Strong alumni support brings SUNY Potsdam fundraising campaign to $23.5 million
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 5:29 pm

POTSDAM -- According to the latest donors’ report from SUNY Potsdam, the college is near the top among public colleges in the country for alumni giving.

With $23.5 million donated to SUNY Potsdam’s latest fund raising campaign, the effort stood at 87 percent of the goal as of July 1.

Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam raised more than $5.76 million in donations and commitments in 2013-14, hitting 159 percent of the college's annual campaign goal.

According to the most recent Voluntary Support of Education statistics, SUNY Potsdam ranks No. 18 in the nation among public master's-granting institutions for the percentage of alumni who give to their schools.

The college is now $4.5 million ahead of the original timeline for campaign giving, with the ultimate goal of raising $27 million by the college's bicentennial in 2016.

The campaign, launched in April 2013, has benefitted from 39 donations of $100,000 or more, called Chancellor’s Circle gifts, six of which were more than $1 million, and 133 donations of $20,000 or more, called “Leadership” gifts

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, 13 endowed scholarships were created, including support for computer science and music education majors, several specifically aimed at helping North Country students. Two new endowed program funds were also created, including one for the Rebecca V. Sheard Literacy Center, and another for The Crane School of Music.

Other campaign highlights include a new major commitment to support the college's greatest needs through the Annual Fund for Potsdam, as well as numerous gifts in support of buildings, including the newly renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena and the Performing Arts Center.

Despite having the smallest enrollment of all 13 comprehensive colleges within SUNY, the Potsdam campus boasts some of the most loyal and generous graduates, ranking No. 2 overall for alumni participation in giving, and second for both the total dollars given by alumni and amount raised per student.

What the college calls the campaign’s “strategic priorities” are academic excellence, scholarships, student experiences, the Annual Fund for Potsdam and the arts.

Metropolitan Opera star Stephanie Blythe '92 and acclaimed bestselling novelist T.C. Boyle '68 are the honorary co-chairs for the campaign. Michael Galane '74, a senior director for the Hewlett-Packard Company, and famed lyric soprano Lisa Vroman '79 serve as national chairs. The campaign’s steering committee includes Lynne Boles '74, William Flynn '70, Deborah Diefendorf Hind '75, Gary Hind '77, Janice Rowlands Johnson '56, Christine Meda '70 and J. Richard Munro.

For more information about Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, visit