Fund for Oswego was greatly boosted this year by the $50,000 challenge initiated by fund chair Mark Baum, a member of the college’s class of 1987. Baum matched new or increased gift club level donations.

“The celebratory nature of the Campus Center opening this fall will increase people’s appreciation and support of the capital portion of the campaign,” Henderson said. He added that last week’s opening was only part of the picture, and that completion of the remaining part of the complex, housing student services, clubs and organizations and a lecture hall, is anticipated for fall 2007. “With one more part of this central project to complete, it is even more important to support the campaign,” he said.

Morse, a founder of The Learning Channel and Ovation: The Arts Network, noted that the campaign has created a powerful legacy for future generations of Oswegonians. “We who have had the benefit of an Oswego education are now making it possible to continue the quality of the Oswego experience for students who come after us,” he said. “That is the lasting legacy of this campaign.”

- END -

PHOTO CAPTION: Present meets future—Sophomore history major Jared Montel (left) and sophomore computer science major Robby Robbins look at plans for the Campus Center complex, including the current Campus Center and continuing renovations on Swetman Hall. Funding from the comprehensive capital Campaign for Oswego has made many of the enhancements possible.

(Posted: Nov 01, 2006)