Record-Breaking Campaign Raises $33.2 Million

Campaign Raises $33.2 Million
Campaign Raises $33.2 Million
Campaign Raises $33.2 Million
Grow.Thrive.Live logo

SUNY Oneonta’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, Grow. Thrive. Live. The Future of SUNY Oneonta, ended June 30 after raising more than $33.2 million in gifts, grants, pledges and estate-planning commitments, becoming the most successful fundraising effort in university history. Every donation to the Grow. Thrive. Live. campaign is providing new and expanded funding for student scholarships and program support.

“The scholarships are amazing because they are provided by people who were in my shoes that want myself and my peers to succeed,” said Bobby Lang, a 2023 SUNY Oneonta graduate. Courtney Evans, Class of 2023, said that, “the scholarships have really helped me with my college career. I am happy that I’m going to be able to graduate with low student debt. I want to say thank you to all the donors that contributed to my scholarships and are helping me on my career path.”

Grow. Thrive. Live. launched publicly in January 2020 with a goal of raising $25 million. Thanks to the generosity of more than 10,000 donors, the campaign’s original goal was surpassed 15 months ahead of schedule. At that time, the SUNY Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors announced three new stretch goals for the campaign:

  1. Fully endow the SUNY Oneonta Student Emergency Fund with $1 million.
  2. Establish at least 25 endowed scholarships or student support funds.
  3. Increase the unrestricted portion of the SUNY Oneonta Foundation endowment.

“We began our campaign in 2018 with the ambitious goal of raising $25 million to financially strengthen SUNY Oneonta and provide more endowment and gift and grant funding for campus programs to help students reach their academic goals,” said Paul Adamo, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the SUNY Oneonta Foundation. “The initial $25 million goal and additional stretch goals were chosen to raise maximum support for SUNY Oneonta students and institutional programs. I am personally grateful to every donor who helps ensure that our university is accessible to students who will become alumni and leaders in their communities and chosen professions.”

The McCanns
Pat and Linda McCann

Charitable gifts of all sizes powered the Grow. Thrive. Live. campaign, from the campaign’s largest commitment of more than $1 million, to 34,407 gifts of $100 or less. SUNY Oneonta alumni from eight different decades supported the campaign, along with donors from all 50 states and seven countries. Current students, parents, faculty and staff, and local community members all showed their support as well. Grow. Thrive. Live. was led by campaign co-Chairs Linda ’76 and Pat ’75 McCann from Newtown, PA. Through their leadership and personal generosity, Linda and Pat fully embraced the opportunity to lead an effort that would permanently enhance access to an affordable and inclusive SUNY Oneonta education.

“Throughout the campaign, we’ve heard so many inspiring stories about how the university made a difference in people’s lives and why they want to give back,” said Linda McCann. “We’ve heard equally inspiring stories from current students about how scholarships and other support funds made the difference between completing their degree or dropping out of school. It was an honor to serve as campaign co-chairs. Throughout the five-year campaign, SUNY Oneonta donors established 152 new scholarship and student program support funds. We cannot thank the SUNY Oneonta community enough for giving so generously during the campaign and enhancing the Oneonta educational experience.”

Alberto Cardelle
President Alberto Cardelle

Grow. Thrive. Live. was publicly announced two months before the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States. Swift and thoughtful decision-making by the McCanns—alongside the SUNY Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors—temporarily shifted the campaign’s fundraising focus to the university’s Student Emergency Fund. This shift in focus resonated with the entire SUNY Oneonta community and helped to ensure that $50,000 annually was provided to support students facing unforeseen emergencies.

“The Student Emergency Fund provides critical support to students who may have otherwise been prevented from completing their education by unexpected financial hardship,” said SUNY Oneonta President Alberto Cardelle. “Hardships that our students face include the threat of eviction, medical emergencies, loss of employment, food insecurity and transportation needs. Since the fund’s inception in 2018, more than 400 students have received emergency funding totaling over $365,000. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, we can now ensure that funding will be available for students in perpetuity.”

For more information about the Grow. Thrive. Live. campaign and its impact on the university, please visit

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