About the Campaign

July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2016

Tommorow Show image campaign launch


In 2011, SUNY Oswego embarked on a historic journey to raise $40 million, the largest fundraising initiative by any SUNY comprehensive college.

With Passion & Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego is the college's most ambitious fundraising endeavor. Under the leadership of President Deborah F. Stanley and inspired by the college’s Tomorrow strategic plan, the campaign engaged the entire Oswego family. The Oswego College Foundation, responsible for raising private philanthropic funds, managed campaign initiatives led by Campaign Chair Mark Baum ’81 and Honorary Campaign Chair Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman ’65 M’71.

The major goals were to:

  • Build the endowment to invigorate our 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

And we did!

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 Richard S. Shineman Foundation and Dr. Barbara Palmer Shineman ’65 M’71; followed by the $7.5 million gift from the estate of Lorraine E. and Nunzio “Nick” Marano. 

Our 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 ’76; 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 ’87. View complete coverage of the 24-Hour Campaign Launch celebration.

By the end of the five-year campaign, the college has raised more than $43.48 million from a total of 16,116 donors. This includes 158 people who have designated gifts to the college in their estate plans to become members of the Sheldon Legacy Society, which doubled in size since the last campaign, led by Jack James ’62 Chair of the Sheldon Legacy Society Steering Committee. Their future gifts will provide more than $13 million to support students, faculty and programs. True to the power of “every gift counts” and makes a difference, approximately 96 percent of all gifts were under $1,000, and half of those came in through the work of 31 Telefund students.

About the Endowment

Most significantly the success of the campaign has enabled the endowment to grow 163% from $11.5 million in 2011 to $30.3 million as of August 2016, adding financial stability and a predictable source of revenue that helps the college plan and build programs.

The funds in the endowment are often designated for a specific program or scholarship, so the returns can only be used for those purposes. At its current level, nearly $1.2 million will be returned annually to campus; approximately 30 percent of which will support faculty, department and program needs while the remaining 70 percent funds student scholarships.

The Oswego College Foundation, comprised of alumni representatives, has stewarded the growing endowment exceptionally well. The 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 (NACUBO Report, January 2016). This long-term rate of return is a key factor determining how much money the Oswego College Foundation will pay out for its more than 350 privately endowed scholarships.


Oswego College Foundation, Inc.
13-Year Growth of Endowment*

*as of June 30, 2016