SUNY Potsdam launches $27 million 'Take the Lead Campaign'; celebration tonight features Double Axel and author T.C. Boyle
Friday, April 26, 2013 - 9:23 am

Campaign volunteers and SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff gathered along with Chancellor Zimpher in New York City last week to thank leadership donors. From left: Anne Schwaller, President John F. Schwaller, Campaign Honorary Chair Stephanie Blythe, Tanasia Betts, Crane Assistant Professor of Piano François Germain, Joy Tamayo, Benjamin Dickerson, Heather Ferlo, D’Nasya Jordan, Yvonne Trobe, Jordan Davidson, James Bucki, Cameron Brownell, Campaign National Chair Lisa Vroman, Professor of Opera Carleen Graham and Crane School of Music Dean Michael Sitton.

POTSDAM -- SUNY Potsdam hopes to raise $27 million by 2016 though its recently launched “Take the Lead Campaign.”

The year will be a milestone for the school as 2016 marks the university’s 200th anniversary.

The campaign is also historic as Potsdam is the first campus in the SUNY System to launch its third comprehensive campaign.

“Take the Lead Campaign” has already raised $17.4 million in its advance phase, which amounts 64 percent of the goal.

SUNY Potsdam will kick off the Campaign with a campus celebration tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the Barrington Student Union. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will join in the festivities to celebrate progress, and thank donors. A performance by Double Axel will follow the ceremony.

The bestselling novelist T.C. Boyle, a 1968 graduate, serves as Campaign Honorary Co-Chair along with Blythe. Boyle will speak at the launch of the “Take the Lead Campaign” tonight.

Michael Galane, a senior director for the Hewlett-Packard Company, and famed lyric soprano Lisa Vroman, serve as national chairs.

Rounding out the Campaign Steering Committee are Lynne Boles, William Flynn, Deborah Diefendorf Hind, Gary Hind, Janice Rowlands Johnson, Christine Meda and J. Richard Munro.

“People often use the word ‘family’ to describe the Potsdam campus community. It is remarkable to watch alumni and friends, like strong branches, nurture and support budding students to allow them to grow and flourish, leaving an amazing example of leadership. The Potsdam family tree has at its roots an educational and creative tradition that will continue to hold strong into the College’s third century,” President Dr. John F. Schwaller said.

According to a release issued by the college, the strategic priorities of the Take the Lead Campaign are:

• The Annual Fund for Potsdam: The Annual Fund for Potsdam provides flexibility and prepares the College to take advantage of unanticipated opportunities and meet pressing needs. Unrestricted gifts to this area will ensure a competitive edge.

• Scholarships: Scholarships are essential for providing access and recruiting deserving and academically promising students. Scholarships will help elevate the entire institution’s intellectual capital, and fulfill the College’s historic mission of making the best in higher education affordable to all.

• Academic excellence: By investing in faculty excellence, state-of-the-art academic equipment, technology and facilities, the campus will motivate its students. The learning environment is the heart and soul of the SUNY Potsdam experience.

• The student experience: Students who participate in high-impact learning experiences are more successful in their lives. Experiences such as student-faculty research, study abroad, internships and leadership opportunities will increase graduates’ confidence and marketability.

• The arts: The arts distinguish Potsdam among her state and national peer institutions. The campus aims to expand its arts outreach and weave creativity into the fabric of life and learning not only for SUNY Potsdam students, but also for the entire Northern New York community.

“The Take the Lead Campaign will ensure that every student’s experience at SUNY Potsdam will be transformational,” Schwaller said.

“I am thrilled on behalf of the State University of New York, the SUNY Board of Trustees and the entire SUNY System Administration leadership team to say congratulations SUNY Potsdam -- this is a fabulous campaign. I love ‘Take the Lead,’ because that is what SUNY Potsdam has done since 1816,” Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said. “I want Potsdam to soar and use this campaign to lay the foundation for another 200 years of academic excellence and service to New York.”