The Office of the President
May 3, 2022

SUNY Oswego Alumnus Donates over $1 Million to Support DEI Institute

A new institute dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion and transformative practice at SUNY Oswego will receive an infusion of resources, thanks to a $1.075 million gift from alumnus Jim Triandiflou ’88 of Cary, N.C.

The non-endowed gift will make an immediate impact and will help the college implement the inclusive vision of what will be called the James A. Triandiflou Institute for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Transformative Practice for a five-year term in recognition of his gift. Specifically, the funding will provide current-use support for the institute’s director position and intergroup dialogue training facilitation for five years.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have such a committed partner in Jim Triandiflou, who shares our vision to become a campus whose members approach situations from an inclusive, equitable and human-first mindset,” said SUNY Oswego Officer in Charge Mary C. Toale, who was part of the team that envisioned and created the institute, which was officially announced in August 2021.

“His transformational leadership gift comes at a crucial moment as we launch this institute, and these deep resources will help us develop important communication and intergroup dialogue skills and instill an inclusive mindset in our campus community, especially in our students who will be the next generation of leaders in society,” Toale said.

Triandiflou’s gift will help SUNY Oswego attract and retain a strong director who is a skilled community builder, inspirational leader, open-minded thinker and organized connector. The director, essential to the success of the institute, will lead the implementation of the vision, mission and goals of the institute, and will advance the work of the institute on campus and in the broader community.

His gift will also support an intergroup dialogue training program whose goal is to develop interpersonal communication skills throughout all aspects of the campus community. Moving forward, all new students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to receive training in this area as they join the campus. Additionally, the college will illuminate the work of current and future campus leaders who will be able to share their knowledge and expertise in diversity, equity, inclusion and transformative practice with local and regional organizations and businesses. SUNY Oswego will become a resource for the entire region in this important area.

“What Jim is really providing is the opportunity and means for Oswego to undergo a cultural transformation,” said Interim Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Kendra Cadogan. “Having someone with Jim’s rich experience lean into this area of diversity, equity and inclusion speaks to the importance and transformative nature of this work. The impact of this gift will be far-reaching, and will help identify SUNY Oswego as a leader in DEI on the national stage.”

“Social change can be slow, but it does happen,” Triandiflou said. “I'm hopeful the institute becomes a catalyst for education, discussion and bringing people together in the name of equality. When people talk, they often realize how much we all have in common... our desire for belonging, acceptance, and love. We want our kids to be healthy and happy. We want the world to be safe. These things are universal. Hopefully, the institute moves us closer to equality.”

Read the full release.

About Jim Triandiflou

A three-time CEO with more than 25 years of experience building technology companies as both a senior executive and a consultant to management, Jim Triandiflou ’88 is currently the CEO of insightsoftware in Raleigh, N.C. In his previous role as CEO of Relias Learning, Triandiflou led a company that consciously worked to ensure that the top 50 leaders were balanced and diverse and that pay was equal, despite gender or other demographic factors.

Triandiflou has been a steadfast supporter and an active member of the SUNY Oswego community since 1984 when he was a student majoring in marketing. He was a member of the Oswego chapter of the American Marketing Association and vice president of the Student Association, and he served as the student speaker during his Commencement ceremony.

As an alumnus, he serves as a mentor through the college’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge program, has returned to campus to speak with students through the Alumni-In-Residence program, shared his experience via the Oswego Alumni Podcast and has served on the Rich Hall Campaign Committee and the Class of 1988’s 25th Reunion Giving Committee, among other roles.

A Pell grant recipient, he has a deep appreciation for the opportunities he was afforded by SUNY Oswego, and he credits the institution for helping to launch his career. He counts his classmates from the fourth floor of Oneida Hall among his closest friends, and he said his marketing professor Jim Molinari and his experience with leadership roles in the Student Association helped shape his professional path.

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