An ongoing connection to and love for SUNY Oswego resulted in a group of more than 50 former SUNY Oswego visiting scholars from China donating five large boxes of personal protection equipment (PPE) to the Oswego Health Foundation to support the work of local healthcare professionals.

On April 13, Oswego Health unpacked 6,000 isolation masks and 1,000 N95 masks and 1200 pairs of latex gloves from the Chinese scholars.

“At this difficult time when the whole world is facing the unprecedented pandemic of COVID-19, our heart is particularly with Oswego professors and colleagues when hearing that the number of confirmed cases sky-rocketed in New York State,” wrote Junhua Qiao on behalf of 53 former visiting scholars. “We have all greatly benefited from our visit to Oswego at different years and thankful to you who were so kind and generous in offering time and help both academically and in life to make us feel at home in Oswego. Once an Oswegonian, we will always be. We are always ready to help other Oswego family members.”

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley welcomed the generous idea on behalf of the community and directed the college to work with the Oswego County Department of Health, which identified the Oswego Health Foundation as the best recipient. “Your offer to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) is an extraordinary gesture of kindness,” President Stanley told the scholars via a recent email. “We recognize each of you for your enduring connections to SUNY Oswego.”

"Such an act of kindness highlights the far reaching, global impact of the #TogetherOz community," added Stanley.  "We are all truly in this together -- our colleagues and peers on campus, partners in the local community, and friends in China and across the globe.  Together, we play critical roles in our resilient response to the COVID-19 pandemic." 

In response to the generous gift of PPE, Margaret Barclay, executive director of Oswego Health Foundation, wrote, "Thank you for helping us protect our community. As a not-for-profit community healthcare system, we count on support from generous donors, like you, to help us deliver outstanding medical care our patients deserve right at home."  

“These are great faculty colleagues and friends of the institution who still feel incredibly fondly towards us,” said Joshua McKeown, SUNY Oswego’s associate provost for international education and programs. “I think they have been sincere that coming to Oswego for a semester or year as a visiting scholar has been one of the highlights of their careers if not their lives.”

McKeown said the donation shows that the scholars they have hosted are “extraordinary” in generosity and in their connection with the college and the faculty who hosted them.

“Not only did they send many of us personal greetings and well wishes, they took it upon themselves to do something great for us and the community that was once their home. They didn’t forget, in fact I think their own recent hardships in China dealing with this virus led them to want to help where they could,” McKeown said.  “And looking at that quantity of aid, it’s inspiring.”