An alumna who wished to remain anonymous donated $50,000 to support SUNY Oswego’s Student Emergency Fund, bringing the total raised for immediate student needs to more than $245,000 in just over three months.

“On behalf of the SUNY Oswego college community, and our students in particular, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to this loyal alumna for her gift to the Student Emergency Fund,” said President Deborah F. Stanley. “Our students needed help, and our alumni and donors heeded the call to support those who were struggling to meet even their most basic needs. Such an outpouring of support strengthens our community, not only in terms of resources but also in lifting our spirits and uniting us to advance the common good.”

More than 450 donors have made gifts to the fund, including during the #GivingTuesdayNow daylong challenge on May 5. The college also secured a $50,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor to the SUNY Impact Fund by raising $50,000 by June 30.

The Student Emergency Fund became a focus for SUNY Oswego donors since the COVID-19 pandemic when students’ spring semester shifted abruptly to the online environment. These students faced unforeseen challenges, including the need for technology and wireless connectivity, and the loss of a stable job, housing and food.

Serving students

Since the end of March, a total of 96 awards have been granted to assist these students with these unanticipated expenses and circumstances.

Some of the students remained on campus unable to return home, due to travel restrictions or living circumstances at their home. Others have had parents or the primary breadwinners at their homes sick with COVID-19 and unable to care for and provide for others in the household. Some lost their paid internship because of the employers’ cutbacks or layoffs since COVID-19, and many summer camps, service industry jobs and other temporary summertime job opportunities filled by college students have been eliminated this year.

Most of the students have received grants ranging from $200 to $600 for food, rent, utilities and transportation.

One first-year international student explained how she has been moving from one place to another, as she has been unable to return home. Her parents have been in lock down for the past four months and haven’t been able to send her money to cover her expenses. She was trying to find enough money to fly to a relative’s home.

“I have been unable to consistently pay my phone bill because of the very limited money my parents send me,” she said. “My parents are struggling back [home] … Unfortunately, I am worried about the cost it takes to fly there as I have very limited money with me right now. I would be very grateful if you could provide me with just enough money to get back during summer for food, my phone bill, transportation costs.”

A senior technology education major owned his own computer but it wasn’t powerful enough to run the computer programs and software he needed to complete his coursework. He applied the money toward the purchase of a new computer and to cover his phone bill.

A junior said her finances were in disarray because she lost her campus job and couldn’t find another to replace the lost income to cover her basic housing and food needs.

“I used to work at Cooper, so I could cover my living expenses,” she said. “However, because of the spread of virus, I could not work anymore. Unfortunately, I have to spend $375 on renting a house, and around $200 on food every month.”

To support the Student Emergency Fund or where the need is greatest, visit

If you are a SUNY Oswego student in need of immediate financial assistance, please email