The State University College of Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors announced that the foundation has raised 77 percent of its $25 million goal as part of its “Grow.Thrive.Live. The Future of SUNY Oneonta” comprehensive fundraising campaign. The campaign is critical to the Foundation board’s vision of elevating its endowment to $100 million.
“This is twice the goal of our previous fundraising campaign,” said Paul J. Adamo, vice president for college advancement and executive director of the College Foundation. “Conducting a successful campaign is vital. It will enable us to provide more scholarships, career programs and academic program support for our students and faculty annually. That will be transformative for our college.”
The campaign’s fundraising priorities are rooted in its name and the college’s mission statement:
- Grow—Support student research and faculty development;
- Thrive—Invest in experiential learning, internship support, student travel and professional development, and global experiences; and
- Live—Increase access and affordability (examples are scholarships emphasizing financial need, unrestricted giving, The Fund for Oneonta and the Student Emergency Fund).
Adamo says the campaign is well on its way to reaching its $25 million goal by June 2023 after just two and a half years despite the COVID-19 health crisis. “Our alumni and donors believe in SUNY Oneonta and its mission. They recognize that students have a number of challenges as the result of the pandemic, and want to minimize those challenges so students can graduate with the least amount of debt possible.”
Three priorities the campaign has focused on during the COVID-19 pandemic are raising gifts for SUNY Oneonta’s Student Emergency Fund, which assists students with urgent expenses caused by unforeseen events that threaten their ability to stay in college, and gifts allocated the unrestricted endowment, “Fund for the Future.” The third is increasing scholarship awards for those with financial need.
Linda McCann ’76 and her husband, Patrick McCann ’75, campaign co-chairs, noted the hardships of today’s college students. “Of the 6,000 students at SUNY Oneonta, two-thirds of them have a financial need,” says Pat McCann, who was the first in his family to attend college. “The pandemic is not making it any easier, and the number one reason that students drop out is because of financial reasons.”
In addition to the McCanns, Foundation Board President Andrea Casper ’75 is one of the campaign’s most generous supporters. There have been endorsements by the SUNY Oneonta Alumni Board of Directors and the SUNY Oneonta College Council as well.
The McCanns point out that there is still much to do to finish the campaign and realize the board’s vision of a $100 million endowment. “That’s why we are keeping focused on what’s most important—helping SUNY Oneonta students meet their academic and personal goals. This is how we will retain the health of our alma mater.”
“We want to spread the good news about the campaign because we know that there are about 5,000 alumni working or retired in Otsego, Delaware and Chenango Counties,” said Adamo. “We want to thank these alumni neighbors, and alumni and donors everywhere, for their support as we help students and continue the traditions that began in 1889 when community members gave their resources and expertise to establish our college.”
For more information about the Grow.Thrive.Live. campaign, please visit https://suny.oneonta.edu/growthrivelive.