“With Passion & Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego” has achieved a historic milestone in its five-year journey by surpassing the $40 million announced goal. This is the largest announced campaign among all SUNY comprehensive colleges—Oswego’s peer schools—and nearly double the college’s last campaign goal of $23 million.

“We set out on our journey five years ago to secure the resources we need to prepare students to contribute to the common good,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “As a public institution, we pride ourselves on keeping the doors of education and possibility open wide to all who seek higher education and a better life.

“To support that mission and to keep college affordable and within reach, we laid out an ambitious plan to raise $40 million,” she said. “I am thrilled to announce that we have achieved that milestone, and we thank each and every person who helped us reach this moment. We are continuing to build momentum and have our sights set for an even stronger finish by the campaign’s end on June 30.”

The major accomplishment of the campaign, so far, has been the growth of the endowment from $11.5 million in 2011 to now more than $29 million, an increase of 152 percent.

The Oswego College Foundation, composed primarily of alumni representatives, has stewarded the gifts exceptionally well: the college endowment’s 10-year rate of return of 7.9 percent exceeded the 7.2 percent rate of Oswego’s aspirational group—universities with endowments over $1 billion—and the industry average of 6.3 percent. This long-term rate of return is a key factor determining how much money the Oswego College Foundation will pay out in privately endowed scholarships.

In addition to approximately $4 million in merit scholarships awarded to Oswego students each fall, the Oswego College Foundation provides $800,000 in more than 350 scholarships. So far, the campaign has created more than 60 new scholarships for students and increased endowment levels on several existing scholarships to add to existing totals—which translates into larger or more scholarships for students.

Additionally, more than 25 other new funds to support student achievement in the form of assistantships, internships and excellence funds have been established during the campaign.

“Since our founding 155 years ago, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to make education accessible to people from all walks of life,” Stanley said. “The campaign has greatly enhanced our Oswego College Foundation scholarship program to enable eager learners—who may not have the financial means to attend college, including many first-generation college students—to obtain a college education. Through their Oswego experience, these students will better themselves, expand their worldview and become productive, engaged citizens who will serve their communities.

“We look forward to celebrating our good news with more than 1,000 alumni and friends who will return to campus for Reunion Weekend today through Sunday,” Stanley said of the June 9 to 12 annual alumni gathering. “And we will continue fundraising to bring in those last dollars in the remaining three weeks of this campaign.”

About the campaign

In 2011, SUNY Oswego embarked on a historic journey to raise $40 million, the largest fundraising initiative by any SUNY comprehensive college. The major goals were to:
- Build the endowment to invigorate the college’s intellectual climate
- Increase and diversify student scholarship and support programs
- Sustain day-to-day excellence through unrestricted and annual gifts to The Fund for Oswego

The so-called campaign “quiet phase” made quite a bit of noise with the announcement of three seven-figure gifts, each making history: an anonymous $5 million bequest intention; a $5 million cash gift from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation and Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman, an Oswego graduate from 1965 (bachelor’s degree) and 1971 (master’s); and a $7.5 million gift from the estate of Lorraine E. and Nunzio “Nick” Marano. 

The public launch of the campaign on Oct. 16, 2014, drew national attention, beginning with the live on-campus broadcast of The Weather Channel’s “Wake Up With Al” and NBC’s “Today” featuring media icon Al Roker, a 1976 graduate of Oswego; then moving into the 10th Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit with a panel of five media all-stars including Charlie Rose, who also received an honorary degree; and finishing out with “The Tomorrow Show,” a live student-produced WTOP broadcast of Oswego’s student and faculty accomplishments, co-anchored by President Deborah F. Stanley and ESPN’s “SportsCenter” anchor Steve Levy, a 1987 graduate of Oswego.

To date, the campaign has received support from thousands of alumni, faculty, staff, parents, corporations and foundations, and friends. For more information about the campaign or to make a gift to support SUNY Oswego, visit alumni.oswego.edu/campaign.