125th Anniversary Campaign Begins
SUNY Oneonta will begin the public phase of its philanthropic campaign, “Possibilities Full of Promise, the 125th Anniversary Campaign for SUNY Oneonta,” next week. The effort seeks to raise $12.5 million to support scholarships for students, the college foundation’s unrestricted endowment, global connectedness, and teaching, learning and research.
“‘Possibilities Full of Promise’ aims squarely at our strategic priorities. It will help us deliver a premier education to our students, one that will distinguish them from their peers as they pursue careers or advanced degrees,” said SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski Kleniewski. “We’re proud of our reputation as a top public college and energized around the idea of doing even more to foster student success. This is an exciting time for SUNY Oneonta.”
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher will join campaign leaders, members of the college’s administration, and the College at Oneonta Foundation board on Tuesday, April 16, to discuss campaign objectives and the important role of philanthropy within SUNY.
The day before the chancellor’s visit, Monday, April 15, Kleniewski will host a campus event celebrating the tradition of philanthropy at the college and introducing the campaign and its co-chairs, noted SUNY Oneonta alumni Yvonne Cummings and Jeffrey Strauss, to the campus community.
Strauss, president of Butterfield Fulcrum US, earned a bachelor’s of history degree from SUNY Oneonta in 1971. He said the college has always been a special place.
“I received a great liberal arts education at SUNY Oneonta,” he said. “I volunteered to help lead this campaign because I truly believe that my experience at SUNY Oneonta was a positive factor in my life and career.”
Cummings, a 1972 SUNY Oneonta graduate who is senior director of revenue management at NYC Health & Hospital Corp. in Brooklyn, said that a scholarship often makes the difference in whether a student gets opportunity to pursue a college degree.
“I believe that providing scholarships is one of the best ways to reduce barriers to higher education,” she said. “The nation’s ‘best’ or ‘brightest’ should not be synonymous with affluence. This campaign will increase the number of scholarships offered to students, improve financial support of faculty and student excellence, and contribute to SUNY Oneonta’s increasingly global character.”
According to SUNY Oneonta Division of College Advancement records, the number of scholarships awarded to students has increased from 675 in 2004 to over 1,000 in 2012. The amount of scholarship money awarded to students has grown from under $137,000 two decades ago to more than $2.4 million this year.
At the same time, the Foundation has gained recognition as an excellent steward of resources. Charity Navigator, the nation’s pre-eminent charity evaluator, gave the Foundation a Four-Star rating—its highest—for transparency and efficiency last year.
SUNY Oneonta enrolls approximately 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students in more than 70 programs. The college is among the top 50 colleges in the Northeast, according to the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 ranking of “Best Colleges” and ranks No. 3 on Kiplinger’s list of “10 Public Colleges with the Lowest Debt for Graduating Students.”
“Possibilities Full of Promise” will continue through June 2015.