Enhance The Fund for Oswego

Increasing immediate support for where the need is greatest to benefit every student, every day, every year

Bill Spinelli Portrait

William Spinelli ’84

Role: Oswego College Foundation Chair

Fueling the flame: Oz Leads, Possibility Scholarship, The Fund for Oswego

The Fund for Oswego is the cornerstone of private support for the Oswego student experience with a direct impact on every student, every day. The Oswego College Foundation invests these funds wisely to  secure the financial future of the college creating a smart investment for our donors—one that will pay priceless annual dividends as our graduates head into the world.” 

Since 1861, SUNY Oswego has stayed true to the dream and devotions of our founder, Edward Austin Sheldon, and his tireless and tenacious driven aim to raise the institution “to its highest degree of usefulness.”

SUNY Oswego has matured into a dynamic and unique community of students, scholars and educators. With a student body of nearly 8,000 students, we are large enough to offer more than 110 programs of study. Yet, we are small enough for students to form quality relationships with each other and caring faculty who stress quality education and experience inside and outside the classroom.

Oswego mattered in Sheldon’s time and it matters today. And Oswego will matter even more in the future. How do we know this to be true?

We know that during the five-year span of With Passion & Purpose: The Campaign for SUNY Oswego, a total of 16,113 donors made an investment in The Fund for Oswego. Every gift from every donor helped us surpass our goal and provides the college community with the resources it needs to thrive. Together, these gifts make an immediate impact on Oswego’s dynamic learning environment that fosters collaboration, discussion and learning.

The Fund for Oswego Campaign Impact

ACCESS: Throughout the campaign, nearly $3.1 million supported students in the form of privately funded scholarships through a combination of merit- and need-based awards.

RESOURCES: The Oswego College Foundation provided nearly $8 million during the campaign in direct support for campus programs, facility and technology upgrades that make an Oswego education exceptional.

NEED: College priorities received unrestricted funds where established need was greatest, including creating new programs and initiatives that enable a nimble response to emerging necessities. 

INSPIRATION: More than 411 accomplished alumni returned to inspire the campus through the Alumni-In-Residence (AIR) Program to share their knowledge and career experiences speaking in classes, meeting directly with students and faculty and held special presentations open to the entire college community. Similarly, the Alumni Sharing Knowledge mentoring program (ASK) matched 473 students with individual alumni for career exploration, including assistance with networking, interviewing skills and work site visits.

ENGAGEMENT: Our campaign engagement opportunities for 85,000+ worldwide alumni drew participation of more than 12,500 annually in Reunions, Homecoming, Return to Oz, Athletic Hall of Fame, Local Lakers alumni ambassadors’ events, Commencement Eve Torchlight ceremonies, NYC Career Connections and regional Oswego campus, alumni, development and stewardship events.

OPPORTUNITY: Fun, spirited competition among donor groups spelled success for select fundraising programs such as the 24-Hour Campaign Launch Challenge, the Homecoming Challenge, March Matchness, Reunion Milestone Anniversaries and the Lakers Athletics Challenge among and between classes, athletic teams or challenges from major alumni gift donors to rally support for the college. More than 5,000 people participated in these challenges and raised a total of approximately $840,000 for the campaign.

PRIDE: Green and Gold Laker campaign pride swelled through each tri-annual publication of the OSWEGO Alumni Magazine, the monthly Lake E-ffect, Parents, athletics and college/departmental e-newsletters and the thousands of social media posts communicating our vision to be a premier institution that provides a transformative experience to a diverse body of students, empowering them to live ethical and meaningful lives and build a better world.