SUNY Oswego’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of service, and thanked its many outstanding volunteers at a luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego.

SUNY Oswego has been the lead local sponsor since the program’s July 1973 foundation on campus and continues to work with the United Way of Greater Oswego and local residents age 55+ for the program to excel.

SUNY Oswego President Peter Nwosu was among those congratulating the volunteers and organizers for the ongoing success.

"It is an honor to stand before you today and express my gratitude for the impact you make on our community," President Nwosu said. "The fact that this program has survived and thrived for 50 years is a tremendous accomplishment, and you are all an important part of that success."

As part of SUNY Oswego's Office of Business and Community Relations, RSVP partners with more than 40 agencies in our region and offers volunteers many different options such as Osteo Bone Builders and 6 Step Balance System instructors, and Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance instructors, Oswego County Opportunities Home Delivered Meals and Dining Centers, food pantries and soup kitchen staffing, environmental stewardship, AARP tax aide counselors and driver safety instructors, youth mentorship, veterans’ support services and more. 

History of service

RSVP originated from one of the earliest programs of its kind: the Community Service Society of New York, which started in 1965 on Staten Island. The project involved a small group of volunteers dedicated to serving their communities in a variety of ways. The success of these efforts led to an amendment to the Older Americans Act, creating RSVP as a nationwide program in 1969. 

Fifty years later, RSVP is both state and federally funded with federal funding provided through the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps), state funding provided by the Office for the Aging, and support from local sponsors including SUNY Oswego and the United Way of Greater Oswego County. 

For more information on RSVP, its partners and services, visit